Another Marriage Haircut

He is frugal.  He likes to save a buck.  And so before we were ever even admitting to ourselves the feelings we had for each other, I cut his hair.  I didn’t know how to cut hair back then, but that was ok with him.  Apartment across from the engineering building, along the cement wall, up narrow stairway and through door he’d arrive with his friend Joey, both with too much hair, needing a cut.  And that’s how I learned, by cutting and by the mistakes I made.  Ted’s hair has a little wave – helping to hide the wonderings.  Joey’s not so much… straight as a stick and wiry.  I really messed it up a couple times.  The fact that either one of them came back for another cut, and another was shocking to me!

Really, I started cutting hair when I was a kid, but it was for my Dad who was bald.  It amounted to trimming the length, and trimming his beard. Wasn’t quite the same as a bushy full head of too much hair.

The haircuts in the apartment were with sewing scissors or any other scissor we happen to have.  Never with the luxury of hair-cutting tools.  My roommate Ann and I were poor college students.  Our budget for food those days was 40.00 per month, each contributing 20.00, standing in the commodities line for free cheese and butter whenever possible. Nice scissors were out of the question.  I really should have hit the guys up for nice hair-cutting scissors since I was cutting their hair for free, but they were as poor, too.

Despite the lousy scissors and lack of skill, the event itself was grand. Ann was usually in the background making comments that made the guys nervous about what was happening to their hair, causing great hilarity – me laughing till my sides hurt, and most likely messing up the cut even more.  The cuts were usually followed by an attempt to straighten out what had been so badly damaged. And more laughter.  A couple weeks after the cuts, the guys started to look a little better and by the time the hair was much too long again, both of them had forgotten how bad the last cut had been.

I’m still cutting my husband’s hair, 28 years later.  Joey lives in another state.  I’m thinking he can afford a haircut now:) I wonder if roommate Ann has her own collection of cuts to provide, locks needing cut, cross the ocean in Cambodia.  So much time has passed.  So much has changed.  But I still cut his hair. And our kids hair.  I’m better at it now.  We’ve managed to purchase some hair cutting tools; scissors, clippers, etc..  My husband is still frugal – now with time. And so when his hair needs a cutting, he doesn’t want to take the time, waits way too long, miserable grumpy, finally weeks later agrees to let me cut his hair – he says the same thing every time “Oh, I feel so much better, why do you let me go so long!!?”

We have had ups and downs in our marriage.

And still we manage to make peace for yet another haircut.

Maybe I fell in love with him cutting his hair.

I suppose something so mundane might have that kind of power.

Maybe mundane need is where true love resides.

A scheduled glue that holds us strong.

A holy routine of nothing that special.

I wonder.


  1. You write so beautifully! All your blogs, so real, no fluff. This particular one brings back such good memories. Standing in line to collect cheese, butter and cornmeal was one of those good ones – stretching our dollars. And some how, miraculously, feeding regular drop-in guests. Which we both still love happening at our homes. Another routine were love abides…

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  2. This is so funny!! Ben forced me to cut his hair the other day. I have never learned as the 50c cut here isn’t really prohibitive… But he doesn’t get to town anymore!! It was a hack!! Glad You Have Improved!!

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  3. Believe it or not I had my husband give me a haircut shortly after we had just started dating. I was at his house and after dinner (he cooked) I mentioned I needed a haircut as it had been nearly a year, the last haircut left me in tears, and while I hate going to the salon, I did need my hair cut. He mentioned he knew how and I asked him if he could give me a haircut. He said sure and Saturday AM I was at his house with freshly washed hair for my appointment. I was a little nervous when I saw the scissors heading for my hair, but he did a great job, just a trim, no huge pile of hair on the floor and one very big smile on my face when I checked the results in the mirror. I told him he was now my stylist and every couple months he sets out a glass of wine for me, capes me, combs out my hair, sections it, and meticulously trims each layer. Never a bad haircut in all the years he has been cutting my hair. I enjoy the one on one bonding time, saves me hundreds a year and I get compliments on my hair and even a couple friends of mine have him cut their hair for them as they like that he listens and doesn’t get scissor happy on their hair, and they like the price. FREE.


    1. Well, this is wonderful. My adored husband tried to cut mine once. Being a true engineer he pulled out a LEVEL, A SQUARE AND A PLUMBLINE. When I showed up at the beauty salon – the hair stylist gasp at which time all 6 other beauticians came running over to gasp as well. The said it looked like an egyptian pyramid with stairs to to the top. They had a hard time fixing it up, I went away with hardly any hair, but we got a good laugh out of it. He is amazing at building robots, houses, tables, fixing cars, but no hair cuts:)


  4. A level, square and plumb bob? That sounds funny until you said he hacked your hair pretty bad. My hubby uses pro-grade hair shears, the rat tail comb for sectioning, hair clips and a proper cape, not a towel or bed sheet. He is very handy with tools, right tool for the job and he did ensure my hair is even on both sides by holding the pieces from each side to under my chin. He loves my waist length hair as much as I do so he won’t leave me scalped. It is because my hair is long and ends always looks neat that my friends asked him to cut theirs. My best friend said that if I trust him and I won’t let anyone else near my hair, she knew he had to be good, of course she watched him trim my hair and asked him to cut hers as he had all of his tools out and set up when she had stopped over to visit. She didn’t know he was trimming my hair that morning, but she arrived mid-haircut and said I’m next when he had finished mine and removing the cape, took a seat and had her trimmed as well. She offered to pay him, but he said no.
    He has used other hardware tools though. I have him color my hair with henna and he got out a pair of nitrile gloves that he uses to change the oil in the vehicles and he didn’t like the plastic gloves that came with the henna and when he was applying the henna, a coloring brush broke and he went to the garage and came back with a paint brush. It was new and unopened still in the package. It was either that or leave my hair 2/3 done with color. He joked the paint brush was a better tool for coverage and I have a latex allergy so I started taking his gloves for cleaning the bathrooms and they are great, I even wear them when I color my mother’s hair. So I cannot criticize him there.
    I did get new coloring brushes after that experience of the broken one, and he was resourceful in finding a way to finish my hair color, so I did appreciate his determination to take care of me.


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