COVID-19 has impacted almost everything, including fashion style statements. In 1985 Bollywood heartthrob Yul Brynner became the first Bald Hollywood celebrity to make a bold bald appearance in his film. Two decades later the look has returned with a bang, but this time due to sheer necessity. A shutdown of salons and barbershops during lockdown has necessity men to shave off their head. The bold, bald look is fast trending, not just amongst the menfolk in India but across the globe. Interestingly, in many such ceremonious event wives, mothers and sisters are substituting as hair-cutters
Meet Lucknow-based Haiders whose three generations have adopted the bald & beautiful look just a few days back. Syed Amir Haider is a senior politician and lawyer in his early eighties, his son Zeeshan is Uttar Pradesh Congress spokesperson and the third generation of trendy baldies is represented by his two sons seven and 11-year-olds. They all sat together and got their heads shaved off.
“I am loving it, it is so cool,” said Zeeshan explaining that it is cool both temperature-wise as well as trend-wise. He said after he took the lead in this ‘takla’ (baldy) initiative many of his friends have said they would also like to follow suit.
The decision to go bald was taken jointly by three students of engineering. Syed John Abbas who is dong his NITM, Civil Engineering from BBD, Lucknow, along with his friends Samar who is pursuing mechanical engineering from BITS, Hyderabad, and Siddhant Sahu, enrolled for Civil Engineering, KIET Ghaziabad all turned bald at the same time and shared their experience live on Skype. The tool they used was a hair trimmer.
John lists eight benefits of shaving off his hair.
- Head skin is clean now.
- No Dandruff issue
- Escape the rising mercury.
- Confident of better quality when hair grows back.
- Happy to be part of trending.
- Need no barber now till I want.
- Protection against any infection at this time.
- No one to make fun of during the lockdown.
In Delhi Mrs. Mahruk Jafar’s teenage son, Syed Ali Jafar, has also gone bald during the lockdown..
“It was not easy to convince a teenager to shave off his hair, I had to try very hard until Ali realized that this was the only way out as all the salons are closed and there are no hair cutters available in my vicinity,” said Mrs. Jafar. She officiated as his barber.
“Ab is lockdown ney mujeh takla bananey ki kala bhi seekha diya,” (lockdown has taught me the art of turning one bald) she said jokingly, happy that she has learned a fresh skill during the lockdown.
Of course, now that Ali has taken the step and his bald head photo has gone viral he is getting a lot of compliments and some of his friends have also expressed the desire to join the bald bandwagon.
“Lockdown ney humko takla kardiya varna humbi admi they gulfaame sey (This lockdown had turned me into baldy otherwise I too was a handsome man)
This is how Mumbai based senior advocate Mehmood Abidi describes his make-over. “My Salon is closed. And even if it is open, the risk of infection will keep me away from a haircut,” he said adding that his hair had grown really “beyond the staple schoolboy cut’ which was annoying.
My son is bald by choice for over a year. I asked him to lend his trimmer. Instead, he used it on my scalp like a grass cutter,” is how Abidi describes the ceremony. “At first glance I did not recognize myself in the mirror sans my crowning glory, so I decided not to see the mirror, at least till the time I gathered the strength to accept the reality,” he said..
“I can say proudly that I am not a born baldy but one by choice,” he said adding that he is also helping the environment by using less water in his head wash.
The seventeen-year-old US based Kiyan Reza Atrian loved his hair too much to ever dream of getting them chopped off. But when they turned long and unruly he had no option but to give in to his mother’s offer of shaving off his locks.
“Initially he seemed a little depressed and I could see him often running his fingers over his bald palate, but a few days later he was his chirpy self again,” said his mom Iffat, She said now he gladly shares his pictures with his friends and even let her share them for this article.
This trend is likely to stay. It is after all a ‘pure need’ and was it not said that Necessity is the Mother of invention. Even when salons open the fear of infections will keep men off barbers.
In India the sweltering temperatures rising beyond 40 degrees Celsius may give the menfolk a good excuse to continue with the look. This is certainly Good news for all those men whose hereditary traits of receding headlines had been a constant source of worry. Now they can relax and say a big thank you to Covid-19 for providing them a level playing field.