How should I get my hair cut?: a poll

Well, the tonsorial parlors, salons, and barbershops are now allowed to reopen in Chicago, and I’m thinking of getting a trim, as my hair is quite wild and unruly (see second photo below). But some people say they like the longer look, so I’m contemplating leaving it longer but neatening it up.  I’ll give two photos and crowdsource an answer, though there’s no guarantee I’ll go with the majority.

Have a look at two choices:

Thie is pretty short (photo taken in Shakespeare & Co. bookstore in Paris, petting the resident cat):

Pandemic hair, taken this morning. I wash it and run a brush over it, but that’s all I do. It’s definitely unruly.



  1. GBJames
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Let your freak flag fly!

  2. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Perhaps oddly, here in South Australia hair-dressers have not been required to close, although initially the government put out requirements that appointments must be limited to 30 minutes and 1.5 m distance must be maintained. When it was pointed out that these requirements were silly and/or impossible. It was backed off, and my hair dresser went on as usual with perhaps fewer clients at any one time. It does not appear that this policy has led to an increase in viral transmissions.

  3. another fred
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I’m going to get one pretty soon. I’m going to get it cut as short as I can and still look “professional” (I have to appear in public venues occasionally) – that way I will not need another for a while.

    I think the possibility of a serious second wave in the fall is quite real.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Would that be a permanent wave?

  4. Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Maybe a back-to-the-50s flat top 😃

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Being about half bald myself I can only say get whatever you want. I would tend to go with shorter because it is easier to take care of. Mine is really easy now.

    • JoanL
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      “…get whatever you want.” – Yes. This is why I voted “other.”

      Although I like longer hair and unruly (think of it as strong) long hair can better distract from thinning, I agree shorter is easier to care for.

  6. Casey
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Let it grow long in the manner of a mad scientist ! Incidentally , have you joined the boogaloos ( Hawaiian shirt ) !? ( Just kidding ! )

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Hey! I wore Hawaiian shirts YEARS before they were co-opted by bigots. You’d have to fault about the entire population of the state of Hawaii if you’re gonna say that!

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        As I said below: GREAT tapa shirt Jerry! Fly your flag proudly! 🙂

  7. Erwin Kloeck
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I like the Jerry Garcia of your youth

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      He’ll need a couple of gallons of Just for Men.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Not to mention a gallon or so of Ripple.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I take it a Trump-style North-Atlantic-Gyre-like system of elaborate swirls and eddies and vortices is out of the question? 🙂

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      I was walking down the stairs at a former employer’s building and saw a gentleman of a certain age walking down in front of me.

      I saw something weird on the back of his neck. I looked closer. Closer.

      It was a hair part. Running horizontally across his neck, just above the collar.

      This guy was combing hair over from the back of his neck!

      Once I got bald enough, I just went with the buzz cut. (Can’t stand phony. I’ve had a tough 3.41 years here!)

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I had my office in a a high-rise building on Biscayne Blvd. in Miami for decades. There was a guy who would sometime get on the elevator and stand in front of me with the most elaborate comb-over I’d ever seen. It was mesmerizing. (Trump’s is close, but this was even worse.)

  9. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Let it grow and set you’re inner hippie free 😁

  10. Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I like the Statue of Liberty look (from the plant behind you.)

    • ladyatheist
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink


  11. ladyatheist
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Let it grow & don’t clean it up! You’re retired now. You can sport the hippie ‘do again.

  12. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Other: Spend $60 on a hair cutting kit and do it yourself. Lots of advantages:
    1) Avoid worries about infection
    2) Simpler and time saving. You don’t need an appointment or to travel.
    3) Save big bucks
    4) You get to learn a new skill!
    5) You will be ready for the return of the coronavirus in the Fall.

    I’ve been cutting my own hair for 40 years and would never go back to barbers.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Time was, way back in the day, I’d go to a fancy salon a buddy of mine owned to get my haircut. There was a lovely young blonde woman there who’d do the honors. I’d come in with a bottle of good wine right before the place closed, and the three of us — my buddy, the stylist, me — would sit around shooting the bull and having a quaff while she snipped around with the scissors.

    Nowadays, I pretty much get it buzzed short and am back to the kind of joint my dad used to take me to as a little kid — a swirling barber pole out front, three chairs, and guys with hairy forearms and tattoos manning the clippers. Except these guys are as likely to be Cuban as the Italian fellas my dad and I went to — and instead of Vic Damone and Tony Bennett on the radio, they’ve got heavy metal and rap on the sound system.

    For a while, the guy that cut my hair there was named — I shit you not — Johnny Fontane. I’d sit in his chair for the 10 minutes or so it would take to cut my hair and feed him Brando lines from The Godfather — except for when he was doing close work with a razor, for fear he’d laugh and lop off an ear.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Your back in the day scenario? That’s got to be the best way to get a hair cut I’ve ever come across.

      The first time I was ever offered a beer at a hair salon was at a cool place on Española Way in South Beach called Contesta Rock Hair. I was in town working Art Basel and decided I needed a hair cut. An Italian guy with enormous dreads that reached down to his waist did the honors while I sipped on the proffered beer, and a fine job he did.

      My wife liked the job Michael did so much that some time later she planned a trip for the whole family to go down to Miami so we could all get our hair cut by him.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know Contesta Rock Hair, but I know Española Way well. I lived on 12th Street for a while, and one of the great dive bars anywhere Club Deuce is just a block away on 14th.

        • darrelle
          Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          Ah, Club Deuce. The iconic Dive Bar.

  14. E.A. Blair
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    When I was a newly-minted college freshman, there was a hair salon in the student union at the UW-Milwaukee. I found someone there who gave me the best cut I’d ever had. 45 years later, she’s still cutting my hair (I have an appointment a week from today). After all this time, we’re good friends as well as businesswoman and client.

    PCC(E), a suggestion: weigh yourself before and after the cut to find out how much weight you lost.

  15. docbill1351
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I haven’t had long hair in a long time. I long for the time my long locks drifted along my neck. I’m going for the has-been biker look, Einstein meets Willie Nelson.

    I revel in my time!

  16. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Makes sense to go short, Jerry. The ‘Rona virus is still churning away in the hinterlands, and you probably want to maintain as much social-distancing as you can by going as long as possible between haircuts. Go ahead and get your money’s worth when you sit in the barber’s chair.

  17. nay
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I just got my first post-quarantine haircut and oh what a relief it is. My hair has natural waves when allowed to grow so, while I had gotten shaggy it didn’t look as bad as PCC(E)’s. Sorry, but you do look Mad Scientist.
    I voted you go back to short but, if you stay long, I say you should go back to your total hippie look with the beard, too.

  18. sugould
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    How about a nice colored streak in your hair? After 65 yo, you can get away with anything.

  19. Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I like it short, Jerry. I like it long too; but, short shows your facial features!

  20. Janet
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    My suggestion is a purely practical one. Although I do like the look of longer hair on you, I would say get it cut as short as you are comfortable with and this will reduce the need for repeat trips and further exposure.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      There is that these days!

  21. Moishe
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I just had mine cut last week after 3 months. I figured I should pay her double to both compensate for her income loss during that period and all the extra work she had to do to cut it.

    She appreciated the gesture.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Well done on the big tip. I tip generously.

  22. Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Go the full Sapolsky.

  23. Michael Scullin
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I like the Statue of Liberty look. I cut my own hair for about 40 years. Nobody noticed. Then my wife took over and she does a great job, but nobody noticed. Cut it yourself and if the results are unsatisfactory have a pro tidy it up. Saves lots of money. Or, as the guy at Parris Island asked for the thousandth time I’m sure, “How do you want it? On your lap or on the floor?” As an anthropologist no one expected me to have a Cary Grant haircut.

    • Janet
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      This sounds like very good advice. Hair clippers are very easy to use, just experiment with attachments of different lengths. You can’t cut yourself or go very far wrong.

      • Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Well, you can cut yourself; but not very badly.

  24. Posted June 11, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    ponytail, definitely

    solves your barber problems for a few years

  25. Jeannie Hess
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Why not ask your buddy Steven Pinker what product he uses on his glorious hair. A little product tames the frizz but lets the hair curl deliciously. You could find the return of those curls of your youth!

  26. jezgrove
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Has to be a ’50s ducktail, surely?

  27. Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I really like your youthful photos you recently posted with all that hair. Very fun.

    Again: Love the tapa shirt! Well done!

    My son has always had a very short hair cut. His hair has grown very long in lockdown. Both my wife and I really like it! We are working hard to get him to “keep it long but clean it up a bit”. 🙂

    Since my son got a crew cut in 3rd grade, I have been getting one too, starting at #4 and evolving to the shortest clipper height: #1. (I don’t shave my head: Too much maintenance! The whole point of the buzz was to avoid maintenance!) I have given myself one #1 buzz so far since lockdown and it went very well indeed. Took me a few minutes longer than my hair cutter; but not bad at all. I’m about to give myself another one.

    But I will got back to my hair cutter when the restrictions are lifted.

  28. Terry Pedersen
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    You need to use a conditioner so it’s not so
    wild. First cut from the angle given is nice.

  29. rickflick
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I voted for short since it gives you a longer time ’til you have to take the risk again.

    • GBJames
      Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Not cutting it could make it even a longer time though!

      • rickflick
        Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Potentially, lifelong.

  30. Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Get it cut like this:

    If there is a second wave and lockdown ensues, then you’ve got a last-me-long and you can tidy up the front locks yourself.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      .. and I mean as in the first photo, not the shaved head photo.

  31. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I voted ‘other’, and I’ll specify.
    About half a dozen years ago I decided to treat my scalp like my chin: just shaved it.
    Haven’t had a single day of regret. Just try it.

    • Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I kind of wanted to; but: Too much maintenance. (I have a full beard, so shaving isn’t a priority for me!)

  32. adgunty
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I vote you go for the Einstein look; crazy scientist who’s too smart to be worried about what other people think

  33. Posted June 11, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I got my hair cut short a couple of days ago, and I have to say it feels good.

  34. kieran
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Grow the beard as well!

  35. Jay
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I think the more important question is when, not how. And the answer is “not yet” in my opinion and that of at least 59% of surveyed epidemiologists.

  36. BJ
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Can I vote “in the shape of a rhubarb”?

  37. Greg Geisler
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    You asked the wrong guy, Jerry. I’ve been cutting my own hair for 30 years. How? A pair of electric clippers and no guard. Fast and efficient. I don’t need shampoo, cool in the Summer months, and think how much money I have saved!

    I’ll bet you’ve never tried it. So why not?

  38. Karan Dhillon
    Posted June 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    You should run an auction. Winner gets to decide the style and color. Maybe two auctions. Donation to a charity of your choice.

  39. Posted June 11, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    My wife cuts my hair and she does a better job than any hair stylist I’ve ever paid good money to.

    I can put in a good word for you 😉

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