This article was originally published on VICE Spain.
They say we will emerge from lockdown changed, somehow. That we will cherish our freedom, hug each other more and realise the true value of sun-soaked evenings with loved ones. Basically, when this is all over, they say, our lives will look like a beer advert.
In reality, most of us will probably come out of lockdown with sallow, sun-deprived skin and bad hair. Because it would seem that if lockdown has motivated us to do anything – besides making bread and getting really into jogging – it's to dabble in the necessary evil of DIY haircuts.
I asked people on Instagram to send me pictures of their self-inflicted quarantine hairdos, before getting hairstylist Miguel Alaiz to review the attempts. TLDR: maybe hairdressers should have been deemed an essential service in Spain.
VICE: Hi, Pablo. Why did you give yourself this haircut?
Pablo: It’s a tribute to my childhood, to the World Cup that was robbed from us. I call it "Total 90".
What do you mean the World Cup that was robbed from us?
It's obviously inspired by Ronaldo Nazario in the 2002 World Cup.
What tools did you use?
Hair clippers, which were actually broken. It hurt a bit.
What did the people you're isolating with say about it?
They just laughed. My dad said I look ugly. So did my mum, but she was laughing.
Do you regret it?
STYLIST'S VERDICT: "The truth is, it's different, it's unique. It's inspired by something, and that kind of 2000s look is cool. It's not badly done, technically, but it's also not that hard to do. It's not very flattering, but it really depends on how you wear it and your personality."
Hi, María. What have you done to your hair?
María: A week-and-a-half ago I got sick of seeing myself as a brunette in the mirror. This, combined with a bit of a low moment, spurred me to start nagging my mum to bleach my hair. After three days of being really annoying, I got my way.
What tools did you use?
A 9 percent bleaching agent – volume 30 [hydrogen peroxide], cling film to cover the hair, a plastic bowl, a brush and L'Oreal Pure Blonde hair dye.
Do you regret it?
No. I think it's the best decision of 2020. And just my friends' LOLs make it worth it.
What do they say?
"María, you look like a chicken."
STYLIST’S VERDICT: "Bleached platinum blonde hair and shaved heads are the stars of quarantine hair disasters, even though in this case it definitely hasn't turned out badly. It suits her, maybe because it suits her skin and her cut, but it's turned out to be quite a stylish hairdo. The colour isn't very well done – it's not uniform – but it's not bad. Bleaching at home is playing with fire: you can end up frying your locks."
How’s it going, María? You’ve shaved half your head.
María: Yes. I look like a normal young woman on one side, and a grubby, crusty person on the other. I think it reflects my own duality and the emotional instability of recent times quite well.
How and when did it happen?
I'd wanted to try it for a while, and isolation seemed like the perfect time. Nobody was going to see it.
Did you have the clippers at home already?
No, we asked the neighbour to lend us his. The idea was for my flatmate to cut it first with scissors and then go over it with the clippers, but after the cut we realised the clippers were broken. So I have a half-hacked head of hair.
Has your mum seen you?
Yes. My flatmate, the creator of the look, says I look great, but when my family saw me on a video call they were less kind and said that it looked like a rat had chewed my hair.
Were you inspired by something or someone?
During confinement I've gone through a whirlwind of confusing emotions that have led me to perfectly understand Britney Spears in 2007, so I suppose this is homage to her.
STYLIST’S VERDICT: "This is a hair sacrifice. There's nothing to be done. The hair has been cropped with scissors, and then there's how big the cropped part is – it's practically half a head, and the sides haven't been defined. People need to realise that the quarantine will end, and hair doesn’t grow as quickly as we think. The only positive thing that I can say is that if it's an homage to Britney Spears then it's fucking great, despite being a crime against hair."
You’ve fallen into some bleach, Borja. Why?
Borja: While people were panic-buying toilet paper, I was buying bleach powder and hydrogen peroxide. I suspected I'd be working from home for a while, and it was something I'd always wanted to do, but had never dared.
What was the process like?
I asked some female friends for advice, and bought some blue bleach powder and some volume 40 [12 percent] hydrogen peroxide. I watched three or four videos on YouTube several times and read some forums, because if you get it wrong you can destroy your hair and scalp. I made the mix in a mug, scooped it out with a plastic knife and applied it while wearing washing-up gloves.
What have your loved ones said about the change?
My boyfriend – the one who has to look at me every day – didn't like the idea, but was pleasantly surprised. He said I looked handsome. My friends like it as well. Either that, or no one has had the heart to tell me that it looks awful. I've actually noticed a few awkward silences on work video calls.
STYLIST’S VERDICT: "Just like the last bleach job, it's not something we should ever risk doing at home. In this case we can see that it's come out in a banana yellow tone, and it's not uniform. That might have been the aim, but it doesn't go very well with the beard."
Hi Lara. You look like a mermaid. What do you call your new look?
Lara: It's called "Flamingo among pigeons", because we have pigeons occupying our balcony at the moment.
Did you dye it yourself?
My girlfriend helped me. It was quite easy to do, but we left it on too long and my hair ended up feeling like straw. Lesson learned.
Does your girlfriend like it?
My girlfriend was scared I was going to look like Avril Lavigne when she was emo. In the end she liked it a lot. My family liked it too, including my grandma.
What's your hairdresser going to say?
I'm not going to tell them and they're not going to know, because it will have faded by then. They would be angry with me.
STYLIST'S VERDICT: "In this case we see a girl whose hair was probably already bleached – she's applied pink dye and probably done it quite well and carefully. It’s not an amazing colour, but it looks nice and well-applied."
Natalia, You've given yourself a skinhead haircut, from what I can see.
Natalia: I think it's a bit more mohican than skinhead, but yes.
My ex told me it's sexy, but I think that's more him being crazy than me looking gorgeous.
How did you do it?
With clippers, and a bit of tape to mark the line at the back.
Are you pleased with the result?
It's fun, I don't regret it. I know it won't last long, and I can rectify it or keep experimenting next week.
STYLIST’S VERDICT: "Maybe the idea was cool, but it's not very well executed. The sides don’t have a shape and they don't go very well with the rest of the cut. It's a bit of a quarantine disaster."