March 23rd 2020 will forever be remembered in the UK as the first day of lockdown.
In the days before the country descended into madness, with shoppers sweeping the shelves of essential goods. No loo roll, tinned tomatoes or pasta to be had. Soap being sold at a premium and hand sanitiser through the roof.
The clever ones however were making one final stop just in case they weren’t allowed out for a while. They were coming to see us, their barbers and hairdressers. And wasn’t that a sensible idea. They can’t wipe their backside but my god they’ll look good on the never-ending stream of Zoom calls to come!
For those who didn’t, the realisation began to dawn.
During the early weeks of lock down we all became serial home shoppers, desperately awaiting confirmation emails that our newest colouring in book, puzzle and set of food weighing scales were on their way to us. One of the things high on the list was none other than hair clippers.
Machines were selling fast everywhere you looked. Clippers, beard trimmers and the ones that apparently did both. Views on videos called “how to give yourself a skin fade” became the most watched on YouTube with people instantly becoming experts.
I had a number of messages and calls asking how best for someone to cut their own hair and each time my reply was the same “just wait…” but of course it fell on deaf ears. The questions soon changed and in its place I received “how do I fix what I’ve done..?”.
Now there is something important to consider here. Though Super Hans affectionately refers to plumbing as water polo, I have always used a leaky pipe as the best way to explain why you SHOULD NEVER CUT YOUR OWN HAIR.
Example a) my sink has a leak in the back and there seems to be water dripping out. Only a little, but a little none the less. My immediate reaction is to call a plumber.
Example b) there is water gushing through my kitchen ceiling because someone, I assume one of the cats, has run a bath and left the taps going and fallen asleep on the windowsill in the bathroom. They’ve locked the door, no idea how, and now I can’t get in and stop it. My first response is to call someone who can deal with the water damage.
The moral of this is to, quite simply, not cut your hair. You need someone trained.
And without further ado in came the stories of partners shaving too high, forgetting the guard or cutting themselves while working. Too short, so many too short. People forgot they don’t have the same looks as David Beckham and for the first time being acquainted to their occipital bone. The lockdown haircut was born, and people have a found a new respect, in most cases, for the work of their hairdresser or barber.
I heard a story of one barber on a zoom call coaching a couple through a haircut. The wife seemed disinterested and kept ignoring advice. The husband kept saying something to her in Italian, to which she was not being very responsive. Eventually all hell broke loose! The clippers thrown to the floor, an aggressive exchange and then silence. The husband, clearly flustered, apologised and ask if he could just grab his son. A moment or two later and in walks the boy, about 14. The barber innocently goes back about his business and asks the young man to hold the clippers a certain way, he doesn’t understand so the barber shows him and still he doesn’t get it. With one final try, having not yet cut any hair, the son throws down the clippers and tells the barber to “fuck off mate”. Silence again. By now the man looks bereft. He looks straight down the camera, half a haircut, and simply says “let’s just leave it there” and hangs up.
Whatever happens over the coming days, weeks and months there is one thing I hope will have happened. I have everything crossed that you all learned that as your hair is something that makes you feel good, the keeper of that feeling should be your hairdresser or barber.
Here’s to hoping you can still come to see us!
Barber + Blow are now back at Victoria, and you can get 50% off any service until 31st October.
Use code VIC50 at checkout when booking here.