Common Says His Grooming Routine All But Disappeared During Quarantine with Tiffany Haddish

"She supports my grooming, but she's also looking to enhance it," Common says about Tiffany Haddish

Common always wants to look great — and he sure does.

Chatting with PEOPLE in this week's Sexiest Man Alive issue, the 48-year-old rapper — who has spent the year quarantining with girlfriend Tiffany Haddish — talks about grooming and eating healthy, even during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I want to look great, but I also know I want to feel great and be great and treat others great. So I think that always, for me, is taking priority," he tells PEOPLE. "Initially, my grooming routine was just not grooming. It was just we living, we alive, let's look and see what's going on in the world. I wasn't thinking about grooming as much, you know?"

"I was in the spirit and the mindset of it actually felt really good to just let my beard and my head grow where it grows, just let it go," he adds, clarifying that he eventually wanted to be neat again. "Especially during these times you felt like, let me just chill out for a minute. It ain't even about me trying to look so clean-cut or present this to the world. It was more just like, man, we all going through something together."

"It was the freedom in it that I like. And the self-love that I felt," he adds about letting his hair grow out.

SMA a change in scenery - common
Common. Ian Maddox

As for many men, a trip to the barbershop (or in this case, a barber's trip to him) is much more than just getting a cut.

"Your barber sees you in different aspects or moments in your life," the "Invocation" rapper says about his barber. "There are many times that I'm working on music and writing. There are many times he's there, he hears me talking to my grandmother on the phone. There are times where I'm watching a basketball game. There are times when I'm quiet."

"It's a connection there. You don't let everybody just touch your head," he adds. "And you don't let everybody in your space like that."

The rapper has even had to play the role of barber himself — at home with Haddish, 40, who recently went "baldie," Common says. (He admits he only cut her hair once.)

"I would definitely say that we definitely inspire each other," he says of his actress girlfriend. "If we think of grooming too, and that translates into styling and I will bounce ideas off of her, and she will check with me and ask how certain things look, how well she's put together."

"I follow my intuition more than anything, but I respect the support and ideas. And she gives me the same thing and she does the same thing," he adds. "She gives me this beard oil that if I want my beard to grow faster. So she supports my grooming but is also looking to enhance it."

Common and Tiffany Haddish
Common and Tiffany Haddish. Lester Cohen/Getty

The Girls Trip actress and the "GO!" rapper also support each other in a different way: their healthy diets.

"I honestly was eating fish for the past years, and I probably will eat fish again I started eating everything and I love food," the star, who is vegan, says. "Once I started removing certain things from my diet, [I started] feeling better and thinking clearer and feeling stronger actually."

"Tiffany's eating habits are not like mine. But she will eat some vegan things. But I remember early on, I was like, 'Taste this.' And she ain't like some of it," he says. "But she's health-conscious, but she just also likes her food. See, she supports the businesses, Black businesses. She going to make sure she gets the foods that she wants."

Common says that Haddish has even tried to teach him how to cook.

"She hasn't had much success in it because I will sometimes be drifting off doing other things, but to be honest it is something that I would enjoy," he says with a smile. "I don't want to continue to do it a lot, but I like learning. So, that's been fun."

During quarantine, the couple also hosted small game nights with close friends that were "a lot of fun."

"Having a few people over and play these fun games, it's silly and even playing card games, all that was fun," he says. "Having great food. Just a great time."

Common says he hopes to one day do theater. As for what he sees for himself 10 years down the line?

"Happiness beyond measure. I hope for health and wellness. I hope that I've grown creatively," he says. "I hope that my life is a spark and a light for others 10 years down the line and I hope that I've done theater and did it excellent and that I'm producing incredible films and TV, giving more people opportunities."

For more from Common, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.

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