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Why Jewish boys shouldn’t go to black barbershops

My hair is getting pretty lengthy as many of you can tell, and although I love long and shaggy hair, I have some gigs coming up that made me want to look more presentable – so I grudgingly decided to geta haircut tonight. Like any poor guy, shelling out 15 bucks for a haircut sucks and I decided to hit up this barber school near my house. My roommate said they have a sign advertising $5 haircuts, so I hopped on over thinking I was the man, that was of course until I walked in.

I guess I should have known that prepaying for my haircut through a bank-like window that was probably bulletproof was not a good sign. Nor was the fact that the place looked more like an x-rated movie theater from the front then a barbershop.

I casually walked in and immediately noticed I was the only white person there. There was gangsta rap on the sound system and everyone was black, I sat down and the next thing I know some girl with red and orange braids is saying something about me being Jewish. I felt like I was back in Monsey as the only guy without a hat in shul, except here no one was staring with half eaten sour sticks draping out of their mouths.

“Oh you is Jewish, I seen dat little hat on yo head”

I played along and told her about all these people thinking its sewed onto my head rather than clipped on. There was this bug burly guy getting his hair shaved off, as some guy said he could take care of me.

I sat down in a chair and was asked what I wanted, I said I wanted something basic, just a trim and to try and keep my sideburns (I explained peyos, but I think it was drowned out by the bass) I looked around as he said he would give me something contemporary as he asked about my hair gel and combing methods – I told him that I had never even seen a comb, kind of like a yeshiva guy learning that a knife was so you didn’t use your hands or a piece of matzo.

He took matters into his own hands and when I finally did look up I felt like I had woken up in an Depeche Mode video. I seriously looked like that dude from House Party, except I was white. This guy had shaved off the entire sides of my head and had left my mop as is. I silently chuckled to myself as I imagined how people in shul would react this shabbos and how good of a skit this would be the next time I had a gig.

The barber saw my horror and tried his smooth talking and said he was going to blend it or fade it in. I was full of terror at his words, I hope he didn’t mean to shave my head. He went to work and by the time he was done and I had chronically checked to make sure my peyos were still there, I looked up to find myself looking like Paul McCartney when the Beatles went for that mushroom look.

My first thought was that this was by far the most goyishe haircut I ever had. A weird thought considering that I wear jeans and listen to non-Jewish music, why, according to the yeshiva world news I am a goy. My peyos are barely visible and I could feel a chill even though it was 68 degrees when I left the barbershop.

Definitely an interesting experience, I always wanted to hang out in a black barbershop I would compare it to hanging out in Gottliebs Deli in Williamsburg or a similar type of place where people merely come in to see whats up.

I don’t recommend going if you want to look normal. My roommate says its not that bad but I don’t like it.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • ed February 5, 2009, 10:29 PM

    Where’s the picture?

  • G6 February 5, 2009, 10:31 PM

    What – you couldn’t post a pic???!?

  • avid reader February 5, 2009, 11:00 PM

    Well clearly, we are all waiting for the pic Paul. Have to tell you that this is the first post that I actually did LOL over…well-done.
    Just curious to know if you’ve looked into doing mainstream comedy writing and/or stand-up?

  • Anonymous February 6, 2009, 12:14 AM

    bei mir bist du shein…teh-he

  • Frum Satire February 6, 2009, 12:44 AM

    Avid Reader my entire life at this moment is devoted to trying to make a living from writing and stand up comedy.

    If you want to talk more about it in a serious context email me.

  • Rentsy February 6, 2009, 1:12 AM

    The first step would be posting the most assuredly hilarious picture of your ridiculous haircut.

  • prili February 6, 2009, 1:26 AM

    its true! we want a picture!!!

  • no 1 u know.... February 6, 2009, 2:24 AM

    u could go to fantastic sam’s or great clips for the same price and simalar results.

  • BT February 6, 2009, 6:18 AM

    Go to Wal Mart or Target and buy yourself a clippers (Wahl and Oster are best). It’s takes 5 = 10 minutes to give yourself a pretty decent buzz cut, and it doesn’t have to look like a buzz cut if you use the #4 attachment (the longer comb) that comes with the clippers. Costs around $20 bucks, so it pays for itself very quickly.

  • Talmudist February 6, 2009, 8:13 AM


    Flowbee (As Seen On TV) might make the cut too…

  • Jewish Blogmeister February 6, 2009, 9:45 AM

    By the time I figured how to “style” my hair most of it was gone. I don’t car where I go for a haircut when you don’t have much it’s that complicated.

  • Eli February 6, 2009, 9:48 AM

    Picture! Picture! Picture!

  • Phil February 6, 2009, 10:29 AM

    Hilarious! I saw house party when it first came out, most of the people at the theatre had similar haircuts (upstate NY).

    BT is right, I cut my own hair as well as my 4 son’s hair, saves me a small fortune every year. In addition, I don’t have to wait in line for some barber that just finished cutting the hair off some bum full of lice that hasn’t showered in ages.

    As I’m somewhat “hair challenged” (aka bald), my job is simple, quick and clean. I used to cut it down to a #1 every week or 2, until I ran into peyos issues with the rabbis, now it’s up to #2.
    Haven’t used a brush yet since the new milleneum, my hair never gets long enough.

  • Yochanan February 6, 2009, 11:45 AM

    What, no cornrows?

  • JMB February 6, 2009, 11:51 AM

    After such a funny post, we gotta have a picture!

  • former baltimorean February 6, 2009, 1:01 PM

    the mushroom, nice, all you got to do now is move your kipah to the front, and you will get a cross between dennis the menis, and 90’s yeshivah rebel, classic!!!

  • zev February 6, 2009, 1:48 PM

    Had a similar experience one time in durham, north carolina. Being a cheapo i looked in the yellow pages for a barber shop that didn’t have a metro sounding name. I arrive to a rundown shopping center, walk in the door, and behold, everyone is black! This white boy got quite a few stares.

    As an aside, it actually gave me some idea what it might feel like to be the only black guy in a room…it feels very self-conscious. of course, it’s not quite the same given what happened to american blacks…

    I’m open minded and didn’t want to insult them or appear racist, so i took a seat. Soon enough it was my turn. The guy starts cutting, and poof, my non-oily hair goes flying in a thousand directions, all over the place. Including all over me, because i don’t think they put one of those barber smocks on. Apparently they didn’t realize that white ppl need their hair moistened first!

    So they continued the job…noticeably uncomfortable and nervous with the performance. It was slow but it got done. The results after I had given some guidance, were decent enough. I think we all privately saw the humor in the experience. Nevertheless, I haven’t been to a barber since. I’m still a cheapo and now use a home cutting kit 🙂

  • Mark February 6, 2009, 5:17 PM

    Coupla comments and questions –

    How do you know what an X-rated movie theater looks like?

    Where’s the picture???

    A few years ago when the local barber raised his prices to $16 (+$3 tip), I got annoyed because my haircut (I am mostly bald at this point) took him only about 5 minutes with the machine and a little cleaning up in the back. So, I bought a Wahl clipper machine on Amazon.com for $14.99 or something like that. Now, I put the #1 on it, I clip it all off except for 3/4 inch of sideburns. My wife helps me determine if I got all the spots on the head. Then I sit on the step in the shower and put a little shaving cream in the back and my wife shaves it straight and cleans the neck up for me. Then I take a shower to rinse away all the hair.

    So far, it’s about 3 years with the same clipper and it paid for itself after the first haircut. A few weeks ago, I put the #4 on and cut one of my sons hair. It came out quite good. Now if I can convince my other son to sit still, I might do his hair as well. I’ve also threatened to do my daughters hair, but my wife won’t allow it 🙂

    Looks like the trimmer is $16.99 now –

  • benji February 8, 2009, 1:11 PM

    no joke man… we want the the pic?

  • yeshiva dude February 8, 2009, 7:31 PM

    That is why I give myself haircuts! The truth is that I’m dorming in yeshiva, so I really couldn’t give a hoot to what people think. I mean, who am I trying to show off to there are no girls in yeshiva anyways. I can’t understand those guys who wear cologne when they are soley around guys like in camp or yeshiva (are they trying to attract dudes?). Totally queer if you ask me

  • Michal bas Avraham February 9, 2009, 12:50 AM


  • bbbooooorrrrriiiinggg February 9, 2009, 6:53 PM


  • Frum Satire February 9, 2009, 7:46 PM

    Yeshiva Dude – until the age of 25 I got all my haircuts at yeshiva

  • atheist messia January 19, 2010, 6:04 PM

    funny, exact same thing happened too me in lakewood in around 2002. I was going too school in bradley beach and the rabbi made me get a haircut. A jew would have cost me about 12$ so i settled on the 7dollar haircut by the rastas instead, after all 5dollars was two packs of smokes. He gave me that exact but and that exac line telling me if’d fix it with a fade. That shabbat with my black hat and utter lack of hair on the side me my head a looked halfway between someone fighting cancer and a orthodox jewish nazi.

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