Hair Styles That Are a Cut Above: Where Gay Men and Straight Men Part?

Straight Guy

I loved your March 21 post about hair cuts. I thought I had uncoiled you from that low-rent version of the Hair Butchery, but clearly old habits die hard for you. At least you've given up the Flowbee, right? Right?

The results so far from your poll of how much gay men/straight men are willing to spend on caring for their tresses are interesting but not surprising: Placing a value on a good hair cut --assuming a direct correlation between style and dollars spent--falls down on predictable lines. Readers: There's still time to take the poll -- just scroll down to March 21.

The results so far indicate that 88 percent of the gay respondents spend between $15 to $60 on a haircut (evenly split between $15 to $30 and $30 to $60), compared to 50 percent of straight men spending $15 dollars or less.

I am not terribly surprised that straight men don't care about hair or maybe that that gay men just care more. (Is a bad hair cut one of the ways straight men recognize each other?) But, I am surprised that anyone can find a haircut, good or bad, for less than $15. How many Mayberry Pete the Barbers are left out there? Do straight men have a homing instinct for the few remaining blue and red striped poles?

The barber shop was never fun for me as a child or even as an adolescent. Back then, seems like the whole point of a hair cut was to make you look bad. A trip to the barber always ended up with me in tears, my dad mortified, and crooked bangs.

I didn't really get a good haircut until I moved to a city. I found a great stylist but, as SG notes, after a while he no longer was convenient to my office or my home, resulting in some desperate and expensive cabs riders across town. I felt like a hair adulterer leaving him.

On the recommendation of some of women at work I decided to try this guy down the street named Ricardo. Why not? These women had good cuts, he was near the office, and they went on about how good looking he was. To cut to the point, I made an appointment and was speechless. I would have paid him the $40 just to stand next to me for half an hour. Bonus points, he had a French accent. He gave a great cut, too. (P.S., I fall into the $30 to $60 zone.)

Ricardo, who by the way is straight, eventually moved on, so I ended up at a new salon. It's sleek. Italian sleek. Metal and leather sleek. Not one extra anything in the whole place. It's like show room in there, complete with a flat screen TV playing nothing but a loop of models angrily sulking down a catwalk.

The guy gives a really good haircut, plus he use a regular razor, small razor, scissors, then finishes my neck with a straight razor so I feel like I am getting my $35 worth.

A friend of mine once noticed an inverse relationship between how much you pay for a hair cut and how much they take off: You pay Pete the Barber $10 bucks, he gives you a Marine recruit haircut. Pay a fancy stylist $100 and their goal is to make it look like you barely had a cut. Guess straight men are more likely to survive this global financial crisis.

Nothing makes me feel better than a good hair cut. Nothing. There's a lot that I'd give up before a good cut. The Washington Post had an article on what people relinquish last in times of financial crisis and why. Turns out it's lipstick -- symbolic of a sense of a former self.

Tempting . . and portable. . . as lipstick is, I'll be showing up on the unemployment line with a fresh haircut, invincible.

--Gay Guy


15 comments:

Straight in Upstate said...

Lot of issues there, GG. All straight men who go to barbers have bad haircuts? Is there something you've been meaning to tell me?

I don't know the geography of your readers, but in rural NY most barber haircuts are under $15...at least they were last week. I know a gay man who drives over an hour for a $10 haircut - can't remember if it's a barber or a stylist.

Like straight v. gay, barber v. stylist is less about stereotypes and more about individuals. The haircutter who doesn't give a crap or is an egotist will cut you any way s/he wants to, regardless of price. A good one will give you what you want, buzzcut or trimmed ends.

Straight Guy said...

Great post.

No wonder you hide these details from me. The hunky, french stylist named Ricardo? Do you have Central Casting on speed dial?

Once, a long time ago, I got a cut from a rather attractive young lady, who was very flirty, and I was seriously overwhelmed. I knew I had no chance, so what exactly was I tipping so much for?

Gay Guy said...

SIU,

Generalize that all straight men's hair cuts are bad and all gay men's are good? No, I don't really believe that. . . hey, it's a blog, generalizing/sensationaling is the foundation of blogging. Just read the Drudge Report.

My brush with hair science: I just went through my phone contacts list; I found two questionable hair cuts, well not so much questionable as erratically good, and one case of outdated sideburns. All gay men. See, I can be objective when I choose to be.

For a year or two right after college, I suffered with a series of bad hair cuts from the 'cool' stylist. I don't know his sexual orientation, and I doubt he did either. It cut, as you say, how he wanted to see me, not how I wanted to see myself. Anyone who went to him got a weird little point at the intersection of the spine/bottom of the neck. It was like a code by which we all knew each other.

What's amazing/amusing to me from these posts is that there is a $10-$15 hair cut left in America.

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Interesting point of view, a lot of gay dudes are recognizable because of the haircut or by the way they use the hair.

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