I used to get my haircut at a unisex salon. Not by a barber but by a hair 'artist'. And I used to pay $35.00 for this haircut, although it wasn't just a haircut of course, I was paying for an experience.
There were music videos playing the latest hits. There were the young apprentices walking around dressed in black who were sporting freaky, brightly coloured skew-whiff hairstyles asking me 'how are you today?' and offering me a cappuccino or a macchiato. I fondly recall the long soothing head massages and shampoo. Then there was Mr. Dependable, my reliable hairdresser or hair 'artist'. He really cared for me and how my hair looked. He would ask what I was up to and shared his thoughts about life, the universe and everything. Maybe an hour after I arrived, my experience was over. We said our goodbyes and I happily booked in for my next session.
Oh, how things have changed. Nowadays my haircuts are a very different experience. Well, it's not an experience, it's a haircut. Nowadays, there are no music videos, no scary looking apprentices, drinks or massages. I'm usually in and out in 10 minutes including waiting time. Nowadays, I just get a haircut.
After making the extraordinarily difficult decision to separate from my long term hairdresser, I wasted no time looking for another. Now, older and wiser, I was seeking a different experience. I was looking for a quick hit, I was after satisfaction. A good, quick satisfying haircut. I soon found another world. A world where I could not only save money, but I could also save 50 minutes or so. 50 minutes and 20 odd dollars to reinvest somewhere else in my life.
Nowadays, I don't pay anymore than $12.00 in Liverpool. Sometimes only $10.00. On a sojourn to Parramatta, I discovered a whole row of men's barbers on George Street all charging $8.00. I didn't get a lot of conversation in English, but I did get a damn good haircut.
And then I hit on hairdresser heaven, or so I thought. In Merrylands, opposite the railway station, I fell upon my newest bestest friend who charged nothing for a haircut and a mere $7.00 for a compulsory conversation. But alas, on my most recent visit, the place had undergone a major renovation and OMG, now charges $8.00.
So apart from shaving your own head, if anyone knows anywhere in Sydney where a man can get a good cut for under $8.00, please share it with your Weekendnotes buddies.