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Chatty Hairdresser
"I forget what she said next. You know how those creatures are, babble, babble, babble, babble, and never let up for a minute! When suddenly she said: 'I know the girl who's being kept by Mr. Haines!'"
Sylvia, The Women

You might be there for for any number of things: a trim, a shampoo-and-set, a perm, a dye job, or possibly a facial or manicure. But she's there for only one thing: to talk. Compliments, quirky personal anecdotes, urban legends, the latest gossip, and romantic advice come free with the purchase of any beauty treatment. If you're lucky, it's just comic relief. If not, plot may come crashing down on your head.

The Chatty Hairdresser is usually female, and possibly a Sassy Black Woman. If male, he's most likely to be portrayed as a Pet Homosexual with Camp Gay mannerisms out the roof.

Distaff Counterpart to both The Barber and the Always Male chatty cabdriver.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Iggy in Ergo Proxy styles Re-l's hair, and he is programmed to act like the Camp Gay version of this.
  • Mireille's hairdresser in Noir is a combination of this and The Informant. The valuable intelligence that is mixed in with the gossip as Mireille gets her hair done explains why her haircuts are so expensive.
  • A very good example is Kaoru in Strawberry Shake Sweet. That she is a Lipstick Lesbian is not surprising in a Girls Love manga...

    Film 
  • Parodied in WALL•E. The hair dressers were, of course, robots. They only had a set list of pre-recorded phrases they could say, and would still prattle on regardless if the customer was talking.
  • Paulette of Legally Blonde.
  • Subverted in the gay-themed comedy The Broken Hearts Club. All the characters at one point go to their hairdresser (played by Jennifer Coolidge, better known for playing Paulette in ''Legally Blonde', a straight example of the trope) for a heart-to-heart. The main characters are pouring their hearts out with their problems; the hairdresser doesn't say *anything* beyond "Sit up straight" and "Turn your head to the side." At the end of the sequence, one character compliments her for always knowing the right thing to say, to which she modestly replies, "It's a gift."
  • Vincent Price briefly impersonates a Camp Gay hairdresser in Theatre of Blood.
  • The women in Steel Magnolias.
  • In Drop Dead Gorgeous, Amber's aunt is a gossipy woman who runs a hair salon out of her trailer and is happy to take up more than her fair share of "documentary" time.
  • Shampoo has Warren Beatty's character acting as one of these, and playing on the assumption that everyone thinks he's Camp Gay to seduce his female clients with ease.

    Literature 
  • The hairdresser in The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency is gay and like this.
  • In the Discworld book The Last Continent, Rincewind acts like one of these... while shearing a sheep.
  • Older Than Print: The Barber in a series of tales in the Arabian Nights is endlessly talkative, to the annoyance of his patrons, despite his constant insistence on being a very quite man.
  • Partridge in Tom Jones is a schoolmaster turned barber-surgeon who is fairly talkative and has major Know-Nothing Know-It-All tendencies. He is compared to the barber of Arabian Nights at least once.
  • In the book The Market by J. M. Steele, the Camp Gay hairdresser Carlo is stated to be this.
  • Katniss's "prep team", Venia, Flavius and Octavia, in The Hunger Games.
  • In Agatha Christie's Death in the Clouds, one of the charaters is a hairdresser who has to tell her clients about the murder, over and over again. At least she negotiates a pay rise for it.
  • Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid cites these women as one of the reasons he likes beauty salons better than regular hair-cutting places.
  • Miss Pearl in The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright tells her entire life story to a teenage girl getting her hair cut because the girl has braids the way she did as a child before her brother cut them off so they could run away, etc., etc.

    Live Action TV 
  • Appears in an episode of Mama's Family titled "Psycho Pheno-Mama". Mama and her family meet a self-claimed psychic who can supposedly channel a dead duchess' spirit, who knows all of the family's secrets. Turns out the "psychic" is actually a hairdresser who gleans all of her information from her chatty customers.
  • Parodied in the Barber Shop sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus, where, behind the customer's back, the Barber puts on a tape recording of himself chatting and cutting hair because he's afraid to do any actual cutting. He'd rather be... a lumberjack!
  • Hilda on Ugly Betty.
  • In The Nanny there was a Poorly Disguised Pilot set in a salon full of chatty hairdressers. And of course there's The Nanny herself.
  • Mot, the blue-skinner barber on Star Trek: The Next Generation, does this to various characters in the show, much to their chagrin.
  • Vanessa from Everybody Hates Chris
  • In Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Wayne loves doing a Sassy Black Woman version of this trope whenever he finds a hairdressing-related idea in the Props game. "So I was tellin' (made-up name), that she better stay away from..."
  • Shelly the hair-styling nanite in ''Mystery Science Theater 3000".
  • The Chilean humor show Jappening con Ja had a recurrent sketch about this, with two Camp Gay male versions of this trope.
  • 1000 Ways to Die gives us Barry, a hairdresser from The Seventies who not only was chatty, but also a Handsome Lech who often seduced his female clients with the help of a drink and some Quaaludes pills. The last detail ended up being fatal, as he passed out on the hot hair curlers while drugged — and the burns to his neck and throat killed him.
  • According to Jimmy Carr on QI, one of the oldest Ancient Greek jokes that still "works" is:
    Barber: How would you like your hair cut?
    Client: In silence.

    Theater 
  • The two hairstylists in In the Heights. In every scene they're in, they're in the middle of talking about particularly saucy gossip.
  • The two unnamed hairdressers in The Women are merely comic relief, giving their customers the customary extravagant but undeserved compliments. It's Olga, the manicurist at the same place, who dishes out the real dirt, divulging to customers that Mr. Haines is having an affair.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in an episode of King of the Hill, where Peggy, feeling dejected, decides to spend Thanksgiving with her hairdresser under the assumption that he is lonely and family-less, but he turns out to a have a wife and baby.
    • Also used in "My Hair Lady" when Luanne and Bill become hairstylists at Hottyz. Bill gets fired (he's a really good stylist but he wasn't gay) and Luanne can't afford the chair on her own so they end up working for Hank's barber, Jack.
  • Bugs Bunny does this twice in his cartoons with Gossamer and a Mad Scientist. In Hair-Raising Hare, he acts as a chatty manicurist. On YouTube at 4:30. In Water, Water Every Hare he acts as a talkative hairdresser.
    • On YouTube at 3:45. He also does this character in Rabbit of Seville with Elmer Fudd in the chair, with one major difference: he sings it.
  • In an episode of Sonic Underground, the chatty hairdresser is actual an unwitting spy for Robotnik, using hypnotism to lull her customers into spilling their true feelings for the dictator.
  • Deconstructed in "Homer Scissorhands", a season 22 episode of The Simpsons. Homer takes up a job as a hairdresser, but having to pay attention to all his clients' stories takes its toll on him.
  • Parodied in The Looney Tunes Show—in one episode, Daffy styles Bug's wig (he's Disguised in Drag) while Bug confides the entire subplot in him. Daffy proceeds to give him Chatty Hairdresser advice. No Mythology Gag about "interesting monsters", sadly.

     Real Life 
  • Famed New Orleans Voodoo queen Marie Laveau was a hairdresser by day, and her supposed psychic abilities most likely came from keeping her ears open during house calls to her wealthy clients.


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