Friday, May 30, 2008

Introducing the Costco Haircut

A few days ago, Kendall went to get his hair cut after I pulled the strands around the base of his neck into a miniature ponytail. The unintended quasi-mullet had been growing for several weeks as Kendall procrastinated the inevitable. You see, Kendall's greatest fear, if measured by the number of times he says he hates it, is going to get a haircut. After almost 8 years of marriage, I think I finally understand why.

First, for Kendall, getting a haircut is an intimate event reserved only for family members. Kendall grew up getting haircuts from his father, who learned how to cut hair in the navy during World War II and thereafter repeated the procedure countless times to keep the five Hulet boys' unruly locks perfectly sailor-shaped, ideal for a white hat and a navy blue kerchief around the neck. There were only two versions of the cut: long or short. And they both looked the same to everyone but Kendall's mom and dad. This was a special bonding time for the Hulet boys and their father, with the pace of the scissor-snipping and the hum of the electric clippers often communicating more than the few words spoken.

Kendall had hoped that when we got married I would preserve the intimacy of the haircutting experience by learning the navy haircut procedure myself. In fact, I think Kendall considered purchasing me a set of platinum hair shears instead of an engagement ring ("with these shears, I thee wed. . . ."). I'm glad he didn't. I don't think I could have made that kind of commitment. The one time I tried to cut his hair, I carved stripes into his curls. A quick trip to Kendall's parents' house remedied the problem; Kendall walked away from his dad's chair with the "short" version of the sailor cut.

Second, as a result of never having a choice in how is hair looked (well, except short or long), Kendall does not know how to communicate what he wants and is afraid of the freedom he has to get his hair cut any way he wants. I imagine this feeling is shared by those liberated from dictatorial regimes. When I suggested Kendall show the stylist a picture of the type of haircut he wanted, he looked at me like I had just suggested he jam a skewer through his eyelid. Apparently men do not and should not do this. He softened the glare and laughed a little when I said he just had to tell the stylist (or is barber a better word, Kendall?), "My wife wants you to make me look like this." But he feared that the stylist, despite his/her best efforts, would not be able to make him look like Goerge Clooney, Orlando Bloom, or Brad Pitt. Oh well--I tried.

Third, Kendall hates to spend money, especially when he hasn't had to spend money on something in the past. I bet you can't guess which of the following haircutting businesses looked the most attractive to Kendall when I searched on Google Maps (heaven forbid he go to where I get haircuts; that would just be emasculating):

Great Clips
Dollar Cuts
Just Cuts
Seventh Street Salon

Yes, Kendall first wanted to know about Dollar Cuts. When I informed him that it was located inside our local Smith's grocery store, he decided that he best go "higher end." He headed to Great Clips. However, he did ask if Costco had a place to get haircuts. "You know," he said, "a Kirkland brand haircut. I would go there." No, Kendall, there is no such thing as a Kirkland brand haircut.

In the end, Kendall got an updated version of the sailor cut in a medium length.


  1. Brig goes to Hair Cuttery, where a hair adventure always awaits. He can walk out looking conservative and 50 or like a bisexual with a mullet. We never know. I have finally decided that I would pay a few extra bucks to be attracted to him, so we might have to look around some more for a slightly higher end salon.

    You gotta respect a guy who won't get too hypersensitive about his hair, though. There is something manly in a cheap haircut.

  2. ha! I love the costco hair cut. Anyway, where is the picture of the final product?

  3. Anonymous8:50 AM

    I grew up getting haircuts from my mom, but recently have been trying to be a little more independent. I've actually been going to Sports Clips pretty regularly. I don't much care for the locker room decorating scheme, or for the fact that they have ESPN playing at each haircutting station (they could be playing new episodes of Lost and it wouldn't change the fact that I can't see the picture without my glasses). But they do cut guys' hair all day, every day. They are pretty good at leading out with minimal direction, and without you having to sheepishly produce a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio's latest "do." The price tag? $15. That's not too bad.

  4. I'm trying to decide which is worse: a husband who comes with low haircutting expectations or a man (Erik) who comes into marriage with his own stylist (Jaada). Fortunately, when we moved to Ohio we eventually found Joel. Unfortunately, Joel's haircuts have risen from $14 to $25 in a VERY short period of time. It makes me long for a man who chooses from Great Clips, Dollar Cuts, et al.

  5. Tell Kendall I'm in the same boat. I grew up having my mom cut my hair every time, then on my mission I bought my own clippers because I was too cheap to go to a barber. I've been cutting my own hair ever since. Obviously, looking good isn't a requirement as much as the few bucks I save by doing it myself. -Jess

  6. One of the reasons I have plain long hair is because I am terrified of having someone other than my mom touch my hair with scissors.

    Mark has informed me that he would like me to start cutting his hair to save money. I'm just going to hope it falls out fast enough I don't have to ruin it.