RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Get Your Haircut…!

I have a bit of a story about haircuts to end this post, Way back in the day – actually on Wednesday 8th July, 1987 – it was my first day in the RAF at RAF Swinderby.  One of the first things that happens – and probably STILL happens at RAF Halton, is a haircut.  To show us the standards of haircut expected, the RAF produced a poster showing a “model” airman and the quote from Queens Regulations that “The hair of the head is to be well cut and trimmed”. Obviously this poster was in the barbers sited conveniently in the hanger where we were going through the process of getting our first kit issued to, and I remember paying the princely sum of £2 for the “privilidge” of that haircut.

We went into the barber’s room in groups of 5-10, and in my group was another lad who was wearing a baseball hat – very avant-guard for 1987! We couldn’t figure out why he was in there for the haircut  as the back of his head was already shaven; down to the bone almost!

He sat in the chair and the barber looked a bit confused…as did we all until the new recruit took of his hat. Under it was just a thin line of hair. You see, back in civvy-street, he’d been a bit of a rebel and had shaved his head so that all that was left was a thin horseshoe of hair that curved around his head – and was then spiked up – almost like a punk with a Mohecan – but to a length of about 6″ high!

The barber looked even more confused and shook his head. He sighed and simply switched on his clippers and in one swift swoop he shaved the horseshoe of hair off!

“That’ll be £2, mate!” he said…

Anyway, that brings me round to a mini-competition!

I have one of those posters to give away…It is a modern print of the original posters that used to be dotted around RAF stations up to…well actually I can’t actually say WHEN it stopped being used – I realised the other day that they are just not about any more.
But I digress.

The Competition is to WIN this A3 sized poster!

To enter you need to post a line on Twitter saying “I want to win an @RAFairman Competition!” with the #hashtag “#RAFairmancomp”.

You will have until 18:00 (that’s 6pm!) tomorrow, Thursday 4th March to enter.

The winner will be drawn from all the entries from Twitter user names on a bit of paper from in my RAF beret.

I am sorry, but once again, it’s only open to UK addresses, and the winner will be notified BY Twitter at just after 6pm tomorrow.

Good Luck!

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8 thoughts on “Get Your Haircut…!

  1. Don’t bother entering cos I already won?

  2. Ninja Techy on said:

    Went through the same process in Oct 1987.

    One of the lads who went through with us had already had his haircut the day before he arrived. He was charged £2 to sit in the chair and have his hair assessed and combed.

    Typical RAF efficiency.

  3. It’s always going to be the same, The RAF recruit young people. Young people like pop (popular) music and like to look and dress like the celebs who make it at that particular time. Imagine the Station Barbers shop in the 70’s when glam rock was popular from Noddy Holder to a short back & sides in one fell swoop! I’m sure the barber had a side line in selling dead hair to fill pillows or some such. I remember being at a unit in 77 when the sex pistols were charting, one airman turned up for duty airman inspection (you were inspected before you did a station duty in those days) sporting a Mohecan which as the sticky up bit was in the centre of his head which had a No1 SD hat on it and the sides were shaven he thougth would be OK. The SWO charged him and ordered him to grow the sides. Then in the 80’s the new romantics with “big hair” & make-up, and so it went on. I suppose a period in the 90’s were boy bands all had crew cuts must have been about the only time the Stn barber had an easy time of it.

  4. It’s a very low parting… or is it a comb-over?

    Am seriously considering recreating the poster with Photoshopped images of my son without his long, lanky Emo hairstyle!

  5. Bluebell on said:

    Unfortunately discovered this too late to enter the comp. My dad tells me he used to take his recruits down to get there haircut when he was a drill intructor at Swinderby. He’d always get a free one 😉

  6. haircuts when i was in ATC am i hurting you lad ?no sir ,,, well i should be i am stepping on your hair lad

  7. Jim Gager on said:

    Ah the memories remember the posters well. Once out of training used to take great delight in fighting the system, growing hair as long as possible. I used hydraulic oil and crammed my hair under my beret, Frank Spencer like. Only had one RAF station haircut in three years after training. Even eye ball to eye ball with the SWO, me 1 v SWO/RAF 0. Nearing 57 now and still got hair. Ex Colerne/Lyneham 1974 – 1977. Cheers Jed.

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