Either you love going for a haircut, or it’s just one of those jobs you just have to get done every so often.
Me? I hate going for a haircut. Sitting around in that weird room with mirrors everywhere watching somebody else get their hair cut for what seems like half your life.
There’s pictures of hairstyles about 30 years out of date on the walls, as if you would want any of those.
Then you have to make small talk with the person cutting your hair. Overall, it’s just the most uncomfortable experience.
Generally, you don’t even think how bad it must be on the other end of the scissors. It’s just another day at the office for them, right?
Well, those days can get pretty bad, as you’re about to find out!
“I had a young man come in with his mother. He was about 8 years old and had tight curly hair. His mother ask me to shave down to a 00000 that is the shortest you can go with clippers. I said sure it was my last cut of the day and I was eager to go home. I start the service and notice barely 1/3rd in that he had a lice infestation under the tight curly hair. I mean these guys were huge. Probably why his mother needed me to shave it off. So..
I discontinued the service and spent the next 3 hours disinfecting everything in sight. The boys mother called the barbershop later to complain because I wouldn’t finish shaving her sons hair. We tried to explain that it was illegal for us to continue the service as it might spread lice to others and recommended a specialty shop that could take care of this for them but she demanded that it was because we were racist. That was fun.”
“My husband is a barber, one day he had a guy come in with dreads, wanting them all shaved off. He parted his dreads, looked at his scalp and noticed it was green!! He touched it and saw it ripple. Asked the guy when he’d last washed his hair, he replied ‘about 3 years ago!!’ My husband realised the guy’s whole scalp was covered in a layer of pus!! Sent him straight to A&E to have it drained and treated with antibiotics.”
“Ahh I just remembered the best one! After a tornado had came through my area an older gentlemen probably 50-65, who was working for FEMA came in for a haircut. During the consultation he told me, “whatever you do, don’t shave the hair off of my ears, my last girlfriend thought it was sexy.” So I didn’t shave the hair off his ears!”
“My sister is a hairstylist and got scabies once from a kid. Apparently the mom knew the kid had it too, just didn’t tell my sister until they were leaving. Yuck.”
“I’m a hairstylist, pretty new still. In school, you can’t really turn anyone away. I had a prostitute sit in my chair, tweaked out of her f***ing mind, with her pimp telling us to dye her stringy, fried hair blonde and cut it to her chin. She didn’t speak for herself at all, she wouldn’t even look in the mirror. he gave all the instructions, he definitely had a specific look for her in mind. He was a huge a**hole to everyone and she left the chair to go cry in the bathroom.
A classmate went to go check on her and she had just walked out of the door. He left really quick after that. I think about her sometimes and I hope she’s okay. I wish I had gotten the chance to make her feel beautiful. So that was a pretty nasty expedience even though I didn’t have a chance to start the service. Besides that… I was pregnant throughout school and gagged quite a bit at the ladies who would come in for a wash, blowdry, and style after weeks of not brushing out their hair or washing it. I always suggested braids for these ladies since they obviously for whatever reason chose not to maintain their naturally curly hair but most refused and would be back in 3-4 weeks for the whole process again. This was a very time consuming process with tons of detangling rats nests and dreads that invariably ended in zero tips.
There were also really creepy men that would come in for $5 cuts and say very sexual things and enjoyed the shampoo a looot. My school was basically just a mill of free labor and we had to accept every client no matter what and it sucked, but I’m enjoying more creative freedom now that I have graduated and am in a salon. I still volunteer for events where homeless get free cuts and there are quite a few very dirty people there but I don’t mind because it’s not a daily basis situation like it used to be and I like making people feel good.”
“When I first moved down here and wasn’t aware of who this family was. When all twenty of them (yes, they all come into town together) entered my store, I was very pleased because I wasn’t sure if my barbershop would become popular.
I plop the first kid down in the chair (being polite and pretending not to notice the rank stench of B.O.) and attempted to get to work on his collective mat of hair. Yes, you read that right; his entire head of hair was one giant mat, as was the rest of his family’s.
I broke out the big clippers and attempted to buzz from his neck up, but when I did a nest of spider eggs fell out. The momma spider had made a little burrow in part of his mat and laid eggs.
I kicked the whole family out and still refuse to see them every four months when they try to come back.”
“When I was a broke ass student I was in a place like walmart getting my hair cut. An old lady comes in and sits in the chair beside me.
She says to the hairdresser “oh yes and by the way I have a large boil on the back of my neck”.
Hairdresser says ok.
Old lady says “yes, so can you squeeze it?”
The hairdresser started looking around for tweezers or something and I looked firmly at my lap and tried not to barf.”
“Haha, not me, and technically not hair but my best friend went to cosmetology school and said the majority of pedicure practice came from old men who would come in to get their toenails cut, because they were too old to do it/couldn’t reach them/whatever. One girl is cutting some old man’s toenails and one went flying right into her mouth.”
“When I was in school, I had a lady come in and she wanted a cut, and a manicure. I loved those appointments because it blocked a good amount of time, but was fairly easy.
First off, I’ve been around smokers my whole life but this woman REEKED of cigarettes. Like she smoked them in her house and car, all the windows rolled up, I couldn’t even understand how she could have that strong of a cigarette odor permeating off her. I get her draped and start asking her what she’s looking for, I start to run my fingers through her bleach blonde hair, to see what I’m dealing with here, and a piece of her hair just FALLS OFF IN MY HAND. At this point I have a look of horror on my face and started mumbling something along the lines of “Your hair!…..I’m so sorry!” And very calmly she says, “Oh a chunk fell out? That happens sometimes, it’s fine.” I politely tell her that she might want to get that checked out.
So I go get her shampoo and conditioner and I take her to the bowl, turn on the water and her hair turned to bleach blonde mush, (other stylists know what I mean), and has now made the whole salon reek of wet dog/cigarette. I used about a cup of conditioner in her. It was the most rough hair cut I’ve ever done, and it was a very simple bob.
The manicure was even worse, she had coat upon coat of nail polish on all of her fingernails, I let them soak, took them out, tried to take some of the polish off, won’t come off. I took my wooden dowel and tried chipping some of it off. Cue my horror when the wooden dowel sunk INTO HER FINGERNAIL. The stench coming from it I will forever remember. Like a mix of rotting corpse and durian fruit. I alerted my teacher who told her she probably had a nail fungus and that she needed to go to the doctor.
She put me in dispensary for the rest of the day.”
“This happened in hair school and I wouldn’t say it was entirely my fault but I guess that is for you to decide… So I was toward the end of my time in school and I had been “out on the floor” taking clients for a couple months. A woman came in with very long, very dry looking hair and told me she wanted a perm. At this point I was already beginning to get nervous but I figure I might have time to talk her out of it. For anyone who doesn’t know, perms can be really harsh on your hair. Not a lot of stylists I know like to perform them because they take a long time to wrap, they stink, they can turn frizzy really easily, and they are super hard on the client’s hair. I can’t tell you how many girls have brought in pictures of Taylor Swift and expected me to give them a perm that will come out like her natural curls or her iron curls. So this woman is sitting in my chair with her hair probably measuring 3+ feet long and she wants a perm. So I do a quick integrity test on her hair to see how strong it is and if it can handle the chemicals. I’m already predicting that her hair is too weak for the solution but I check anyway. Low and behold her hair breaks off in my hand.
At this point I have my instructor come over and help me talk to this lady about the possible risks of her hair falling out or breaking off or becoming SUPER frizzy and this lady is having none of it. So per school procedure we have her sign a waiver saying that we made her aware of all the potential risks and that it may not come out how she wants it and we are not liable and we’re just students blah blah blah. She happily signs the waiver and sits back. This whole time I’m freaking out because waiver or not I did NOT want to be the one responsible for f***ing up her hair. I ended up going to the director of the school because I didn’t feel comfortable performing the service and she told me to do it anyway or go home and lose hours. So I walked back to the chair and spent 2 hours wrapping a f***ing piggyback perm on this lady and when I finally get her to the shampoo bowl, as predicted, her hair begins to break and fall out.
My instructor and I worked for another hour and a half rinsing and styling her hair and when we were done it was…..horrific. To say it looked like s*** would be a massive understatement. I was on the brink of tears and my instructor was stressed and exhausted but this lady was as happy as can be. She paid, gave me a big tip, and disappeared into the night.”
“Not mine but a coworker, Jack, had a very obese man in his chair. By obese I mean he could barely fit in an already huge barber chair. You know how fat rolls happen on the back of the neck? Well we have to pull the skin to make it unfold to make it look good when using clippers. Jack does this and suddenly jumps back and nearly gags while covering his mouth.
He said that when he saw inside the folds it was sticky and gooey discolored sweat with skin tags that have been trapped. He told the man he can only finish his haircut quickly because he needs to get that checked out by a doctor and to never come see him again. The smell stuck with him all day and he couldn’t eat. He disinfected all his tools and didn’t attempt using them in the ‘crack of puke.’”
“Did haircuts for the homeless which was equally rewarding and disgusting. Spent an hour detangling a woman’s matted hair and several live cockroaches came out. Also the feeling of accidentally ripping off a scab with your comb is a feeling that will make you cringe thinking about it months afterwards.”
“Well mine isn’t what someone told me, but what she left in my chair. She was a senior citizen, and came in for a cut at my first job at SmartStyles (I have moved on to a better, private salon). She left a green liquid that apparently had dripped out her ass and through her clothes onto my chair. It looked like amniotic fluid!
She paid with cash and left and I continued to see her the rest of the day in the same outfit inside the store we rented the space from (Walmart). While out for a smoke break I watched her get on to the bus which is not widely used by anything but the very low income portion of population in my area. So I don’t know if maybe she was homeless or not. However she was back the next day in that same outfit.”
“My wife’s a stylist for a major chain, and more dudes j**k off under the cape than you would imagine.”