I have long, unruly, curly hair. My hair plays by its own rules, and any attempt to tame it results in horror. Sometimes, my curlz rock so hard I want to kiss them, other times, I just need a hat. The base near my neck gets unbearably knotty, and recently it’s been driving me batty. Due to the shape of my hairline and the natural curliness, it knots up instantly and no amount of detangler can cure it, as shown in Fig. 1 below:
I’ve gotten fed up and chopped sections off from this part before, but I finally decided that shaving it off was the way to go. First I was trying to find a friend with an electric razor, but then my awesome roommate suggested I go to one of the barber shops in the hood I live in. They would do it mad cheap AND I could get a sweet design.
“I WANT A BAT SHAVED INTO MY HEAD!” I squealed, hopping up and down in the kitchen. Just in time for Halloween, yesssss!
So after scarfing my giant burrito and chips tonight I sauntered into the barber shop down the street right next to the fried chicken place that also serves coffee and pizza. “Hi! Can you shave my head?” I asked the man sitting in one of the barber chairs.
He held up his hand, all five digits outstretched. “No hablo ingles,” he said, motioning with his hand once more for me to wait. A few minutes later, a couple of other dudes came back from the deli on the corner. “Hey baby,” they greeted me. I assume they worked there.
None of them spoke English very well, and I’m not fluent enough to understand Dominican or Puerto Rican Spanish (they speak waaaaaay faster), but one of the men was able to translate. The guy who actually shaved my head didn’t seem to know what I meant by “bat,” so I had to draw a picture.
“Head too skinny.” Was all I could understand.
Heart broken, I asked him to shave my head anyway. After tying me up in the barber cape, this guy walked over to a mini fridge in the corner, removed an uncovered Styrofoam cup, and offered me some rum.
“No thanks, I’m good.”
He spent about 15 minutes, three different razors, and numerous consultations with the other two men on this project.
I started wondering if maybe he was going for the bat shape after all. I mean, what else could be taking so long? Finally, the translator told me I have a “nice point” and asked if I wanted him to keep that.
Point? Uhhhh, yeah, sure, that sounds good. Make my hair pointy… wtf?!
I didn’t know what was going on. It was all up to them. At one point, he took out a straight razor. I thought about the rum. I thought about Sweeny Todd. I thought about my delicate neck. I swallowed hard and just bowed my head. This might have been the bravest thing I’ve done since moving to Brooklyn.
Then he dug around in a drawer and pulled out a styptic pencil. He cut me! I’m bleeding! It was not bad. I’ve gotten all my Hepatitis vaccines. I think maybe I’ll schedule my annual HIV test this week.
When he finished shaving and cutting me I pulled out my wallet. “No charge, don’t worry.”
AWESOME! I gave him a tip and skipped on home. I was wearing my hair clipped up in a messy bun, and the dude never removed the hair he had detached when shaving it. So I was left to pull the loose clump of hair out myself after I got home. It was… disturbing. I hope to never pull such a large clump of hair from my head ever again, but it was kind of an interesting one-time experience.
If anyone wants that… you’re a f*ckin freak. It’s sooooo soft.
Personally, I don’t think my head is too skinny for a bat, but what do I know? Maybe it was just beyond his scope of hair-shaping expertise and he didn’t want to look a fool in front of the crazy white girl. I’m happy with it. It feels so nice and fuzzy and I think it’ll help a lot with my knot issues. You’re welcome to pet and feed me treats.
Freelance writer. Trail runner. Relentless savage.