Whatever happened to …

… haircuts?

I know, but I thought it might be fun to take on this issue. Certainly, there are way more important things happening around us and yet …

If you were scrolling through Facebook this week and are friends with Peter McAsh you would have been treated or scared to pieces with a series of photos from him. You see, he lives in a Phase 2 community and was able to go in and get cleaned up a bit. He claims that the last time he was there was in October. Those of us in Phase-1-ville just sort of look on from afar.

Getting a haircut is not something that I schedule and plan. I just go through life and periodically my hair will hang over the arms of my glasses and that’s a reminder that it’s time to do something. During my regular times out of the house, I’ll spin by FirstChoice Haircutters and look in the window. If there are no people waiting in the seats, I’ll go in and get tidied up. If not, it can wait for another day. Such is the life of this fashion plate.

Truth be told, it’s been three months or more now and it is getting kind of shaggy. Not Justin Trudeau shaggy – I don’t have hair where he does so my days of fashion flipping are long gone. What passes for a haircut these days is more like a personal hack job sitting on a lawn chair with a mirror and a pair of scissors on the patio. The clippings get swept to the grass along with the brushings from the dog and the birds seem to like it for feathering their nest. Recycle, man.

Hair dressers and barbers are having as tough a time as anyone, being one of the businesses closed down the longest. We’ve heard that at least one salon won’t be re-opening in our town.

For a Sunday, how about some grooming advice and how you’re staying looking so good.

  • What was the last time pre-COVID that you visited a barber or salon?
  • How are you looking today?
  • Why is it easier to personally trim a beard or goatee than doing a full-on haircut?
  • Do you know of a barber shop or salon that won’t make it through all this?
  • There really isn’t a way to avoid close contact when getting your hair cut that I can see. Do you have any suggestions other than a clipper at the end of a hockey stick?
  • Do haircutters get paid enough? When I do get a chance to go back, it’s my intention to pay double for my haircut to recognize their suffering during all this?
  • Is it OK for someone in Phase 1 or drive to a Phase 2 community for a haircut?
  • Have you heard of haircutters taking on different jobs or volunteering during this time? I know of one who is helping out a local retirement home.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. You can be as serious or not-so-serious as you want!

This post originated from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

9 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. Oh, a haircut! My hair is super curly, and between the growing length, the big curls, and the humid weather, it really is taking on a life of its own. The strange thing though is that I’m coming to appreciate the bigger hair. I got a haircut early in February, so it’s been a while, and we moved into Phase 2 on Friday, so I could go again. I’m not going yet though. I think I’m a little scared of the physical closeness, and the inability to really avoid that when it comes to haircutting. Just because hairdressers are opened again, is it safe yet?! I wonder if others share some of my worries, or if a desire for a haircut is too strong. I wonder if/when I might also get to that point. Thanks Doug for giving me more to think about.

    Aviva

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    1. Hi Doug. I forget when my last haircut was. I’m guessing January sometime.
      Like you, I don’t schedule my cuts. A couple years ago I discovered that a former student was a barber and I’ve been going to him. He offers his clients coffee – for free! Before him, my main barber was a young man who gave free haircuts to children who read him a story. For me, my haircuts are never about how I look afterward, they are about the ‘Barbershop Experience.’ The old Italian barber complaining about city hall with the lemon tree in the window. All the way back to the booster plank and the ‘gentlemen’s magazines’ I was never allowed to look at except for the covers when I was a pre-teen.

      Now that covid has arrived I’m thinking of going back to my early 70’s look with shoulder length hair.

      (Actually, I’ll probably wait until a couple weeks after they re-open and stop in at the first non-chain barber I spot and ask for my standard ‘Number Two Blend’. Then I’ll leave whoever that is a healthy tip to sort of make up for the months and months I’ve not paid anything.)

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  2. We’ll just call these the “Curly Aviva” years!

    Your question reinforces the notion that going through life now involves a certain element of risk. People are going to have to weigh these risks. I think the good thing in all this is that we’re aware of our surroundings more than ever and thinking before making choices.

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  3. Thanks for the shout out, I think! I’m fortunate that a former student has returned to St Marys and he’s a barber. I think it’s important to support our local businesses, even more important now since he had to shutter his business during to COVID. I highly recommend the shaved head. Easy to maintain. Cooler during heat waves.

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  4. Good morning Doug!

    Yesterday I ventured out into the community to tackle some tasks that had been waiting until the community re-opened. I had been checking online for a while, and as you can imagine, everything has been closed up. However, yesterday morning I was pleased to find out that the number of things had re-opened.

    My first stop was the local hazardous waste depot. I have had one of their orange boxes (along with the small orange battery box) for some time now, and I will periodically add something to it and eventually get to the point where I need to make a trip to drop stuff off. With the pandemic, the drop-off has been on hold, and having passed through spring with lots of time on my hands, the box had a considerable collection of old cables and electronic stuff that didn’t make it through the 2020 spring cleaning. The website indicated that the depot was open until four, and so that became my first target, along with an associated timeline.

    Now, you’re never allowed to get out of your car at the hazardous-waste depot, and so their drive-through experience was pretty much unchanged. They have a small canopy for the person who checks you in and inquires about what you have to drop off. The person who handles the e-waste was also waiting there, because with yesterday’s heat, nobody would’ve been wanting to hang out near the metal shipping container (in the direct sun) that collects the eWaste. After the eWaste was retrieved from my trunk, the trunk lid was left open so that I could drive through the hoop barn and have the batteries sorted out. As I watched, I noticed that my first iPhone (3G) and a couple of other handheld devices clearly didn’t make it through the spring cleaning, as I had put them in the battery box. Bye bye, old tech.

    The next stop was to drop off a box of spring cleaning Kondo-Mari at the Value Village donation drive-thru. The folks working there were plenty busy, but a drive-thru it is no more. Everyone was all PPE’d up with gloves and masks, and they were not allowed to take things out of the car. I was provided with my own big green wheeled bin to hold my contributions, and at the end of the exchange, I was handed a coupon for 20% off—on the end of a metre long lazy reach tool.

    Two tasks down.

    Now, least you be wondering too much about the connection to today’s topic, my third stop was to get my hair cut. Having suffered through the spring months without a haircut, the hair over my ears had become increasingly irritating. I had checked online earlier that day and was pleased to find out that my local establishment was open. All of the employees would be wearing face guards, and all clients were required to wear masks. When I arrived there, I also found pylons on the sidewalk outside to help with social distancing, and was asked to wait there until being invited in. With yesterday’s heat and sun, I was pleased when the queue moved forward and I was allowed to sit inside in AC-comfort on one of the two available placed-in-opposite-corners waiting chairs.

    As it would turn out, they had only been open since Monday, and business had been brisk, with so many people having waited for months. The person cutting my hair confirmed that although her family had survived the closure looking neat and trimmed throughout, the family members didn’t have the same skill set and so she had been waiting her turn. It was at that point that I asked if she knew of the riddle of the two barbers (one having a great haircut, a neat and tidy shop, and no one waiting — the other having a messy haircut, hair all over the floor, and people lined up at the door: Which do you choose, and why?) and she said yes, she was very familiar with it. Apparently it was less the result of professional training, and more of the result of having had so many clients share it over the years. Reminder to self: no need to share that ever again, haircutters know it.

    So, a short 15 minutes later, I was back out, my head noticeably lighter and much more comfortable.

    Errands completed, my final stop was at Starbucks, where my youngest has been gainfully employed as an essential worker. Although I have normally taken the drive-through in the hopes of a brief hello through the window, they have recently opened up for a walk-in service, and so I was able to have a slightly longer visit inside at the order counter. Not being a coffee drinker, I always have to find something on the menu that I can enjoy. Yesterday it was some kind of iced coconut–lemonade concoction, and a slice of lemon loaf. Of course, the best was the chance to visit with my son.

    In closing, I definitely feel for folks in communities that have not yet opened up. I’ve been wearing a mask whenever I go out for groceries, and I think I’m starting to see more people wearing them now than earlier. There have been times when there have only been a couple of us wearing them, and I really worry for communities that have escaped relatively unscathed, because I fear it instills a false sense of complacency as things re-open. You only have to look at the recent spread south of the border to know that if we don’t take enough care, will be in the same boat.

    Stay safe, Doug!

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  5. My first time answering a “Whatever happened to …” Sunday post! You asked so many good questions, Doug that I had to copy and paste them so I wouldn’t miss any!

    What was the last time pre-COVID that you visited a barber or salon? – too long! I think it was February 2020.

    How are you looking today? – so shaggy! I like keeping my hair short. The last time it was anywhere near this length, it was so I’d have enough hair on top to anchor my wedding veil! I have some serious “feathers”/”wings” on the side and back and I’m able to make pigtails. I find I play with my hair a lot now.

    Why is it easier to personally trim a beard or goatee than doing a full-on haircut? – you can see the whole thing. My husband, who likes to keep his hair VERY short, finally consented to let me use the beard trimmer extension to his razor on his head. It worked! I didn’t put any unintentional bald spots and he felt a lot better. No fades or fancy stuff; just a shorter ‘do.

    Do you know of a barber shop or salon that won’t make it through all this? – I think my hair stylist will be fine, but that’s because she offered some “pay now, get later” deals while still in isolation. I feel uncomfortable about the salons and shops that offered “illegal” cuts, sneaking people in to get their hair done without distancing measures. I understand that for many, they had no money coming in, but I worry about spreading COVID through these encounters.

    There really isn’t a way to avoid close contact when getting your hair cut that I can see. Do you have any suggestions other than a clipper at the end of a hockey stick? – Have someone in your social bubble or who lives with you tackle it, although I’ve heard that the razor section in our local store is sold out of those kind of tools. My son is embracing the “1970s” look for now.

    Do haircutters get paid enough? When I do get a chance to go back, it’s my intention to pay double for my haircut to recognize their suffering during all this? – Do any “essential workers” get paid enough? I got incensed that one of the biggest grocery retailers in this country pulled back their $2/hr increase while they are still making lots of money.

    Is it OK for someone in Phase 1 or drive to a Phase 2 community for a haircut? – For me, the answer is NO. There’s a reason why the big urban centers can’t open yet; citizens there seem to be terrible at social distancing. I live in Toronto (the north-east part) and when I drove downtown to drop off my eldest for a required appointment, I was appalled at how close everyone was and how inconsistent the mask use was (and don’t get me started on wearing masks inappropriately!) My friend Lisa lives in a Phase 2 community – she and her people need to be safe.

    Have you heard of haircutters taking on different jobs or volunteering during this time? I know of one who is helping out a local retirement home. – Haven’t heard about that, but it makes sense.

    Diana M

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  6. My family tries to avoid the topic of hair around me 😀 As someone with very dense and straight stubborn hair, I can sometimes “fuss” about it haha. Luckily I had a cut just a few days before the shutdown only to look presentable for isolation. I have trimmed by bangs numerous times since then. When I get frustrated with the longer layers, I try to cheer myself up with the reminder that I sometimes wondered about growing it out and longer. Now I know what works and what doesn’t, and barrettes are “in” now anyway. In order to get the stylist who has a knack for my “dense head”, I plan to persevere until the next available appt. on July 10. And like you, Doug, I made the decision already to bring a really good tip and/or gift card on my return visit. My husband will beat me to a cut — this week for him.

    But complaining aside, health and safety first all these past weeks and months. With the warmer weather, I do look forward to a lighter head of hair soon though.

    Hope your area moves along in the stages soon!

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