The Lockdown Haircut

My hair had grown increasingly long, even before the lockdown. I’d already ignored a bunch of unsubtle hints from the wife. Are you growing your hair? It’s… really… long… followed by a stare.

I thought I was owning the longer hair look. Well, kind of. Ok. Not really at all. But if you have an imagination you can persuade yourself that unkempt is the new natural. After all, this is the lockdown — no one out there’s bothering to shave or get out of their pyjamas for that SEO Zoom meeting. Well, I wasn’t. So this weirdness that we’re in, it’s the new normal.

Lockdown… There’s that word again. ‘Lockdown’ feels like it needs to be said in one of those ridiculous Hollywood voices used to promote action films, and spoken with booming music in the background. Everything’s strange now, because we’re living in a made for Netflix sci-fi movie. It was the strangest of times. It was the most normal of times…

So, there I was, well overdue for a haircut, and I couldn’t even leave the house. I’d had enough of being Shaggy from Scooby Doo. I was time for a lockdown haircut, which means a DIY buzzcut. I’ve done this before, but this was the first time I’d attempted it with a beard trimmer on half charge (which didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence). I had visions of getting the job half done — not the best kind of look. But, hey, it’s the lockdown, huh? I get out of the house once a day to go for a walk with my daughter in the park. I can wear a baseball hat if it’s that bad, can’t I?

While I sat in front of the mirror I suddenly realised I had an audience behind me, the wife and daughter, eagerly anticipating the spectacle of a man shaving his own head with a half-charged device designed to maintain stubble at a permanent 3 o’clock shadow (not shave a wild mop of hair). Of course, I was pleased to provide this free entertainment for them at no charge, and I was happy that everyone else was enjoying themselves. It’s my job, to entertain.

They left half way through (these kinds of things always take longer than expected) and when I emerged in the kitchen I was greeted by two stunned faces. My daughter observed that, Daddy’s hair’s gone! Which was a fair assessment. I asked she if she liked it, and she told me that she did. This wasn’t a surprise because after I’d shaved a central stripe down my head, and joked that it was finished, I asked her what she thought of it — and she said that she liked it. She’s not even three, and she knows which side of the bread is buttered.

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and have that WTF! reaction — who’s that? Oh… it’s me. Sometimes it looks quite severe, and I wonder if I’m capable of owning a US Marines buzzcut, but mostly it just looks like very short hair.

So now I look like Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys, which is weird because the last time I had a hair reboot like this (about five years ago) I looked like THX 1138 from the film THX 1138. The buzzcut is fitting somehow, as I walk to Tesco’s Express at 7.30 in the morning to buy food — there’s no one around, no cars on the road, complete silence... it really does feel like 12 Monkeys.