Purple, asymmetrical, or just a hair too short
After not having cut his hair in a good two months, journalism master student George Cooper had had enough. ‘My hair was so long and I run a lot, so it would just get in my face’, he says. Without further ado, he sent a message in one of his group chats, asking his mates whether someone was good at cutting hair. He promptly received an enthusiastic answer from one of his classmates, Emma.
‘She sounded very confident and had the clippers. I just thought that anything is better than walking around like before’, he says. Emma had spent a good 45 minutes on perfecting his haircut when he suddenly heard her say: “Oh no”, followed by complete silence. ‘She was like, please don’t get upset, but I’ve taken a chunk out of your hair’, he says. ‘I was panicking and told her to just cut more off the back and the sides to even it out.’
But Emma didn’t trust herself anymore after the mishap, so George’s flatmate and another friend who was there took over. ‘You know how they say “don’t add to a painting”? The more it was cut, the worse it got’, George says. ‘To be honest, I thought it was quite funny. I didn’t really care, because no one is going to see it anyway.’
After walking around with his new, asymmetrical haircut for a week, George decided to give it another trim. One of his friends who is experienced in beard trimming eventually helped him salvage his hair. And since lockdown is the perfect time to experiment with new hairstyles, George is currently considering bleaching his hair.
When bachelor student of European languages and cultures Radost Lozanova cut her hair during the first lockdown, she was pleasantly surprised with the result. She would usually visit a hair salon back home in Bulgaria, but it was also closed because of the coronavirus restrictions.
‘I really needed a haircut, because the ends were split. So I tried to cut it myself, since my mum already had the right scissors anyway’, she says. ‘At first, I thought about asking her for help, but then I thought: if anybody is going to mess up my hair, at least it has to be me.’
Radost did already have some experience with dyeing her own hair, but for her first attempt at a haircut she watched a few YouTube videos to get some guidance. ‘I wanted to make sure I cut it into the right shape, but I got very confused, because I saw different ways of cutting hair.’
In the end, she combined the techniques she saw with what she thought would work best with her hair. She divided her hair into two parts and carefully cut it off bit by bit, about ten centimeters.
Thinning the hair out in the ends to soften the edges is essential for the perfect DIY haircut, ‘so it doesn’t look sloppy’, Radost says. ‘But even though it turned out well, I’d rather go to my hairdresser.’
Dyeing hair at home seems like a big step for some people, but not for linguistics student Gwen Stienstra. ‘I normally dye my hair every couple of months’, she says. ‘It’s something fun to do with friends, especially during the lockdown.’
Gwen has both dyed and cut her hair herself before. ‘I love trying out different colours and styles. One time I even cut my bangs myself and that went surprisingly well.’ When she was younger, her natural hair colour was blonde, but that felt ‘a little too boring’, so she decided to spice it up with different colours.
During lockdown, Gwen and one of her friends decided to dye their hair together, so they could help each other out. Gwen’s hair would get a purple shade. ‘When I first dyed my hair, it was a bright purple. Now it has faded to more of a brownish purple’, she says. She liked the outcome, although it did take some getting used to. ‘Purple is a very daring colour and I wasn’t exactly sure how it would turn out’, says Gwen. ‘But I really am happy with the end result.’
It’s only been a month, but Gwen has already been itching to dye her hair again. ‘I think I’m going to do it again in a couple weeks’, she says with a laugh.
Samir Currimjee, an economics and business economics student, could be considered a hair fanatic. Long hair, a mohawk, bleach blonde hair: he’s tried it all. ‘Every time I cut my hair it’s always with friends of mine. I find it to be something social’, he says. The last time Samir cut his hair was during the lockdown and he paid his friend 5 euros to help him. ‘I did a 7 on the top and a 3 on the side with some shading.’
What Samir likes the most about cutting his hair is that he gets ‘to create a new personality every time,’ he says. ‘Depending on the mood I’m in, I can decide which personality I want to be.’ Also, hairdressers are quite expensive, he feels. ‘Why pay so much when you can just do it yourself?’
His haircuts are linked to the university calendar, he says. ‘After one block ends and exams are over, I just need to refresh the page, and that’s when I normally cut my hair.’
A bit of advice from Samir: ‘If you have some free time during lockdown and you really want to shave your head or do a crazy hairstyle, just go ahead and do it. No one is going to stop you. That goes for boys, girls, whoever you are. Just do it.’