Since March, most of the United States has been sheltering in place while dealing with COVID-19. The pandemic has forced us, as a nation, to ask ourselves: Is maintaining the normalcy of life that existed before the virus worth risking lives for? Is the will of the individual more important than the safety of the collective?
We’ve had to adapt nearly every aspect of our lives to this new, harsh reality. The way we work, socialize, date, shop, worship, travel, and learn have all had to change — and that includes our personal grooming habits. Since the stay-at-home orders, folks have had to make do without regular access to beauty professionals. The people who do our manicures, facials, massages, and cut our hair, have been out of reach for many of us. We’ve had to teach ourselves how to remove our own acrylics, give ourselves dye jobs, and yes, even say a silent prayer before taking a pair of hair-cutting scissors we bought on Amazon to our ragged ends.
As the ways of personal upkeep have changed, so have the trends that come along with them. Haircuts are obviously important to people — a handful of people across the nation went so far as to take to the streets to demand access to hair salons, whether it was actually safe to go or not. Those in areas that have reopened salons have found that their local spot looks and feels a lot different than it did before the pandemic.
With times so uncertain and folks not knowing how long things will remain open (spikes are being seen in cities with less strict policies), the question of what to do with our hair when we do have access to stylists is crucial. And the guidance of our hairstylists is more important than ever before.
“With people not getting haircuts at all — or trying to cut their own hair and messing it up — we’re going to see people leaning on their stylists for the more advanced techniques,” says hairstylist and author Annagjid “Kee” Taylor. These days, it’s looking like a combination of infrequent salon visits and virtual instruction from hairstylists may be the new normal.
So, what do haircuts in the time of a pandemic look like? We asked some top stylists to tell us what trends they’re already seeing and the forecast for the near future.