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post #1 of 20 Old 04-07-2013 Thread Starter
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Haircuts while cruising?

I'll admit that it's been a while since I've been on a cruise longer than 6 weeks, but several years ago I did go on a 4.5 month cruise and I needed a couple of haircuts. Our solution since we were B-R-O-K-E was for my partner to her to cut my hair, and she cut her own hair as well when combing became problematic.

Suffice to say her first attempt at a haircut looked like, well.... a first attempt.

I've never seen it mentioned once in a guide to a multi-year circumnavigation. Who DOES cut Lyn and Larry Pardey's, or Beth and Evan's, or John Guzzwell's hair?

I know from my own travels that it's anxiety producing to go try out new barber shops in strange towns. Even more so if you don't speak the language. (How was I supposed to know that "short" means "mowhawk" in Portuguese???)

So what is a cruiser to do with this simple chore? Have any of the vagabond cruisers out there considered taking up this skill? The tools are minimal, and it seems to me like one could make a living advertising on the radio-nets and frequenting the cruiser hot-spots.


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post #2 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

Once it got to the point where it looked like I was trying to hide the thinning, I bought an electric trimmer. #4 and two tapered guides - 5 easy minutes once a week. No stress but I still miss the long hair of my youth.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

I have shaved my head for about 15 years, but it's not as necessary up on top as it used to be. I'm in favour of the hair trimmer too. It doesn't need to be cut down to stubble if you actually do have enough hair on top.

One thing I really don't like about being shaven/balding is the need to constantly wear hats.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

Yes I wear a hat, and for the last 30 years I have used clippers every 6 weeks or so. I use a number #2 and do the head and beard and lately the eye brows. My clippers are 240v and I use the inverter. I figure I have saved $3000 doing it myself.


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post #5 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

June does my hair and either does hers or exchanges hair cuts with another cruiser, invariably female. It is quite common for some cruisers to do cuts. We bought proper barber scissors and they certainly help.

We met one cruiser who was a professional hairdresser and she did cruisers' hair on a beach in the Caribbean (can't remember which one) and the locals got upset because of what they saw as unfair competition. She would have been better off if she did the cuts on her boat of course.

Edit -- I should have mentioned that June does a terrific hair cut. Not as fast as a pro barber, but very good job.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

This thing was a joke back in the 70s, but believe it or,not, some people grew to swear by it. I can ony imagine it doing a food job on a fairly short and obviously uncomplicated cut. You need a shop vac, which I do have an 18v battery driven one aboard.

It's entirely possible that when we shove off for an extended cruise one day, that my wife does passage planning based on her next massage and haircut. . I may not need one of these.

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post #7 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

Lots of hair cutting on beaches.

Lots of trimmers on boats also. Mine is a 1964 model my parents bought to cut my hair. It still works fine and comes apart easily to sharpen.

I also have a picture of myself with a haircut I was happy with to show when I use a local barber.

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post #8 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

My loving spouse of more than a half-century has been cutting my hair for most of our married life. She's darned good at it, use both clippers and scissors, and it only takes her a few minutes to do the job.

Now, after six months in the sunny, Florida Keys and having a single haircut while there, which was about 4 months ago, the first thing I did after arriving home was to take a shower. (Probably needed one worse than I thought. ) Then I asked my wife if she would give me a haircut. She took one look at me and said "I think you better see the young girls at the beauty shop, at least this time." I aquiessed to her wishes, drove to the beauty shop, one of the teenyboppers there gave the old man a haircut, and I returned home. "Looks great." she said. "Now all you have to do is change the color."

After all that time in the keys, my hair had turned pretty much snow white, with a bit of blond on top. When you make your living as a musician/singer/entertainer, white hair doesn't cut it. Yeah, some of the ladies I know say it makes you look distinguished, but most think it makes you look extinguished. After 10 minutes with Garnier Nutrisse #60 (medium brown), the hair and mustache look a lot better.

While I was in Marathon, there was a gal there cutting hair nearly every day. She would cut the hair of 4 to 5 cruisers in just two hours, then clean up her cuttlerly, pack it away, climb aboard her dinghy and go back to the boat. She was pretty good at it, but I never could catch up with her when she was plying the barber trade. I suspect there's not many folks doing this for cruisers, which may account for why she was so busy.

I did see a lot of cruisers that definitely needed haircuts. There's no barber shops situated along the ICW that I know of, or saw. But, there were lots of guys wearing ponytails, sporting lousy looking beards and mustaches and looking kinda scruffy. I would venture a guess that a person could make a darned good living in lots of ports if they set up a barber chair in the cockpit of their boat. Keep in mind there were at least 250 boats on mooring balls at Boot Key Harbor, probably another 500 in various marinas, and one, small barber shop on the island. It would have really been neat to dinghy to someone's boat, climb aboard and say "Just a light trim today."


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post #9 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

It suffices that one's hair style is just that. I have not had a "store bought" haircut in 25 years but do wear my fur in what my wife calls a "major's cut" meaning a #4 all over with trimming around my ear flaps. As such, I do my own hair. I gave up on cool when I learned I was not bullet proof and invisible. Good things sailors are not a judgmental sort.
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post #10 of 20 Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Haircuts while cruising?

Like the rest of the posters, I've cut my own hair for many years-- It's not so much that I'm a cheap &%*&(& as it's just a practical time-saving measure. I have a set of electric clippers- they're even rechargeable so I can use them in the shower and not worry about electrocuting myself.
I have to admit that the first couple of times, I looked like a chemotherapy patient, but if you make a mistake, all you have to do is use the short attachment (1/4") and buzz your whole head. Eventually, I got good enough that it looks like a barber did it. You also need 2 mirrors- 1 hangs on the wall on the other hand held- to do the sides and back. In no time you'll be doing fancy tapering.
After all, most of us have learned some pretty complex things- our professions, sailing skills, etc-- you can certainly learn to cut your own hair.

Mark Smith
1977 C&C 30 Mk 1 hailing from Port Clinton, Ohio
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