Pray for Us All in This Time of Barberlessness
Photo: Nuno Raimundo/Getty Images

Pray for Us All in This Time of Barberlessness

If you’re insecure about your hairline or your weave or…

I’m secure enough in my manhood to say that I prefer to feel like a bad bitch at all times. For me, that entails getting a haircut every single week… and maybe a lineup later in the week if I have to go to something that I can’t get out of.

I know, a gay man being vain is not especially revelatory. For the record, though, you straight male thots are no less vapid. After all, I’m in the same barbershops as the rest of y’all. I may often wish I had purchased noise-canceling headphones, but I’m in there. So I know that y’all are no less self-absorbed than I am. If anything, I’m probably simply better at it.

href="">I swear on my mama’s praline that I’m not about to dive into the written equivalent of India.Arie’s “I Am Not My Hair.” That’s not my style. (Also, no shade, but Akon’s voice weirds me out.) But no matter how broke I’ve been — and yeah, this is the part where I plug that whole second book I have coming out about life as a filtered broke bitch thanks to massive private student loan debt and that other financial crisis — I have always tried to keep my line together.

If you read my first book, you know that this journey hasn’t been without its failures. So, so many failures. There was the time I allowed a Korean man who didn’t speak English to cut my hair. I was in Koreatown in Los Angeles, too impatient to wait for someone to take me to Crenshaw; I thought I asked for a shape up, but what I received was my head being made into a tribute to Mickey Mouse.

It also hasn’t helped matters that at some high-stress points in my life — stress invariably involving money woes — the physical manifestations of that stress included hair loss. (And the antidepressants I took to combat that stress only made it worse.) It took a long time for me to not only get my hair to grow back in as much as possible but to accept that some of the shit is just never coming back. I have resisted every barber’s suggestion that I get a Bigen boost. Or one of those damn fade weaves.

No disrespect to anyone dying their hairline or ordering Peruvian hair on the internet, but that’s not for me. I don’t need a weave or a dye, just a line that respects the losses but makes the most of what’s there. Sort of a metaphor of my memoir-writing state of mind. Okay, maybe I do sound like India.Arie’s song? I’m sorry. Is it at least the chopped and screwed version? Please advise.

Either way, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that he would be closing all barbershops, I hit my barber immediately and hopped in the chair as fast as possible. Literally less than five minutes later. I am assuming there was no wait because my dumb ass should have been inside the house.

If it helps, I had on gloves. He had on gloves and a mask. It was one on one. No, it does not help. I was just telling y’all to stop trying to fuck and go to brunch. I believe a fade is safer to do right now than fuck a stranger, but I’ll sit in time out with the rest of y’all to settle the score.

I can’t say that I regret it. Again, that book of mine comes out in two weeks, and since the coronavirus lockdown means I no longer have a tour, I’m making the most of the Apple products I purchased with my book advance to do “virtual promotion.” I got that lineup to look as un-crazy as possible.

But while I might not regret risking it all for one last fade, I at least do recognize that while it’s an inconvenience, it’s not that big of a fucking deal. Yeah, I like to look nice and so does everyone else, but one thing that continues to upset me is the ongoing selfishness of everyone collectively. It’s only been a couple of days, and many folks are acting as if their world has ended. I understand it; I want my sense of normalcy, too. I want the freedom to move as I see fit.

But more than anything, I don’t want to die. Do you? No. Okay, we’ll get over it. However, I’d be lying if I said that by the end of the week, I’m not still going to want a damn haircut.

I’ve never been above getting a cut at somebody’s house, but this is trust-no-bitch, wash-your-hands season. Yeah, I’ll stay home. Let me see if Prime sells wave caps.

Some of you have already purchased clippers and are using this time to learn how to cut your own hair. I admire that level of bravery and have considered the same given the past assaults to my lines by barbers who need their licenses revoked. Then again, I don’t know if I am desperate enough to trust myself with that yet.

And do not dare suggest I go bald. I can’t pull that off. My head isn’t shaped like the right kind of nut for that.

I’ve never been above getting a cut at somebody’s house, but this is trust-no-bitch, wash-your-hands season. Yeah, I’ll stay home. Let me see if Prime sells wave caps.

One thing is for certain, though: the more President Donald Trump speaks and tweets, the longer it will keep many of us in the house not doing what we want to do. If you’re not in the house already, my apologies to you for the stupid Republican governor in your life, but soon come.

And even if I get over my hair — because it’s not as if I have anywhere to go anyway — I can’t let go of the irony that it’s a man with hair like that who caused me to break up with a regular fade for the long haul. My heart goes out to you if you feel the same way about your fade, taper, hair weave installation and maintenance, Bigen, or… whatever, do your thing. And the same goes for all the folks who already miss their waxes and want their eyebrows threaded.

And the people afraid to look at their toes.

Know that as shallow as we are all being, I feel you.

Just know that the longer you feel like less of a bad bitch, it’s even more that goofy bitch Trump’s fault.