Lockdown hair – 22 June 2020

A boy is having a hair cut. He is in a kitchen, sitting on an up-turned wooden tray, placed on a chair. The kitchen is basic, with no rug on the floor. The boy is wearing shoes a little too big for him, one of which has fallen to the ground, showing us that the previous owner had already worn a hole in the sole. The boy’s hair has grown too long, over his ears and eyes, so an elderly man is taking a very large pair of scissors to it. A bowl is used as a template. Most worrying of all is the detail that the old man needs to wear spectacles, which he has taken off and laid on the table while he cuts the lad’s hair.

The picture is by a Hungarian artist, Vida Gabor. He produced pictures in the 20th century which romanticised the 19th. This picture is intended to be affectionate and funny, to suggest to the viewer what it might be like to have one’s hair cut at home, the necessity of the poor in an earlier time.

The appearance and presentation of a person’s hair are important in every human culture. In the Bible hair is seen as a source of pride, but is also referenced when commenting on God’s intimate knowledge of every person.


Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:29-30

But not a hair of your head will perish

Luke 21:18

Who knows the number of hairs on my head?
Who understands my fears?
Who knows my dreams when I sleep in my bed?
Who’s counted all my tears?

Who knows my life, every night, every day?
Who’s always here with me?
Who knows my words, everything that I say?
Who sees the things I see?

God knows everything about me,
God knows everything about me,
He knows everything about me,
and God loves me.

Andy Irons