Saturday, June 30, 2012

Barbershop at Home

Our barbershop is located at our first floor communal bathroom. The barbers are Lily and Allan.

My profession as a "barber" started more than 20 years ago at graduate school, when a friend asked me to cut his hair even though I had no experience whatsoever. He had a set of tools - clipper, scissors, comb etc. He could cut hairs, but he could not do it on his own head. The outcome of that haircut was OK and I became "famous" instantly in the dormitory - quite a few students asked me to cut/trim hairs for them. The most memorable haircut - a fellow student asked for a haircut and in return he cooked dinner for me that day.

After Lily and I married, we bought a set of tools for haircut, I taught her how to cut hairs using the tools while she practiced on my head!! That's how we started our home barbershop. It used to be that I cut everyone' hairs, Lily cut mine. In recent years, it has changed to that Lily cut hairs for everyone in the family and I cut hers.

Over the years we had ever changing challenges over the haircuts as the kids grow, we have also reaped tremendous satisfaction from the home barbershop.

The challenges

At the very beginning the challenge was how I took a less than satisfying haircut in stride while encouraging Lily to continue to improve. The trick in those early times for Lily was - not try to perfect a haircut in area that was less than perfect, and left the sideburns to me. Her skills improved quickly.

The next challenge was to cut hairs for our boys when they were only several month old. We could not use the regular clipper for their tender, sensitive skins. I used the trimmer on my electric shaver to cut baby hairs.

The easiest time to cut the boys' hairs was when they were between 1 - 10 year old. I just used the clipper with a proper sized guard. Each haircut was done in less than 10 minutes. When they were getting older, they refused to take this type of haircut anymore. They wanted a "adult" hair style.

The biggest challenge now is to make the boys agree to have a hair cut in the first place, and to cut enough hairs off their heads. Fortunately, with persuasion, reason, and sometimes coercion from the parents, they have one haircut for approximately every two months.

The benefits

The obvious benefits of home barbershop are convenience, and saving some money.

The more significant benefit is that haircut time is a family bonding time. The boys will have undivided attention from their mother during the haircut. Mother and Son have had some very interesting conversations during these times.

Haircut time is also an important twosome time for Lily and I. We have undivided attention to each other during this period, talking about various subjects in depth without any distraction for 30 - 40 minutes.

Haircut at home works well for all members in our household. It has been a tradition of ours for nearly 18 years and is going as strong as ever. It is a fabric of our life.

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