Yes, this looks great! My hand rests on the rearview mirror as I check my reflection in it. I turn my head to the left, then to the right. He did it again!
This is my current experience of getting a haircut. It’s always good. Every single time.
It wasn’t always like this though…
My initial go-to
For a long time, my haircuts took place in the cheap commercial chains. You know the ones. You show up, put your name on a list, and then wait 45 minutes while avoiding eye contact with everyone else waiting alongside you. Until, eventually, your name is called.
You stand up, get hurried to the chair, and are asked what you want done.
You mutter something quickly and just as soon as you have, the buzzers turn on. Or clippers. Or sheers. Whatever they’re called, it doesn’t matter. They’re on and buzzing regardless.
“Wait, wait!” you shout over the noise, “Use the scissors!” But it’s too late. She’s already taken a nice chunk out of your scalp.
Going back in
Later on, back in the car, you take a final look at the damage. The sides are uneven, the top is a mess. You sigh to yourself and muster up the courage to go back in and ask them to fix it.
After about 15 minutes of telling yourself to be brave, you finally turn off the car and head back to the sheers.
- Total time: one and a half hours
- Total headache: eight out of ten
Driving home to only head back
On the off-chance that the initial haircut isn’t a total travesty, you head home to ask your wife what she thinks. All the while, you hold your breath and hope the cut doesn’t look too bad to a 3rd party.
But it does.
“Ummm… that looks bad,” is the response she gives you.
Ugh… you head back to the “salon” and ask for a redo.
- Total time: two and a half hours
- Total headache: 12 out of ten
The solution I sought
Eventually, after years of this, I was done. I needed a dedicated hair person. Someone good. So I started asking around. It took some time, but it was worth it.
Now, I go in at a specified time. I arrive to the same person who already knows what I want done. We have a great time chatting because I’m relaxed. I don’t have to worry about asking my wife to touch up the sides when I get home.
Once done, I can get in my car, drive home, and move on with my day. I may look in the rearview mirror – I still like to double-check – but often I won’t. I certainly didn’t do it earlier today when I left him.
I simply got in the car and drove home.
- Total time: one hour
- Total headache: zero out of ten – priceless
A valuable time-save
As you can imagine, my new haircut costs more than my old haircut. But not by much. Plus, as you can see, I save a significant amount of time and stress with each subsequent cut.
That’s time that adds up significantly when you consider that I go in every four to six weeks.
Which begs the question – who cuts your hair? Because the answer reveals how you value your time. Back in my days of commercial chains, clearly I didn’t value mine. I felt that wasting a Sunday on a haircut was worth the savings.
But was it? Was it worth the massive headache? The second-guessing? Was it worth walking around self-consciously for two weeks until my hair started to look normal again?
In hindsight, no, it wasn’t.
Take a step back
Haircuts are but a small aspect of your life. The bigger point, the bigger question, is: are you being intentional with your time?
Are you deliberately saying, this is the:
- Place I want to live,
- Work I want to do,
- Person I want to be with,
- Haircut I want to have?
Or are you doing whatever seems easiest? Whatever takes the least amount of effort and time upfront without questioning the ramifications down the road?
For many people, they choose the latter.
Easy doesn’t (always) equal best
But for a moment, consider that the easy choice is not always the best one. Yes, you can get a cheap haircut by driving five minutes instead of ten, but having to go back in after the fact will surely weigh on you as you drive home.
So instead of choosing the easiest option, opt for intentionality.
Look around and determine what needs to change. You don’t have to overhaul your life in one sitting, just tackle it piece by piece. For instance, if you’re just going through the motions with your health, reevaluate, research better options, and then change things.
Same goes for your living situation, or career, or education.
It’s bigger than a haircut
Don’t go to the chain because it’s the closest. Go there because you want to. Because they do a great job with your hair. Not because it’s ten cents cheaper than the nice place down the street.
Be intentional with your decision and you will create an intentional life for yourself.
One of meaning and fulfillment.
This is about more than just a haircut. It’s about how you approach life. Don’t do things based on ease. Do things based on what adds purpose to your life. Do things for the sake of intentionality. Go there because it’s the best, not because it’s the closest.
Move forward with intentionality
Your haircut represents how you value your time. It represents your level of intentionality. Be aware of this. Furthermore, be aware of what that means in terms of the other areas of your life.
Be deliberate. Make a choice based on your own fulfillment, not on whatever’s easiest.
These choices add up with time and result in the amazing life that you want for yourself (or lack thereof). So look around and start deciding what needs to change. And then, change it.
See you at the salon.
PS: A quick aside
For those individuals who cut their own hair or have their roommate/spouse do it…
I mean no offense. If you can get an amazing haircut for free without leaving your home, more power to you. Again, it’s about being intentional with your time. Meaning that if you enjoy the cut – you aren’t just accepting it as it is but are generally loving it – keep doing it.
And if you’re not, spend some time looking for other options.