The Perfect Cut

Aldous Huxley once wrote – “One of the causes, by the way, of the apparent lack, at the present time, of great men lies in the poverty of the contemporary male coiffure. Rich in whiskers, beards, and leonine manes, the great Victorians never failed to look the part, nowadays it is impossible to know a great man when you see one.”

Or simply put, the haircut makes the man. Being in the military for the last twenty years, I haven’t had much of a choice on my hair style. In the Marines, it was a high and tight if you wanted to fit in properly. In the Navy, it’s a low fade or the Chief’s would consider marking down your evaluation marks. With under 360 days left in the military, I’ve started to find ways to take my life back. To make my choices again and to feel just a tad bit more human and not a cog in the machine. Today, that started with a haircut.

Since I was about 6 or 7 I’ve been getting my hair cut the same way, save for a few attempts at other styles, and up until I was around 20, from the same barber: Tom’s Barber Shop. I never knew what the hair style was called, my Mom or my Dad picked it out, and I got it nearly every time I went in.  You’ve seen it before in tv shows and movies that date back to the 1950’s. Here are a few people who’ve worn it:


I’m pretty sure you recognize these guys. It’s called the Executive Contour. Sometimes called a “greaser” cut or an “ivy” cut, it is one of those classic styles that never seems to go out of fashion. There are various other types of “contours”, meaning it follows the contour or shape of the head, 8cdd772ea0c298d634dbc7078fb0bdf1but this is the one I prefer. Short, neat, trim, classic. It requires a skilled barber and a bit of pomade (a waxy, greasy material that holds the hair in place and gives it the shine) to pull it off.

Pomade, if you’ll remember watching “O’ Brother Where Art Thou?” was the product used by the main character Ulysses Everett McGill, who would proudly tell anyone who would or even didn’t want to listen that he was, “a dapper dan man!”.  Much like Don Draper, a possible play on Dapper Dan?, Ulysses used a pomade to keep his hair perfect and shiny.

I found myself at Lefty’s Barber Shop down near the heart of Pacific Beach today, walking in to see if I could take back my hair style. The barber there, Jason, was very helpful, but also very apologetic that they are by appointment only, and were booked right up through Christmas. Like any good businessman though, Jason offered to let me wait to see if his 1:30pm appointment would show. At 1:40pm with no one in sight, I was in the chair and getting an expert cut. Jason was skillful, personable and very thorough in his work. When I left, holding a can of Upper Cut pomade, I was very pleased with what I had gotten for $16.

Here is the result of his work: 20141218_145839


While I am in San Diego, I will be making Lefty’s Barber Shop my only stop for a haircut. If you’re in the neighborhood, give them a call at  (858)274-5913 for an appointment, or check them out at Lefty’s Barber Shop Website. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Cheers!





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