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Image: Older gentleman stands in front of his barber shop

When Is a Haircut More Than a Haircut?

If there’s one thing that distancing during COVID-19 taught us, it’s the power of a good haircut. This was most apparent for those who wear their hair in short styles, who started February with close-cropped cuts and perfect fades, and by the end of March were resigned to baseball caps covering an untamed mess, or succumbing to the disaster of a DIY home haircut. In missing our appointments, though, we’ve been missing out on something else; a less appreciated, more important aspect of our lives!

How is a haircut so much more than a haircut? Well, in the hands of a creative barber and with the help of Zoom technology people are coming together to celebrate something many of us have been missing these days. Stick with me and you’ll have a better appreciation not just for the hairdresser you know and love—I’ll see you soon, Victoria—but the subtle ways we can find more gratitude in the future!

Image: Older gentleman stands in front of his barber shop
Source: PICRYL

More Than a Salon Chair

The average person goes to the hairdresser or barbershop every 3 to 6 weeks. (I’m more in the 8-week camp.) So, in a typical year, whether you’re getting your tight fade, having your roots touched up, or don’t trust yourself for that bang trim, you’ll probably be heading to your favorite hair expert anywhere up to 17 times! That’s a lot of time spent with your hairdresser!

The arrival of COVID-19 has made our time in the salon chair rare, or even impossible, to come by. So, we’ve had to get crafty. And some people are even getting out the buzzers themselves and learning how to do that perfect cut. But there’s something missing from our quarantine coifs

Every time you sat down for a cut and color, you shared a little connection with somebody you saw on a regular basis and immediately felt that you were a part of something. You got to spend some quality time with somebody, listen to the banter that surrounded you and feel a little sense of community.

I don’t think I had ever really recognized the importance of this kind of belonging, and how something as simple as a haircut could connect me with that feeling until I saw this short film by Jesse Atlas.

Jesse, like so many other men, reached a point in quarantine where it was time to take up the clippers himself. Luckily, he had the help of his beloved barber, Darryl Wyatt, and a few friends. The results? Well, you’ll have to see for yourself!

Via: Jesse Atlas 1

If you want to see more from Jesse Atlas, check out his work on Vimeo, or visit him over on his website.

Suddenly nostalgic for your salon or barbershop?

Think about how often you visited your favorite restaurant, coffee place, or shops before COVID-19. How often did you say hello to the same people? Did you feel welcomed into little spaces of community?

This global pandemic has certainly brought a lot of anguish to many people, but it’s also taught us some important lessons in gratitude. I’m not sure I’d ever fully appreciated the ways in which I am deeply grateful for the sense of belonging that going to my favorite restaurant, grabbing a coffee at my favorite coffee shop, or getting my haircut gave me.

The places I loved before weren’t about the food, the coffee, or the haircut (though, obviously they are all great). I loved walking into a place where I felt comfortable, welcomed, and at home; where somebody knew my name, my drink order, or asked me about my latest adventure. I loved, and still love, all of these places because they make me feel like I belong.

Taking a Moment to Pause

What if we paused more often to check in and be grateful for the moments where we can’t help but smile and feel welcomed? Could we find more joy in our daily routines?

We don’t have to leave home to feel this feeling! Do you have a morning coffee routine, a corner of your home or an adorable thing your pet does that leaves you with a little feeling of gratitude? Take just a second in these moments to pause and let that feeling really take over.

Life will always be in flux. Who knows when our next haircut might be? But one thing we can always ground ourselves in is finding a little gratitude in life’s simple pleasures.

If you want some inspiration of where to start looking for them, here are a few reads I highly suggest:

Become an Instant Backyard Scientist with iNaturalist! 

What if you could go on a safari and get up close and personal with hundreds of plants animals, no plane ticket, no fancy guide, and no money required? Now, all of us can experience our own backyards with a little more wonder thanks to this amazing app!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Why Good Business is like Good Bread!

Why do we love a good loaf of bread so much? For 130 years a little bakery in Ireland has stood the test of time, answering this question for generations. The answer is a lesson we can pass on to other corners of our life as well!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast
Can Squirrels Outsmart a NASA Engineer?

These fuzzy backyard bandits are breaking into bird feeders across the globe! But can this former NASA engineer design a squirrel-proof bird feeder? Check out this ingenious course he came up with, meet the contenders, and prepare for the most amazing—and hilarious—look at how our squirrel friends work their magic!

Read Article Watch Video Listen to Podcast

Try this with me this week: before you go to bed every day this week jot down a moment that made you smile with gratitude, laugh with belonging, or gave you the warmth of joy. As soon as I can get back in the salon chair, my number one moment will certainly be a good old visit to the hairdresser!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


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  1. atlas, jesse. “Stories In Place: The Virtual Salon.” Vimeo, 22 July 2020, vimeo.com/412362023. Accessed 22 July 2020.
Image: Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at the Goodness Exchange. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

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