Day 20

The New Normal

Now that we’ve been cutting our own clients for one whole day, I’ma start acting like that’s what we’ve ALWAYS done.

Solo haircuts? No bigs, totes normal for us.

Oh, THAT old thing?

On that note: I had 2 clients back to back, both wanting similar ‘dos and beard trims.

The 1st guy had super curly hair and knew exactly what he wanted:


A 2 into 3 fade on the sides/back, and scissor cut on top w/ longer fringe to wear pushed up and back. Add texture to make his topbox less voluminous, a squared neckline and everything but his goatee/mustache combo gonezo.

Fading and scissor cutting went smoothly enough, except I took his neckline a touch higher than Papi would have recommended. The client was cool with how it looked, but for me that’s still a bit of a sticking point.

An even bigger sticking point? The whole beard trim process.

For some reason, I just can NOT get the order of everything right once I finish the haircut and move on to beard consultation. Papi went through it with me twice today (with clients), then again afterward so I could write down notes for myself.

Even my notes are kind of a disaster. BEHOLD:

It’s not rocket science.


My second client was fascinating.

He told me how he has used The Secret to manifest good things in his life, and also described his intensive Muy Thai training. Two interests which could not be more opposite!

He also wanted a fade + scissors hairdid, though we took his much shorter on the sides & back (he wanted to see some skin through his hair).

Obligatory BEFORE (top row) & AFTER (bottom row)

At the tail end of our day, we got a surprise: we’ll be taking our first test tomorrow morning. It’s multiple choice (yes!!!) based on the reading packet we were supposed to read front to back (WHOOPS, haven’t read beyond the first 2 pages yet).

En route home, I wandered past The Hunter S, a pub possessing more taxidermy than Donald Trump’s son (backstory: Drumpf’s son kills elephants).

I sat under a stuffed water buffalo and worked on answering practice questions, so here’s hoping I don’t fail tomorrow!

Day 19

Flying Solo

Today we went full Amelia Earhart: It was our first official day doing haircuts on our own.

First solo scissor flight

Apologies in advance—I was so hyperfocused that I forgot to take any pictures of my own handiwork. I’ll have to use pics I found on the internetz as an approximation of my clients.

We also dipped into theory a bit, as we’ll be taking 5 written tests in addition to practical work, in order to qualify for NVQ Level 2 certification in barbering by the end of the course.

I’m not sure what the American approximation of that would be?


I only got a few pages into theory work before enough clients arrived to fill all 5 barber chairs.

First up was a super sweet guy who resembled Prince William, complete with some balding on top. He asked for a grade 1 into 2 on his back & sides, and then trimming just the whispiest tips off his downy topbox fuzz, so he could fluff it up and make his hair look fuller. I was happy to oblige.

Whereas Papi previously had been checking our work stage by stage, today he had us do ALL the clipper work before calling him over to inspect, including mini clipper clean up around the ears/neckline.

Seeing as I failed to snap even one “after” pic of my 1st client, here is the next best thing:

Client #1 (as played by Wills in the TV movie version)


My 2nd client of the day came in and immediately asked for a scissor cut all over. Dagnabbit!

It’s not that I mind scissor cuts in general, but:

1) They take way longer than clipper cuts, especially right now as we’re still getting our technique dialed in, and

2) I want more clipper practice! #firstworldbarberproblems

The client himself was super sweet and kept chatting about comedy shows (both live sets and the TV variety), which is way up my conversational alley. However, he got really really squirmy toward the end.

I tried my best to scissor over comb with his head dodging this way and that. I nearly took a few chunks out of his head with all that wiggling!

Client #2


While I didn’t get to do any clipper work today, I DID play with blow dryers a little, as he wanted his fringe styled to go up and over in a mini-pomp.

Oh, how I wish I could spend a day practicing different blow dryer looks on some fellas, so I can really nail the many different techniques!

Training wheels are OFF!

Day 18

Turning Up The Heat

Some days, I’m a sneakers (‘trainers’ to the English) and black jeans kind of girl. Other days, I apparently dress like a cross between Lydia from “Beetlejuice” and Mike Myers’ ‘Sprockets’ character from 1990’s SNL fame.

Beetlejuice/Berliner vibes

Our first client today was a super sweet guy from the Isle of Man, which where Manx cats come from. Don’t ask my how or why I know that Cat Fact.

He just wanted a clipper/scissor tidy up with low side part, and was super sweet as we three-teamed his head.

One hazard we hadn’t anticipated was his habit of turning his head to look at me whenever he was talking. He was soft spoken but quite chatty, so in order to keep his head still while the other students worked on their sections, I wound up standing behind him in the mirror so that we could converse without someone taking a chunk out of his hair every time he spun his head around.

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Next up was a planetary sciences major, who had quite a thicket of hair on top of his head.

He wanted a 4 grade on sides & back with topbox combed back from the front (no side part). That was the first time I have done a purely backswept (non-pompadour) haircut, so it was interesting. LOTS more hairs to cut with a ‘do like that!

The last guy who came in freaked me out a little with his obviously fake colored contacts. They were an intensely artificial blue/green, which on someone as naturally tan as he was, made him look like an extra from “Cat People”.



He had a high almost-disconnect fade and then SUPER long hair on top. He didn’t want us to touch the top, just re-clip the fade and trim his beard to match. So I got to do all of that myself, which was fun!

Papi also let me do the whole entire clipper work section at once before he checked, instead of doing one small step at a time.

Outwardly I was like “yeah sure, no problem.” Inwardly, I was more like…


That’s another thing: As of tomorrow (Day 19) we will each be doing our own full haircuts on clients. I’m so excited! And also a little terrified!

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, and I’m sure it will be nice for Papi too, as he can step back a little and just check our work in more broken out segments, instead of having to check each step as we go.