Why Are Men Letting Their Hair Grow So Long During Coronavirus?

    0
    496

    I haven’t cut my hair since the crisis began at the beginning of March, and I’ve discovered I’m not alone. In fact, in an unscientific survey I’ve taken with friends, relatives, and celebrities, I’d say that more than half are letting their locks grow free. 

    Both Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert have commented on the hirsute nature of the lockdown. Like many other middle-aged guys, they seem to have swept their hair back in a way that hides its new length. Jason Bateman recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live with a style reminiscent of 1971.

    Why are men letting their hair grow long? Is it a tribute to the 60s and 70s, with protests in the streets and a conservative President playing to the “Silent Majority?” Even Nixon joined in the counterculture that was arising at the dawn of a new era. He famously went on the counterculture comedy show Laugh-In and said the signature line “sock it to me” to camera. Trump’s comedy days seem to be behind him.

    I asked a few of my friends, mostly forty and fiftysomethings, why they’re hesitating to trim their locks. One, a banker, who told me his hair was never even this long in high school, said that he wanted to wait for barbers to get back in business so he could patronize his regular stylist. The guilt that men feel about patronizing someone other than their longtime barber/stylists was famously captured in the Seinfeld “Edward Scissorhands” barber episode. In this era of challenging times for small business, my banker friend’s sentiments are understandable and laudable. When he did finally get his hair cut this week, he said the process reminded him of an operation, with masks all around, an empty waiting room, and an hourlong procedure. In the end, he opted to keep his hair longer than before—a sign of the new counterculture.

    Another friend, a retired CEO of a billion-dollar firm, said he’s conscious of trying to recapture a little of his youth. Free of travel and business constraints, he’s taken to donning a series of baseball caps during his infrequent Zoom meetings. While the health prospects for older men during this crisis is grim, a little extra hair reminds men of a certain age that not everything is gloom and doom. His newly lightened schedule also offers new possibility.

    In my own case, I enjoy the connection I’m making with my kids’ generation. A Zoom call with my twentysomething son begins with a quick flip of our tresses, and immediately lightens the mood. If nothing else, our lengthening manes let us know that we’re still moving forward in life, when everything around us seems static and unsure. 

    Acting Attorney General Whitaker Speaks at National Sheriffs' Association Legislative & Technology Winter Conference
    On the right side of the aisle, less hair seems more prevalent. Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker in 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
     

    I wonder, too, if there’s a little hippy throwback action happening on the left side of the political aisle. From former EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, the Trump era of conservatives (other than Trump himself) seem to favor closely trimmed hair or just plain baldness. If the Beatles inspired the hair of the sixties, maybe a reaction to Trump’s sycophants is guiding this era. 

    As the economy opens back up and workers begin moving back towards the office, will shorter hair be the rule of the day? Or will the newly relaxed rules of personal fashion continue until the virus era is in the rearview mirror? I’d love to tell you what I see for the future, but, unfortunately, my hair is in my eyes.

    Source: Forbes

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.