• Mrs. Larance

The COVID haircut: How to cut your husband's hair during a global pandemic

You will need: good-natured husband, laptop, phone (for before/after photos), swivel chair, shears, clipper, comb, spray bottle, dustpan and broom, and as many hair clippies as you can find

Total time: 15 months, 1 day, 2 hours, 30 minutes

(15 months leadup, 1 day of research, 2 hours 30 minutes cut time)

Difficulty level: Medium

The Long Leadup

  1. Make sure he gets a short and excellent barbershop haircut while in Memphis for a wedding.

  2. After a few months of pandemic living, try not to roll your eyes when he sets a goal of one year between haircuts.

  3. At the one-year mark, accept the fact that he may never let you cut it, preferring to hold it back in bandanas. Thank the hair gods he doesn’t want to tie it back in ponytails or buns.

  4. Try to hide your eagerness when he finally agrees to let you cut it (don’t want him changing his mind).

Left: Memphis, November 2019 - freshly cut hair

Center: February 2021 - pandemic growth, before the cut

Right: Helper dogs - the red one likes to go out a lot

The Prep Steps

  1. Ask friends and family for advice, then realize that their advice is useless. The men in their lives all requested much shorter haircuts.

  2. Search for tutorials online. Take note of the personal drama in the men’s stories as they sit in the salon chairs. (So, your last haircut was six months ago, eh?... We’ll be going for a suave and masculine look. … I see you tend to tuck the hair behind your ears.) Try not to get confused when the advice is contradicted from one video to the next.

  3. Settle upon the most systematic and achievable-seeming approach, in a video from Rum Barber in Glasgow, Scotland. Re-watch the video, taking detailed notes this time. Copy their diagrams of head sections for your reference.

  4. Tidy up the basement and sweep the floor.

  5. Set up tools and select a “Hair Salon” playlist on Spotify.

  6. Lay the ground rules: I won’t ask you too many questions while I cut, but in return, please don’t backseat drive. Make sure to tell me if anything hurts.

  7. Take the requisite “before” pictures.

  8. Let the dog out.

During: Use as many clippies as possible!

Making the Cut

  1. Comb and section hair. Show him how far down his back the longest part goes, and agree that the new base length will be about four inches shorter from that point.

  2. Let the dog in.

  3. Make the first cut! Try out several different hand positions, comb the hair back, and try to hold the scissors as steady as you can. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open.

  4. Let the dog out.

  5. Work through the written notes one step at a time. After finishing the back section, comb it out and “cross-check horizontally that the lines are square.” This is where you get to really be precise with the scissors. Take a moment to enjoy the satisfaction of snipping in neat, straight lines.

  6. Sweep away the huge mass of hair on the floor.

  7. Let the dog back in.

  8. Move to the sides and maintain a steady pace. Keep your cool and don’t lose patience. As the dry winter air curls and lightens the hair, spray it down with water again.

  9. Sweep the floor again.

  10. Take a break to confiscate a hand warmer the dog decided to rip apart.

  11. Trim the sideburns and the neck.

  12. Let the dog out.

  13. Take extra care with the front-most section. Don’t despair when you realize you’ve sectioned it slightly wrong.

  14. Sweep the floor yet again.

A Job Adequately Done

  1. Admire your handiwork.

  2. Take “after” photos.

  3. Put away supplies.

  4. Let the dog back in.

  5. Leave a positive comment on the Rum Barber YouTube channel.

  6. Let out a sigh of relief!

After: A bit of a surfer vibe? I'm the Larance with the longer hair again!


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