The barbershop challenge

I haven’t had my hair cut for almost 5 years – there I said it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t look like Gandalf on a bad day. I have had hair cuts, but it’s usually been my girlfriend who cuts it in our kitchen with me in my pants and a pair of £20 hair clippers. What a treat for the neighbours that is.

The reason is, I’m absolutely terrified of getting my hair cut. I know this sounds so ridiculous to some, however this will also sound all to familiar for a million others, so I thought what better way to spread the word than to challenge myself. But first, I’ll set the scene…

About 5 years ago, I was in the throws of anxiety and finding life very difficult. Panic attacks galore it was, couldn’t do anything without having one. Well on one particular day, I went to get my hair cut and while I sat in the chair, I had a really bad panic attack. Bearing in mind this was at a time when I didn’t even know what a panic attack was, I just knew I felt like I was going to faint, but didn’t want to make a scene, so I just rode the wave until I got out and could breathe a sigh of relief.

The problem was, I had to go again about 3 weeks later, only this time I couldn’t bring myself to go in, instead I sat in my car looking at the entrance, and decided it was just too hard. That was not only one of the biggest mistakes I could make, but also the last time I’d ever consider having my hair cut – until today!

I’ve been considering it for a while. I really want my hair styling, and looking sharp. I alway took great care about my appearance, always trying to look smart, well groomed and relatively healthy, but over the last 5 years,  an office job that meant I wore what I wanted, and now I feel like a shadow of my former self. So with this, I decided enough was enough, and it’s time to face up to it.

I googled around my local city looking for barber shops that could give me a ‘makeover’, something completely different and new – and I found a really modern place with great reviews, all of which were claiming it was ‘really laid back and chilled’. After some twitter encouragement, I decided to contact them, mentioning I wanted to have my hair cut, but also the problems I faced.


I’m not sure if you can help but thought I’d email and give it a shot. 

I’m looking to book an appointment with you at the beginning of May for a cut, but wanted to ask when the least busy time would be (if any). 

I have anxiety, and haven’t had my hair professionally cut for around 4 years, but I want to give it a shot so wanted to ask beforehand. 

Any advice on times etc would be really helpful. 


…and then came the wait. I was dreading it, I wasn’t sure what response I’d get, if they’d care, see it as ridiculous or in fact be supportive and offer a bit of help. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ask for help from anyone, all I want is advice so I can prepare myself and put myself in the best possible position to succeed, but obviously any support along the way was great.

After a swim, I got back to my locker and low and behold, an email from the barber shop. Would it be negative? Would they make it a bit awkward, or even brush it off?


Thanks for getting in touch. We are open Sunday which is a nice chilled day, if you go to our website you can book. I have 11/12 free. The barbershop is dead laid back mate, look forward to seeing you.


To some, that’s not a big deal, quite short and sweet, but to someone who’d not only been ignored by 3-4 hairdressers/barbershops in the past, this is such a comforting email to have. Didn’t make it weird, just offered a quiet time and a bit of reassurance.

So that’s that. I’m booking an appointment, and I’m going to face this head on. It’s time to submit to the anxiety and finally get some of me back. I’m booking an appointment for the beginning of May,

Watch this space 👊🏼



  1. This is such a nice email. I especially love: “The barbershop is dead laid back mate, look forward to seeing you.”

    It’s so easy going, no biggie, no drama, everything is simple and straightforward. I really hope it goes well for you!


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