Gray hair, don’t care: Cuts and colour lead to home travails

Gray hair, don’t care: Cuts and colour lead to home travails

Gray hair, don’t care: Cuts and colour lead to home travails

NEW YORK — Sister love playing out in a living-room hair trim. A botched home dye job with a silver lining. Stylists shipping out kits of personalized colour with promises to talk their regulars through the process via FaceTime.

As the spread of the coronavirus sends more people into isolation, trips to beloved salons and barbershops for morale-boosting services and camaraderie are on hold.

While some brazenly cut themselves new bangs, turn to over-the-counter colour or try picking up electric clippers and scissors to work on the heads of loved ones, others are letting nature take its course.

Memes and real-life stories are flying about cuts gone bad and the onslaught of gray hair, along with out-of-control eyebrows, sad lash extensions and overdue nail work. While such things seem frivolous in the sad and desperate crush of the pandemic, many people are reaching for rituals as emotional relief and connection to their longstanding way of life.

Mary Beth Warner in Syracuse, New York, has a lighthearted air about her as she hunkers down with her husband and 17-year-old son, but she isn’t laughing on the inside.

“I remember my mom used to say during the war, as long as they could get lipstick they were happy,” she said. “That’s how I feel right now about my hair.”

Warner, 63, usually travels to Manhattan for colour appointments every four weeks with Frank Friscioni at Oon Arvelo Salon. He’s been doing her colour (blonde) for 25 years.

She’s past her regular appointment, but rather than take on the task herself, she’s wearing a baseball cap to walk her dog until she can coax Friscioni up for a house call, something he’s doing with other clients closer to the city.

“Oh I love my Frank,” Warner said. “I don’t trust anybody else. Right now I’m mortified for anybody to see. Emotionally, it means a lot. I don’t care if I die as long as my hair is blonde in that coffin.”

Others are more settled in letting their gray hair fly. Comedian-actor Kevin Hart puts videos on Instagram chronicling his life at home with salt-and-pepper hair and beard. Hashtag: #GreyHairDon’tCare.

“Everybody’s going gray. I’m going to embrace it right now. I look like Morgan Freeman’s nephew,” he told Ellen DeGeneres in one of the celebrity phone chats she’s posting on Instagram from her Los Angeles home.

For others, styles are going shaggy as they rediscover ponytails, buns, and dusty stashes of headbands and hair baubles.

Not the Hinds sisters.

The younger, 18-year-old Sophie, calmly read a book as her 20-year-old sister, Fiona, nervously lopped a good 7 inches off her long reddish blonde hair at home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, creating an adorable bob.

Fiona said she boned up for the task by watching “one YouTube video that we didn’t even finish. We watched the first five minutes.”

To which Sophie responded: “Are you kidding? You didn’t tell me that.”

In Fayetteville, Arkansas, stylist Scarlett Howell voluntarily cancelled all appointments for at least two weeks. She’s relying in part on savings to pay her bills.

“There’s a lot of salon owners and stylists who refuse to close until it’s mandated, and so they’re actively putting people at risk,” she said. “It’s incredibly frustrating.”

Howell doesn’t recommend DIY cuts or coloring using professional products that are stronger and trickier than over-the-counter varieties.

“It’s really damn hard to cut your own hair,” she said.

Some of her regulars are paying for their cancelled appointments.

“My clients are my family,” Howell said, breaking down in tears. “It really means a lot for people to reach out.”

Kelly Cardenas, who shut down his salons in Las Vegas, Chicago and Carlsbad, California, calls the DIY hair experiments playing out in homes and on social media a mere “15 minutes of feeling OK that could take your hairdresser up to a year to fix.”

Debra Hare-Bey, a braider and stylist in Brooklyn, said black hair, depending on texture, length and style, might pose home challenges for those used to relying on specialists. Asked how her clients are feeling now that her home business is closed until the health emergency subsides, she said: “It’s pandemonium. Pure and simple. They’ve lost their minds.”

Mylena Sutton, 43, in Haddonfield, New Jersey, isn’t ready to take matters into her own hands.

“I’m an African American woman with very kinky, curly hair that tends toward being dry. I don’t relax my hair, but I do colour it and there’s no way in the world that I’m attempting that at home,” she said.

For now, she’s covering her roots with hats, headbands and “overall hiding.”

Kody Christiansen, a student at New York University, went the box-colour route with a slight mishap, but has no regrets. The 30-something about to graduate with an associate’s degree was going for platinum, like the person on the box. He wound up a brassy yellow instead, but used a silver spray he had on hand to even out his colour for a two-tone effect.

“It’s a metaphor for my life,” said the Bronx actor and author, who until a few years ago was homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. “Until recently, my life wasn’t anything like life on the box.”

Brian Coughlin, 35, in Evanston, Illinois, usually heads to the barber every eight to 10 weeks. He was about a month overdue when he asked his wife, Ashley, to try the clippers.

“Huh! huh!” Ashley gasped near the end of a YouTube video they made during the process. She forgot to snap on the appropriate attachment for the clippers and carved a bald spot into the back of his hair.

“I’m sorry. I was doing so good,” she said, to which Brian replied: “It’s OK. Just cut around it and we’ll see what we can do.”

___

Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at https://twitter.com/litalie

Leanne Italie, The Associated Press

Hair

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Gulls Stadium is still under construction, and much of the season is still an unknown, especially the duration. (Photo Courtesy of TD Aerials - Central Alberta)
Sylvan Lake Gulls expecting huge financial impact

The Gulls inagural season is going to be impacted by the pandemic, and changes to the

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

File Photo
FCC report shows opportunity in changing food and beverage trends

Canada’s food and beverage sector may emerge even stronger in 2021

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Most Read