A Hairdresser’s Worst Nightmare: Cutting and Dying Your Hair at Home During Quarantine

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Jessie You

Many of the hair trends inspired by the quarantine have been done on a whim and have become quite popular. Jessie You '23 said, “it was originally a highlight at the front strands, and then I got impulsive and bleached the whole thing.”

Quarantine has proved to be a strange experience for everyone; some are bored and some are just exhausted. These feelings are what have driven people to do the “big chop”: cutting their hair themselves. Many students have cut bangs or dyed their hair as a way to cope with all of these sudden changes brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, and to give themselves some temporary excitement and feel like they have some control over something in their lives. When society opens back up and everyone’s at-home quarantine cuts are revealed, most hairdressers will have the shocks of their lives.

Bronx Science students are not alone in their boredom. Even celebrities have taken to trying out new styles during this era, so to speak, of the quarantine. One of the most notable instances is Selena Gomez completely shaving her head and rocking her new hairdo. 

Similarly, Bronx Science’s very own Blanche Lin ’22 went to this new extreme of shaving her head. She said,  “As soon as I found out in-person school was finished, I just cut it, because I was bored. It felt very light. I would do it again.” I believe that this perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere of quarantine, as so many people are acting on sheer impulse and an in-the-moment feeling, at least in the eyes of many adults.

Leuna Muhit ’22 had motives similar to Lin’s when she cut her hair. However, she did not quite go to the same extreme and instead cut her hair from her waist to her shoulders. She said, “I basically cut my hair because I needed a change. Plus, I always played it so safe with my hair. When I dyed it, I didn’t even bleach it, so the balayage was very light and not that noticeable until I went in the sun. I felt like everyone I knew always knew me with long hair.” This ties into the idea of people changing up their hairdos for some temporary excitement and fun during this overall time of misery.

Some chose not to go so far as to change their hair length but opted instead to dye it in fresh and funky colors. Jessie You ’23 said that this is not the first time that she dyed her hair. “I usually always dye my hair, and the color was fading, so I just re-dyed my hair. My sister inspired my look.” She uses Ion Color Brilliance Hair Dye to achieve her intended color. This brand is mainly for pre-bleached or color-treated hair, which You has, so her color payoff is more extreme than someone with non-color treated hair should expect.

While it may seem like all fun and games to most, dying your hair is very serious and there is a reason that hairdressers have to go through months of training to get a cosmetology degree. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in animals.” This is a very serious issue and is a cause for concern to many students and parents. So, while cutting your hair may have no health complications, you should always be careful when dying your hair.

All in all, this is a very difficult time for everyone, with there being a feeling that everything is out of our individual control. Yet, people have decided to creatively change this. Hair is something that has been used to represent cultures and traditions and periods of our lives for centuries; now is not any different. Cutting or dying your hair is a fun and impermanent way to have some more control in your life and, despite how it turns out, this will always be a memory for us all!

“I usually always dye my hair, and the color was fading, so I just re-dyed my hair. My sister inspired my look,” said Jessie You ’23.

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