24 March 2020

El amor en los tiempos del corona: Getting a Haircut

Saturday, March 21: I had a haircut appointment. Yes, the thought entered my mind, whether it would be a wise decision to keep my appointment or not. In the end, I opted to keep it. But yes, it was a very different appointment.

The day before, I called my hair stylist. I told him that I am (still) healthy, and I can keep my appointment for the day after. Nevertheless I wanted to ask him if he's still open. He said he still is, and so I confirmed my appointment for the day after.

I decided to walk, instead of take the metro. It was 2 kilometres away, or about 30 minutes by foot. By public transportation it would have been 15 minutes, but I didn't mind the walk. Frankly speaking, I missed being outdoors, so I took the opportunity.

I wore latex gloves. It basically reminded me to not touch my face while I was outside. Half an hour later, I was in the salon. It was a sombre mood. My hairstylist loved chatting, but this time, he wasn't talking at all. There was another customer before me, and they both were quiet. Later on, when it was my turn, he mentioned he'd be quiet today, in an effort to minimise transmission. He feels healthy, but nevertheless he'd rather play it safe and reduce the risk by not opening his mouth too much.

Before I sat at his chair, he had a disinfectant spray which he used. He also washed his utensils before using them on my hair. He still offered me coffee, as usual.

It was a quiet affair. Half an hour later, I was done. I made another appointment in five weeks, but of course no one is sure whether that would happen or not. He operates a small business, and given the current situation, and the cancellations it is causing, his existence is being threatened.

I gave him a larger than usual tip. It was much appreciated. Then I headed back home, walking for 30 minutes. When I got home, I threw away my latex gloves, and put my clothes into the washing machine, and took a long warm shower.


  1. Mark *really* needs a haircut and I think they are all closed here. Oh well. It's funny, what is definitely "non essential" for a few days days or weeks will sooner or later become very essential.

    1. Zhu,

      Back in 2009 for a while I experimented with a completely shaved head. It might be time to bring that back at some point, but hopefully not.