Over my four years at the Insider, you may have noticed there’s been little change to the way my hair looks. Outside of letting it grow long and shaggy for a few months and then getting it chopped into what equates to an adult-inspired bowl cut, there’s never been a lot to it. I’ve pretty much had the same thing for all of my adult life – and a good chunk of my teenage years, except for that long-haired grunge phase I went through my freshman year of high school.
I’d comb it straight down every morning and let those natural luscious locks do the rest of the work. The haircut was fine and it avoided me from trying something new. The idea of getting a new hairstyle was, in a word, frightening.
But over the years, my wife, Mary, has been asking for something new. It has really ramped up over the last six months and one day I finally said “okay.” Happy wife, happy life, right?
I’m not sure why I had a change of heart after all these years. Really, the “yes” just kind of slipped out. But in the end, I figured it would make for a good story if nothing else, and if for some reason I wasn’t all that happy with my new hair, I could let it grow out and grab my trusty bowl in a couple months.
Now, considering I’ve stuck with the same “style” for this long, it may come as no surprise that I’m very particular about who cuts my hair. But I’d have to go out of my comfort zone for this one – or would I?
A few years back, I had Josh Craggy, owner of Lucky’s Barbershop, craft a pretty awesome moustache out of my scraggly beard for Movember. And while I know there are a ton of great barber shops in Concord, filled with many very talented people who could give me a new look, knowing the person ahead of time would greatly reduce my level of nervousness. He also just so happens to be my co-worker, Candace Fitzgerald’s dancing partner for NHTI’s Winter Fling, so it just kind of made sense.
So I approached Craggy with my idea and he was more than happy to give my wife something new and improved to look at. After figuring out a day that would work for both our schedules, I found myself in Craggy’s chair last Thursday evening as the shop was about to close for the night. Lucky’s has a board where you put your name and the next available guy calls you to his chair. But you can wait for a specific barber, which I chose to do.
Now I really didn’t know what I wanted my hair to look like. My wife had sent me a few links of styles, including one of Bradley Cooper, and she had mentioned Tom Brady’s style from a few years ago, but that was about all the direction I could give Craggy. I just made it known to my wife that a similar haircut wasn’t going to make me look like them.
So he asked a few questions: How long was I willing to spend on it each morning? Would I use product?
But really, the whole idea of this was to leave it in his hands. He is the professional after all.
So for the next 45 minutes or so he worked his magic. My hair was quite long, so he had to get rid of the excess and refine it from there. It was actually kind of cool to watch Craggy work. You could tell he had this vision and each snip, shave or buzz had a purpose. One minute he was using scissors, and then a buzzer to take a little bit off the ears and a shaver to get the right angle along my neck line. And in the end, he somehow transformed what I can only describe as a complete mess into a pretty good looking style.
The end result was a messy part on my left (which I like better than the perfect line) with it combed to the right and back a bit. I actually kind of look like an adult now, and it’s kinda nice. I can’t even tell you how many comments I’ve got, which is hopefully more about the new look than a slam on my old ways. Something tells me it’s a little bit of both. And my wife likes it, which is the most important factor of all.
It was quite impressive to see his attention to detail, but before I even had a chance to thank him for his work, Craggy had moved on to my face. He wasn’t about to let me leave without cleaning that up a bit. I hadn’t shaved around my goatee for a week and it needed a little help. I wasn’t going to ask, but I didn’t have to. He cleaned up my facial hair and the areas around it – way better than I ever would. He even broke out the straight razor for that real close shave.
All in all, it was quite the successful trip to Lucky’s. The guys over there are great (they took the pictures on these pages), I went home with a new outlook on life and you got to share the experience with me. But don’t worry, I won’t let this go to my head. I’m still the same guy – I just look a lot better now.