Traveling barbershops

Not all of us can bring an entourage with us wherever we go, not all of us care that much about our hair to spend loads of money on it.  I prefer fast and/or cheap, preferably both.  I recall an issue of Men’s Health magazine I read in college that had an article (with illustrations) by Dennis Rodman (who probably did not draw the cartoons) about how to choose a barber.  The first step was “Look for the pole.”  If it has a barber pole, it’s a barber shop, otherwise it’s a salon.  Barbers typically cut men’s hair (ignoring their history as early surgeons), and so might have a better idea of what a man wants.  That’s pretty much the only rule I follow when looking for a barber.

Of course, I have my regular guy (whom I visited yesterday), whose barber pole was destroyed by vandals years ago.  He may have had a fake wooden or color printout for a while before giving up on that.  You’d never know it was a barber shop if you drove by, you’d have to look intently through the shop window to see the barber chair.  During my time in Bermuda, I found two different barber shops, and frequented one more than the other, because the other one was a singular guy who had a horrendously unpredictable schedule.  Both were much more expensive than I would have liked.  I don’t mind paying for quality, but I didn’t get it there, often deciding to wait until I flew home or somewhere else to find a barber shop.

While living in Bermuda, I made two separate trips to Boston, one year apart, and hoped to be able to get a haircut for cheaper (which I did).  The first year, I found a barber shop outside Harvard University, the second year, I used the one inside the MIT Stratton Student Center (adjacent to the Coop Bookstore).  I think I liked the cut from the MIT shop better.  Before my last trip to Australia, I had spent nearly five weeks on a ship, and I was going to spend another three weeks in Australia, so it was time to find a barber shop somewhere.  I ended up finding a training center in Sydney and had a cheap haircut, didn’t care too much for the result, as long as it was shorter and cleaned up.

For my 8 day trip to London and more recent 3 weeks in Europe, I planned the last haircut shortly before I left because I didn’t want to spend time looking for a barber shop.  I spent about a day looking for one around Pittsburgh, but never saw the pole, so I gave up.

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