What is the craziest thing that has happened in your chair?

I get asked this pretty often, especially when I am cutting for someone who works in the restaurant industry… such as just a few minutes ago.

There are a couple stories which I tell, depending on who is in the chair and how the conversation is going.

Divine Approval?

There was a period earlier this year when we were having thunderstorms every day right around 5:00. During this time, I was cutting a mohawk a day for people, both male and female, from 6 years to over 60.

During one of the cuts, I did “the barber thing,” where I step back a couple of steps to look for anything I either missed or that I need to adjust.

This particular time, I saw that the right side seemed to be a little further toward the side of the head than the left was, so I turned on my clippers.

Just after I turned them on, there was a thunderclap outside.

The client’s eyes went wide open, and after a pause, he said “whatever you’re about to do, I think God approves.”

Does the bride know what you are about to do?

I ask a lot of questions throughout a haircut. I believe in making sure before I start cutting. When someone gives me “barber instructions,” I ask even more to make sure that they know what they are asking for.

So one day, a young man came in to get his haircut for his wedding the next day, and they were going to do the photos in about two hours.

He asked me for a #2 mid fade… I’ll never forget this.

The #2 refers to the length of hair at its longest in the side of the head. The number equals ⅛ of an inch, so a #2 is 2/8 of an inch, or a quarter inch. “Mid fade” usually tells the barber that the head should be bald (more or less) from the neck up to about halfway up the back and above the ears. Not always, but most of the time.

Given that he was going to do his wedding pictures after the haircut and he was getting married tomorrow, I spent a little more time on the haircut to make sure that it was perfect. The haircut ended well, and everyone was happy…


His fiancee walked in as I finished cleaning up his neck…

When you have been 29 for as many years as I have been 29, you learn a few things, such as a bride-to-be’s facial expression when something related to the wedding has gone absolutely wrong.

Evidently, he wasn’t supposed to get his hair cut that short.

As she went into a justified panic, he kept insisting “It’s fine.” “It’s fine.” “It’s fine.” – and seeing her continuing reactions was telling me that it was anything but fine.

I leaned in close to him from behind and told him that “it’s fine” was not the right answer… that a happy wife means a happy life, and to quickly switch his tune to “I’m sorry. I didn’t understand. I thought you wanted it shorter.”

I don’t know how the rest of the day turned out or if the wedding even took place… but I do know that that story gets told over and over, and I have added “does the bride know what you are about to do?” to my list of questions.

Yes, I am Jeff

One of the shops I cut in takes walk-ins all day long and we fit them in between appointments. They keep notes keeping track of each customer’s haircuts, which helps to keep the mental gymnastics down and gives them a consistent look visit-to-visit.

One day, I called out Jeff’s name and took him to my chair and started prepping for his haircut, and then asked him what we were going to do.

He said “just cut it like you did last time.”

I read the notes aloud to make sure it was what he had in mind, “#2 (leaving 1/4 inch of hair) on the sides and back, and #4 (leaving 1/2 inch of hair) on top” and he cut me off “just like last time.”

His hair was long… anything other than a buzz-cut, so I asked “are you sure? The notes are telling me that…” and he cut me off again, “just like last time. I’m in a hurry.”

He wasn’t necessarily being rude as much as he seemed to genuinely be in a hurry, so I put on the #4 guard and went straight to work…

…running the #4 down the middle.

I’ll admit… the look on his face was priceless.

He now had a strip of 1/2 inch long hair going down the middle of the long hair on his head.

Him: “What the ****???”

Me: “This is what we did last time, Jeff.”

Him: “I’m not Jeff!” (paraphrased)

Me: “So why did you answer when I called Jeff’s name?”

Morals of the story:
• Don’t jump in line
• Make sure you hear the question before telling someone to move forward

About Dave

I am a barber in Marietta and the Cobb County area. I graduated from the Gwinnett Barber Institute and have been cutting hair since 2019.

Atlanta has always been my home, minus eight years when I was a Navy musician in Japan and Seattle.

When I am not cutting hair, I am usually found spending time with my family or at Atlanta United matches with the Terminus Legion in the supporters section.