The Postscript: Questionnaires, body shapes required for a haircut

Published 6:03 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

By Carrie Classon


Getting my hair cut has never been one of my favorite things, but lately, it’s been worse than usual because the town I live in has a shortage of hair stylists and I have a shortage of hair.

In order to get a haircut, I had to make an appointment weeks in advance. I was complaining about this to my husband, Peter. He said, (as he always does) “I’ll cut your hair!”


When the big day of the appointment arrived, I was asked to fill out a full page of questions about my hair styling goals (I had none) and my body shape. My choices were: “apple, pear, or banana.”

I was stumped. I couldn’t see that I looked anything like either a pear or an apple, but I would have to be considerably more stooped to resemble a banana. I opted for banana, thinking it might be where I was headed in a few years, but I was completely bewildered as to what this had to do with my haircut.

When I finally got into the chair, I explained to a cheerful stylist named Monica that I simply didn’t have much hair to work with and she was free to do whatever she felt best.

“You should try this,” Monica suggested, proffering an expensive bottle of something guaranteed to grow more hair on my head. I told her I had my doubts.

“Oh, I hear that all the time,” she countered. “But I have a lot of scientist clients.”

I had to admire her sales pitch. If a physicist with frizzy hair had decided this product was the way to go, who was I to argue? I bought a bottle.

Then, a few weeks after my appointment, I got an email from Monica’s salon. It was a note informing me that the salon was no longer be providing haircuts.


The email went on to explain that the salon had too many apple, pear, and banana-shaped customers and they could not keep up with demand. They would now only be coloring their clients’ hair.

“That’s just ridiculous!” I complained to Peter.

“I’ll cut your hair!” he said (as he always does).


I deleted the email. Then I thought, “how bad could it be?”

In no time flat, I was seated with a towel around my shoulders and Peter was circling me, brandishing scissors far too eagerly.

“Just, you know, take it easy,” I cautioned.

“Uh huh,” Peter said in a way that inspired no confidence.

Without warning, be began snipping away at my hair with a vengeance.

“There’s no rush!” I told him.

“Uh huh,” Peter said, cutting as if he were competing in some sort of haircutting time trial.  

“Finished!” he announced less than five minutes later. I had never spent less than 45 minutes in a hair salon in my life.

“You’re done?”

He handed me the mirror. I swallowed hard.

My hair looked fine. It looked exactly as it always did, just a bit shorter.

“That will be $50!” Peter announced.

I really can’t see going back to a salon now. I don’t need an appointment. Peter never tries to sell me dubious beauty products or asks me what sort of fruit I most closely resemble. And I get a little thrill telling people I’m sleeping with my hairdresser. I actually got a compliment on my hair the other day from a stranger in church.

“My husband cuts it!” I told her delightedly.

“Well,” she said, “you tell him he’s found his calling.”

I think she might be right.

Till next time,


Carrie Classon’s memoir, “Blue Yarn,” will be released in April 2019. Learn more at