Actually she did six months sweeping the floor in a salon when she turned sixteen. As soon as it looked like she might have to be taken on as an apprentice rather than just be paid a thrupenny bob bit a week (her words) she was sent packing. Nevertheless this did not stop her believing she was a hairdresser. Which meant that either
a) she cut my hair, brutally
b) she was too bolshy at the barbers.

I hated the barbers as a kid, partially because my Mum talked to Aldo as if she was a fellow pro. “Thinning scissors”, she would say when he started using the thinning scissors. “You’ll have to watch his crown,” stuff like that. She also made me wait for Aldo, rather than let the chain-smoking older barbers touch my hair, as that way I got the best cut. The first time I went in by myself I let a chainsmoker do it. It was much better than fancypants Aldo (I think there was a flirt going on).

Anyway, I hated the tugging, the preening and the way my neck would itch for about five days. But that was generally better than Mum cutting. While she did have a basic idea what she was doing, she was prone to going in to the head at a funny angle and stabbing the back of my bonce with the scissors. All this changed when she got a special hair cutting comb. Unfortunately not for the better. The special comb supposedly had razor blades at angles safely behind the tines. This was fine until they went blunt (one use). After which the way it cut was basically ripping the hair from your scalp. And sometimes, some of the scalp too.

So if I ever have crap hair, blame my Mum, Aldo and that comb. And if the barbers had head hoovers like in Cut when I was a kid, I would have gone all the time.