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Chatty Hairdresser
aka: The Barber

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Come for a buzzcut, stay for the buzz.
"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 Fowler, The Women

Whether you're there for a trim, line-up, a shampoo-and-set, a perm, a dye job, or possibly a facial or manicure, the Chatty Hairdresser will be there to help you out and talk your ear off. Compliments, quirky personal anecdotes, urban legends, the latest gossip, life lessons, and romantic advice come free with the purchase of any salon service, whether you want it or not. If you're lucky, it's just comic relief. If not, plot may come crashing down on your head.

Don't let the name fool you, talkative barbers are just as common, though they tend to discuss more the topics of the day as opposed to your run of the mill gossip.

Compare Driver of a Black Cab, who is a chatty cabdriver.


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    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...
  • Such a character appears in passing in Full Metal Panic: Second Raid, where Sousuke sitting there as a young Shell-Shocked Veteran and trained killer has to get a haircut and in his stressed-out internal monologue he has to remind himself, this is a normal civilian — adjusts that after a second to "normal" for "this profession". The guy's chatter does include asking if he's comfy but doesn't seem to notice Sousuke answers with a stressed "no" — aaand he manages to hold still until he registers the scissors. Sousuke's subsequently slamming the man against a wall with a gun to his back is played for laughs but is another step in demonstrating how screwed up he is.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin:
    • Seraphin Lampion, an intolerably jovial insurance salesman, sometimes mentions his uncle Anatole, a hairdresser full of witticisms such as "it's always better than a broken leg". Evidently it runs in the family...
    • Subverted in Tintin: Explorers on the Moon, where Haddock takes on the job of shearing the Thom(p)sons' regenerating technicolor hair. He talks all the while, but only to kvetch about it.
    Captain Haddock (cutting Thom(p)son 1's hair): And when anyone asks me later on: "What was your job in the rocket?" I'll say: "Me? I was the hairdresser!"
    Captain Haddock: A mop like this doesn't need scissors to cut it, it needs pruning shears, ten thousand thundering typhoons, or a lawnmower!
    Captain Haddock: Whew! There's one cropped! Next gentleman, please! What, is His Highness not satisfied?
    Thom(p)son 2: Ha ha ha! My poor fellow, if you could see yourself!
    Captain Haddock (now cutting Thom(p)son 2's hair): Go on, laugh! Laugh! If you think you look more dignified than your esteemed friend, you've got another thing coming!
    Captain Haddock: And none of this would have happened, thundering typhoons, if you'd been able to tell the blistering difference between 1 PM and 1 AM!
    Captain Haddock: There, that's finished! Look at my hands now, all covered in blisters!
    Captain Haddock: Well, what is it? His lordship isn't pleased? What more do you want? A shampoo and set? Or would you rather I put it in curlers?
    Thom(p)son 2: Oh! Look there!
    Thom(p)son 1, hair having grown all the way back: Ha ha ha! My poor fellow, if you could see yourself!

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld fics of A.A. Pessimal, Conina Cohensdaughter-Harebut, note  who having achieved her dream of retiring from being an active Barbarian/Thief to run a hairdressing salon, keeps her ear to the ground and provides information to a clientele of professional ladies, whose hair can get a bit mussed up in the course of normal work as a Thief, Assassin, Barbarian Heroine or Teacher. She trades information with her clients as they relax over a session of post or pre-combat hairstyling, manicuring, pedicuring, and other little necessities for the active professional woman in Ankh-Morpork. Her husband Nijel is happy to be the token male in the salon, preparing beverages and sweeping up hair cuttings.

    Films — Animation 
  • Parodied in Wall E. The hair dressers are, of course, robots. They only have a set list of pre-recorded phrases they can say, and will still prattle on regardless if the customer is talking.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Paulette of Legally Blonde who immediately starts chatting with Elle about their respective romantic problems. Zig-Zagged in that Paulette is actually a manicurist but the salon she works in also does hair styling.
  • 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.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor has his hair cut by Stan Lee! With what amounts to a lawnmower! Thor, who at first demands that Stan doesn't cut his hair, starts begging at Stan to not cut his hair to no avail.
  • Adam Sandler mentions this a couple of times in his movies. In Mr. Deeds, after Preston Blake dies, one of the reporters arranges an interview with his barber to try to find out who is his heir, reasoning that people tell their barbers everything. In You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Zohan practices his small-talk with Michael's mom while cutting her hair. Naked.
  • Please Turn Over: After Naked Revolt is published, several women such as Mrs. Brent and Mrs. Waring try to get hair appointments with Jo in the hopes she will give them more gossip about her family.

  • 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 quiet man.
  • Partridge in The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling 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 Hercule Poirot novel Death in the Clouds, one of the characters 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.
  • In Brazil, this is true even of the male hairdressers (who are known as barbers, just like the ones from the Western). Author Luis Fernando Verissimo wrote on how barbers and cabbies are so talkative and seem to know so much of what the country needs that they should be put in the positions of power... if not for the fact that politicians would then be driving our taxis and cutting our hair, leading to tragic results.
  • The Dresden Files: Invoked by the incubus-like psychic vampire Thomas Raith, who becomes a chatty, Camp Straight hairdresser when he tries to "go vegetarian". The intimacy and close contact let him draw a slow trickle of energy off his clients — not nearly as satisfying for him as sexing people to death, but far less unethical.

    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 bald Bolian blue-skinned 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 '70s 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 jokes (it's Ancient Greek, so 2500 years old, plus change) that still "sort-of-works" is:
    Barber: How would you like your hair cut?
    Client: In silence.
  • An episode of Frasier has Roz about to go get her hair cut by a male version of one of these, Naj. She complains that he's very chatty with all his other clients, but there's always just stony silence when she's in the chair. She ends up spicing up the conversation by falsely gossiping that Frasier was born a woman.

  • In the official music video of "Lundi Méchant" by French singer Gaël Faye, the staging of the beginning makes the vocals of the first verse look like as if they were a rant pronounced by the hairdresser (played by Gaël Faye himself). The rest of the video drops the idea.

  • Antoine, who runs a beauty saloon in the Our Miss Brooks episode "The Hair-do". He admits to Miss Brooks that he doesn't like Miss Enright, though she sends him many customers. Later, Miss Enright leans on him to give Miss Brooks a funny hair treatment. The character is played by character actor Frank Nelson, in much the same way as Frank Nelson played on The Jack Benny Program.
  • The episode of The Mark Steel Lectures covering the life and work of Aristotle has a skit referencing a British variant of the trope in which the chatty barber is Greek, and depicting a Greek man who is a chatty barber and a philosopher, and segues from "Is it your day off, sir?" to riffing on the fact that immortal souls, being immortal, never get a day off.

  • 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.
  • In the musical Henry, which posits that Henry VIII was married to all six of his wives simultaneously and without their knowledge, Henry's bigamy is uncovered when his wives all end up at the same hair salon and get talking. The hairdresser is the Camp Gay version of this trope.
    Anne Boleyn: How did you know that I am a queen?
    Hairdresser: Believe me, darling, I can spot them a mile away.

    Video Games 
  • The octopus in Parappa The Rapper 2.
  • In Pok√©mon X and Y, the hairdresser in Lumiose City will always talk to you while she's cutting your hair.
  • In Animal Crossing, up until New Horizons, Harriet, the poodle hairdresser who is the owner of Shampoodle, implemented this trait in the gameplay by asking questions to the character, giving the character a new specific haircut according to the answers the client gave to her.


    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe example: The girl who does Jade's hair in Jade 6 is chatty about the town of Dunwich, only a walk away from Whateley Academy, which may mean that she has planted more than one Chekhov's Gun for later stories.
  • Homestar Runner: Parodied in the Strong Bad Email "pet show", where Strong Sad imitates a gossipy hair-dresser while grooming The Cheat for the Cat Mess Inbredtational Pet Show.
    Strong Sad: And I told him, if he wants to show up thirty minutes late, then he can find someone else, because my time is valuable!

    Western Animation 
  • King of the Hill:
    • Parodied in an episode 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.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • In an episode of Sonic Underground, the chatty hairdresser is actually 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.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Barber, Chatty Barber


Tell Me Something I Don't Know

In the musical number "No Me Diga", the women at the salon gossip about the love lives of Vanessa and Nina.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / GossipyHens

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