Men, of course, can just run to their corner barber shop and mutter, "Give me a trim." Or they can go somewhere that's an experience, something to go back and tell the boys at the office about.
While your locks are being shorn, you can hear an Italian aria, add to your name-dropping repertoire by sitting next to Henry Kissinger, or have your haircut matched to your bone structure.
Here are three Washington men's hairstylists -- a word being used more for men -- who could provided some of those hirsute thrills:
If you go to see Milt Pitts for a haircut, you could come out feeling like a king.
Well, almost. Pitts was selected as the official White House barber by Richard Nixon -- whom he got off the greasy kid stuff -- and he later made Gerald Ford give up his lowered-ears look. He has coped with Henry Kissinger's tight curls, and trimmed the likes of George Wallace, William Simon, Bert Lance, Tommy Smothers and Nelson Rockefeller.
Pitts' regular customers included George Bush, Stansfield Turner and Sen. Russell Long (D-La.), and Kissinger still drops by when he's in town.
The list, in fact, is so long you begin to feel sorry for those who do not go to Milt Pitts' hallowed salon at the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel.
"Hairstyling," says Pitts, "is so important for those in the news. Take Teddy Kennedy. There's a good-looking guy with the worst haircut in the world. I think he would have done better at the convention with a great haircut."
Pitts on Ronald Reagan: "I would like to shampoo his hair and remove the oily stuff he uses and let it be soft and natural. His cut is a little too conservative. It should be fuller on the side, shorter on top and lower in the back. I'm told by people that know him well that he does not color his hair."
On Jimmy Carter: "I stayed in the White House 30 days after Carter took office, but when he went to another barber, I decided it was time to leave after eight years. I thought his hair looked better before he changed his part. It looks too short in front."
Ninety-eight percent of the clients whose hair Pitts cuts himself by appointment (he has 3 other stylists who work with him) are regulars. Some come every 10 days, but he recommends a trim for men every 3 to 4 weeks. He charges $12-$15 for a shampoo, cut and blow-dry. Aware that "A lot of men request a woman to cut their hair these days," he has two women working in the shop.
How have men's hairstyles changed in the 40 years Pitts has been cutting hair?
"I think hairstyles are the best now as in my whole career," says Pitts. "They are full, soft and easy to manage.All those greasy tonics and clippers are gone. I had people lined up for flat-top cuts back in the '50s. I did the Beatle cut the day before the Beatles went on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time."
Pitts sells about 20 hairpieces a year. ("They don't like the word toupee; they say, 'Give me a hairpiece.'") They are made from human hair and cost $300-$400.
"If they don't fit right," he says, "I don't let them walk out of here. If a man goes back to the office and they laugh at him, I've lost a customer. Look at Howard Cosell, all that money and what a horrible hairpiece."
He feels that every man should use a hair conditioner every time he shampoos. And, much to the dismay of his customers, he has never found anything that will grow hair.
Giovanni D'Avella is known as the singing barber from Naples. Upon request, he will launch into a rendering of "O Sole Mio" or "Come Back to Sorrento" while he's giving you a permanent (and he does a lot of men's curls).
Though his singing is done mostly to "bella donnas" in his chair at Di Giovanni Coiffures at 4000 Massachusetts Ave. NW, he does a lot of cuts for boyfriends and husbands of his devoted female clients, as well as students from nearby American University. He charges $10 for the cut only; shampoo and blow dry are extra.
"Most men are asking for shorter haircuts," says D'Avella. "I did three college boys today with long hair who haid it cut off. We do a lot of men's permanents and a lot of hair coloring for middle-aged men. Men at age 50 still like to look around."
He colors Olivia de Haviland's hair when she's in town. Betty Ford came several times to the shop, but he didn't sing for her. "Too many Secret Service agents," says D'Avella.
D'Avella began cutting hair at age 11 in Naples, five years after he began singing in church. He worked with L'Oreal in France and sang on the side in nightclubs. When he came to New York, he sang at Mama Leone's. The day he was supposed to sing on the Ed Sullivan show, Sullivan dropped dead.
"That's my luck," says D'Avella, who now combines haircutting and his love of singing. "I sing every day.It's fun and it makes a good mood. In this country people are too much involved in work. I try to forget those things. When you sing, you work better, people feel better. In Italy everybody sings, even the dogs sing in Naples."
The gray-haired distinguished looking businessman in pin-striped suit glances at his Wall Street Journal as the female hairdresser, clad in, among other things, Baggies and heels, gives his hair the blow-dry finishing touch.
Not long ago, this man would no more have been caught in a unisex salon than at the Silver Slipper. But businessmen are flocking to Piaf (1010 15th St. NW), where more often than not, they'll request that a woman cut their hair.
Lisette Attias, a former schoolteacher in Morocco, has cut hair for 10 years. About 40 percent of her customers at Piaf are men.
"Before unisex, men used to come to me because their wives or girlfriends were not satisfied with their looks," says Attias. "They told them, 'go to my person, maybe she can make you look better.' So they did, and by word of mouth our business grew.But now businessmen just walk in off the street."
Attias works by looking at a man's bones, his facial structure and features.
"Most barbers do only one type of haircut," she says. "We work with faces, even for a simple short haircut."
She's cutting men's hair on the shorter side these days, even if there is a sensitive bald spot. "It's mistaken to think that longer hair disguises baldness. I think cutting it shorter doesn't draw attention to the spot, and it also looks better and is healthier for the hair."
The decor at Piaf is natural: wood floors, brown and beige fixtures, Oriental screens and an open feeling, with each hairdresser's area partly partitioned for privacy. "We didn't want it to be feminine or masculine," says Attias, who charges men $15 for a wash, cut and blow dry.
She feels that men are much more concerned about their appearance and haircare than they used to be.
Dr. Charles Faulkner, who was having his unmanageable, curly hair cut by Attias, says he used to go to a barber. "But I wanted to see what else could be done with my hair, so we explored various things and I much prefer what she did. The barbershop cut was okay, but there was no improvement in my appearance."
Attias says there are still men who want severe razor cuts and butches. "I'm glad," she says, "there are still barbers around, because I don't want to do it."