I was inspired to write this blog post as both a how-to for salon professionals and as a public service. Perhaps I will empower some salon professionals and we can beautify the landscape at the same time. I was waiting on a flight at O’Hare, deep in my favorite pastime of people watching. A few of the observed hairstyles left me a bit shaken. One particularly scary comb-over prompted me to take out my laptop.
Comb-overs do not happen all at once. It is a slow creeping insidious process. Many of the comb-overs you see today are resting atop, or flapping upon, the head of a guy who parted his hair in the middle of his head in the 1970s. With the gradual thinning of his hair his parting began the slow slide to his ear in an attempt to mask his lack of hair with fewer and fewer available resources. Friends, family members and close associates fail to live up to their responsibility to dissuade the perpetrator of this crime against nature and the decent into hair fashion tragedy becomes unstoppable. Advances in firm-hold hairspray technology have only made the situation worse as overlapping applications of lacquer serve to secure the free-flapping ends to the distant, opposite ear.
What follows are my top five tips for how to kill a comb-over, that is to say, how to talk a client out of that thin, stringy last few hairs swept across his bare scalp. Please apply the information below sooner than later. Everyone will benefit.
Here are my top five tips for how to kill a comb over:
Open up a dialog – You have to get the conversation started. It might not be easy. No one wants to offend. No one wants to accuse. We all have the same goal in mind, a practical, appealing hairstyle created from the available materials. Begin with a discussion of what is working and what is not with the client’s current hairstyle. What are his day-to-day challenges? Ask about his feelings about his image. Get him talking. Avoid assigning blame. It is not his fault. It is not the fault of the previous haircutters. Surely he realizes the ruse is not working.
Several years ago we had a candidate for Governor of Illinois who sported a really sever comb-over. Early on in the election cycle I stated that he would not and should not be elected to the highest office in the state. I took the position that he has surrounded himself with yes-men. That he only had advisors who would tell him what he wanted to hear. No one in his inner circle would be honest with him about the folly that was his hairstyle. Who would challenge his budget, his tax plan or his economic proposals? That is no way to build a government. That was no way to run a campaign. Bottom line, he lost. Had he lost the comb-over, he might have won the election.