The haircut was dull.  I asked them how long they could buzz hair and got it buzzed to that distance.  Somehow, there’s still a divet in my hair despite it being easier to generate than a bowl cut.  I don’t mind getting “the bad barber” as I don’t care enough to complain when my bangs are uneaven, my sideburns disappear against my wishes, the cowlick is accentuated or head turning into a follical ski slope.

The person next to me asked his barber how many shears he had, and the barber responded five.  I asked my barber the same and he said twelve.  Apparently, that’s the recommended maximum and the selection is the barber’s choice, much like the clubs of golf.  I learned that a good pair runs about 50 dollars and cheaper ones “rips out hair rather than cutting it” and “can’t cut paper”.  I asked to see the catalog and expected an LLBean shears catalog with attractive people leading interesting and well appointed lives through the usage of their scissors.  I was disappointed when it turned out to be much more utilitarian containing shears, combs, razor equipment and barber-specific first aid equipment.  Apparently, the black leather bag on many stylist workspaces is a first aid kit.  I supposed I’d be sceptical of going under the hollow straight-edge if there were a massive first aid kit immediately behind me.

I also learned that the turn around time for shear sharpening can be up to five weeks.  That’s ridiculous.  My local sharpening shop can do a whole knife set over a weekend and I can get an embedded device battery done in about a week.  Either there’s a reforging process involving aging in fine charred oak casks or there’s room to start a shears-oriented startup that will make the current fat-cats of scissors sharpening quake in fear.

Straight razors hold a special sway over today’s man.  Using one is in an echelon of masculine endeavor with smithing, outdoor sportsman games or horse-taming that serves as a cultural link to yesteryear’s manly men.  I looked into straight razor sets and found the prices either suspiciously high ($275 for a full chrome set) or suspiciously low ($3.00 for one made of bone, not just the handle, the whole thing).

I got a haircut later that day and asked about a straight razor, the first question the barber asked was “what do you plan on doing with it?”  I attempted to make a Sweeney Todd joke but quickly answered “shave”.  After an awkward silence he quizzed me on strop sharpening, and creating a proper lather and proving I’d done my homework he said he had an in “with a big wig in the straight razor industry”.  Big wig in the straight razor industry?  Really?  He mentioned he’d “hook me up” with some of the “newest technology on the market”.  Aircraft aluminum blades? No.  Lazer guided handle? No.  Some crazy curved blade that contours to the human face? Hell, no, it’s a straight razor.  “New tech” is apparently replaceable blades in a plastic handle which has only been around for about 70 years.

I hope to get the razor next week and I’m being positive, either I’ll have a stupidly smooth shave or will dress as a PEZ dispenser on Holloween next year.