The Haircut Experience In Boise’s New Normal
When I sat down in the chair, she and I had no idea what the future would hold. The talk of the Coronavirus was nothing more than humorous conversation while Jeanette cut my hair at the Sports Clips on State Street near downtown Boise. I had been going here every two weeks for four months, but this would be the last time I would spend a Sunday getting my bi-weekly trim for 49 days.
When I woke up, I pulled out my phone to check-in online, but the wait times were so long on their first-weekend open in nearly two months that I had to go there to check-in physically. My wait time: Four and a half hours.
The haircut experience has changed. Instead of watching a sporting event on the TV in the waiting area, there were three chairs outside the building to wait in. Jeanette couldn't recognize me because of my long hair, and I couldn't recognize her in the face mask that was required for her to wear. Usually, I'd be able to set my drink down on her counter, but not anymore. If you bring your phone, a bottle, or even your hat, you will be holding them during your cut. In between clients, the team was busy sanitizing everything, as well as could be expected. While the sterile experience didn't feel very welcoming, I understood it's a necessity and wondered if things would ever go back to the way they were. As time goes on, every two weeks, I will be looking for a little hope that things do return to normal, not only at Sports Clips but everywhere I go, shop and eat in the Treasure Valley.
Over the past 49 days, my hat collection grew substantially as a way to cover up my long hair that I couldn't style myself anymore. Walking into the radio station without a hat seemed to give me more energy and, most importantly, more confidence, making my 270-minute wait worth every second.