Ten Thoughts When Getting a Haircut

I have an irrational fear of going to the barber shop, but I’m conquering it session by session.

It all started when I first landed here in London in 2007 and decided to grow my hair out because I thought to experiment with my appearance. The events that transpired due to that decision deserves its own blog post or two.

Anyway, growing my hair out has created a somewhat complicated relationship with barbers, something that got mended only a couple of years ago, when I decided that the bedhead slash Lion King look only suits high school kids and not people who find their hair a nuisance during English Lit classes and ICT coursework deadlines. It was sort of a defense mechanism that kept me sane and hidden from the obscurity of adolescence, and despite what everybody said, I believed I looked good. Summer is a really fun time for me, though, you should have seen how big and frizzy my hair got. I look like something 1987 created, got tired of and eventually threw out.

Me aged thirteen to sixteen. Photo courtesy of http://lionking.wikia.com/wiki/I_Just_Can’t_Wait_to_be_King_(film)

Slowly and surely, however, I’ve gotten more and more comfortable with going to the barber shop and cutting it short, but that doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t make blog-worthy thoughts whenever I sit on that rotating chair.


1. There’s a poster of Marilyn Monroe on the wall! Brothers!

2. I swear I remember what number razor I like but I forgot again. Oh well, YOLO.

3. You’re new? Oh, it’s okay. It’s not like I’m a Leo or anything.

4. Wait, why are you shaving it like that? I wish I’d ask to use scissors, instead. It’s like they’re angry with my hair.

5. The sideburns got shaved off AGAIN. Now I have to spend three more months NOT looking like James Dean AGAIN.

6. That’s like the seventh scissor you’ve used on me. Chill, bro.

7. I’m not giving you daggers, sir. You asked to take my glasses off and I’m just trying to decipher what you’re doing to me with eyes that can see only -5% of the world.

8. Thanks for spraying me like a disobedient dog. I JUST dried my hair before coming here.

9. I have to check out the hair really quickly or else I might offend the barber.

10. Oh, I look really good. Thank you! Phew!

Jokes aside, though, I truly salute you barbers and hairdressers of every kind (even you, Mom.) Thank you for keeping us looking good!

– Troy

Published by troycabida

Troy Cabida (he/him) is a Filipino poet and producer based in south west London. His recent poems have appeared in TAYO Literary Magazine, harana poetry, MacMillan and bath magg. He is a producer for London open mic night Poetry and Shaah and co-founder of Liwayway Kolektibo, an arts and culture network providing space for UK-based Filipino/a/x creatives. His debut pamphlet, War Dove, was published by Bad Betty Press in 2020. Photo taken by Ray Roberts.

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