Lockdown forced us all to change our daily habits. And for many, that included grooming. During the lockdown, it appears that at least 50% of men stopped shaving, and grew lockdown beards or let their hair grow long.
Whether out of utter shaving inertia, or something different to do, the grooming rituals changed. We saw everything from fuzzy chins to full Father Christmas beards appear all over social media and on our relentless Zoom calls. Haircuts went from well-groomed to full-on heads. Or even, whisper it, accidental mullets.
As lockdown lifts, many will once again be reaching for the razor and shaving off their fine facial hair or popping down the barbers and getting a spruce up.
But what does fine hair – and getting rid of it?
The psychology of hair
Studies show that people perceive those with beards as more aggressive than those without. This plays into ideas of ‘manliness’ and ‘masculinity.’ Perhaps during the pandemic when people felt less in control, they wanted to get a sense of feeling like they were dominant. Now people will be back to their usual feelings of status and control and get back to business as usual – which might include having a shave.
Hair as protest – Let your freak flag fly!
From the 1968 feminist protest against Miss America to the role of the Afro in the Civil Rights Movement through to school demos in Bangkok only last year, hair has always been tied up with protest. There was outrage when in 2019, Brittany Noble, a former news anchor at Mississippi’s WJTV, said she faced discrimination and was fired for wearing her natural hair. Why is it such a big deal? As one of the first things that people see on us, hair strikes an impression. It’s something we have some degree of control over, unlike say the size of our nose. And so when we exert that power, we’re making a statement.
Remember the story of Samson? Cutting your hair off won’t make you lose your power. But it might make a difference to how you feel. Whether you believe there’s a spiritual bent to your lovely locks or it’s more of a social thing, it’s true our hair has an emotional resonance.
Try something bold – and get back to normal
Lockdown provided the opportunity to try something new. Anyone who had ever fancied a beard or toyed with the idea of growing out their hair, but feared being judged as a result now embraced the chance to shake things up for the first time. Because if you didn’t like it, you could shave it off. With a return to workplaces, there’s a growing sense that the way you look will also have to be ‘normal’ – so out come the razors again.
If you’re at home with normal routines scuppered, it can be good to feel like you’re doing something different. It’s to mark a rather strange period in your life. And what better way than doing it on your face? And while lockdown beards were something new, there might also be something exciting about shaving it off. Getting back to normal might feel like having a bit of a shave or a cut, and that’s a great thing to do.
A new step to the ‘new normal’
Shaving off your beard might feel like a new step and shedding of a skin in some way. It’s a chance to say goodbye to lockdown life, and embrace a new start. And we all want to be moving forward right now. So the ‘new normal’ might be a retreat to the old way.
Facial hair, or that on your head, is something of a commitment. Getting a shave every week, or not, is part of a routine. You’re in it for the long haul. Boldking’s range is all about flexibility, built for the person you are and the life you want to live. Perhaps with a move to more home-based working and hybrid models, we will see more intermediate beards and ‘designer stubble.’
Time out for yourself
Taking care of yourself makes you feel good. Self care might sound a bit wanky, but it’s super important. When you shut the door and focus on yourself it’s an opportunity to take a breath and relax. Working from home hasn’t been time off, despite what our pesky PM said, but there is more a fluid approach to home and work life. When going back to the office that time in the bathroom can be a great way to destress and switch off from a crazy busy day.What about you? Will you miss your lockdown beard? Or be glad to see your chin again? Have you got used to flowing locks, or are you aching for a grade one? Either way, Boldking’s flexible and unique products are what you need to keep on top of your grooming routine, whatever that might look like.