I know, I know. Yet another bloody blogpost about the effects of Covid 19 and the lockdown. Well, guess what? It’s still going on, and nothing much else is, so what am I to do?
Viewing pictures of the Michigan anti lockdown protests, one of the feeblest placards I saw read “I need a haircut”. Well, so what? So do millions of people all around the world, but you don’t see them toting assault rifles and wearing tactical vests. To be honest, I was about three weeks overdue before the lockdown began. I had planned to get one on my way to work on a Friday, as that was my first closing shift for a while, and the 1:30 pm start would give me plenty of time to get shorn before my shift.
I think I should point out that while most men my age are going bald, grey or both, I’m not. I do have a few, and only a very few grey hairs, and they are visible only upon close inspection. However, they did play a fairly prominent part in my beard, and one of the reasons for going clean shaven at the end of 2018 was that it was, in my opinion, making me look old. Not to boast or anything, but I don’t look my age, which must be pure luck, as clean living and healthy thoughts haven’t played much of a role in my life thus far.
Of course, I was bummed not to be able to visit the barber shop, so I resorted to the old standby of increasing my use of hair gel. This will only do so much, as the surest sign that I need a haircut is that no matter how much gel I apply, my hair always falls over my eyes and my glasses. It’s irritating to have to brush my hair back constantly, especially as my job doesn’t permit me to touch anything other than product or deli equipment while working, so I am forced to resort to a quick swipe with my forearm, a most decidedly sub optimal option.
Two weeks in, and I was overwhelmed by the irritation caused by my hair. Much as I didn’t want to, I decided that rather than stick with my usual style, I would gel my hair and comb it straight back, making me look like a younger version of 1970’s snooker legend Ray Reardon, but sans such an obvious Widows’ Peak. For those of you who don’t know what a Widows’ Peak is, it’s between 35 and 40.
This worked reasonably well for a short while, although having hair against my ears didn’t do my mood much good, as my Aspergers makes me sensitive to the sort of minor irritants that Neurotypicals just ignore. I also looked a bit daft in that my hair, pushed back by the headband of my visor flopped over the top like a spider plant in a pot.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so I decided to go straight for the nuclear option: I bought some elasticated headbands. Yes, that’s right. I walked into the hair care section of my local pharmacy and bought headbands. Plain black seemed the best option, and at $7 for a five pack struck me as a reasonable deal, even if it did make my look like Real Madrids’ Gareth Bale, although considerably less ugly. After a moderate amount of experimentation I found a workable angle at which to wear it, and it worked well, although my hair behind the band still seemed to want to go in every direction at once. At least I could tuck the band behind my ears, so it acted like a Croakie, keeping my glasses in place, as I can’t really adjust them behind my visor.
Problem solved, you may will think, but of course, there were unintended consequences. The arrival of somewhat warmer weather meant that the thick foam of my visor headband made my forehead sweat, and the hairband made my head itchy and sweaty. I also had to wash it every night while taking a shower lest it have Covid particles lodged in it.
I know most of this will come across as a whine, but I haven’t had hair this long in many, many years, and my main hope was to find a workable solution that would allow me to get my job done with the least possible distraction. Seeing as the nuclear option wasn’t working as well as I’d hoped, I dialed it up to 11. My Fiancee dug out a plastic headband as a joke, mainly because it had four rows of tiny Rhinestones set in it.
I pondered on it Thursday and decided that I’d start wearing it on Friday. It was more noticeable than its’ elasticated counterpart, and was spotted immediately by my co workers, as you may imagine. Thankfully the responses from staff and customers alike has been entirely positive. I contemplated buying additional ones this weekend, but I didn’t see any I liked. I do wonder how long I will need to wear one, as the county has now moved into phase two of the lockdown, with an easing of some restrictions, including the reopening of barber shops and hair salons. I might not have to place an order with Manbands.co.uk after all.