Haircuts can be a part of personality, lifestyle
Haircuts can be an insignificant routine. But they can also be part of a culture, an expression of a lifestyle.
It may seem excessive to some, but going to the barber shop every two weeks is an important habit for some men. Whether it’s a once-a-week line up, a beard shaping or a taper, getting groomed is not out of the ordinary.
Why are haircuts so important? For media and information sophomore Jonathan Parnell, it’s simple.
“You wanna be buttered,” Parnell said.
By being buttered, he means looking good. According to some men, if you don’t have your hair cut, you might as well stay inside or wear a hat until you get one.
The feeling of a fresh haircut can change a man’s mood, and sometimes the outcome of his day. It’s an ego-booster.
For Parnell, moving away from his hometown and his usual barber was an adjustment. In East Lansing, he began hopping from chair to chair. After several recommendations and trial cuts with potential barbers, he found one he fully trusted.
Owner of Grand River Barber Company Grant Foley said he understands the lengths some students go to in order to get their hair cut frequently.
“They were all waiting for winter break or whenever they had some time off on the weekends to drive all the way back home to get their haircut.” Foley said of his student clients.
So Foley opened his barbershop to fill that void.
Biweekly or even more frequent haircuts are more a testament of loyalty than vanity.
The relationship between a barber and a customer can run deep. If something goes wrong, a haircut is still an expression of the client, not the performance of the barber. It takes a lot of trust for the client to feel comfortable sitting in a barber’s chair, with clippers or a sharp razor inches away from his face.
Apparel and textile sophomore Vincent Wells has had the same barber since he was 5 years old. His barber has never messed up his haircut, and for that, Wells said he will to remain loyal to him. Every time he gets his hair cut, Wells tips his barber at least $5 out of appreciation.
“He’s kind of like a father figure,” Wells said. “We have a really strong relationship. If I need something he’ll be there.”