I got my first online haircut yesterday, and I’d recommend it to anyone.
Best of all, it was free! He usually charges $7, but I guess I got a discount.
How do you get a haircut online, you ask? Let me tell you…
I posted this video about 10 months ago in which I let Jake give me a haircut as part of making him less afraid of the clippers. It’s been viewed 439 times, as of this writing. No internet sensation, but hey – we do what we can. Anyway, Derris Felder of South Carolina found the video, and was intrigued.
I even wrote a post about it; but Derris didn’t know that at the time.
Derris is a 17 year old young man who bills himself as Derris the Barber. A self-proclaimed Game Cock fan, Derris is an entrepreneur of the highest form. To read Derris’ blog, derrisfelder.com, you learn that Derris’ folks were divorced when he was 8, and he let his anger and frustrations get the better of him at school. He was one “referral” away from being recommended for an “alternate educational setting.” He found some mentors, made a plan, and began turning his ship around, vowing to be a better man. He didn’t say it directly, but I suspect that’s part of how he got into barbering at his high school’s vocational program. I admire him and his determination. Also, he’s got a pretty cool website.
He contacted me via Facebook and offered me a “professional” haircut. He wanted to give me a straight razor head-shave. I love the idea! I’ve always been fascinated with straight razors, but never dared use one myself. Plus, I enjoy a nice smooth scalp as much as the next guy, so why not?
The sticking point is that Derris lives 1,200+ miles away. His initial idea of me growing out my hair, and then making a family trip to SC, just wasn’t going to work out.
Next best thing? FaceTime!
I was only a week or so into my most recent haircut, so our plan was to let my hair grow out a bit, and then we’d link up and he’d guide me through a high and tight. A high and tight is a military-esque haircut that is reminiscent of state troopers everywhere. Derris thought I could make it work, and I trust his judgment.
He went a step further and offered me a “razor” high and tight. This would involve shaving my head around the bottom 80%, and leaving the top very short. I got the picture he sent me, and decided that wasn’t for me. I’d take the “regular” high and tight, thank you very much.
At the appointed date, and 20 minutes past the appointed time (I had a meeting), we met via the iPad propped against my bathroom mirror. Derris patiently talked me through the process of shaving one’s head with precision and a purpose. I’ve always relied on Beth to shave my head. I’ve never tried to “blend” anything with clippers.
To make a really long story short, I suck at cutting my own hair. Derris was polite enough to not laugh at me the whole time, and he showed true patience as I struggled to hold the clippers in one hand and the little mirror in the other. In the end, Beth stepped in and helped with the parts I just. couldn’t. do.
What follows is quite possibly the most boring 6 and one half minutes on all of Youtube. If you want to see a grown man struggle with a hand mirror and a pair of clippers, enjoy. But remember, you’ve been warned.
After signing off with Derris, I took a shower to rinse all the little hairs off my sweat-sticky head, and examine the final product. I kinda liked it. I felt like Captain America, and even Derris conceded that I looked like a state trooper. Could’ve been worse!
After closer inspection, I began to see all the flaws I had created by my inexperience and inability to draw a straight line with a pair of clippers around my big melon. Beth tried to neaten it up and make me presentable, but I had botched the job too much. In the end, I had to swallow my pride and settle for my usual, shorn-sheep look.
I am grateful to Derris for sharing both his time and his expertise. I’m more than a little embarrassed that I couldn’t manage a simple high and tight, but again, that’s why he’s the professional. He was a joy to work with, and his southern-charm “Sir” and “Mr. Ryan” made me chuckle; a true gentleman.