Things Get Hairy

I received an email this morning from a WASPy old relic who’s gotten quite hirsute under quarantine and frankly doesn’t give a damn. He calls it going “Saxon.”

You see it in the movies. Danger strikes. Characters get imprisoned, marooned, forced to migrate, drawn into epic battles. No time, inclination nor ability to groom oneself

There’s also a correlation between hair growth and testosterone, as well as between testosterone and one’s proximity to fair females. Just five minutes of conversation with a pretty girl is enough to raise a man’s testosterone. This image is taken from the 1969 LIFE photo shoot on the first co-eds at Princeton. You can see the immediate effect it had.

Or it could have been the zeitgeist of general change, upheaval, uncertainty, protest, liberation, and the upending of the old order. As this chart shows, things get hairy fast. — CC

40 Comments on "Things Get Hairy"

  1. Charlottesville | May 6, 2020 at 1:00 pm |

    Still managing to find the razor every day, but the hair is getting to be a bit much. I fear I am headed towards mullet or ponytail territory unless the lockdown is lifted or my wife or I can learn home barbering. Of course, the Ivies have produced a few hairy folk over the years, so it is not without precedent for Ivy Style.

  2. john carlos | May 6, 2020 at 1:08 pm |

    Charlottesville- I’m in serious need of a trim myself. It’s been about two months since my last haircut. Our Governor gave the word yesterday that salons can reopen this Friday. Made an appointment for this Saturday although I’m having second thoughts about whether it’s safe yet.

  3. whiskeydent | May 6, 2020 at 1:35 pm |

    John Carlos
    I had some of the same thoughts about Abbott’s order, but I learned my shop is delaying its opening a couple of days to make sure all the protocols are planned and in place. So I got an appointment for Tuesday and will arrive with an impermeable mask and enough sanitizer to clean up that aircraft carrier overrun with COVID.

  4. We are still on lockdown here in the Peoples Republic of Maryland. When it gets lifted, I am not sure what I’ll do. I’m kind of coming to terms with the Wild Man of Borneo look. No ponytail or man bun in my future, though.

    Not to take away from the health threats and the many affected by COVID-19. But his pandemic is hammering many financially. And, getting a haircut is pretty far down on my list of priorities.

    All kidding aside, my younger daughter went to work in marketing and advertising support for Regis Corporation in New York just before the pandemic lockdowns began. Regis is the largest hair salon chain in the world. The company owns brands like Supercuts, SmartStyle, Cost Cutters, First Choice Haircutters, and Roosters. Anyway, she got furloughed and is now getting advised to look for another job. So, all the pent up demand for hair cuts won’t likely save her work.

    Be well and embrace your hirsute!

  5. Hardbopper | May 6, 2020 at 1:39 pm |

    “…intellectual fascination…”

  6. Charlottesville | May 6, 2020 at 1:40 pm |

    John Carlos – Your comment reminded me of confession: “Father it has been two months since my last haircut.” Our state-wide closure has been extended through May 15, so it looks like I have at least 10 days to go. Until someone comes up with a vaccine, maybe we should just go for the look of the man in the Drake’s ad to the left: clean-shaven with shoulder-length locks.

  7. I’ve been doing my own for some time now. Went on a tour years ago, decided to buzz it to an inch and a half and rather liked it, so I now keep it that way, pretty much.

    I’ll still let it grow from time to time, but it’s cheap and convenient to do your own

  8. sacksuit | May 6, 2020 at 2:19 pm |

    Gentlemen, may I suggest clippers with a #4 guard on top, #3 at the temples and #2 by the ears. No visible lines like the bowl cuts of the ’80s and, well, these days. A crew cut is a very squared away look that is quite easy to accomplish oneself or with the wife’s help and will compliment your ivy league clothes well.

    Mid weight 3/2 blue sack blazer today with white OCBD, red tie with blue bar stripes, Bill’s Khakis cuffed, Trafalgar belt with engine turned buckle, Alden for BB unlined cordovan loafers (best shoes ever) no socks and a crew cut (#3 on top to #1 on the sides). Strictly business.



  9. Charlottesville | May 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm |

    Sounds like a great outfit, Will.

  10. Thurman Punster | May 6, 2020 at 2:29 pm |

    The chart is amazing. You can see everything go to Hell in 1967. We knew that. But this is a vivid illustration.

  11. sacksuit | May 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm |

    Thank you Charlottesville, I call the look Morning Mist.


  12. whiskeydent | May 6, 2020 at 3:35 pm |

    Do I remember correctly that you were a USAF brat? Spent some time at Randolph? With that do, you have to be channeling the crusty, tough senior master sergeant look. I never had a flat top or bur, but my dad closely supervised the white sidewalls he ordered for me at the Randolph officers club barber shop.

  13. john carlos | May 6, 2020 at 3:46 pm |

    whiskeydent- I will also be donning a mask for my trim. I guess I should find some sanitizer.

  14. john carlos | May 6, 2020 at 3:52 pm |

    sacksuit- I own a similar uniform. I may have to consider your crew cut suggestion.

  15. NaturalShoulder | May 6, 2020 at 9:22 pm |

    I got my last haircut a few days before Tarrant County went into lockdown but glad Abbott’s order allows barbershops and salons to open Friday as hair is getting a bit shaggy, I have been more frustrated by the closure of my tailor. I need to have several items altered including my poplin and seersucker suits.

  16. john carlos | May 6, 2020 at 10:06 pm |

    NaturalShoulder- I feel your frustration about the need for a tailor. I live in San Antonio. It’s seersucker and poplin time.

  17. elder prep | May 7, 2020 at 5:48 am |

    As BC stated from his Peoples Republic of Maryland, I’m in the next state north of the Mason-Dixon Line and are in desperate need of a haircut but our governor has not yet seen fit to move my county to the yellow phase of the traffic light system he has imposed on his citizenry.

  18. Wriggles | May 7, 2020 at 6:13 am |

    I commented a couple weeks ago, about getting a clipper and cutting your own hair, or having a wife (or girlfriend) doing the job. !/2″ all around, sparingly trim the top with the biggest attachment in the set, and using painters tape to guide shaving the back of the neck.

    A decent “Harvard” cut can be had Covid-19 free.

    I may never go back to a barber.

    PS: The dude in the photo should have been drafted. He’d get cleaned up in the first two hours at the reception center. The “chick” could have joined a protest at the base, after driving the dude to induction.

    I recall a privileged guy remarking to me in the reception center, that 24 hours ago, he was played golf, and left his shoes and clubs to be cleaned, while he ate lunch in the grill room. I replied that they even us all up here. How true.

    Stay healthy, gentlemen.

  19. Headline suggestion: When Hairy Met Sally…

  20. sacksuit | May 7, 2020 at 9:06 am |


    No association with the Air Force. If I’m channeling anybody I suppose it would be my dad. Just yesterday I was looking at some pictures of him and his friends at his boat club from the late fifties and early sixties. All khakis, CVOs and dirty bucks. Sockless or argyle. Rolled up OCBDs and pop over oxfords with short sleeves. Crew cuts and flat tops. Everybody had nicknames like the Angel, Mud Duck, Early Bird, A1. Wooden sailboats in various stages of construction.


  21. Jim K,

    The woman looks like she is saying “at band camp.”

    Cheers, BC

  22. @BC – “Wild Man of Borneo” is a phrase I haven’t heard since it passed the lips of a dearly-departed, very ‘Trad’ aunt, more than a decade ago. Thanks for the smile!

    I guess it’s been a good 8-10 weeks since I’ve had a haircut, and my kids are surprised to find that dad actually has wavy hair. It’s fun for now – a little reminder of when I jumped over to the Continent for a bit and didn’t cut it for more than 2 yrs. That, plus losing 30 lbs. made my mother cry when I got off the plane. (I’ve since founds those 30 … plus a few more)

    @elder prep: are you the ‘next state north’ as the crow flies, or as the interstate winds? In other words, are you a Blue Hen?

  23. Like so many of you, I’m now fast approaching the 10 week mark since my last visit to the barber. Since I’m not courageous enough to attempt the process myself, I’ve resigned to looking like George Plimpton, less the literary chops and biting wit, of course. If this continues on through the summer, my next hairy icon will be the Sean Maguire character (Robin Williams) in Good Will Hunting…

  24. Charlottesville | May 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm |

    Question for Will – What are CVOs? Sorry, but the acronym is new to me. I think I saw it in an earlier comment as well. Cordovan V-something oxford? Classic V-neck O-something? Chartreuse Velvet Overalls? Hopefully not the latter. I know it must be something painfully obvious but I can’t figure it out.

    Jim F – Hopefully the barbers will reopen before we reach the state of this woolly Yalie: .

  25. CVOs > Deck type sneaker sold by Sperry

  26. sacksuit, I second you on that one. Anticipating the long wait, I gave myself a crew cut just a week or so in to quarantine. Been trimming the sides back down every couple weeks and leaving the top, since it shouldn’t be too long before my next proper haircut.

    The crew cut is definitely the haircut of the quarantine, if cut your hair you do.

  27. Charlottesville | May 7, 2020 at 2:17 pm |

    Docere – Many thanks. I have a had several pairs over the years, but had no idea they were called CVOs. According to several sites on Google, it stands for Canvas Vulcanized Oxfords, which makes perfect sense. I just gave away a couple of pairs to Goodwill, but still have at least one pair in the closet.

    It is unusually chilly and quite windy down here today, so tweed coat, covert pants and pebble-grained longwings are the uniform of the day, but I am looking forward to the poplin and seersucker mentioned above by NaturalShoulder and John Carlos as soon as the weather will cooperate.

  28. john carlos | May 7, 2020 at 2:31 pm |

    Charlottesville- mid to upper 80’s here today. Growing up in Texas, I’ve always used Easter as the gateway for poplin, seersucker, madras and the like. Basically, summer lasts about 5 to 6 months here.

  29. Charlottesville | May 7, 2020 at 2:40 pm |

    John Carlos – I envy you today, but probably not in August when it is likely to be 100+ in San Antonio. Although lately, we have been hitting the century mark in August on occasion in Charlottesville too.

  30. john carlos | May 7, 2020 at 2:43 pm |

    You are correct about August. It’s usually brutal.

  31. sacksuit | May 7, 2020 at 4:56 pm |


    Tidewater started cool as well. Light weight black and white houndstooth sack coat today with white OCBD, solid tie in British racing green by The Custom Shop Shirtmakers, khakis and Alden BB loafers.

    G and T time soon,


  32. Charlottesville | May 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm |

    Will — Nice outfit. I wish I could join you in that G&T. In a bit I will make the end-of-the-day journey from my temporary office in what we call the old den to the other side of the house to shake up a couple of martinis for my wife and me. I miss going into town, but must admit that the evening commute is much faster these days.

  33. @Charlottesville, still laughing at that pic of William Kunstler! Am almost inspired now to cultivate that look so that later this summer I can further embarrass my teenage daughter when I drop her off at her club lacrosse practices (God willing.) Your EOD ritual is a familiar one in our household, except that it’s a martini for me and a Negroni for my better half.

  34. Charlottesville | May 8, 2020 at 9:56 am |

    Jim F. Good luck on achieving the fright-wig hairstyle of the late Mr. Kunstler. A friend’s father, managing partner of a NY law firm that was fairly shoe in the 80s and 90s, had similar out-of-control mutton chops. It was a look not uncommon in the 70s and some of those guys just never changed back. My wife too sometimes deviates form the martini, but I am pretty loyal to the ice-cold see-through. However, when feeling continental, I sometimes have a Negroni, but double up on the gin ratio. Not at all a bad drink. Still too cold here for a Pimm’s Cup or G&T to feel quite right, but they will enter the mix I hope in a few weeks along with seersucker, madras and linen.

  35. Charlottesville, I just got an email that 5/13 is World Cocktail Day. Let me know if you feel like writing an ode or tribute of some kind.

  36. Charlottesville | May 8, 2020 at 11:06 am |

    Thanks, Christian. That is coming up quick, but let me think about it.

  37. MacMcConnell | May 8, 2020 at 11:54 am |

    I’m the USAF Brat who spent time at Randolph Field in the first half of the 1960s. I never had the privilege of having my hair cut at the Officers’ Club, but did a lot of skate boarding in the empty pool and patio in the winter. I have very few memories of actually sitting in a barber’s chair till I was 13. My father owned clippers and I had crew cuts from the day I learned to walk till seventh grade.
    Randolph Field the West Point of the sky. The original pre-WWII parts of the base were very cool, even the hangers. I often think about how we older fellows grew up compared to now days. For example, to go to golf lessons at the base golf course in fourth grade we had to ride our bicycles across the flight line between jets landing and taking off.f course. Good time, good times.

  38. MacMcConnell | May 8, 2020 at 12:01 pm |

    john carlos
    Yes, Easter was always my brake out demarcation for summer clothing in the Deep South.

  39. Ever since I left my native Episcopalian denomination for the East, I’ve been letting the razors and scissors collect dust. I imagine that in my sack blazers and loafers I look like a wizard who moonlights as an insurance salesman.

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