Smith College Barbershop
Julie Colatrella ’12
Climb up to the second floor
of Albright House on pretty much any day of the week and
you will be greeted with music pumping out of speakers, a
clamor of voices fighting to be heard, and large groups of
people in small spaces.
Amateur barber Julie Colatrella ’12 measures a tress
for the next snip.
Yes, it is a party, but not
the kind immediately drawn to mind. It’s the kind that involves a chair in front
of a mirror, buzzers, scissors, razors, and chunks of hair
falling to the floor. It’s the phenomenon known as the Smith
College barbershop, and it’s conveniently located in a bathroom
I personally entered the college
hair-cutting scene last year when I decided to hack off all
my hair and realized I trusted no one but myself to understand
the weird angle I was going for. I picked up a pair of household
scissors lying around my room and gingerly snipped a stray
piece of hair at the back of my head.
Realizing how painless
and easy it was, I began applying the snipping action to
the rest of my head. Wherever I was displeased with a flyaway,
After months of practice, I
gained confidence with the metal sheers in my hand. Soon,
friends came to me for help trimming their bangs or fixing
their split ends. After a while I began to get creative.
Julie's handiwork before...
...and shortly after.
By the time I arrived at Smith
this year to start my sophomore stint, I was using people’s heads as blank canvases, demanding that they allow
me to give them the hairstyle I think will look best on them.
Luckily, I live in a house with
some pretty daring people. They have not only allowed me
to do whatever I please with their heads, but come to me
on a pretty frequent basis.
“I love getting my hair cut in the house because it’s completely spur-of-the-moment,” says
Molly Gavin ’12, who has bravely occupied my second floor bathroom/barber chair
multiple times. “Not to mention, it’s free and more sustainable than businesses
that use all those chemicals and weird procedures.”
Emily Fuller ’12 has similar sentiments about the benefits of in-house haircuts: “I
feel like it’s community-reliant, which means I can communicate what I want a
lot easier because the people cutting my hair are my friends. They know me and
they know what I want and I trust them.”
Many a shaved Smith head is
the result of one of these parties. One Smithie decides she’s tired of the surfer-boy look and the party’s on. The music’s cranked, scissors
are unsheathed, others gather, and suddenly everyone in the house wants some
dramatic fashion sculpted on their heads.
Why not? College is supposed
to be the time when we let loose, right? And if the cuts
are free and the hair grows back, this is definitely one
of those things we should experiment with while at Smith.