ONE of the things I did in boredom from the ECQ was watch my hair grow. I tried growing a mustache, too, but quit when the hair began to touch the water in my glass before it could touch my lips. Besides, my mustache had more gray hair than black and I did not want them spreading to my head. So I shaved them.
But shaving was not an option insofar as the hair on my top was concerned. I did not know how to do it. I did not have the equipment. Most importantly, my head is unevenly shaped so that if I made myself bald, I was likely to end up looking like a senator whose name I will not mention because he cannot rise from his grave to defend himself. Some of us just happen to have the bad luck of owning looks that can stand improvement but cannot afford further degradation.
Monitoring how long you have grown overnight was in a way a welcome distraction from the dullness of a quarantined life. Still, I wanted a haircut. Oh, how badly I needed a haircut. But the barbershops were closed and even if they were not, I would still have avoided going to one for fear of risking a Covid-19 infection. It was a fear that I shared with almost every male.
Some of them resorted to “home service,” trusting their hair in the untrained hands of their wives. That they consented to becoming guinea pigs illustrated how desperate the men were for a haircut. I tried asking my wife but she firmly said no, she does her experiments in the lab.
Significantly, I have not heard of husbands trimming their wives’ hair. It’s either we are more trusting in them than they are in us or they’re just used to wearing tresses and are not bothered by hair messing with their ears.
Equally significant was the fact that not too men had their haircut done by
other inexperienced men. Maybe, it was because while they can bear unintended emotional abuse by their wives, they have little tolerance with men even if they were friends.
Whatever the reason was, I think the avoidance of wannabe male barbers helped the cause of peace during those extremely difficult times. I’m sure you remember the case of the poor barber in Guadalupe who did the haircut on a police officer, who went to sleep as soon as he got settled in the cushioned chair. When the cop woke up, he so despised his haircut, he literally dragged his barber to jail.
Last week, when I read that barbershops and salons would reopen on June 7 if they secured a permit from the Department of Trade and Industry, I immediately called my barber to book me in the shop where he worked. And so last Sunday, my wife and I had our first haircut in more than three months.
The familiar feel of the scissor on the skin was exhilarating. Losing unwanted tresses was liberating. When I stepped out of the shop, I screamed, freedom!
The haircut was one of the best things that happened to me in a long time. Amid the fear, the uncertainty and the aridity that envelope us because of the coronavirus, I found a reason to celebrate. Small win, low-lying fruit. That is why I am writing this.