Queen’s Park: We have a problem

Dear Premier Doug Ford:

I’m truly embarrassed to approach you in the midst of a worldwide pandemic with such a frivolous, first-world problem. I know you’re pretty busy sorting out issues with under-staffed, under-funded nursing homes and the shortages of supplies in hospitals, but we boomer women have a teeny little problem which can quickly be taken care of by answering one simple little question that will only take twenty seconds of your time. The thing is, I need more information about your proposed phased rollout for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

Specifically, I need to know exactly when hair salons will be reopened so we can get our hair issues attended to? Will it be a month? Two months? Six months? An entire generation of formerly blonde baby boomer women is struggling with how to conceal our grey roots and manage our overdue trims. If you could just be specific about this one simple question, I promise I’ll never bother you again, I’m pretty sure.

It’s been five months now since I had my highlights done. The last time was in November 2019 and my next appointment which was scheduled for early March was canceled because I had a cough and bad cold. My hairdresser has a little girl and I didn’t want to take a chance on passing along my germs so I canceled the appointment. It turned out to be the right move. Then, the sky fell and everything slammed shut faster than my neighbour’s door when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come calling.

Hair grows on average at the rate of half an inch per month which (even though I’m hopeless with math) means my roots are currently at least 3 inches long and my overdue trim is proportionately past due. Fortunately, my own roots are dirt-coloured with no grey so the results are just very unpleasant, not downright scary. But many of my boomer friends are sporting truly horrifying roots in varying shades of white, grey, salt and pepper, and dirty snow.

Do I or Don’t I?

I’ve reached a crossroads, a dilemma of significant proportions for a retired old lady who’s way past her best-before date. Unless I have a date I can reasonably count on to be there waiting in the eighteen-mile-long lineup outside my regular hair salon on opening day, I’m faced with a dilemma, a looming fork in the road. Should I attempt cutting my hair myself or continue to tough it out, au natural? And, speaking of au natural, my legs have been hidden in sweats for several weeks now and will probably need a threshing machine to make myself presentable when legs are once again allowed to go bare in public. But, that’s my problem, not yours. Sorry.

Will I end up with a mullet?

I could probably manage to trim the sides and top of my hair OK. I’ve been trimming my own bangs for years so that doesn’t intimidate me but I’m very, very concerned about how I’m going to do the back. You see, I don’t have a nice easy bob that I can get hubby to cut in a straight line (assuming he could, and I assume he can’t). It’s a precisely layered and textured short cut that cannot be easily handled even with an assortment of hand mirrors and limited dexterity. Do I risk ending up with a (gulp!) mullet?

Do you touch-up your blonde buzzcut yourself on occasion? Otherwise, you must have a barber living under your roof because you look exceptionally tidy and presentable at your daily press conferences, unlike us common folk. Does Mrs. Ford do the job for you? Or, are you getting contraband trims not available to the rest of us?  That would make it hard for you to understand our angst.

The time factor is critical. If you could please provide me with a date when hair salons will reopen (obviously with strict guidelines for personal protection in place), otherwise, I’ll have to haul out my hazmat suit, mask, and gloves and head to Shoppers’ Drug Mart for a Clairol Frost n’ Tip kit? It’s been forty years since I’ve used that plastic cap to do the job myself but I’m pretty sure I could still manage it. We don’t all have gorgeous natural white hair like Maye Musk, Catherine Gildiner, or my artist friend Perry McEwen whose colour doesn’t require professional intervention.

“Hair-acy” by Perry McEwen illustrates boomers’ rapidly escalating hair issues with gray roots and bad DIY trims.

It’s not just the cut and colour I miss. I also miss the hug my stylist gives me when I arrive and depart, the mini scalp massage she delivers so deliciously when she shampoos my hair. I miss eavesdropping on the gossip and personal problems being shared by other clients. I miss watching the other stylists and their clients for their before and after looks, and I miss the little shopping spree and foodcourt lunch I enjoy after I’m finished. Most of all, I miss looking like the finest version of myself I can be when I walk out the door of the salon and face the public. I walk a little lighter and I smile more readily.

I know you don’t have a crystal ball and this crisis is so unpredictable, but if you could just slip me the tidbit of vital information about when hair salons are going to reopen, I won’t tell a soul .  . . well, other than all my old boomer gal pals and my millions (you never know!) of BoomerBroadcast followers. We stick together in a sisterhood of mutual support since the rest of the world tends to ignore us.

I suppose I should admit I voted for you in the last election, but under duress, because I truly hated what the Liberals had done to this province with their various financial and other mishandlings. Thank you for temporarily eliminating the prime-time rate assessments, but my hydro bills still give me palpitations. So, if you could help me out here, you can be assured I will cast my vote for Doug Ford in the next election with a smile of confidence on my face.

Neither the federal* nor provincial governments have done anything to ease the plight of tax-paying seniors (including baby boomers) during this crisis. Now’s your chance. Please feel free to reply anonymously in the comments section below or on your fancy embossed official Premier of the best province (Ontario) in the best country (Canada) in the world stationery that I can show around to my friends. I’ve reached a crossroads and I need to make plans.

Your friend and generous tax contributor,




c.c. Justin Trudeau, Ottawa*


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3 years ago

My husband has the perfect solution……just wear a ball cap! Seems to be working for him.

Gail from Oakville