The Life-Changing Magic of Getting a Haircut

Getting a Haircut
A Bush Barber, by J. Davis in The Australasian sketcher 29 july 1882, via state library victoria

Somewhat related to my version of string theory is my hair theory, That getting a haircut can, and does change your life.

And this year so far has been difficult for so many reasons. Most of us need the need for something life-changing.

Vain as it sounds, not getting to the hairdresser, is one of the difficulties we’re dealing with.

Though I don’t think it’s vain, I think it’s vital for retaining a sense of yourself.

What You See

These days it’s impossible to avoid seeing yourself. Mirrors, shop or car windows, as well as any number of perspex protected advertising signs. If you’re permitted to leave the house, it’s likely you have an unobstructed view of yourself wherever you go.

And right now, it’s entirely possible that when you see yourself you don’t recognise yourself.

Given our tendency as humans to judge others by their appearance within milliseconds of seeing them, you’re probably critical. Wondering why that person doesn’t take better care of themselves, speculating about unemployment, excessive drug or alcohol use, and perhaps homelessness.

And then you realise that shambolic homeless person is you.

Don’t think that you can avoid this when you’re working from home. Leslie Goldman recently wrote a piece highlighting women’s tendency to apologise for their appearance at the start of their work-related video conferences.

Well, it’s that kind of can’t look away horror you get watching a car crash in slow motion.

What You Are

Like me, you probably have an idea of who you think you are. Maybe you’re a savvy administrator. Or a technical Help Desk genius. Perhpas a no nonsense tradie.

And you probably wear the appropriate clothes for that. Chances are you even created an outfit for it – clothes, jewellery, shoes, bag.

Maybe even a signature haircut.

And when you look at your reflection and don’t see it all there, it changes your opinion of yourself.

Testing the Theory

So fifteen weeks after my last haircut, I happened to walk past my barber when he was empty. So I risked ducking inside and got it done.

And ridiculously, within minutes of leaving, I felt more like myself than I have for about a thousand years. Or during the Rona, at any rate.

I look forward to seeing how it affects my stories.

Get Your Haircut

It might not be possible to get as much work done on your hair as you would have pre-virus. And you might not be comfortable in the salon or barbershop for that long anyway.

But the way we live our lives has changed for the foreseeable future, so it might be time to rethink the amount of time, money and effort that goes into maintaining your hair.

That’s got to be better than fretting about not looking your “best.”

24th May 2020

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