$5 Haircut

Think I’m kidding, right? Nope. The story’s this: I went down to my sister’s in Philly for Rosh Hashonah. Her son — the youngest of the Four Fabulous Nephews — goes to Franklin and Marshall College, near Lancaster. He came for the holiday, too, and this morning, she and I drove him back. She mentioned there’s a barber school in town a lot of the kids go to for $5 haircuts.

Now, those of you who saw me at Bouchercon might have remarked upon my unaccustomedly long hair. So I took my head to barber school.

My cut was simple, though my cutter, Ryan, a relaxed, sweet young man with filigree earlobe-expanders, took a serious approach, measuring and clipping slowly. Other students were doing fades, short-top-and-sides, complete buzzes, all kinds of styles. The place was filled with regulars and students, cracking jokes, talking movies and football. No customer could leave the chair until the instructor came to check to work. He, the instructor, strolled from chair to chair, advising the students.

The whole thing, from signing in to waiting to the cut, took 25 minutes and, with the parking and the tip, cost $9.50. Which in NYC would not have covered the tip. Plus, it was fun. If you’re in Lancaster, PA, I recommend Champ’s Barber School.


Champs’ Barber School.



Student barbers and customers.



Customer with result.



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