Mammalian Diving Reflex
Haircuts By Children
posted by Amber Bell
At the outside hair salon, the young barbers were working with fierce concentration. Every trim of the shears was a meditation. Their customers sat patiently, oddly silent. In the adult world, professional haircuts seem accentuated by the perpetual chatter of the hairdresser: Gossip, surface pass-the-time questions, bits and pieces from everyday life. In this world of young hairstylists, each hair deserved such intense focus that idle conversation was out of the question. As the haircutters worked, they politely answered questions, and spent the rest of their energy on the job at hand.
Over at the refreshment table, spirits were lighthearted. Hairdressers on break ate sack lunches and sold lemonade. They cheerfully explained that they had gotten two hours of training after school on mannequins in preparation for their current position.
Back at the barber shop, an adult was interviewed on camera about the project. He spoke briefly about the idea of the performance being to empower children by entrusting them with adults’ personal appearances. This would give them confidence either in the moment, or later, upon reflection.
The adults sitting under the shears looked either dubious, nervous, or slightly hypnotized. It appeared as though their commitment was to an avant-garde adventure, and each was prepared to hide the results under a hat when finished.
Unfortunately, it seemed that although the adults involved entrusted the children with their locks, they did not trust that the outcome would be stylish. The children, on the other hand, worked with dedicated care and skill that was limited only by their brief training.