A little background
A year ago, I had written a blog, ‘Five Reasons Why You Should Get A Short Haircut Once In Your Lifetime’. Sharing the link. To give a recap, I had written about how my natural hair is curly and since I have got it smoothened once, I now have to keep getting some treatment once a year to make it look neat. I had also written about my partner’s obsession with short hair, and how he kept telling the stylist to make my hair, “really short” and I kept saying, “not too short” and the poor stylist did the best she could!
Before the haircut
Cut to 2020. September 2020 marked 1 year since I had got any haircut, trimming, or treatment. My curls and waves were coming back, and not in a flattering way. I always wash my hair in the evening after coming back from office, and even though there has been no office since March 2020, the habit of washing the hair in the evening continued. Old habits die hard! Even though I always use a drier, I still end up feeling cold sometimes and any sign of cold would again trigger a scare…
I was originally planning to get a haircut in March. In March, covid started. During that time, I was watching a lot of news from Italy. The leaders of the country were scolding people who went to the salon.
‘You will die with your hair set!’
‘You will look beautiful! In a coffin!’
I took those warnings very seriously. I judged people who went for haircuts and posted pictures. Was it worth the risk? Was it necessary? I asked. I forbade my partner from going for a haircut too. I offered to cut his hair (an offer instantly refused!) and he ended up buying a hair trimmer which messed his hair up! By September, I was totally frustrated with my hair and I wanted to go for a cut. My partner told me that this time, I should get the really short haircut he wanted me to get last time. I was hesitant for many reasons. Covid is the most obvious. But there were more. I knew that such haircuts will not work on a half wavy, half smoothened, unruly, have not left the house in seven months kind of a hair. The stylist will surely ask me to get a treatment. The question is, am I willing to spend so much money on my appearance when all I am doing is sitting at home? The few visits for essentials and drives are in a mask and headshield anyway, so why waste money?
To this, my partner asked, ‘Do you want to look good for yourself or for others?’
And this got me thinking. He is right…
I also thought that it is a good opportunity to do something bold and experimentative. If it doesn’t suit, I don’t have to go anywhere. Not without a mask anyway. And so I went ahead…
During the haircut
The parlour that I go to is very reputed. They had shoe covers, temperature check, PPE thing to put on (which they charged us with) and they were sanitizing everything continuously. I never doubted that because I know they are good at their service. There were a couple of other customers, all wearing masks and sitting distant from each other. I did not feel uncomfortable at this point.
As expected, the (senior) stylist suggested the cysteine treatment which I had done last time. My partner showed her pictures and gave her strict instructions about how he wants my hair to look. She said, ‘Ma’am was scared last time so I did not make it too short!’
I told her, ‘Just do what he says this time!! Anyway for the next few months, I am confined to home! Even if it looks bad, it doesn’t matter!’ This made her feel bad because she immediately said that my hair had looked good last time, and she will surely make it look nice this time too.
“Yes of course, you are one of the best stylists I know!” I complimented her.
She told me that the treatment and haircut in all will take 3-4 hours, and that I will have to come back the next day for the first hair wash. I was aware of this drill. Basically, 3-4 hours in the parlour for two consecutive days.
My partner never gets haircut done from big salons. He is a very simple person and he says there is nothing special about cutting a man’s hair, and that what these people charge is ridiculous. I don’t know if I mentioned this in the last blog, but this salon happens to be in the same building as my partner’s office. So after dropping me there, he goes to finish his work. I always joke with him:
“Do you want my haircut and treatment to take longer, so that you get more time to work?”
The first day at the parlour was relatively peaceful. The only two other customers left soon and it was just me and my partner. My partner decided to get a haircut too since he was there. The stylist asked him about his weird hair and if he had cut it himself!
It reminded me of how as women we are always asked the same thing about our eyes brows, ‘Last time kaha se karaya tha, bigad gaye hain aapke eye brows!’
I was hoping to get a good discount, but there wasn’t much. I guess if I see from their point of view, their business has been so down that they probably cannot sustain themselves. So the treatment ended up being as expensive as last time. Throughout the hair cut, my partner kept saying ‘boy cut’ to the stylist, which scared me!!
The second day, the day of the hairwash, there was a man who came with his son, and both father and son removed their masks. I told my stylist to tell them to wear their masks, to which she said that they can’t because in the past customers have scolded them and asked them to’mind their own business’. This is really unfortunate and shameful . I wish people had more sense. I felt worse for the poor guy cutting the unmasked man’s hair. My stylist moved me to spot furthest away from the irresponsible man. I kept complaining about him though…
The hair wash, the air conditioning and the cold substance in my hair for two consecutive days did make me feel cold. I had a headache the next day.
Am I one of those stupid people who risk their safety for a haircut? I asked myself.
But this is a warning to those who are planning to visit the salon.
- The salon may be well kept and sanitized but there may be stupid customers around who don’t wear a mask, or remove it or wear it in a way that does not cover their nose.
- The hair wash and the air conditioning may give you a cold, which if you are like me will make you wonder if you got corona.
- If you are wearing a very thick mask, they may not get the angle from the sides close to the ears. So you may have to either wear those disposable ones they provide, or remove your mask and cover your face and nose with it (for few seconds), which is what I did.
Other than this, it was a good experience for me. Although I would certainly not recommend my mother and my mother-in-law to go to a parlour until the pandemic ends, not even home service!
But yes, I appreciate that people have a livelihood and they are taking the necessary precautions to make it as safe as possible.
I had always wanted bangs in my hair, something I did this time. My hair is really short now. What you see in the picture is what it is, all there is! There is no hair in the back that I have tied. There is nothing to tie, and nothing to comb! The bang looks stylish but when I am in the kitchen or doing any work on my laptop it irritates me and I pull it back.
From the back, you can see my neck. It is kind of cool because now people can see my necklace from the back too! Some advantage of short hair! I have only got compliments so far, and ofcourse a change is always welcome. I think men like short hair. At least the men in my life. My partner loves the haircut. My father liked it too, and admired my partner for suggesting it! A few days later, my father was saying something about ‘Badi badi khushiyan hain chhoti chhoti baton mein’ in the context of our new look. I think my partner’s hair is also looking very nice because he got it done from a stylist this time. Although he feels that it is the same!
I would say this is a good time to experiment, since we are not going out much and can recover from disasters if any! At the least, it has brought some novelty in the boring, monotonous and nothing to look forward to days.
I have never had my hair this short since the time I was 10-11. I have always been so conscious of my looks. I feel bad about random comments from random people. I doubt myself. But my partner has always been fond of the way I look. His affection has boosted my confidence . That along with the age factor (if not now then when) has made me bold! I think it is only because of him that now I don’t care about so many things, like wearing glasses more frequently, not wearing heels. I guess this is what being comfortable with being who you are means.
If you had a haircut during covid , do share your story in the comments. Would love to know!