In defense of quarantine hair

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Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

With most people stuck inside, away from work, away from school, away from friends and away from beauty salons, strange things are bound to occur. People not used to staying home and isolating – most of us – will quickly find amenities they miss and ways to keep themselves busy. Naturally then, quarantine gifts us (arguably) wild hair trends.

When we cannot go to get our hair cut, dyed or styled and will likely not be seen by non-family members for several weeks, we turn to tackling our own hair. The number of shaved heads in the world has almost certainly increased. There has been a revolution of bangs – which will never be seen. And perhaps a sign of the most cliched quarantine hair style – hair dye has flown off of the shelves.

Now, do I consider myself basic? Not particularly. Do I consider myself somehow outside of this massive trend? Kind of. But is my hair currently a half-washed out, sun-dried maroon? 100 percent. 

I’ll try to defend myself, claiming I was already planning to dye my hair pre-pandemic – for the record, this is true. I’ll say I used a temporary hair dye because I wasn’t committing to a full assault on my hair – also true. 

But really, I don’t see a problem with the wave of hair experimentation. Why not do something you’ve always wanted to do to your hair? No one will see it if you don’t want them to. You’ll be able to look back and not wonder “what-if?”

Several of my friends have experimented with their hair in quarantine and most, if not all, love it and are glad they did. Bangs are exciting and cute – especially for the short time you have them before they become annoying. Which is why the ability to ride out the annoying part of bangs in isolation is so convenient. 

Shaved heads, for all the flashbacks of elementary school they spark, are frankly convenient for people who have gone just a few weeks too long without a proper haircut. They give a chance to develop a new style and try things out.

I, personally, love my dyed hair. While I didn’t dye all of my hair – just the ends for a nice, natural purple ombre – the change provided a much-needed escape from the reality slamming down on me. And I think hair experimentation provides a similar escape for many students. 

I was to be frolicking around Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Amsterdam, England and France before descending upon my new home of Oxford with bold, freshly dyed hair. Instead, I was in a 14 day quarantine in my room in Liberty, Missouri. 

The ability to still dye my hair reminded me of the independence I so craved – and the chance to change our hair during this time provides a sense of control. So much of our social responsibility right now rests upon staying home and focusing on not harming anyone by spreading the disease. Changing our hair is one way we can break out in some sense – without harming anyone at all.

When so much of the world seems to be going crazy and everything is out of our hands, we still have the chance to make our own little bit of crazy on our own heads. So don’t hate the trend – we’re all just doing what we can.

Catherine Dema

Catherine Dema is the page editor for Features & Investigations on The Hilltop Monitor. She is a senior majoring in Oxbridge: History of Ideas and physics.

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