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Hair In The Time Of COVID-19
Whether it's boredom, experimentation, creative expression, or utter desperation - it's undeniable that a lot of us have made some drastic decisions about our hair over the past few months. Of course we can blame it on various pandemic-related realities, but the truth is that people have been making emotionally charged hair choices since long before COVID. Read on as we take a closer look at some of the most common hair changes of late and explore some of the factors that have contributed to them both lately and in general.
DIY TRIMS & CUTS
There is a camp of people who would NEVER fathom trimming their own bangs or making any sort of hair move without the help of a professional stylist, and there's a whole other group that routinely does a self-chop in between salon appointments - albeit to very varying results. We've even come across some ladies that joke about their self-imposed mishaps and yet they continue to "experiment" with the scissors at home.
Well... closing down salons meant everyone fell into a similar boat. With professional help no longer a readily available option, many reached a breaking point and took matters into their own hands - literally. Luckily there are a lot of tips and tutorials out there and some stylists quickly adapted to doing consults via Zoom, FaceTime, and the like.
And while some played it safe, others used this time as an excuse to make a drastic change like going really short, getting bangs for the first time, or even shaving their head entirely - you gotta admit that a low maintenance option does seem pretty appealing these days.
Remote work has also made things more casual and thereby opened up the possibilities for what people can "get away with."
Many parents have also been forced to cut their children's hair (and in some cases the hair of their significant others), which can bring up some memories of hair woes our own parents have put us through.
Our COO, Regina Plaza, recalls a particularly traumatic hair phase:
"My hair was so aggravatingly curly and dry - I struggled during my teenage years to manage/style it (I had no clue honestly). My mom was so frustrated with it (or maybe me) that one summer (while I was a teenager and taking swim lessons at a local lake) she decided it was time for a haircut. The cut was so severe/short that I was completely embarrassed to go to swim lessons the next day (I did not want to be seen), but my mother did make me/direct me/force me to go to the swim lessons. I wore a hat that I would not take off, even for the underwater portion of the lesson!!!!!!! I literally wore the hat for the entire week. It seems funny to me today that it was so embarrassing to me, but how you feel about your hair can really affect how you feel about the day or even yourself. I’m older and wiser now - I would rock a really rad scarf to cover up a bad cut."
Now, while many people could completely get away without a trim or cut for all these months (and use products to help tame the mane), overdue color can be much harder to mask. This has led some to dye their own hair for the first time EVER - a daunting task, no doubt.
Savvy stylists saw the need for virtual consulting and some even started packaging together kits for their clients to DIY at home - now that's a way to keep them loyal.
Some people were even inspired to change their color to something they would've never considered during "normal times."
While others have let their gray grow out so far that they're actually thinking about continuing to let it grow or and going completely gray. Sometimes it takes a forced break to recognize that au natural might in fact be best.
If you're thinking about making the leap, be sure to check out Lisa AKA This Organic Girl, who's an EVOLVher that's spearheading this movement and gives us major gray hair inspo.
THE STYLIST RELATIONSHIP
Some stylists switched to making house calls during shelter-in-place restrictions and actually found many willing clients, even scoring some new ones thanks to referrals because people were desperate for some pro help and their usual stylist wasn't available. It just goes to show that some people are willing to risk their health for their hair.
We don't necessarily condone this, but let's just say that if you used to take your stylist/salon for granted, chances are you don't any more.
The stylist relationship is a crucial one for so many and it's all based on trust.
Lauren White, the maven behind A Wholly Beautiful You recently shared with us a horrifying stylist session gone terribly wrong:
"When I was a freshman in college, I decided to get highlights. My hair was a short, very dark bob, and I wanted to gradually lighten it all up. The stylist I went to, I had seen plenty of times before, and I trusted her work. What I failed to realize was that she was receiving guidance behind the scenes from her coworkers, and on the particular day I went in for these highlights, it was just us in the salon because she rented a booth. She said we would do micro highlights to get the most lift possible overall...the process of foiling took 2.5 hours AND THEN SHE STUCK ME UNDER A DRYER for another 30 minutes!!! When we got to the bowl, I asked her how things looked. As she shampooed, she grew very quiet. We walked back to her chair and I sat down to an unrecognizable head of hair; it was pumpkin orange, fuzzy, and snapping off near the scalp as she blow dried! I was absolutely horrified. She sent me home with free product (because obviously she felt bad for burning my hair off and making me look like a clown) but she still charged me for the service!!! I spent my entire freshman year of college wearing ball caps and leaving heavy layers of conditioner in my hair all the time to try to heal the damage. What normally would be a very exciting time in a young woman's life was a very self conscious one for me. I felt embarrassed by my chemical haircut and very shy while trying to make friends. It was honestly so traumatic, and to this day I opt to do my own color - unless I'm working in a salon and have immense trust in a coworker."
Yikes! Here's hoping no one has to go through anything like that with a pro or their own at home attempts.
NOT JUST FOR WOMEN
Even men are getting in on the action. We've noticed a lot of men whose jobs dictated their do's in the past letting their hair and facial hair go long and loving it. The rules are much more lax for Zoom calls and we honestly don't see anything wrong with that.
One of the silver linings to come out of all of this is people's focus on prioritizing self-care. This could mean exercise, eating better, taking up a new hobby, starting a mediation practice, connecting to nature, reading more, or any number of awesome things that help you feel good even when times are tough. For many, it's also meant stepping up their product game and making the switch to clean. It's easier to conceal an overdue trim if you're taking care of your hair with healthful ingredients and hiding split ends with smoothing products.
If you're ready to change your hair life - look no further!
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