I was reminded of a former career this week. A career that started and finished between 1988 and 1990. An ill-fated period of my education that was as much about my post-school confusion, as it was my determination to avoid getting a job. That ‘career’ was hairdressing. And my timely reminder of those dark days, was a request last week, from my son, for a ‘Ronaldo’ haircut.
Let me take you back to that bleak time in my life. I enjoyed school on the whole. I started out quite nerdy and quiet. I had my group of mates but individually, we were all nerdy and quiet. Somehow we found each other and formed a gang. But were never the cool kids who got the girls. Then as my confidence grew towards fourth and fifth year, I permed my hair (really) and got a girlfriend and everything changed.
Suddenly, I was the guy with the cool Chris Waddle haircut and a real girlfriend, who snogged and held hands during break time. I even lost my virginity to this girl and overnight, increased in height by a foot and a half. I was becoming a man. Alongside this though was a knowledge that I wasn’t particularly academic but I was good at making people laugh and play the clown in class. So suddenly, as I was coming towards the end of my education, I was quite enjoying school.
I managed to drag this out for a further two years by staying on in sixth form and getting an A-level in art but then, it was crunch time. I had to think about further education or, worse still, getting a job. I knew I wasn’t ready for work. To me it was a grown up thing and I wasn’t ready for such responsibility. I’m still not. So I sent myself off to the careers advice day in the school library, looked at all the pamphlets on the table, closed my eyes and wriggled my finger to let fate takes its course. What a bloody stupid idea that was.
Before I knew it, I had enrolled in a two-year BTEC National Diploma in Hairdressing and Beauty therapy at Clarendon College in Nottingham. I was the only male on the course (and gained a life education on the wonderful workings of women) but by the second year, I had ditched the perm and the trendy clothing, discovered Nirvana, shaved my hair off and had severely ‘dressed down.’
My decision was made. I would finish the course and qualify (which I did) and then go back to the same college and try something else. I went into social care and I found this much more rewarding. And there was only three males on the course.
Now, twenty years later, I’m doing the job I really want to do but I’d like to make it absolutely clear; I am still available for fringe trims.