When You Need a Haircut

Until I got a married, I never realized how difficult it is for a guy to find the right barber to cut his hair. All I knew  was when I found a good hairdresser, I was willing to travel across the City to get to her and I wouldn’t divulge her name to anyone. After all, when I needed an appointment, I didn’t want to be on a 6-weeks waiting list.

Each time we moved, it was a challenge to find someone in the neighbourhood who could cut men’s hair well. Hubby’s haircut isn’t anything elaborate or fancy—just a simple short trim on the sides and back, the top left a bit longer resulting in a nicely shaped head.

When we lived and worked close to the downtown area, there was a barber along our route. Jack was fresh out of barber school and eager to please. Short on the sides and back? You got it.  A bit longer on top? Got it.  Jack was a great listener and he tried. It took him 45 minutes with very deliberate and precise snips, but he eventually achieved the end result. Enroute home, Hubby and I discussed the fact that maybe next time, I could disappear for a cup of coffee or something rather than sit and wait. And since Jack already did the head once, maybe—like memory foam—he would remember the style without any distracting chit-chat. So, the next barber visit, I went for a cup of coffee, ate a slice of chocolate almond roll, browsed through several interesting boutiques, checked out the discount bookstore and eventually wend my way back to the barber.  Jack was still delicately snipping.

Next time, we decided to try another place on our way home. Rosie was a stylist, an unisex stylist.  Since the haircut was considered a basic cut, we figured it wouldn’t take any time at all.  It didn’t, but the difference between a “barber” and a “stylist” is about $45. We didn’t go back to Rosie.

A few years ago, we moved to a little house in a neighbourhood surrounded by local businesses including three supermarkets, a huge Home Depot, several eateries, a library, post office. stationery store, medical services, pharmacies and a barber. Highly recommended by several of our male neighbours, Hubby decided to give the shop a try.

Okie is a cheerful person with limited English and a hair-cutting system uniquely her own.

“Okay, how you want it?  One finger, two-fingers or three-fingers?

“Sorry Okie. What do you mean?

“I wrap hair around one-finger or two fingers or three fingers before I cut.”

“I just want it short on the sides and on the back; a bit longer on top.”

“Okay, I do.”  And she did–sort of.  Hubby was informed that he had a one-finger cut and that was the one to ask for next time he returned for his haircut.  When the next time came, Hubby cheerfully said, “One-finger, Okie.”  It was short.  It was one of the shortest haircuts I have ever seen on my husband’s head. In fact, even though the two people ahead of us asked for “2-fingers”, it all came out the same—very short. And forget the tad longer on top, it was very, very short.

On the walk home, Hubby decided it was a language problem. On his next haircut, he would guide Okie on the length he wanted. When he emerged from that haircut, it was perfect—short on the sides and back, slightly longer on the top and nicely shaped.

“That’s perfect, Okie!

“Okay—next time you ask for 3-1/2.”


“Yes, that style I do for your head. I have new system.”

The next haircut is looming in two weeks. We’re not sure what the differences are before or after 3-1/2.  However, Okie’s customers are happy and chatty while waiting; the price is fair and she takes only 7-minutes of your time.  Thank goodness, Hubby has a beautifully shaped head for no matter how short his haircut turns out, the whole experience has been an adventure, a very entertaining and hairy one!

6 thoughts on “When You Need a Haircut

  1. Oh boy, sounds like the woman my husband goes to. I don’t know what happened this last time, but she went crazy with the clippers. When it is this short I call him Emmett Otter from the Jim Henson Christmas show. Lucky for him I love Emmett 🙂


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