Swellboy on… an absent hairdresser

The lack of a barber drives our man to desperation

Image: Mark Anthony Bradley

I know the agony that women have to endure when their hairdresser is away.

Philip Kingsley). However, that master of the scissors and shave Brent Pankhurst has been berating me about my coiffeurial laissez-faire. How, he asked, can I care so much about my clothes and then walk around with what looks like a recently deceased animal or elderly mop head on top of my skull?

Brent’s solution was the quintessence of simplicity; namely that I come in for a trim more often. My trouble is that I can seldom find the time to brush my hair, let alone make my way over to Brent’s barbershop [pictured] just behind Carnaby Street, but I solemnly promised and even incorporated this pledge into my new year resolutions. Brent cut my hair short, I swore I would be back before too long, and then around the end of January he disappeared and did not return until early March.

Very wisely, he spent the most miserable month of the year on a tour of California, where he was assisting Bentley Motors with the launch of a new vehicle. Rather cleverly, Bentley has taken the step of upholstering Brent’s barber’s chairs as if they were car seats, and given that I once had a weakness for Bentleys, having owned two of them, I settle into their plump leather with a fond familiarity.


On his return from his triumphant tour of the West Coast, it seems that Brent is an ever more indispensable part of the modern Bentley experience. I have heard that he is planning a road odyssey across America in one of the cars from Crewe, with a barber’s chair in the back – setting up for extemporaneous roadside haircuts.

It would seem that the only way I can be sure of the regular haircuts necessary to maintain my barnet will be to become his driver. So at the moment I am being tormented by my conscience, which is urging me to warn him that the only reason I bought two Bentleys was that I wrote off my first after 10 days and kept crashing my second so frequently (into everything from a friend’s deer to fellow road users) that I virtually beggared myself meeting the repair bills.

My fear, of course, is that if I divulge my motoring record, he might well start recommending I grow my hair out until it reaches the lengths attained by Roy Wood of Wizzard.


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