Blue Light Special

April 2, 2012

Okay this might turn into a rant as it's been a serious pet peeve of mine since day one:
The Blue Light Special, also known as Chopshop Haircuts.
Those horrible, cheap "barbershops" that have blue lights inside and have prices so low there is no way they are paying tax (and I know for a fact that some of them aren't...). Maybe we only have them in Ireland, but they are the barbershops that look like this on the inside:
All the lighting in the main window, and inside, are those horrible blue florescent strip lights that look like they will make anything white you wear glow. I have tried to guess as to why on earth someone would think this is sufficient light in any kind of building, with the possibly exception of some trippy psychedelia shop. Perhaps they are installed for the same reason they put them in public toilets - to stop drug users going in as they can't see their veins under the light? But this seems unlikely. Maybe they are giant UV sanitation lights... though honestly if you need them that much I'd just have the place condemned! 
I mean how on earth can you cut in this light? It's gloomy and must put a huge strain on the barber's eyes. 
In short, I don't think you can give a decent haircut in this light. Not for the price of a cup of coffee. Which leads me to my more plausible reason for why I think they are installed: to disguise the bad haircut from the customer. 
These chopshops are the fast food of haircutting. The more clients the better and, again I know from people who have worked in these places, the management actively encourage you to get the client in and out as quickly as possible, spending a maximum of 8 minutes per client... because at their prices it's the number of clients, and not results, that count. Here's my artistic interpretation of what happens:
I hope I never have to work in one of these places, where every day I would feel like I'm walking into a giant tanning bed and my eyesight would probably get up and leave after 6 months. Were I male I would go into one once just to see what the experience is like - does anyone know? Please leave a comment above if you do!
- BE


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