Rab McNeil: Home haircut leaves a lot to be desired! .

Dentistry

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I have made a bags of my head again. Regular readers who take copious notes will recall that I cut my own hair. I just feel that handing over responsibility for one’s barnet to a stranger is risky, and I dislike the loss of control as one is strapped into the chair and sedated. Maybe that was just me, right enough.

At any rate, it is dentistry of the follicles and, in my experience, just as scary. At least dentists give you that lovely pink water to drink.

The problem with cutting my own hair is that it means handing over control of the exercise to me, which is never a good idea. But you’d be surprised how often I get away with it.

People titter at me in the street, and in the queue at supermarkets, but there could be several reasons for that. My friends say it might be because of my winter habit of wearing long johns with my kilt.

You’ll want a full inventory of the equipment used to cut my hair, and here it is: a beard trimmer. It’s really the same as a hair trimmer. You just hold it upside down.

The trouble with the beard trimmer is it doesn’t let you keep your barnet too long. The eight of an inch gradations seem precise but can lull you into a false sense of security, so that you take it down another notch, and next thing … disaster.

I detest the shaven-headed look of brutal Britain, but my head is now shaven to the bone down the sides. Horrified, I declined to go too far with the top of my head, with the result that the hair’s all bunched up there.

It looks like I’ve a family-sized steak pie on my head. As for the back, I do that blind, making for an arguably uneven effect. It looks like a myopic drunkard with a serious hand tremor has given himself a bad Mohican while simultaneously jitterbugging. Correct.

Oh well, it’s only hair. Who looks at your head anyway? I’m amazed at how het up people get up about male hair. Grow it long, and you become a target for ridicule.

Male long hair coincided with the high point of twentieth century culture. Nobody then preferred roundheads to cavaliers but, today, they do. Today, alas, I’m a roundhead at the sides and a cavalier on top.

I wish I had the courage of telly historian Neil Oliver. Folk go on and on about his hair, with newspaper features devoting more lines to that than his historical work. What the hell is wrong with them? Leave the man alone.

Alas, people will be leaving me alone even more than usual as I won’t be going out the house again till next February or March time.

If I could borrow five pounds off somebody, I suppose I could go to a proper barber and get them to tidy it up. But, last time I did that, they phoned round their colleagues and took pictures of my head to illustrate lectures at a forthcoming hairdressers’ symposium.

One of my tittering friends said rubbing squashed banana into the brutally bristling sides would help them regrow. But I make it a personal rule never to go out with fruit on my head.