Close shaves go viral in lockdown
People have resorted to craft scissors and box dye and are posting the results as #CoronaCuts online. Some are giving their furry friends summer makeovers too — so we have poodles with Elvis forelocks; golden retrievers with ponytails.Updated: May 14, 2020, 16:22 IST
Lockdown hairdos are becoming hard to ignore — on Zoom calls, at the market, on social media. These aren’t trims or experimental bangs. People have resorted to craft scissors and box dye and are posting the results as #CoronaCuts online. Some are giving their furry friends summer makeovers too — so we have poodles with Elvis forelocks; golden retrievers with ponytails.
For Mumbai-based photographer and creative director Pretika Menon, 32, cutting her own hair has always been cathartic. “I feel a sense of release every time I do it,” she says. Under lockdown, she decided to shave it off entirely. “It’s like reinventing yourself. I’ve never seen myself this way, and I quite like it, so I plan on keeping it this way for a while,” she says.
But for the longest time though, there’s been this idea that men should keep their hair short and women should have it long. “If a man grows his hair out, he’s effeminate and if a woman cut her hair short she’s either ‘going through a break down’ or ‘asking for negative attention’ or she’s butch!, says Menon. “I’ve always pushed myself out of these boxes and experimented with my appearance, it’s an extremely powerful tool to take back your own power over your body. It’s mostly just that,” she says.
For lawyer Almira Lasrado, 27, haircuts were never experimental. In lockdown, she took the plunge and now sports a buzz cut. “My elder brother helped. It happened on the spur of the moment, and I don’t regret it at all,” she says.
There is no compromising on a good hair day for some. Lucknow-based digital marketeer Zahid Akhtar, 25, says he knew he’d have to take matters into his own hands by the third week of lockdown. “But I’ve discovered I can do a really good job myself,” he says. Akhtar has even documented his own haircut in a step-by-step video guide on YouTube, to help other first-timers get it right. “It’s a simple trim that lets you look neat without too much hassle,” he says.
Jaspreet Kaur Kalsi, 20, a student at Delhi University, used the lockdown as a chance to colour her hair. “All my friends had been posting their hair experiments on social media — chopping it short, trying to grow it, trying out rice-water conditioning and hair masks,” she says.
A few days before the lockdown was announced her brother had got his hair coloured at a salon that charged him Rs 1,200; she got a similar result at home, with a box of dye that cost Rs 140. “I’ve learnt that home experiments can save both time and money,” she says, laughing. “I do miss my salon but now I’ll be more choosy about the things I outsource to the professionals.”
“This was the first and last time,” says Rebecca Simonian, 31, a chef from Pune who gave her elderly Lhasa Apso a trim. TJ has a skin condition that causes a rash if his hair grows too long. “I had to do something to put him out of his misery,” says Simonian. “But it’s certainly not easy. Without proper tools and a trimmer, I had to use scissors. Every time I cut, I would silently pray I didn’t hurt him.” Is the pooch happy though? “If he could speak, I think he’d be cursing me right now,” she says, laughing.