Heaven is the first haircut in weeks

A handful of you may be aware that I had minor surgery at the end of April – just the removal of a few cysts from my scalp. It was all supposed to be over very quickly, better in a couple of weeks.


We pause here for a quick wallow in self-pity and snarling about stitches and wounds going infectious. Tell you what, let’s just put a quick picture in:

That’s me, the day before a major stage presentation, a week or so after I was supposed to be 100%. The bandage pinged off during the presentation.

I was not delighted.

Later the head bandage shrunk to a plaster and people kept asking whether I’d been in a fight. Nobody had accused me of looking hard for…actually, no, it’s never happened. Until now. Oh, and of course you can’t have a hair cut with all this going on.

Yesterday – finally – the plaster came off and I went to the barber. Almost flew. Frankly they could have cut my head off and got a good review.

Towel shave

But I do feel I must recommend all blokes have a hot towel shave every now and then, and if at all possible do it at The Valet in Addiscombe or one of its concessions at local hotels. I had the “Casino Royal” (yes I know the book and film have an ‘e’ on the end of ‘Royale’, it’s a barber, you think they care?) which costs £45 but honestly, it’s worth it.

You start off with a pre-coating of Proraso Eucalyptus undercoat. This refreshes and stimulates the skin, and then they put a hot towel over you. You then get a close shave (or three; the trick they use is to take a little hair off often, which is gentler and less prone to provoking a rash).

There’s a clay mask for extra cleaning. There is cleanser. There is a total of five hot towels. Nobody, repeat nobody, is allowed to disturb you during this hour of completely indulgent time.

Then I switched to the other chair for my first haircut in months. I spent £29.50 on a decent re-style, after all that growth it needed it; I asked them to model it on Jose Mourinho, and when they’d picked themselves up off the floor they did their best (Lucky I didn’t ask for George Clooney). It looks unusually good – for me anyway:

No doubt I’m biased by this being my first fully de-bandaged day since 30 April, and this being the first picture I’ve seen of me from that angle without a large visible cyst on the side of my head. But I feel genuinely refreshed, the attention to my wants from the guys at the salon was superb as always and I’d certainly recommend it.

(And yes, good of you to ask, I have indeed lost a little weight).


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