Be proud of your grown-out haircut and colour says Lauren Gunn, one of Aotearoa's top hair stylists and the owner of Auckland salon Colleen.
Weeks of lockdown in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland have stretched into months, and for many people this has now become their longest stretch of time without a haircut or colour since their teen years.
Rumours of an underground black market for home haircuts abound as restrictions for close contact services remain firmly in place for Aucklanders, despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
What’s the harm in getting a little backyard trim? A home haircut could put some desperately needed cash into the back pocket of a beloved hairdresser and provide a good hit of wellbeing at the same time. Nobody gets hurt, or do they?
There is a bigger picture at play. While we do have incredible vaccination coverage, there are still pockets in Auckland that are vulnerable and we are seeing this play out with the latest aged care breakout and the high proportion of infections amongst Māori and Pasifika communities.
Vaccination against Covid-19 doesn’t equal guaranteed immunity and neither does it prevent one person from passing the virus to another. But spotting a freshly cut head of hair in the supermarket aisles should raise some eyebrows.
Lockdown hair is a drag to be sure. Split ends, grown out colour, knotty and an out of shape haircut is not the look we dream of waking up to each morning. But it does give us an opportunity to focus on our hair health.
Supporting the health of your hair from home can be easy. Adding omegas and biotin, either through supplements or diet, helps to improve hair condition from the inside out; topical treatments like hair masks for moisture and repair can help to reduce split ends and everyday wear and tear; and a weekly scalp treatment can achieve that hit of wellbeing we might usually get from our regular trim.
WATCH: How to do an easy braided bun, with Lauren Gunn
Use this time to start planning your next haircut (whenever that may be). Now that there’s an extra couple of inches of hair to play with, there is plenty of scope for a new look or a major change in style. Start a new folder in your phone of looks you’d like to try, create a mood board on Pinterest, or photoshop your face onto pics of your favourite celebrities.
Easing of restrictions is looking increasingly likely in the near future. In Auckland, hair salons and barbers will be able to operate again under level 3, step 3. The worst outcome for hairdressers, and by extension Aucklanders in desperate need of a haircut, would be for infections to blow up in the next two weeks and trigger an extended lockdown.
We should be proud of our grown-out haircuts. Lockdown hair shows that we care. It shows that even 12 weeks into lockdown, we are still putting the health of our whanau and community first.
5,012,337 people have died from Coronavirus, but nobody ever died from missing a haircut or two. Let’s hang in there Tāmaki Makaurau and we’ll be back in “the chair” in no time.