Monday, April 27, 2009

A Hair-Brained Proposal

I dread going to a hair salon to cut my hair. Mainly, this is because my haircut is so simple: high and tight, no fuss. Yet, the stylist always seems to mess it up, either leaving too much hair on my head or trying to get fancy.

Aside from my usual substandard trimming, most of the time the stylist has a line (I've waited over an hour before), which I do not appreciate. If I am waiting in line for food or entertainment, I can justify it. But, a bad haircut? No thanks. On top of that, I have to pay $10 to $15 per trip to the cutters. My hair grows at an astonishing rate, so I need to cut my hair every four to six weeks. That's six to twelve times per year, $10 to $15 per trip, for the rest of my hair's life.

So, a couple of years ago, my wife and I converted the cutting of my hair into what Gary Becker calls household production: we do it ourselves using inputs you can find at any Walmart. My haircut is simple, so this works well for us.

Here's what we did and do:
  1. We bought a full-fledged clipper set from Walmart. It only cost $20, and it came with barber-style clippers, guards for different lengths, lubricating oil for the blades, and even a cape. How fun! After two months, it paid for itself and my friends and colleagues were none the wiser.
  2. Every four to six weeks, we set up in the bathroom with one of the dining room chairs. I put the cape on (until it ripped, now we use a towel), and my wife trims my hair. Simple as that!

If you want a haircut like mine (be careful, my hair is short), just apply a one-guard to the back and sides and a three-guard to the top, blending it together with a two-guard. You don't need to go to cosmetology school to know that!

Most people like fancier stylings than I do. If this is you, there's a household production solution for your styling needs as well. Here's a video that outlines how to cut a man's hair if the stylings are a bit longer than I prefer. Even if you love your hairstylist, the video is worth a watch. It is surprisingly professional and comprehensive.

So, there you have it. Now you guys out there can save money, look great, and avoid lines. With all that extra time and money, you should take your significant other out on a date!

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