Shave and a Haircut

March 6, 2000


My mother was a hairdresser. She managed a small-town beauty shop, the kind patronized mostly by matronly women who had standing appointments. The name of the shop was “Beauty Unlimited.” Despite the best efforts of my mother and her colleagues, the name was grossly misleading. And it wasn’t very clever. I was reminded of this while trying to come up with a title for this post. As I rolled the word “hair” around in my brain, I thought about the salons of today. The name for so many of them is some usually tortured play on the words “hair” or “cut” or “trim.” For example, I sometimes get my hair cut at, yes, a beauty shop called “A Cut Above.” It sits on a rise, above the street. Get it? The patrons and the operators of such places seem younger today, too. Of course, my mother’s customers might not have been as matronly or as old as they seemed to me as a small boy. In fact, they might look downright fetching if I could look back on them today.


12 thoughts on “Shave and a Haircut”

    • Geena Davis played a hair stylist in the 1988 movie “Earth Girls are Easy”. The salon where she worked was Curl Up & Dye. A couple of years later, I set up a computerized order/sales/inventory system for my godson’s hair product distributorship in Atlanta. I set up a practice customer as Curl Up & Dye. The guys who worked for him had not seen the movie and got a huge kick out of the name.
      Geena spent a good part of the movie wearing a bikini, something I undoubtedly enjoyed a lot more than those guys would have, who had all come over from working in salons (if you catch my drift).
      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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  1. My Mama was a hairdresser as well. I could tell you what day it was and what time of the day it was if you told me who was at the beauty shop. All standing appointments. No cutsy names back in those days.

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  2. “Of course, my mother’s customers might not have been as matronly or as old as they seemed to me as a small boy. In fact, they might look downright fetching if I could look back on them today.”

    Heck, Jimmy, both Aunt Bee and Mrs. Howell are starting to look pretty good to me!

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  3. As have, I suspect, many men of my age, I have progressed from the era of all male-barbershops (manly men doing manly things…or at least talking about them) to salons staffed by female stylists and catering almost entirely to female clients. (At least they don’t still call them “beauty shops”.) I’m quite comfortable under those circumstances. (I wasn’t kidding about my all-female staffs at work.)

    I sort of miss my (mostly blonde, when not red) Pneumatic & Pulchritudinous Hair Stylist from a couple of years ago, but I was lucky enough find one here (mostly blonde, when not purple) who is, if not quite as pneumatic, every bit as pulchritudinous. She’s an exercise enthusiast and runner, who really makes the tight denim jeans she works in look good. Not sure how I keep encountering awesomely trim and toned ladies, but I’m not complaining.

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  4. As I’ve written before, we have so much in common. My mother was a hairdresser as well, and had her own shop. After my Mom passed I had my hair cut in another salon for years. She just retired and for the first time since I was in the service I actually had my hair cut by a barber in a barber shop. Same experience. I need a woman!

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  5. I could count on my hand how many people cut my hair for the first 18 years of my life and only a few more until I was 22. Once I moved away from home, I probably had a different person cut my hair for the next 20 years or so. I finally started going to the same place and had 2-3 different people cut my hair. When the shop closed, one of the stylists asked me to cut my hair at her new place and I have been going to her for the last 10-12 years. I’m not exactly thrilled with her, but she is my age and really needs the income. One time my Mother-in-law needed a haircut around Christmas and someone at the shop where my stylist works did her hair and my MIL was thrilled with the cut. I must admit feeling a bit worried!

    All of this reminds me of Big Bang Theory where the OCD Sheldon Cooper always went to the same barber because his mother had given the barber his “Haircut Records”. When the barber had a stroke, Sheldon was beside himself. No one had the heart to tell him that there were no such things as “Haircut Records”!

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