I never liked haircuts, even when I had hair. I still have some hair, but less of it resides on my head and more of it sprouts from my eyebrows, nostrils and ears. The combination of male-pattern baldness and growing old is a terrible one-two punch to one’s male ego and vanity. Especially since, as a baby boomer, hitting my teens in the ’60s, I come from a generation that revered hair; lionized it. Even named a Broadway musical after it.

The pandemic has been the perfect excuse for Steven Price to become a proud “longhair” (well, sort of) once again. Hayden Dunsel/Shutterstock.com

The song lyrics from the hit play “Hair” still run through my head: “Gimme a head with hair, long, beautiful hair.” Long hair was a political statement, a flaunting of our exuberant youth and anti-establishment spirit. Back then, walking into a biker bar with shoulder-length locks would get you more than dirty looks – it might spark a physical confrontation. “Damn hippie!” were fightin’ words.

Today, young people shave their heads and bikers tool around town with ponytails. My, my, how the world has changed.

These were some of my thoughts when I decided, because of the restrictions and safety precautions foisted on us by the coronavirus, to stop getting haircuts and let my hair grow out (my remaining head hair, not my eyebrows, etc.). It helped that we’re spending the winter in Florida, so nobody I knew would see me, save a few family members, during the awkward stages of in-between hair growth. I could always throw something atop my head to disguise the follicly challenged revolution I was now waging beneath my fishing hat.

Not that I really liked that “bald guy with ponytail” look. In fact, I found it kind of silly looking. But what’s life as a senior citizen if you can’t fly your foolish flag once in a while? I was going to reclaim my youth! My flowing blond locks (“Give me down to there – Hair! Shoulder length or longer – Hair!”) were my pride and joy and birthright. In high school, I almost quit the football team because the head coach told me to cut my hair. And now, just because I didn’t have too much of it left, and my once-shiny mane had turned gunmetal gray, I refused to be deterred. I was going to be a “longhair” once again, free to walk into any biker bar and share a Bud with the boys.

I admit to looking terrible during this growing-out period. Family members, too kind to say what they really thought, would remark: “So, what’s going on with your hair?” You could tell they wanted to ask, “Is this a permanent decision?”

“Damn right,” I’d say, given the chance, proudly tossing my near-naked head, wishing those long-gone locks could once again fly out of my eyes and off my forehead. And I’d sing: “Hair! Grow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my hair!” It wouldn’t help that I can’t sing a lick. Barely carry a tune. Embarrassing. But what the hell.

Turns out, the kindest cut is no haircut at all.

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