Hairdressers at doorstep: A ‘secret service’ flourishing in Chennai?

While this is, obviously, a violation of lockdown restrictions, the city folk see it differently.
Image used for representational purpose only
Image used for representational purpose only

CHENNAI: It's a Movember in May for Chennaites. With salons staying closed for over two months, people have started sporting flowing manes and facial hair. In a bid to beautify Chennaites again, and to regain their lost livelihood, some hairdressers have started providing their services at the doorstep.

While this is, obviously, a violation of lockdown restrictions, the city folk see it differently. The sweltering heat has made many of them change their mind.

“Summer isn’t the best time to grow out your hair,” says R Kumaran, who has used the services of his barber secretly during the lockdown.

“It gets sweaty and uncomfortable. So I asked my barber to come home with his equipment.”

Kumaran was even willing to pay a little extra over what the barber had charged. Barbers providing the ‘secret service’ claim it’s not all their fault.

“Some neighbours and friends came up with requests, and soon the word spread.”

A barber from Nanganallur says some of his clients don’t even own a shaving set.

It was a bond built on trust and comfort, until lockdown tore it apart. In certain other places, whispers are that barbershops are being opened at late hours ­— and strictly by appointment. They open for a two-hour window in places like Mandaveli and Ice House, say sources.

For some others, not having barbershops amidst a pandemic is poor logic.

“Kids catch a cold if they retain sweat,” says J Kevin Das of Anna Nagar West.

“The barber we brought home wore a mask, used sanitiser, and gave us haircuts.” It’s not like the cops are not noticing the sudden disappearance of hair among public.

“We have been tracking down salons in our jurisdictions,” says an officer.

“A number of shops have been sealed for doing business.”

But, what about house-calls?

“There’s not much that can be done about it,” he says.

“As long as public exercise caution, it should be fine.”

After all, when actors and politicians make TV appearances looking well-groomed, why not the common man?            

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The New Indian Express
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