words fashion street photography

blog

The City I Live In - Hacked

I had my hair cut today. More hacked at actually. I took a chance at the cheaper alternative of a barbers. Avoiding the back alleys of local town, I thought it much wiser to head to the seedy alleys of Soho. 

My entrance to the barbers was met with more solemnity than I expected. Having my haircut is an activity of leisure; a time of renewal. Joyful even. So with the jingling cow bells alerting my entrance, things instantly seemed off. The giant poster of Sweeney Todd did not allay any anxieties. 

A tall, coiffured and waistcoated chap pointed me in the direction of a short and similarly coiffured and waistcoated man, who gestured more than he used words. Within minutes, my hair was washed and squeezed. No pre-wash consultation, no beverage offerings, no pleasantries my usual salon insists on at my every visit. Ok fine, this is a no frills alternative, I get that the faff is cut out.

I was pointed to a chair. Reassured at being asked what I would like changed, I replied, "short all over please, choppy and manageable." Without retort or an opinion ventured, strands of my hair were flying off my scalp. In fairness, I have recently let my hair grow to lengths my mother describes uniquely: "You look like a jungle, Mehmet.” Surely this hacking phase is just a quick once over before the finer, more elegant and precise use of his scissors — nope.

I should not have expected more from this place. Though adorned with the current vogue of gentlemanly furnishings, I was offered none of its refinement. The ambient music was that of a generic radio playlist "thumping out classic nineties hits". And no conversation either. 

The unconventional cutting style continued. My short chap struggled to reach the top of my head, and so I would periodically tilt my head to meet his manic scissors. A tool I have never before seen and resembling a fish scaler, resulted in more hair hacked until something resembling a cropped look transpired. When shown the back, rather innocently I asked if more could be taken off. My chap grunted once more and brandishing his large clippers, chopped further. I exchanged glances incredulously with myself in the giant ornate mirror facing me.

As I left the barber shop, I suddenly remembered their website, which boasts a picture of the owner embracing Jason Statham, a man famously known for his lovely hair. That, and the shop name of Scissorhands, should have been enough warning. 


Mehmet Hassan