All Hail: A haircut gone awry

Now that it’s my second semester at Northeastern, I feel I’ve mastered most of the ins and outs of campus life.

I’ve discovered the silent joy of hoarding cookies from the dining hall, the frustration of waiting for the E line and the slight annoyance at having to make most of my purchases at the overpriced Wollaston’s.

But there is one important question my orientation leaders forgot to answer: Where the heck can I get a decent haircut?

Back home, getting a haircut was simple; I went to my local barber, Bob, who was conveniently located down the street from my house. Now don’t get me wrong, Bob was no John Frieda, but he got the job done. Yet over the years, we’ve developed a certain rapport with one another. He’d share his memories of the “good old days” and, in turn, I’d show him how to use an iPod.

But when I moved to Boston, I realized I had a dilemma on my hands. Bob the Barber wasn’t going to follow me to college and set up shop on Hemenway Street. As Missy Elliott would say, where was I going to get my hair did? Whom could I trust?

So the natural reporter in me began some investigative work. Simply put, I asked around. People pointed me in all sorts of directions. Soon, I compiled a short list of salons, hairstylists and barbershops that had some real potential.

However, I did notice one peculiar trend. My friends unanimously warned me to never, under any circumstances, go to Supercuts.

“But why?,” I wondered aloud. Because I’m from Connecticut, I’ve actually never heard of the place. After all, Supercuts is conveniently located in the first floor of the Curry Student Center and it’s pretty inexpensive, two things that appealed to my college-guy spirit.

So I swallowed by pride, conquered my fears and marched bravely into the salon tucked discreetly in the student center.

My first reaction was “Hey, this might work out after all.” It looked like a typical student-catered salon. There were copies of Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and Glamour strewn over the metal chairs. It smelled slightly of hairspray. In the two chairs were a couple of guys waiting and who appeared calm and collected.

But the second that woman laid a finger on my precious locks, the problems began to surface. First, her comb got caught in my eyebrow piercing. This gave her a good chuckle. Instead of apologizing, she yanked it out, laughed, and said, “I didn’t even see it there.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t share her amusement.

The biggest problem is Supercuts employees are trained to cut only short hair. Being that my hair is slightly longer than average, she was suddenly presented with a challenge. “My heavens, this boy’s hair is longer than one inch off his head, Dear Lord, what do I do?”

Well I’ll tell you what she did. She decided to cut off as much hair as humanly possible to make my hair the cookie-cutter design her specific training allowed. I reiterated that I asked for a trim, but she didn’t hear me. One sideburn ended up two inches longer than the other. The rest of my hair fared no better. It ended up being chopped up like an explorer wading through the South American swamp with a machete.

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “What’s this kid’s problem, it’s just hair,” right?

Well, yes, it is just hair. And this isn’t about vanity. But I wasn’t expecting to have to show her how to cut hair. Miscommunication is one thing. Incompetence is an entirely different story.

The moral of this story is: Where’s Bob when you need him?

– Jeff Miranda is a freshman journalism major and a member of the News Staff.

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