RICHARD ORD: Of haircuts and head massages

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ON my way home every night I pass a barber’s called Van Gogh’s hair salon.

It always makes me smile. I mean, who wants their hair cut like a 19th century post-impressionist artist from Holland? Not me, that’s for sure.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Though, being a newspaper columnist, my hair is particularly important.

Writing a column is like being the frontman of a pop band. Liam Gallagher, when asked about his changing hairstyles, said it comes with the territory.

So it does with me. At the moment I’m sporting an early 2000s half mullet with the fringe swept left to right.

Actually, I’m always sporting that haircut. They never change my photograph at the top of this page. I look about 12 years old. Naturally, I’m not complaining.

It’s a kind of reverse Portrait of Dorian Gray. You see this unchanging fresh-faced youngster beaming out from the paper every week, yet in real life I’m ageing at a rate of knots, my face crumpling like a window cleaner’s shammy.

One left in the sun for a month. And stamped on a few times.

I also sport a blue Mohican and have a bolt through my nose.

Haircuts have been making the news recently. The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s barnet in particular.

Under new state-sanctioned guidelines, all male university students in the country are required to get the same haircut as their leader.

To be honest I quite like the idea. I hate that conversation with the hairdresser. How would you like your hair cut? In complete silence, please. (The old ones, are the old ones.)

What do you say? Can I have it a little longer please? Could you try cutting it blindfold? Can you cut it holding the scissors with your feet?

Having said that, I pay a considerable amount of money for my haircuts. £24. Yes, you read that correctly. Twenty-four of Her Majesty’s pounds sterling. And it’s not the most expensive haircut in our office.

A quick straw poll of our male journalists revealed a price range from £7 to £28. The median being £10.

I didn’t bother asking the women. If they’re like my wife they’d just lie anyway.

It’s been £70 for the last 10 years. The fact that, when asked, she says “about seventy” very quickly before, with even greater rapidity, changing the subject, makes me suspect it’s topping the £100 barrier.

She has her haircut by friends who run a hair salon, which is why I am pressurised to go there to get my own hair cut. They do a good job, and I get a head massage thrown in for my £24.

Lord knows what my colleague with the £28 crop gets thrown in.

Life would be a lot simpler – and cheaper – if we all had the state-sanctioned Kim Jong-un, and I include the women in that.

Obviously in the UK, we’d have the state-sanctioned David Cameron. Which, by coincidence, is the hairstyle I have (I was joking about the Mohican, and I removed the bolt ages ago).

Ironically, my wife, in an attempt to save money (save money for her own haircuts presumably) forgot to attach a guard to the hair clippers when cutting our 13-year-old son’s hair recently and inadvertently gave him a Kim Jong-un, as my photograph shows. Actually, it was not so much a Kim Jong-un, more a Hedgehog Gutter Brush.

It’s why we all go to the professionals for haircuts, and forgo the DIY skills of people like my wife.

Honestly, she’s so bad she could do some damage with a pair of scissors. If she opened a hair salon, it’d be most apt to name it after that bloke who cut off his own ear. You know the one. A painter. Oh, what’s his name again?