Blue Hair at the Richard Jeha Hair CompanyMonday, November 27, 2017
|Olena - hair colour by Kimberley at the Richard Jeha Hair Company|
Getting a haircut is as inevitable a necessity, an unpleasant one, as going to the dentist. I believe I can live with very long hair and dispense with the barber but I am not sure I could live with an eternal toothache.
Richard Jeha Hair Company
Because of my strange selective memory I even remember my first barber (not my mother or father). He was Calabrian and his shop was around the corner from our Coghlan home on Melián Street. I have no recall of what he talked about (it seems that no matter how much you look for a mute barber you will never find one. Barbers by their very nature are loquacious). After the cut he would give me some long balloons that had red and blue spots. He was my friend Miguelito’s father.
There is another barber I remember well even though I only met him once. His name was Angel and he was working at the Arsenal Naval Buenos Aires. I was a recent conscript to the Argentine Navy. He asked me how he should cut my hair. I told him. He then gave me a corte doble zero which is Argentine Spanish for a shaved off head.
Since then I have had all kinds of barbers including one who was my mentor in Austin, Texas. While in Austin I also went to Barber College on 6th Street. I had a flat-top haircut and not the more fashionable duck cut. The reason is that the flat-top gave me and my roommates (also with flat-tops) about five more minutes in bed in the morning.
In Vancouver I have had exactly three barbers since we moved from Mexico City in 1975. The first one was Richard Bond.
Bond had very long hair and very long finger nails. He ate sparingly but had huge vitamin and protein smoothies in the morning. He liked to sunbathe at Wreck Beach which is where I first met him
My second barber was the striking Nancy Gillespie whom we all called Nancy G. She did the hair of most of our city’s punk rockers. Once at an alternative band concert at UBC a couple of guys in front of me said, ”These guys look like they all go to the same hairdresser.”
|Nancy G & Zippy Pinhead|
I may have been around 45 when I told Rosemary that Nancy was going to give me an asymmetrical haircut. I remember well what Rosemary replied, “Careful Alex you are no longer a young man.”
Nancy G moved from salon to salon. Each salon was further away. One day I called her for an appointment and she told me that she did not feel like cutting my hair that week.
|Buddy Selfish & His Saviours on First & Commercial. It is now a taquería.|
My Rosemary, aware of my frustration, suggested, “Why don’t you go to Richard Jeha in Kerrisdale? He cuts Mayor Art Phillips’s hair. If he is good enough for the Mayor he should be good enough for you.”
My most important requirement for a good barber is that once he knows of my needs he will never ever have to ask me how I want my hair cut. Also I don’t like when a barber brings a mirror and shows the back of your head (I don’t want to see my bald spot). Richard knows this so the mirror is never brought out. But he does do things that are necessary, particularly if you are an aging man. He carefully cuts the nostril hair that sticks out and trims unruly eyebrows!
I like the Richard Jeha Hair Company’s salon in Kerrisdale because he has a varied clientele (with whom I chat) and a marvellously interesting staff including Kimberley, a former skater/ballerina who is an expert at coloring hair. I happen to have a photograph (talen in my small Kitsilano studio) of her expertise. Kimberley is the one responsible for the nicest blue hair I have ever seen on anybody. She coloured Olen’s hair. Olena is a whirlwind of efficiency at Jeha’s and she happens to know how to cut and colour hair as well. Because she lived in Colombia for many years we chat in Spanish. What this means is that I end up being as loquacious and the most loquacious barber.
These days I have been wondering if I should have my hair coloured blue by Kimberley. Would this be another version of an old man buying a red sports car, dumping his wife of almost 50 years, and looking for a redhair? I don’t think so. Blue hair?