On Haircuts and Life

Some people look to God for the future. They ask him questions like,

"Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? And what will become of me?"

In this regard, I am perhaps luckier than they are, because my list of incessant questions about my fate is shorter than theirs by one. If I were a prophet I'd say to myself,

"Afam, in your case, there's nothing more certain than death and baldness."

There's nothing extraordinary about the former. All men must die. But for the latter it's a different story, not all men are blessed with premature baldness. To deal with this my friends have been incredibly helpful. They've said,

"Afam, your forehead grows more foreboding by the hour, and your widow's peak grows lonelier by the day. Won't you forsake your rather unfortunate locks and go bald? And then you should grow a beard too."

My answer so far has been a hale and hearty no. The bald head, outlandish beard look only works when the bald head isn't vaguely reminiscent of an alien's, and the ears aren't distinctly elfen, and the beard isn't more patch than beard. Furthermore, if I were to comply, I would end up looking like a hipster." Hipsters make the effort to be hipster, normal well adjusted people that are quirky, just look quirky. There's no need to try.

I had a problem with no solutions in sight. I grew disenchanted with my childhood barber, Sam, after each uninspiring haircut. And any attempts at switching things up were met with a raised eyebrow that said,

"Afam, what you want is alright, but your father, the dear and great Papa Afam, tips more than you probably earn for a week's work. It's an arrangement that I quite enjoy, so let's stick with the parentally approved number one all the way round your receding hairline be damned."

I was at my wits end, and that's when Simeon came into my life. I was desperately in need of a haircut, and Sam was nowhere to be found, so I went driving. Some of you would say,

"Afam, there's a barber on every street corner! There's no need to roam the streets searching for one!"

But I can't do that. I live a bumpy life, and haircuts under N500 naira (£1:50) tend to give me nothing but bumps, so I needed to find an appropriately expensive guy to do the deed. I drove around Lekki for a bit before I found a little place on Layi Yusuf Crescent. When I sat down on the chair, I told him not to ask me what I wanted, and informed him that with me he was hair stylist first, and barber second. He set to work immediately. In the end I got a fade that I'm convinced that only he can do, with a side parting that's straight out of the sixties. I was pleased.

In life, there are people who'll tell you this and that, and try to bend you this way and that, but if you're looking to make a change you won't find it outside. You'll have to look within, and then you'll have to make the step. It isn't enough to daydream about your future, and wonder about what would have been, and what could be. In most cases, what would have been can still be, and what could be won't be if you do nothing. Sometimes you've got to go and find your barber yourself. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I think finding your barber, is the first step to becoming your own man. A good barber is a brother in arms. He'll make sure that even when things in your life are at their worst your hair is still cover boy pretty. For women confidence starts from the heel up, but for men, it starts from the head down. Get your head screwed on straight and the world will be at your feet.

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