As salons reopen, take a look at these lockdown hair cuts
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
As of today, Monday April 12, hair salons are among the businesses which can re-open as the current Covid-19 lockdown easing continues.
While hairdressers and barbers have been shut, many of us have tried giving ourselves a DIY do - sometimes with hair-raising results.
East Anglian hairdresser Alistair Reardon of Salon Sixty Six is looking forward to welcoming back his clients - and, like after the first and second lockdowns, he expects there might be a few hair scares to put right.
"After the first lockdown, there were a few questionable cuts that I had to correct," he says.
"I’ve had video calls trying to talk people through cutting their husband's hair.
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"One lady cut her husband's hair with a set of dog clippers, but reassured me she’d practiced on the dog first. One woman even shaved the sides of her hair with a set of dog clippers," he says.
But most of all, he dreaded hearing the phrase ‘I just stuck a blonde dye on it’.
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"Then the weeks and months of me trying to get it back to the beautiful highlighted effect commenced," he says.
Like many hairdressers, Alistair, who worked for his stepfather's building company while salons were closed, will be working extra hours to accommodate the demand for cuts and colours.
"As it was being announced in parliament regarding the re-opening, my phone started going crazy," he says. "I took a call from a client during the announcement and while on this call I must have had 20-30 text messages within the 10-minute conversation.
"My working hours have had to be extended due to the high surge in client bookings, but I feel extremely fortunate that I have a business where I can do this."
Alistair says that he has noticed a change in the type of colours and cuts that people are asking for – as it seems we're going for more laidback locks.
"I’ve actually had a lot of clients grow their colours out, so the surge in colour clients really wasn’t that bad.
"I definitely did a lot more ombré style colours as a lot of women were much happier with a more natural, grown out colour. Also, it was a bit of a safe bet in case we had another lockdown.
"Men have either gone for the shaved head look, or what I’m finding is that some men are really embracing the longer hair, including myself. I’ve not had a haircut since October last year and I’m really enjoying the length.”
Meanwhile, here’s a handful of Suffolk residents who took things into their own hands and gave themselves (or their partners) impromptu lockdown haircuts...
Julie Marie Penney-Taylor, of Monks Eleigh, and her husband Stephen both experimented with their tresses during lockdown. She says: “My husband attempted to cut his own hair - I’m blind in one eye so he didn’t trust me to do it, but he didn’t tell me he was going to cut his hair before he just went at it with a pair of hair clippers. When he did it, he came down halfway through and said ‘I think I may have made a mistake trying to do it myself.’ After I finished laughing, I then had to shave it all off as I couldn’t do anything to improve it.
“I've not seen my own hairdresser for over a year so I have been wearing mine up in a ponytail. I did however dye it pink recently just to see what it would look like, as I am so fed up of my hair at the moment and fancied a change. Stephen has now booked to get his hair done next week as he was really fortunate and managed to get a free slot, but I’m still waiting for a date with my hairdresser.”
Matt Thorpe of Felixstowe had a similar mishap, after letting his wife Claire loose with the clippers.
“She did a decent job with the grade four attachment on, but it was when I handed her the shaver to do my neck hair that it went awry. This has no attachment as it’s just meant to remove the fine hairs on the nape but Claire went a bit maverick and shot up too high - leaving a shaver head-sized gap in my hairline. She also did a bit over my ear, but luckily that’s covered by my glasses.
“I was initially horrified but soon laughed about it. We did consider shaving my head all over but I don't really suit the skinhead look so left it. For the time being, I have just been talking to people on my right-hand side! I recently had some friends round in my garden and we compared lockdown cuts but unfortunately mine was the worst of a bad bunch. To make matters worse, I left it too late and can't get in with my usual barbers until April 21!”
Mishaps aside, some people saw lockdown as an opportunity to do something altruistic, with many across the region braving the shave all in the name of a good cause.
In memory of her grandmother who passed away from cancer in February 2020, Bungay resident Tammy Chambers decided to shave her head back in December - and has since come to embrace her newfound look.
“With lockdown I was unable to fundraise or plan for someone to come shave my head, but eventually it was just something that happened on Christmas Day. It felt amazing having shaved it myself - I had the biggest smile on my face, and I've had so many amazing responses. It was worth the shave and worth remembering my nan, I hope she'll be looking down on me. She was my rock - she adopted me the day before my 12th birthday, so she was a huge part of my life.”
Over in Kelsale, David Rowe also saw lockdown as the perfect chance to get creative with his locks - and raise thousands of pounds in the process.
“It was my 50th birthday this time last year, and for my 40th we had a party where we raised £1,300 for children with leukaemia, as there’s a little girl our daughter’s class who has leukaemia.”
But when lockdown scuppered David’s plans for another fundraising party, he decided to brave the shave instead.
“I’d already been growing my hair for six months by then, hoping I could get it cut in the autumn but that never happened. It was getting a bit too crazy, so I decided I had to get rid of it, and thought that would be the best way to raise the money.”
David then let his wife cut his hair before spraying it green – and his hair-raising efforts have seen him raise just under £3,000 for charity.
“It’s even sillier now I’ve cut the top off. I’ll catch sight of myself in the window as I walk past it at work and it makes me chuckle. I’ve been working on site with a hat on because it’s been cold and as soon as I see someone I know I take my hat off. One guy drove past and just came to a standstill, but we had a chat and he donated £15, so it’s all good.”
Did you drastically change your hair in lockdown, or have you had a hair transformation now salons have reopened? Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to share your before and after pictures.