COVID-19 Rough cut: Families set up barber chairs in kitchens, bathrooms and patios



Alex Kullgren gets his hair cut by his father, Jonathan Kullgren, in a bathtub during quarantine. Social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in many people choosing to cut their hair at home.

by Bailey Spore, Editor-In-Chief

Who doesn’t love the feeling of getting poked with scissors, hair ripped out of their heads, and stabbed with a comb while getting a haircut? This is actually an act of love and desperation.

No one loves a home haircut, but, unfortunately, with everyone locked down due to COVID-19, people can’t get professional cuts, so they have to settle for what they’ve got at home: a sibling or a parent wielding electric clippers who has no practical experience.

As bad as it may seem, plenty of home haircuts are looking good. 

“I was only nervous with Bailey’s dad watching over my shoulder critiquing me,” said Kelly Spore. “I would say his hair turned out well. It could’ve been shorter, but I think it’s better to be too long than too short.”

Since most students aren’t going out, no one sees the small mistakes.

Some just want shorter hair to last through the quarantine; others want to try something fun to see if they like it. Some are just cutting it all off. 

Senior Connor Browne and his father decided to just cut it all off.

“I was nervous. I haven’t had short hair in over 10 years, so there were definitely doubts going into it, but my dad just went for it. We’re both actually pleasantly surprised with how it turned out,” said Browne. 

Browne’s father shaved his whole head. He won’t have to worry about getting another haircut until graduation, and, at the rate everything’s going, Connor’s hair might just completely grow back before friends see the result.

Others are choosing to be more daring. Sam Starrs, a sophomore at Oakdale High School, let his older brother, Patrick, take control of the scissor.

“I honestly wasn’t nervous because I went into it knowing I wouldn’t see other people for at least another three weeks, so it was the perfect time to do something spontaneous and poorly thought out,” said Starrs. 

His older brother gave him a mullet.

Most students aren’t doing anything so risky. They just want to see without a curtain of hair in their eyes. Although it’s nothing special, it’s still nerve-wracking. 

Junior Jessica Young had her mother, Keri, cut a few inches off her hair.

“I was very nervous about getting my haircut at home. I had only ever had professionals do it before.  My mom was nervous, too. She had never cut hair before and didn’t want me to be disappointed,” said Young. “I got 4 inches off, and I’m still getting used to it, but I’m glad that I did it.”

Not being able to get haircuts is affecting everyone, but no one is being hit harder than barbers. Ippy Simmons is a Mt. Airy barber who runs her own in-house salon.

“The virus has affected almost every area of my life. The hardest hit was financially,” said Simmons.

She had to come up with new ways to pay her bills.

“I started by making healthcare workers’ masks until I found a temporary job. I was able to secure a full-time seasonal job at a garden center. Although it could never pay my bills, I’m very grateful to have gotten something. I’m not one to stay sitting around the house,” said Simmons. She is looking forward to seeing her customers again.

Simmons also offered advice to those cutting hair at home.

“Watch some tutorials, and reach out to your stylist. They know your hair. He or she can guide you on what they typically use and some tips and tricks you may not know about, especially with quirks that are specific to your hair,” said Simmons.

While closing salons and barbershops makes sense, most students would argue that these services are essential businesses.  

Few will take a regular haircut for granted after this shutdown.