Nyles' hair has been awfully unruly over the past couple of months, but I really wanted to wait until he was two years old, before I pulled the trigger on his first cut. His hair was patchy in spots, plus he has a benign cyst on top of his head, and I worried about whether a barber could gingerly maneuver his way over that, all while taking into account how delicate haircuts could be for a 17 month old. But on Saturday morning, I looked at Nyles' hair, and decided that it was time.
Now originally, this initial trip to the barbershop was just going to be me and Nyles. I knew how important it was my wife to be there too, but the barbershop is still by and large a place for men to talk unfiltered--even when kids are around. In my barbershop, there are a few women with Zhane cuts who come in from time to time, there are women who get their eyebrows down and there are even single women who bring their sons in as well. But 90% of the barbershop are men between the ages of 18-65, so I was not totally comfortable with bringing my wife in that lion's den. I did not want them looking her up and down, and coming up with mental lists of things to say once me and my family left. I've been in the barbershop after women leave, and i know the kinds of things--complimentary, flattering and X-rated--that are said. But I got over myself, and the family took a Sunday morning trip to the barbershop.
When we arrived there were only a few other people there, but my barber did not have anyone waiting on him, so he was up first. I started to sit Nyles in the chair alone, but Stan (my barber) suggested it was better if I sat in the chair, while the youngster sat in my lap. When the clippers first touched Nyles head, he looked back at Stan as if to say, "Who is this dude?",and then he looked at me as if to say, "Are you signing off on this?", but that was the only resistance he put up during his 15 minutes stay. He squirmed a bit, but not as much as you'd expect a kid his age to do. He looked at his mother for comfort, he studied the other folks in the barbershop, and he'd occasionally flash looks at me just to make sure I was still by his side.
When the haircut was over, Stan put a mirror in front of Nyles (like Jerome would do to Morris Day) and he laughed, and then tried to grab the mirror, which in baby speak means I approve. I let him out of my lap, he ran to his mother, and that was it. For the rest of his life, he will go in and out of barbershops requesting all types of wonderful styles, but I'm so glad me, my wife, and young Nyles got a chance to experience this together.
Here's the before:
and here's the after: