No Women, No Old Men

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It's foul but that used to be the rule for getting a cut when I was a kid. When you went to a new barbershop, you were told to avoid the women and the old men. You wanted old boy who looked like he was going to be up in the club on Friday. Not one of your mother's home-girls, or some dude who was gonna tell you about Pennsylvania Ave back in the day. In truth, when I went to Woodlawn, I had a barber out in the county that was sick with hers. She actually gave me my cut before junior prom (I'll post that one day) and really did her thing.  And hey, now, my barber's gay and he's nice with his.

But here's the thing. My bougie barbershop on 116th is closed for some unknown reason. I'll be in D.C. until Saturday and I need a cut--can't walk up in the Atlantic offices unless that line-up is tight. I don't think I'm gonna be able to get a cut up top before I hit the train tomorrow. I use to have the science on all the D.C. shops, but that was a decade ago. Where should I go to get a cut? I just need a straight caesar and a shape-up. Recommendations?

UPDATE: Hair Cuttery??? McClean?? Metrosexuals?? We are not postracial at all. I think this is going to have to be my first segregated thread. Gonna have to do this like a Black Student Union party...

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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