We asked three barbers to imagine the future of barbering in our feature 3020: A Barbering Odyssey. Expect cockroach-ruled dystopias, the dismantling of gender boundaries and regulation for the industry (and the rise of illegal barbershops – sigh).
The artwork for these pages was created by the talented, patient and awesome illustrator Will Marshall. He’s available for commissions so get in contact with him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on his Instagram @MarshallArts99
First in the series, we have Jen Winters of Phoney Pony. She describes a post-apocalyptic landscape where cockroaches with pompadours rule and hairstyles define your status.
Kingdom of cockroaches
“In 3020 the sun will be on its way out. We will be in a wasteland, but it won’t be brutal and bleak – nature will have taken over. It will be like those atmospheric abandoned theme park where plants and trees grow everywhere uncontrollably.
The upper classes will be living high above the trees in huts and the lower classes will be on the ground. Hairstyles will show your status. The upper class will have gorgeous hair and poorer people will have shaved their heads, due to practical reasons like lessening their chance of getting lice and to keep it out of the way when they hunt. Wealthier classes will weave precious metals into their hair, they’ll have dreads adorned with gold and diamonds. I’m imagining it will be similar to the film A Million Ways to Die in the West. There’s a scene where a guy walks into a barbers and asks for a moustache and the barber says, ‘You can’t afford that moustache’.
For the lower and middle classes fashion will be practical. People will cover themselves in mud to protect their skin from UV (they’ll be no ozone layer left). They’re not punks though, it’s definitely not going to be like Mad Max with leather, studs and chains. That’s so impractical! Imagine going out
to fix your truck and your chains getting caught on stuff all the time?! The world will be colder and we’ll be into clean living – more by necessity than anything. A good spud will be our staple diet. My family are Irish, so I know the power of a potato!
I think cockroaches with pompadours will be powerful because they can survive anything. They’ll need their hair doing too, so barbers will make a pact with them. I’m convinced that humans will make a treaty with the roaches – we just won’t be able to ignore the economic power of them. In terms of payment people will trade potatoes and food, rather than money or currency. Instead of donkeys, people will have a fleet of cockroaches, like fine race horses.
When it comes to socialising I think we’ll all still be meeting face to face. Post pandemic we’ll do everything we can to be safe, we’re a social species and we need to have contact. If we don’t connect in person or enrich ourselves culturally we fall apart. I can imagine there might be an underground barbering scene when we go through pandemics. It’ll be like 1920s prohibition all over again, you’ll walk through a shop to a secret backroom barbershop. It will still be humans cutting hair. Obviously no one will trust a robot to do their hair, because they can be programmed to assassinate you.”