Hair obsession is officially no longer limited to women. In fact, I have a male friend who gets his hair cut at least every 10 days and sometimes twice in one week. The notion that our hair speaks volumes about who we are is alive and well. He discovers a new stylist at least once a month and is perennially in search of the perfect cut. He’s the latest extension of urban life – the hair whore. His actions caused me to delve deeper into their psyche; those who simply cant get enough of a good cut and bounce around from one salon to another. What is it about our society that mandates our Droids have at least 3 hair stylist numbers on speed dial and what are we willing to do for the perfect hair cut?

 

It starts with a simple admiring glance. And then, we stare in the mirror, falling in love with ourselves like Narcissus who looked at his image in the pool of water. Driven by the need to match that perfect image, we begin always thinking about what our hair looks like. There really are GOOD and BAD hair days. Believe me, the advent of Facebook picture updates is a testimony to that. And knowing our own hair intimately, we know exactly when a bad hair day is upon us. Those days qualify as an urban emergency because you never know who you might meet at the gym or the Whole Foods salad bar.

 

Hair whores are always thinking about their hair and are seldom taken by surprise Let’s use Tom as a case study. Tom will carefully plan the perfect timing for that haircut. He knows that in three days it’s at OHD (optimal hair day) – that period of time when haircuts look best. He has an important new client meeting and in preparation for OHD, walks into the salon to get Holly to cut their hair and discover she’s phoned in sick. Now THAT is a hair 911. To compound the problem, the salon is packed and smells of perms. Tom faces two options – Megan, the female lead stylist who looks like a Goth rock star or the Gary, the Gossip Queen at the end with oh too tight pants and muscle t shirt.

 

Tom is a metro type hetero guy who is comfortable in his masculinity and wants a good value. Lucky for him, because Megan is charging $75.00 versus Gary’s $35.00 cut. And this brings us to the point of what is a good haircut worth? Is there a visible distinction between an expensive cut and a reasonably priced cut? I’ve had some terrific cuts for $12.00 and some horrible cuts priced at $70.00. I’m not convinced that a simple guys cut needs to be priced over $35.00. The frugal hair whore will hit up the local hair schools. Having tried one, let me advise they are not a good alternative if you’re in a rush. The cut has to be signed off by one or two of the teachers and there’s inevitably a bad cut and re-cut is necessary and lots of fussing about you. I wanted to cringe. Why save a penny when time is money? Along the lines of frugality , how much should you tip? Tip too low and you risk getting bad service next time. Tip too much and you set the bar of expectations high for a return visit.

 

Gossips pose a challenge to the zen person. I’ve pretended many times to be dozing to sleep when all the chatter starts. I’m a “leave me alone and cut my hair” type guy. Is it better to answer mundane questions or play the silent game with a Gossip? If you choose to talk, realize that everything you say WILL be held against you. And if you’re like me, you don’t want to be seated next to a friend while your hair is being cut. Then you get into 4-way conversations as the stylists interject on everyone’s conversations and it’s a free for all.

 

A true hair whore would never go back to a HOT hairstylist if they gave a lousy cut. The value of a great cut far overrides the flirt factor. It’s like separating business and pleasure at that point. I’d choose the least attractive stylist if I knew I’d get the best haircut. In the world of looking good, there’s no substitute for a great hair cut. At this point in time in history, they matter. They tell others about our creativity, our panache and our personal style. In a way, most of us urban dwellers have at least once fallen into the hair whore trap. It’s tough playing the Uptown game and if looking in the mirror makes us feel, well just a wee bit more self confident, then by all means, do whatever it takes. For me, I look at it as a stage of life that I’ve outgrown. Don’t get me wrong, looking good is always in vogue, but being a little less concerned is downright sexier.