Hair today and gone tomorrow

Hair today and gone tomorrow

I considered myself lucky when the pandemic quarantine was first announced. Just two weeks prior to, I had a haircut appointment. My hair was sure to be looking good throughout the pandemic. I mean how long could it last?

My hair is very thick. It doesn’t just grow longer; it bushes up and out. By week five of the pandemic, it looked like I was sporting a bird’s nest on top my head. Yes, my hair was at full-on nuclear puffball mushroom cloud status.

YouTube to the rescue, I began watching “How I Cut My Own Hair” videos. It made me appreciate my stylist all the more. In bathrooms, filled with multiple mirrors so they had full view of their heads, these everyday women created beautiful styles as they chopped, combed and clippered their way through their own hair.

I could do it, I think, maybe.

We were extremely busy quarantining in the living room one evening when my husband, Joe, asked, “Do you want me to order this?” He handed me his tablet computer, and there it was — a reasonably priced “cut your own hair kit” with clippers, 10 different attachments, scissors, combs, clips and more in a convenient cloth case. I hesitated briefly before getting a glimpse of the bird’s nest in a nearby mirror.

In the meantime Joe offered to cut my hair. “No way! You are not going to touch my hair,” I said. Later I heard him talking to a friend on the phone about the kit. I yelled over their conversation, “You’re not touching my hair!”

Finally, four days later, the kit arrived, and I hurriedly unpacked it on the kitchen table and found the instructions. As I read the details, it occurred to me there was no way I could do this myself and have it look even close to what those fabulous women could do on YouTube. It was going to make a colossal mess for one, and two, I didn’t have enough mirrors strategically placed to see what I was doing. Patience might be a problem too.

“Joe,” I called as nicely as possible.

He was great. He sat up a wide stepped ladder in the driveway and plugged the clippers into an extension cord. We set up all the attachments and equipment on the tailgate of the truck. This was a totally high-class operation.

I put on an old shirt and got a seat on the ladder. Joe put the clippers, with the one-inch length attachment, to the back of my head. “Are you sure?” he said. “Once we start, there’s no going back.”

“Have you ever cut anyone’s hair before?” I asked.

“Once,” he replied. “I cut my brother’s hair with clippers.”

“Did he like it?” I asked.

“No, but Dad did because then he didn’t have to do it,” he said. “I cut it really short all over; we were kids.”

I thought about it. Prior to the pandemic, this information would have been a deal breaker, but now desperation was setting in. “I can’t stand it. Go ahead,” I said. Although in the back of my mind I was a little worried about how professional or not I would look for an appointment later in the week.

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Mini bird’s nests of hair fell to the ground in clumps. Round one was over in minutes, but before I went in the house to look, Joe grabbed the air hose from the garage and gave me a quick once over. Pieces of hair flew in all directions.

Inside the house, I saw it wasn’t quite even on one side, so I went outside for a fix. Buzz. Buzz. And another spritz with the air hose. I went back in the house, and it looked good. I turned my head to the right; I turned my head to the left. It looked almost perfect! He even cut out around the ears. A few longer wisps remained here and there, but I love it!

Although I haven’t seen the back yet, I’m not concerned. I’ll still look good on Zoom. And even better, my hair is set for another six weeks because you can imagine the backlog once salons are able to open, and they will probably not be at full capacity. Now that I have my own personal stylist, I might just have him cut it again.

Wow! I was impressed with Joe’s talent, care and concern in cutting my hair. Another silver lining in the dark cloud of the pandemic.

Stay safe, and I hope you can find some silver linings of your own.

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