Don’t Worry–It Can Always Get Shorter

BOTTOMFEEDERS GUIDE TO LA: Paul Mitchell’s $10 Haircut

Brought up in the DIY tradition, I know that the real bottomfeeders’ haircut is the one you give yourself with a pair of clippers in your apartment bathroom. I did not darken the door of a salon from the age of 15 until I was 30. Over the course of those 15 years I developed a pretty fearless attitude toward haircuts. There were many failed experiments–there was the “artichoke cut,” for instance, which resulted from trying to fix a mistake and then trying to fix the fix, and so on–and there was the time I tried for ink blue and got pastel periwinkle instead–think Easter egg and you’re there.

haircut0608.jpgI am a far lazier person now than I was in my edgier youth, but one of my mottos remains, “If you can’t change your life, you can at least change your hair,” so how perfect that I can get a $10 haircut at the Paul Mitchell School in Sherman Oaks. It’s not a quick process, but it’s cheap as hell and it assuages my DIY guilt that I’m helping someone else learn. Pictured here is the result of my latest excursion, which put me back far more than $10 ($40!) because of the two-toned dye job. Nonetheless, I would have paid at least three times that a mile down the road where my friends go and I still got to lay around in a salon chair like an upscale flounder while other people did the work. So if you’re an adventurous bottomfeeder (is there any other kind?) and you have some hours free, check it out. Worst case scenario you get that buzz you’ve always wanted.

10 Replies to “Don’t Worry–It Can Always Get Shorter”

  1. I have a friend who swears by his Flowbee and has not been to shop in twenty years.

    He’s a really, really old friend so I forgive him but still keep him locked in the attic.

  2. I love Paul Mitchell schools, though I go to the one in Costa Mesa. My former receptionist left the company to go to school there and I got some great cuts and bleach jobs there for a great price.

    I would advise one to avoid Vidal Sassoon however; you get much less say in the haircut.

  3. When I first moved to LA I used to get my hair cut at the Vidal Sassoon school. Then one day two of the students go into a fight about who was going to cut my hair … neither of them wanted to. (The teacher ended up doing it, and it was fabulous.) Needless to say, I didn’t go back after that.

    The big problem, though, with going to the academies is the time it takes … they’re so freakin’ slow. Now that my time is more valuable I actually pay for haircuts … except when my time is so valuable I can’t be bothered to get my hair cut.

  4. I am SO going there to get the blue re-done. It’s faded to chlorinated-pool-blue.

    Fraz, they already can find us if they want to.

  5. That looks like a few bucks well spent. When I was growing up, my mother and all of my older female cousins we’re enrolled in beauty school at some point so the basement of my grandmother’s house frequently turned into a salon on Sunday afternoons.

  6. I go to the Paul Mitchell school in Alhambra. I sometimes get the feeling they are not too keen on doing my hair because it’s so long and they have to blow dry after the cut. The blow drying alone takes about an hour. However, it’s part of the ten dollar haircut package and a salon would charge me $40 just for blow drying. My friend has gotten some awesome haircuts at the school, sort of short and shaggy – super cute.
    Travis, just curious were you part of the DC hardcore scene?

  7. Depends how you define “part of.” I went to a lot of shows in DC around 1980-82. (There was even one in my friend Janelle’s suburban basement.) That scene was hugely influential to me. But would most of those people remember me? Naw. A few, but not many. I was no Cynthia Connolly or Monica Madhouse. I was just lucky to be an angry misfit at the right time and place. Actually, amusingly enough, I got introduced to punk rock because Brendan Canty used to go to Rocky Horror when/where I did. Ha!

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