A Word of Encouragement to All the Black Men Who Desperately Need Haircuts Right Now

Illustration for article titled A Word of Encouragement to All the Black Men Who Desperately Need Haircuts Right Now
Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Getty Images)

I see you, fam. Really, I do.

Well, actually I don’t, like literally. Because of the social distancing thing and the statewide lockdown thing, I only leave home now for daily walks and maybe to take the kids to this open parking lot behind my house. So when I say I see you, I mean metaphorically. Spiritually and shit.


Anyway, I see you fam. Underneath the hats you’re wearing all the time now, and the hoodie you refuse to take off is the hair that COVID-19 has forced you to neglect. I’m hopeful that you’re still washing it. Still combing it. Still brushing it. But since those weekly trips to the barbershop are gone, so are those sharp lines, those exquisite twists, those luscious beards, and those transcendent blends. All replaced with Chewbacca’s ass.

Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad, yet. But you feel that way, right? You feel like Chewbacca’s ass, don’t you? Each time you look in the mirror—if you still have the courage to look in mirrors—you don’t recognize yourself. I mean, it’s you, kinda...but only if you were method acting as a Tallahassee meth dealer. Your face feels greasy and itchy—like you stuck it in a vat of lukewarm lamb grease—and it’s even crueler now because you’re told not to touch it or you’ll die.

You’re fiending to get back in that chair, thirsty for the cape wrapped over you, the clippers on your skin, the peroxide on your neck, and even your barber’s Hot Cheeto breath on your back. It’s funny what you miss when it’s gone. You’d even settle for a cut from bruh in the back, whose skills are so shaky that he’s only allowed to cut kids, white boys, and cops.

I know it’s hard, man, but just know we’re united in struggle. You know how we’re all only one paycheck away from being broke? Well, now we know that we’re all only one missed cut from being Kevin Durant. And the next time you look in the mirror, actually look at your mangy, busted face, and remind yourself that you are not your hair. You are not your hair. You are not your hair. And as long as you stay in the fucking house, it will get better.

(Or just learn how to cut your own hair.)

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



I am not black, but man I could really go for a haircut right now.

I am also a teacher doing the whole “distance learning” via webcam thing. Tomorrow is “sports team apparel” day. I want to wear my San Diego Padres hat, but it just won’t fucking fit! I guess I could just place it ON my head.

My hair is too poofy right now. Also, my dad bought me that hat on my 13th birthday. I guess I didn’t realize how much my head has grown in the last 20 years.

Most of my friends are either bald or have long hair anyway, so I can’t bitch to them about it.  The bald ones are probably really hurting since instead of the super short horseshoe look they usually sport, their side hair is growing so they look like comic book guy, which nobody likes.  Nobody.