On Cutting My Hair in Lockdown

Sarah Totton
The Haven
Published in
3 min readMay 10, 2021


Photo by Everyday Basics at Unsplash

I can’t put it off any longer.

I look like Animal from The Muppet Show.

And not in a good way.

It’s time for some judicious pruning.

How hard can it be to cut your own hair?

It’s not brain surgery.

It could be brain surgery if I slip with the scissors.

I don’t even have scissors.

I’ve got kitchen shears.

Are they sharp?

Yup. Sharp enough to cut the string off a chicken.

As long as my hair isn’t tougher than chicken string, I’m good to go.

What kind of hairstyle do I want?

No matter what I ask my hairdresser Sandra for, she always gives me the same cut.

Any time I suggest something different, Sandra sighs and says, “That style won’t work with the shape of your face.”

I’ve only got her word for that. And she’s not here.

I could give myself any hairstyle at all.

I could invent a hairstyle:

The Gazelle.

The Butterscotch Sundae.



And when I go back to Sandra, she’ll roll her eyes so far they’ll fall back into her skull.

Then she’ll ask me what I’ve been doing with her hair.

It’s my hair. Why does she act like it’s her hair? Growing out of my head.

I’ll show her whose hair it is.

Okay, wait. How do I do this?

Sandra would scream if she saw me cutting my hair.

If hair screamed when you cut it, no one would ever cut their hair.

We’d all look like Jesus.

I couldn’t pull off the Jesus look. My face is too round.

According to Sandra.

Forget Sandra.

If I want to go through with this, I need confidence.

I need to channel a hair guru.

Who’s famous for cutting hair?

Sweeney Todd?

He knew what he was doing.

And he didn’t do it in bunch of short little cuts.

He made one long cut.

Oh…so that’s why Sandra wraps that hair-repellent cape around my shoulders before she starts to cut my hair.

I shouldn’t have worn a white top. That’s a lot of hair on my shirt.

Never mind. Onward. Channeling Sweeney.

This is just like having a real haircut, only without the sexually invasive questions.

Why does my hairdresser ask me more sexually invasive questions than my doctor? And why is she judgier than my doctor?

My doctor has never said, “Your blood pressure is fine, but your face is too round for most hairstyles.”

Maybe I should have watched a YouTube tutorial first. I think I’ll do that.

Maybe I shouldn’t have Googled “Sweeney Todd” just now. Thank you for tonight’s incoming nightmares, Google Images.

Edward Scissorhands is who I meant to channel.

It’s not my fault I confused them.

They’re both Johnny Depp.

I guess it’s time to do the back.


One hand to hold the mirror. One hand to hold the hair. One hand to hold the scissors.

Something’s not adding up.

Well, if I’m holding the scissors and the mirror, no one’s holding the hair. So, how am I supposed to cut it?

This is like that problem getting a chicken, a fox, and a bag of corn across a river.

The trick is to do them two at a time.

One hand to hold the hair, one to hold the scissors.

No mirror. So, where’s the hair?

I’m holding it.

I can’t see how much I’m cutting though.

Channel Eddie Scissorhands.

Okay…so that’s…a lot of hair on my shirt now.

How do I look? Less Muppety?

I don’t look like Animal anymore.

I look more like…Beaker.

Don’t panic. I think it’s fixable.

Life is a learning experience.

For instance, today I learned that if you put gel on a Beaker, you get a Scooter.

That’s okay. I’ll just use audio-only on Zoom for the next few weeks.

And when I go outside, I’ll wear one of those masks that wraps around my entire head.

Except I don’t have a mask like that.

I have a scarf.

It’s 70 degrees outside.

Maybe I just won’t go out.

I’ll stay indoors until it grows back.

That could take weeks. But I’ll be okay.

I’ve got books, and toilet paper, and soup.

That’s all you need, right?



Sarah Totton
The Haven

Sarah Totton writes comedy and snorgles small mammals. Her short story collection, Animythical Tales, was released as an ebook in 2024.