A whole lot about normal everyday life has come to an abrupt halt during the current coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown. One thing that hasn’t? The rate at which your hair grows. As it turns out, hair continues to grow at its average rate of 0.5 inches per month regardless of government orders to stay indoors. Unfortunately, those same (eminently sensible) social distancing orders mean that it’s not so easy to visit the barber.
If the idea of having a housemate or family member take to your luscious locks with a pair of scissors and no training, a quintessentially 2020 online business may have the answer. YouProbablyNeedaHaircut.com is offering to match up people in need of a haircut with hairdressers who can provide Zoom video call guidance on how to cut your hair. Depending on whether you need a “quick cut” or “not-so-quick cut” (read: 20 minutes or 45 minutes), it will set you back between $18 and $30.
“My girlfriend wanted to give me a haircut but is a data scientist with absolutely no experience cutting hair,” Greg Isenberg, creator of YouProbablyNeedaHaircut.com, told Digital Trends. “I immediately thought that my barber back in NYC could help coach her virtually. A light bulb went off in my head that thousands of other men might be in the same situation I’m in. It’s a win-win: Support barbers with cash who are out of work and make men all over the world look cleaner.”
The site currently has a couple dozen barbers on its virtual books, with clients able to coordinate with them to book an appointment . You’ll need to have a bit of hairdressing kit at home, but it’s a pretty neat stopgap until we can get back into an actual barber’s chair. Right now, the focus seems to be on straightforward men’s cuts, which are often simpler, but should enough people sign up, hairdressers versed in a wide range of techniques could join up as well.
The majority of the payment goes to the barbers in question. (You can also leave a $5 tip should you wish.) However, YouProbablyNeedaHaircut.com takes a $3.60 commission from each payment made using the service.
“There is nothing like walking into a barbershop, and no digital experience that can live up to that specific feeling,” Isenberg said. “This is the next best thing during these tough times.”