So I did it. I gave myself a full haircut, at home, while on lockdown. And even worse, without any clever DIY You Tube video How-To to guide me. It started off with a trim…
Which, full disclosure, I do have a history of hacking into my hair every now and then with scissors when it starts to bother me. The problem with short haircuts – and the only problem I must add, because genuinely they are terrific! More on that later – is that they grow out extremely fast. Which is fine when you can get yourself to a hairdresser every 4-6 weeks. But in all honesty, lately (as in, since I had a child, coming on eight years ago, ahem) I’ve just not been feeling much of an inclination to go seat myself in an albeit very nice (and usually with a very high vibe of cool) Hackney hair salon for the two hours plus (as I would normally have colour done too) resulting in the best part of a (school) day. And then there’s the getting there and back. It takes all day. There’s no two ways about it.
So yes, when the fringe starts to get wayward and the back and sides start to hang too heavy, I take out my larger pair of sewing scissors (cue shreiks of horror, I know) and I basically start to shear. It’s a sort of pull on a small chunk of hair until its nice and straight and then shear/slice/tear at it just the right amount comes off. In that way you get a more natural badly done result than an awkward, really badly plain old snip.
And so four weeks into lockdown it became alarmingly clear that I couldn’t actually go down the trying to grow my short cut out and into something. It’s never worked before and despite my visions of a happy, longer-haired me I’m a short-haired girl to the core. It’s so freeing. With a good short cut, you really do not need to spend that much time on your hair – a very short crop you don’t even need to blowdry or style, you just leave it. I’m not averse to a quick blowdry and a speedy swish of product. But that’s about as far as I’m willing to go. And it’s the feel of it. It feels so good not to have hair around your face, dragging you down. And the more that comes off the lighter and more liberating it feels!
But back to the above… So, with the thinning scissors I’d ordered (many hairdressers have successfully used this on my weed like hair – it’s fine but surprisingly abundant and so gets heavy very quickly!) still to arrive, I set to on a little trim. To begin with I just tried to calm down the wings I now had poking out at each side. Convinced the solution was to get to above the kink, I found myself going shorter there than I had planned. And now the main sides and back were all out of whack, I had to start attack them too. And then the fringe was all wrong and too long in comparison, so I had to get onto that and before I knew it I had found my groove – it’s an entirely tactile approach where I grab and pull and feel if the length feels right, so somehow the right amount comes off at every shear. Sort of.
By the time the boys had discovered me in front of the bathroom sink, I had gone alot further that I’d realised.
“Mum, you’ve cut off all your hair!”
“Honey, you’ve cut off all your hair!”
…were the immediate refrains.
Right, ok. Have I? Oh goodness, yes I have. I combed it into place and realised I’d gone shorter than I’ve been in quite a while. And you know what? It didn’t look terrible. Wait, was that even possible? The only way to know for sure was to jump in the shower (oh yes, I should mention this all took place just after breakfast on route to the shower) and give it a wash and proper dry.
Somehow, somehow when it came to taking off the turban towel it felt right. And once I’d started to dry, I could see that all the right bits were in the right place. And it felt so much better. To have all that unwanted hair off my face. It was a quick dry, combed a bit neater than normal, a quick slick of a an artificial smelling hair pomade I’d picked up one emergency day in town months ago (which I reluctantly keep as I secretly love the smell) and it was good to go.
Good enough to show the boys, who both wide-eyed, knew better than to say anything other than “It looks great!” but more importantly to show my Mum. Via FaceTime. The true test.
It’s the first couple of seconds that are the most important in gaugeing a reaction I find. And the tone of voice. (Tone, so important these days, no?). So ensuring a flattering screen angle for best effect, I showed her and… the reaction, it was not terrible. Hesitant, reserved at first, but in the right way building up to the all-important stamp of approval.
And so, there you have it, I cut my hair on lockdown and got away with it.
Of course, whether I will ever be able to replicate this or if I’ll be rushing to nearest hairdresser once we are able to do remains to be seen. But in the swirl of these nameless, never-ending days I will take it where I can get it.