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The Saloon

I was in this new fancy saloon last week and was audience to a conversation between the barber, (probably I should call him a stylist would not want to hurt his feeling) and his client. The guy on the seat was middle aged in a business suit and was absolutely clear and articulate what he wanted the stylist to do.

He said “Fauxhawk, with not too much on the top, a slight touch up on the sides, short sideburns, a curved back with a blending end.”

The stylist gave his cool professional stare at his client from the back of the chair into the mirror handling the hair and added “great will add some texture to the hawk, will relax the hair a bit on the top and blend the hawk, and let’s keep the current texture on the side. You need it asymmetrical?”

“Keep it asymmetrical” came prompt and confident reply.

I sat in awe and looked at the work of art wondered what Fauxhawk was. While I knew what short side burns are but wondered what is an asymmetrical, relaxed, blending, textured hawk was….

My Barber Shop

When I go to my regular barber I usually say “SHORT” he did what he had to do. He asked me one question in the middle regarding my sideburns to which I always said “SHORT”. We discussed better things like movies, politics, Delhi and any random topic that he wanted to talk while have a cutting chai (well we also have a cutting chai here  in Dubai) and it is over before it starts. By the way I always wondered -When one barber cuts another barber’s hair, which one does all the talking? Anyway It is his conversation that I enjoy in an otherwise drab experience.  At the end when he done talking, he brings a mirror to show my sides and back of my head to which, I always said “Perfect”. I always said perfect for I did not want to upset my barber. He is the guy who has a razor and don’t want him upset when it is right next to my throat.

I adhere to a piece of advice given to me a by a dear friend long time ago “never upset a barber or a chef you never know what might get into you”. If you are a movie buff like me you will remember 1933 W.C.Fields short film, The barber Shop where he plays Cornelius O’Hare as a an inept barber who maintains his good-humored optimism in his small town shop despite having a hen-pecking harridan for a wife and a total lack of sartorial skill.

Cornelius O’Hare: Haircut or shave?
Mr. Flood: [laconically] Yeah.
Cornelius O’Hare: I beg your pardon, isn’t your name Flugg?
Mr. Flood: Yeah.
Cornelius O’Hare: I thought so. I didn’t recognize your face when you first came in.
Mr. Flood: [deadpan] No, it’s all healed up since I was in here last.”

Going back to present day, in this fancy saloon I dreaded what I am going to say when it is my turn. If I wanted something new and fancy hairstyle from my Indian barber, I would ask him that I need a new style to which he gave me a portfolio –stardust or a cineblitz and I would point a style of my favorite movie star. If I asked him what the style is called he would promptly give a name. The last time I asked  him he said it was called the Ghajini Style.

I was sure that the Syrian stylist here would not have been aware of a Khiladi style or DCH Cut. I was sure he did not even know the basic SRK cut. I scampered around for a movie magazine but found none. The Saloon had Wheels, National Geographic, and Popular mechanics. It did not even have Ahlan Masala, some fancy saloon it was. I was worried how he would react to if I said short. I might just end up getting a Ghajini cut. I also did not want sound like a nincompoop who comes to a fancy saloon not knowing what he wants. All the more I work in the fashion industry and I had a reputation to keep.

But then this was the age of technology and I was in a fancy saloon that has WIFI and my phone came to my rescue. So scampered the web to figure out the latest hair style that I can sport, since searching for name was a difficult, I looked for Hollywood actors and their style that I can sport. If there is no Ghajini cut there must be a Ben Affleck cut or something. The thing with Hollywood stars is they are tall handsome and they can really sport anything but I have an office to go to. It was more difficult than looking at khans of Bollywood and making a decision. There were so many of them and all of them really looked cool and there was hardly anytime. The Wi-Fi was slow and each photo was taking more than a minute and it was the longest minute of my life.

Finally Captain William Lennox from the transformers aka Josh Duhamel came to my rescue. There was a small article about Transformers in popular Mechanics and it showed him..  Googled him and valla It was the closest that I wanted and I got it in time. I was visibly realaxed even though I did not know what it was called, I could bluff my way thruough.

When it was my turn  sat on my surgons seat I had my script ready:

“ hi I need a short haircut, more like the one in this picture” I gave him the iphone.

He felt my hair and looked at me and my current haircut and asked  “ what number do you want on the sides”

What does Josh have in the picture ? I aksed “2 I guess” he said

I was not sure what he ment but I said “ then 2 it is”

“I am going to do a short navy spike, with a slightly longer spikes at the fornt and a rough morning texture on the top. Will keep the side at 2 and a triangle sideburn, with a curve or a blending back border as you wish.”

With a air releif I said “Give me a blending border and a square sideburn”.

After 15 minutes of anxity I got out of the chair with a 40$ less in my pocket a smile on my face and one singel word “PERFECT”


Now I know what to say to the barber who is not from the subcontinent and I have a name to the hairstyle that I sport- A NAVY SPIKE with a morning wiff texture a blending back with a short square sideburns. I Feel educated……

By the Way this is what a the client before me wanted – Fauxhawk

The fauxhawk haircut emerged in the early 2000s, taking on a new trend from the earlier punk rock mohawk and frohawk. In parts of London, England, it’s commonly known as a Hoxton fin. With its newer, more modern-styled look, it became more popular when worn by celebrities such as soccer pro David Beckham.


This is what the Stylist Suggested to him


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