My hair has crossed the line from “unprofessional” to “downright disrespectful”. Every day that passes since the salons reopened makes it more discourteous still. Ideally, I would go back in time and spend a portion of the time I put into booking tables outside pubs on getting it cut, but that is a small regret compared with the others.
Somehow this lank barnet has infected my self-perception and I now hate all my clothes as well. I feel dowdy, scruffy, slightly stained and careworn, powerfully aware that this would be the right time to buy new stuff, except without any enthusiasm to do so.
I raised the problem with my friend K, who buys new stuff all the time. “You have to think of three words that you want to look like,” she said, and made some suggestions. “Bright? Fun? Fashionable? Chic? Elegant?”
Nope. None of those.
“Serious? Businesslike? Peppy?”
Ha. No. “I want my corporeal self to vanish and to appear as a heart-lifting spirit.”
“Maybe let’s start with the hair.”
But when I plugged back into the hair network, I heard disturbing news. The hairdresser has gone a bit lockdown-fundamentalist; if she suspects you of having had an illegal haircut, she berates you all the way through and then deprioritises your subsequent appointments.
Even if it is months since your offence, she reckons she can always see the ghost of your last haircut and can tell in an instant whether or not she did it – if she didn’t, it follows that you must have broken the rules. She is like a forensic stylist, dispensing vigilante hair justice. Even though I am as safe as houses in this regard, because I look like a train wreck, I am incredibly annoyed by it.
Obviously, it is good to have stuck to the rules during the pandemic; to have done otherwise would have been to collaborate with the virus or, worse, Laurence Fox. However, I favour an aftermath full of celebration and regeneration, rather than recrimination and judgment. If this means I have to cut my own hair, so be it. This is going to work wonders for my vanity crisis.