The barber and the customer share their experiences

January 23, 2018 — by Kevin Sze and Jeffrey Xu

Sophomore Jeffrey Xu is trusts sophomore Kevin Sze to give him a haircut

Jeffrey: As Kevin combed through my luscious, jet-black locks and prepared to make the first cuts, my heart pounded. My hair, my prized possession — would this be the end of it all?

I remembered all the mornings I sacrificed precious sleep just to style my hair and the compliments I received from peers and even teachers, like Mr. Yim.

All those memories faded to nothing when I looked in the mirror. As I heard snipping and imagined a hideous bowl cut, I realized that my image and self-esteem were on the line.

I began questioning myself. Was it right for me to doubt the styling ability of my best friend? I thought about the good old days of playing football during lunch in seventh grade. What was I thinking? The least I could do was trust Kevin to give me a clean cut.

Lucky for me, I was quite right. As it was happening, I noticed that the cut was going a lot smoother than I thought. Not only did Kevin work with precision and concentration, I could tell he really cared about the end result, almost as if it was his own hair.

After he toweled off the top and buzzed the sides short, we were done. Besides a few uneven strands of hair in the front and a couple of semi-bald spots on the back, it was a decent cut. I felt relieved, knowing that I wouldn’t have to wear a hoodie for the next two months.

Thanks, Kevin.


Kevin: “Cut a little off the sides, a little off the top, and then we’re done,” said Jeffrey, who clearly doubted my barber skills.

To be honest, I didn’t have those skills. The only reason Jeffrey agreed to do this was because I told him that I had cut hair before, which was a complete lie.

This was the first time I had acted as the barber instead of the customer, and anything that I had “learned” about cutting hair was from carefully watching my barber cut mine.

Needless to say, as I stood there holding a pair of scissors and a comb, I had no idea what to do. My cluelessness tempted me to cut off all of Jeffrey’s hair and leave him bald for the next week or so.

But noticing Jeffrey’s clear expression of worry and thinking about how none of my friends believed I could give a decent haircut, I was motivated to prove my haters wrong and give my best friend a fresh look.

Although I still had no idea how to cut hair properly, I attempted to trim a little bit of hair off the top of Jeffrey’s head.

At first, I faltered.

The scissors were obviously worn out, and the clump of hair I had tried to cut simply bent and then returned to its original position. Old equipment was my newest adversary, and perhaps the most intimidating one.

This challenge heightened my focus and resolution, and as Jeffrey watched in the mirror, I carefully cut his hair to his satisfaction, his facial expression changing from concern to a smile of happiness.

I still struggled a bit with the scissors, and the clippers jammed repeatedly resulting in a few semi-bald spots.

My inexperience as a barber showed, and Jeffrey’s hair was more of a block than a smooth cut, but overall, it had been an incredible success.

More importantly, I learned trust is the key ingredient in a successful friendship. Having Jeffrey trust me with something as permanent as a haircut made me feel more responsible as a friend. When I was able to give him something acceptable, our friendship strengthened.

You’re welcome, Jeffrey.


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