The long and short of the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID19, is all over social media. If a video of Georgina Rodriguez giving partner Cristiano Ronaldo a stylish haircut while self-isolating in Madeira went viral on social media, in India, actor Anushka Sharma giving her spouse, Virat Kohli, a haircut with a pair of kitchen scissors also inspired a legion of stay-at-home stylists.
With hairstylists, barbers and beauticians closing shop to adhere to the lockdown, men and women are finding inventive ways to stay reasonably well groomed. Malayalam actor Indrajith decided the easiest way was to tonsure his head. He recently posted a photo of his new look on his Facebook page and Instagram handle and called it ‘Quarantino’. While more than 27k fans welcomed his new look on Facebook, 1,44,384 reacted to it on Instagram, including stars like Vijay Yesudas and film director Aashiq Abu. “With no shooting for some time, I thought this was the easiest way to deal with the situation and beat the heat,” he says. His stylists were his daughters 15-year-old Prarthana and 10-year-old Nakshatra.
Actor and YouTuber Archana Kavi also decided to give her father Jose Kavi a haircut and posted it on her Instagram handle. “I looked up YouTube videos to learn how to do it. Then I practised on my cocker spaniel and finally garnered the courage to give my father a haircut. I guess they did not have a choice. Well, I did not nick their ears,” laughs Archana, who is in Delhi with her parents. She was visiting them when the lockdown was announced.
Celebrity hairstylist, Ambika Pillai, says a lot of her clients are also experimenting with cutting their own hair during the lockdown. “These days, everyone is turning to YouTube to pick up new skills. And there are a number of experts and professionals on YouTube who are showing you how to style your hair. I myself have demonstrated some simple ways to give yourself a haircut and take care of your hair,” she says.
Tips and tricks
For instance, she says that if you are using a trimmer, it’s best not to start at the lowest level but to “go slow and easy. If one is not careful, it is easy to take off the hair in patches. So begin at a higher level till you get the hang of it. I am posting tutorials on my Facebook page and Insta handles about simple ways to take care of your skin and hair. Looking at the situation, I am not sure when salons and parlours will open. So it is best to learn how to give yourself an easy haircut. A good pair of scissors and a comb will do. If you have a buzzer or trimmer, make sure you learn how to use it,” she explains.
Mimi Chiu, a hair stylist in Chennai, says that those who feel the need for a haircut should best go for front bangs, even or uneven. “Or even a soft-layered style is easy if you plan to cut your hair yourself. Just tie your hair in a pony and turn it over and trim the ends. When you put back your hair, you will have a soft-layered look. If you have a friend or someone to help, then you can go for a simple, straight trim. Men can use a trimmer at the highest level. Whether it is men or women, if you are cutting your hair yourself for the first time, it is easier if you decide not to shorten your hair too much. That is when mistakes show up. Moreover, even if there is a problem, your hair stylist will find it easier to correct it if you have not attempted something complicated,” she says.
And that is what Mumbai-based teenager Aarya Menon did by styling her bangs herself. “The heat and boredom got to me and I wanted to do something to change my hairstyle. So I went in for bangs. I viewed a couple of videos before chopping off my hair,” she says, sounding pleased with her decision.
In Chennai, 12-year-old Yohana Rajaratnam gathered tips from tutorials on YouTube and turned hairstylist for her grandmother Hansa Pandit. “The two-hour haircut was filled with many arguments till my mother started seeing the results,” laughs Yohana’s mother Durva Rajaratnam.
Not to be left behind are parents of young children. While teenagers might decide to play Samson for a while, kids don’t stand a chance once their parents decide it is time for a haircut. That is why 10-year-old Siddarth agreed to be styled by his mother, Archana Gopinathan. “I used his dad’s trimmer to give him a really snazzy cut,” says Archana. And Sid approves. “I love the way she has done my hair ,” says Sid.
Chennai-based Anisha Menezes says her husband, Vivek, was always the hairstylist for her two sons when they were in the US. “He used to cut his hair since college. This week, he is planning to give them a trim.
In the meantime, senior citizens recall a time in the distant past when barbers would come home to give the men their monthly haircuts. Mohan Sivanand, former editor of Reader’s Digest, posts on his Facebook page that he was “dying for a haircut. That’s when I remembered something I learnt when I was five. We had a barber in our Kerala village come home to do the job for all the men in the house, right down from my grandpa, my uncle, dad… to us the boys. He worked in the backyard. And ha, since I wouldn’t sit still or keep quiet, the big barber managed to lock my head between his knees at times. One day, while my hair was being cut, I mustered the courage to ask him, “Who cuts your hair?”
‘I cut my hair myself,’ he replied. ‘I use two mirrors for that.’”
So Mohan decided to emulate the barber. Using the wall and cabinet mirrors in the bathroom, he took a comb and a pair of scissors and trimmed his own hair. “It feels like a load off my head… It was a piece of cake too. No waiting my turn, no reading Filmfare while I waited, no paying, no tipping,” he states, adding “I may never go to a barber again…”