posts tagged with 'personal grooming'

home barbering

The boys have never been to a barber in their lives, and Leah—never a frequent visitor to the salon since Harvey was born—eliminated any need for haircuts by dreading her hair nearly a year ago (by the way, she totally owes the world an update about that!). I've been the lone holdout, clinging to professional hair care despite hating to spend the money and never managing to make it to the barber until two or three weeks past when I absolutely needed a serious trim. I also just felt like a bad hippy; what, I could wear home-made clothes but I needed to pay someone to cut my hair? Well, no longer.

A couple months ago a friend gave us a home hair cutting kit that includes one of those clipper things like the barbers use which was the impetus I needed to give Leah the go-ahead to cut my hair. It came out fine—I didn't get any shocked comments or even curious looks, so I had to make sure to mention to several people that she had done it so they could be aware that I was moving yet further out of the mainstream of American existence. Today she gave me another trim; at this point I think I can safely say that my 30-year span of reliance on barbershops has come to an end.

What are the advantages of getting haircuts at home? Well, it saves money: we got all the tools for free and, even with just four cuts a year I was shelling out over a hundred dollars at the local barbershop. I can also get more frequent trims now, which means I don't have to get it cut so short each time. It's also a lot easier to fit a haircut into the schedule when we can do it right in the kitchen in 15 minutes, rather than turning it into an hour-long errand. And then there's just the matter of wanting to be counter-cultural: while I loved the barbershop I went to (and I totally recommend it to any non-hippy gentlemen who happen to live in the area) the more things we can manage to do for ourselves as a family or community of friends, without money having to change hands, the happier I feel about the way our life is going. So that's pretty cool.

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soapy liberation

Some time ago I stopped using shampoo, and it's been ages since I used a separate face-wash, but not until today did I finally manage to cut the last cord tying me to the soapy clutching hands of big shower. Don't worry, I haven't stopped bathing entirely: I just replaced my bar of hippy soap from Whole Foods with Leah's even-hippier home-made soap. The orange flavor. It feels so liberating.

Unfortunately, I'm still stuck with commercial shaving cream and deodorant. But that may be only because I'm insufficiently creative and inventive. A quick google search tells me that there are a whole lot of recipes out there for homemade deodorant (or maybe just one recipe copied many places; I only read the first link). As for shaving cream, there are similarly many recipes, but interestingly I find that most of them are written by and for women and refer only to leg shaving. The one article I found aimed at men pretty much just suggested using soap. Or shampoo, conditioner, detergent, peanut butter... you know, whatever is handy. Soap sounds promising.

I have long listened to Leah and the other hippy women of our acquaintance discussing these sorts of topics, so I'm sure I could seek out suggestions from them. Women have an advantage in this anti-corporate-cleaning project, because as I understand it they actually think about personal grooming at times other than when they're actually engaged in it. Me, I can't even remember that I need to replace the bar of soap in the shower until I pick it up, at which point it's too late (I had a couple of essentially soap-free showers before I finally managed to bring up the home-made bar from the basement). Any forward planning on the subject feels a little weird to me, honestly. Does writing this blog post make me a metrosexual?

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