That’s right, “groovy”. I’m not “cool”, I’m not “excellent”, I’m not very “fashionable” (despite owning my own clothing line), I’m certainly not “amazing”, nor am I “outstanding”, not today at least - for, on this episode of my podcast, I am switching up my slang colloquialisms, so as to be more in-line with the whole style and aura of today’s guest, Carla Anderson, and the ambiance of her shop, Balance Hair Salon, located in downtown Jersey City.
“Imagine CBGB with mousse and shears” - that’s how the New York Times described it, referencing Carla and her posse of tatted, tonsorial artists. If the suicide girls owned and operated a beauty salon with interesting, unconventional modern art lining the walls, obscure music bestowing the ambient sound, and an array of eccentric clientele. That’s Balance Hair Salon in a nutshell!
Now, it is important to understand that yours truly, Bobby Pickles, was never the type to frequent a “hair salon”. I grew up in the Florida humidity, where short hair was a necessity. During college, while living in Gainesville, my favorite barbershop was a place called "Fades and Fros". “Give me a temp with a 2 or 3 on the sides and taper the front.” That's the way I use to order my cut.
But, my how things have changed. While it used to only cost me $15 bucks for a fade, and that was including the tip; I now happily shell out $45 dollars for a stylish trim, base price. Furthermore, while the only instruments ever to graze my head were a pair of clippers and a straight razor, I now prefer the snippety snip-snip of actual scissors. Finally, while Italian dudes were always the absolute best barbers in my mind and Dominican dudes ran a close second and all females (no matter their ethnicity) were always on the bottom rung of my misogynistic barbershop caste system, I now know unequivocally that women are actually the best cutters of men’s hair.
Now, why do I say that? Here it is: because it isn’t us guys who give a shit about our hairstyles, it is our women who do. Have you ever gotten laid because you had a cool haircut? I know for a fact that I have. Women sometimes make their decision to sleep with a guy based solely on the cut or style of their hair. Therefore, does it not make complete and total rational sense to let women cut or style our silly male hair in the first place? Sometimes, fellas, ya gotta go right to the source. I mean - you wouldn’t let an obstetrician examine your prostrate, right? (By the way, an obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in the female anatomy). Sorry for the medical metaphor, but there is a connection here.
Were you aware that the roll of Barber Surgeon was one of the most common medical practitioners of medieval Europe? In fact, the origin of the red and white barber pole is associated with the service of bloodletting and was historically a representation of bloody bandages wrapped around a pole. It’s true. Now, I’m not quite sure that I’d conduct a podcast while simultaneously going through surgery; although, perhaps me cranked out on heavy drugs would actually make for a reasonably interesting conversation. But I have conducted my podcast while getting tattooed, so why not conduct one while getting my hair trimmed and styled into my trademark faux hawk? Listen, I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to rock this do anyway. Baldness runs in my family. So at the end of the day, I’m probably gonna end up frequenting a barbershop in East Harlem after it’s all said and done. But for now, I’ll let Carla handle my sex life and later my personality will have to take over.
The following conversation was recorded while I was lounging in one of the large, adjustable chairs at Balance Hair Salon, Carla behind me snip-snipping away. Our discussion spans many interesting topics, from stripping to styling, from modern art to alien abduction, and even a few stories from one of her screwball regulars. (Suffice it to say, I use the term “screwball” in the most esteemed, respectful way possible. For I am a “screwball” myself.) Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Carla Anderson, cutter and styler of both male and female hair alike.
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