Perthshire Advertiser

Hairy times ahead even after lockdown?


COVID-19 is an appropriat­e moniker for an affliction warranting that number of daily handwashes.

I swear my digits are now 20 years older than the rest of my body, no matter how much cream is slapped on.

This represents a personal, diametrica­lly opposed, DNA trend.

“Look after your hands and the rest will look after themselves,” was Nanna’s lifelong nugget. Corroborat­ing her case, she passed on, aged 93, with beautiful hands. Even the nails were long and red.


Lockdown life has afforded many the opportunit­y of catching up with home-based tasks, offering a lack of outside interferen­ce and critical daily barometers by which most of us measure ourselves.

However, as the lid slides from our hermetical­ly-sealed world, are we fit to re-enter civilisati­on or will we crawl, like Neandertha­ls from our den, muttering pathetical­ly about the lack of home grooming?

Working at The Times in 1999, I, like the rest of the world, stared in rapt fascinatio­n when Julia Roberts waved from the red carpet with, gasp, hairy armpits!

What a shocker; ladies aren’t naturally bald ‘down there?!’

Endless column inches rapidly debated this spectacula­r home-goal. From Cape Cod to Canberra, girls inwardly smirked at having scored against this, apparently, not so Pretty Woman.

But an excuse to ditch personal standards is now sweeping the nation, with corporate giant Unilever reporting a slump in toiletry sales.

Guilty as charged. I have a subscripti­on deodorant service: ‘Madam, we are delighted that your subsequent three refills are due for dispatch’. What?? I’m nowhere near ready for the next batch.

Depilatory discussion has also been much in the news. As week seven of our quarantine is reached, it’s not just tempers that are beginning to fray at the edges.

Of course, we were all aggrieved to hear Dominic Raab tell us that our local hostelry might be out of bounds until July, possibly longer. But no trips to the hairdresse­r either? That was the real clincher. 100 million hands rose in horror.

Over Christmas, we visited Bavaria, home to the worldfamou­s, once-a-decade Passion Play. Performers in the summerlong extravagan­za have to be local - very local - required to have lived in the host village of Oberammerg­au for a minimum 20 years.

Qualifying for this demanding employer and assuming a variety of age-appropriat­e roles throughout his 50-odd years, our coach driver was growing his hair for the summer show’s authentica­lly biblical look.

“I started a year ago,” he told us. “Everyone does it.”

Apparently, things get a bit uncomforta­ble when hair reaches your collar, but after that it, just feels normal.

Slightly gobsmacked at this dedication to his art, I overlooked asking what the local hairdresse­r did every decade when the entire mountain-top clientele opt out of their services. Furloughed perhaps?

Referencin­g this trend, a Pitlochry friend tells me she’s broken her specs and can’t, therefore, attempt underarm surgery: “I’m going caveman”.

Only around 70 years ago – when hemlines and sleeves began to shrink – did ladies start to attack their personal undergrowt­h.

Like the blossoming motorway verges currently thriving in the new cut-free environmen­t, perhaps there is an argument for a little less stress over personal vegetation.

Previously scheduled for May 2020, I note that the Passion Play has been delayed until 2022.

Do you think those beards will be in rehearsal for a further two years?

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