Family & Education

‘My husband went from fox, via raccoon, to half-beard hero’

Did you see a half-shaved man in north London last week? Let Joy Sable explain...


During lockdown it quickly became apparent that it would wreak havoc on our looks. With hairdressers shut, many magazine articles and Facebook groups advised us to “embrace the grey” .

I became less glamorous by the day. My grey roots were far too prominent for my liking. Over-the-counter remedies have been only partially successful: I ended up with more dye on my hands than on my head when I tried brush-on powder colour, while my white wardrobe doors were spattered with brown dots when I attempted to spray away the grey using an aerosol tint. I chickened out of shampooing in a permanent shade as I was petrified I’d end up with green roots.

Meanwhile, the lockdown did not appear to have the same effect on my husband, who embraced his new hirsute look with enthusiasm. He refused to shave — why bother, he argued, when he wasn’t going anywhere?

I didn’t mind a bit of designer stubble, and for a short while he was quite the silver fox, but as the weeks went on he morphed into something more akin to a raccoon. By May his beard had assumed biblical proportions — think Charlton Heston as Moses — while the hair on his head could easily draw comparisons with Dr Emmett Brown in Back to the Future.

Despite my pleas for him to rid himself of the beard, he refused. I was stuck with my very own Brian Blessed until last weekend. That was when he decided to take the plunge, or should I say razor?

My joy at the impending upsherin was short-lived when he declared that he would shave off only half — yes, half — of the beard and then walk around our neighbourhood sporting this new look, in aid of charity.

Over the years, I’ve supported him jumping out of a plane, running marathons and doing numerous other things for a variety of good causes, but nothing as meshuggah as this.

The walk went to plan and drew a number of strange looks; if he is now known as a bit eccentric, at least Hatzola, the Jewish emergency service, has benefited to the tune of nearly a thousand pounds. And at last I have a clean-shaven husband.

As for me, I’m counting the days to my return to the hairdresser in July.

It was my daughter’s comment, “Mum, I’ve never seen you look so old” that decided it for me.

So I’m not going to embrace the grey; I’m going to embrace my hairdresser. From a safe distance, of course.


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