The Art (and Awkwardness) of a Virtual Haircut

The Art (and Awkwardness) of a Virtual Haircut


SAN FRANCISCO — Extra than 20 days into San Francisco’s shelter-in-place orders, with hair salons and barbershops closed, I was resigned to increasing out my bangs. But my husband, Matt, who had gone virtually two months devoid of a cut, started threatening to shave his head.

For weeks, he had been trying to disguise his floppy, overgrown strands in video calls by donning substantial headphones and sitting down again in the shadows. But these were only 50 percent steps. Hair does not care that we are sheltering in position for who knows how lengthy. It just keeps rising.

That is when I learned about digital haircuts. Caitlin Collentine, my hairstylist at Wabi Sabi Elegance, emailed with the provide. For $55, she mentioned, she would wander us as a result of the cut about a movie call.

It was not the most considerably-fetched support to attempt on-line reinvention due to the fact the coronavirus pandemic has spread in the United States. In the past week I have listened to about a digital Iron Person race, a virtual Easter egg hunt and digital speed courting, whilst my colleagues have documented on digital forest baths, yard ultramarathons and “cloud clubbing.” Even plumbers in Ohio and Florida have nearly helped buyers fix their personal malfunctioning pipes.

If Matt’s virtual slice was a catastrophe, that would be him, as well. The stakes were being low.

Our to start with obstacle was securing electrical clippers and hair scissors. Community retailers were bought out and in all places I looked on line the things had been unavailable for weeks. I ought to not have been amazed the full place is chopping its individual hair. We borrowed a established from a friend (sanitized, with a contactless pickup and fall-off).

The next challenge was not chopping my fingers.

Ms. Collentine started our FaceTime call by having pictures of Matt’s head from the entrance, aspect and back again on a pill, which she made use of as a reference. She showed me how to properly hold the clippers (a comfortable C-shaped hand, not my claw-formed loss of life grip) and pointed out the place to shave on the image of Matt’s head.

That was the quick component. Due to the fact our clippers only came with clipper guards for extended hair, I had to do a great deal more cutting with the comb and scissors.

Hairstylists make wielding a comb and scissors seem normal, but I identified myself contorting my wrists and fingers into strange angles to get the suitable cuts. Matt was mostly amused by this, but I also picked up a hint of concern — specifically whenever I explained “Oops!”

Watching and listening to Ms. Collentine’s instructions although Matt viewed me and chimed in felt a little bit like finding out to push with both of those mother and father in the motor vehicle.

“Move the comb to the remaining a little bit. The other remaining. Consider keeping it like this. More perpendicular. To his head. Okay, lower that. Properly, which is Alright, as well. You’re doing excellent!”

I questioned Ms. Collentine if watching amateurs fumble all over with scissors designed her want to achieve as a result of the screen and do it herself. It could be “a little maddening,” she mentioned.

But it gave her a new appreciation for her skills. I prompt hairdressers and barbers charge at least triple for their very first round of submit-quarantine cuts. It is basic supply and desire.

At 1st, I trimmed the best part of Matt’s hair so carefully that one particular could hardly notice the change. Then I did it all around all over again with additional self confidence, a great deal shorter.

A number of of my snips conveyed really serious bowl slash vibes, but Ms. Collentine showed me how to artfully blend them in with a technique known as stage cuts. Hair, it turns out, is fairly forgiving.

Greater assurance — knowing just more than enough to be hazardous — established its personal worries. As I snipped away a lot quicker and more quickly, sensation a little bit like Edward Scissorhands, I eventually reduce my fingers. Luckily the scissors had been as well dull and cheap to damage for extended.

The final result, the moment Matt contributed his have styling, was a satisfactory improvement. I must note: He just cannot see what the back appears like, nor can his co-personnel on video phone calls. I do not foresee we will be household haircut persons once barbershops reopen.





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Posted by Krin Rodriquez

Passionate for technology and social media, ex Silicon Valley insider.