By MIA KOTELEC
Published May 27, 2020
Confined to our homes, shelter in place has taken away the opportunity for many to go to a salon, thus opening the door for risky in-home styling changes to take full bloom. As parts of California are entering Stage 3 of Governor Newsom’s reopening plan, which allows barbershops and hair salons in selected counties to resume business, now is the time to reflect and reexamine hair decisions made during this time of desperation and impulsivity.
Within days of the shelter-in-place announcement, pictures of dozens of colorful, freshly dyed heads and do-it-yourself videos offering at-home styling tips flooded Instagram feeds, prompting many to ask themselves the age old question, “Should I dye my hair?”
I must admit that I myself was an early succumber to quarantine hair, following in the footsteps of many who, in need of a change and feeling threatened by March’s overall impending sense of doom, dyed their hair bright pink out of sheer boredom and recklessness. With salon closures in place, many have turned to their moms for a fresh fade or the dye rack at CVS to spice up their look, and thanks to social distancing protocols, the risk of public embarrassment is slim to none, making it the perfect time to switch things up.
Various hair coloring companies saw a massive influx in sales revenue in the weeks immediately after March’s lockdown, such as British hair coloring brand Knight & Wilson, which reported a staggering 1,200% sales increase after the UK’s lockdown began on March 23.
For Carmel High teacher and newly turned amateur hairstylist Mike Palshaw, who recently shaved his own head to pursue a look reminiscent of Eleven from “Stranger Things,” the shelter-in-place mandate has offered a safe space to try new techniques, regardless of outcome.
“It was definitely easier to give myself a bad haircut with the knowledge that aside from a Zoom meeting or two, no one would get a decent look at it,” remarks Palshaw, expressing gratitude for his ability to conceal his new ‘do.
CHS senior Mackenzie Keller appreciates the chance to explore her look in an ultimately risk-free setting, having dyed her hair pink, bleached streaks and given herself a trim over the course of lockdown.
“I’ve never dyed my hair before, but now I’ve gotten to try new hair routines and stylings so I may become an avid hair dyer in the future,” says Keller, emerging from quarantine with an exciting new passion.
And while some have enjoyed the opportunity to live out their barber dreams, others express frustration at their inability to receive their regular haircut.
Svenn Eyjolfsson, a senior at CHS and a frequent patron of Great Clips, has been rocking what he likes to call an “Icefro,” an homage to his Icelandic heritage: “My hair’s really curly so when it gets this long it gets a little crazy. I usually get my hair cut every couple weeks so this has been pretty tough to say the least.”
On the other hand, some, like senior Sam Rauh, are enjoying the liberation of not having to maintain a freshly shaved visage, preferring to let his body take charge.
“Right now styling and cutting and all that stuff isn’t really important,” Rauh says. “I say just let your body do what it does best: grow.”
For the time being Monterey County is still unable to progress to Stage 3 of Newsom’s plan to reopen, so it’s looking like a few more weeks of DIY according to Punxsutawney Gavin, who must have seen his shadow this year.