Tim Brackett likes to keep his blond hair trimmed short. He gets a haircut every three weeks, like clockwork.
But with his barbershop shuttered along with other nonessential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, the Minneapolis machinist decided it was time to try a different hairstyle: He shaved his head.
During this time of home quarantines and isolation, many of our routines and habits — from haircuts to morning makeup — have been upended. While Brackett went for a Mr. Clean look, many of us are getting a little, well, scruffy.
Some are embracing the chance to dismiss beauty and grooming standards that can be time-consuming and expensive. Even talk-show host Kelly Ripa, who keeps her hair a perfect blond, is letting her gray roots come in — and sharing photos of the widening line on Instagram, calling it “roots watch.”
Others are clinging to their morning routines even though they aren’t leaving the house, or going DIY — sales of at-home hair dye have spiked, and a top U.S. Google search right now is “how to cut men’s hair at home.”
While salons are closed, some loyal customers are paying stylists in advance to support them during this financial pinch. Others are getting advice about what to do (and what not to do).
JUUT Salon Spa, which has seven Twin Cities locations, sent an e-mail to its customers, advising them to avoid cutting their own bangs or coloring their own hair with permanent dye. Instead, they suggested using temporary coloring powders to avoid at-home mistakes that might require corrective color later, and styling overgrown bangs swept to the side or pinned up.
Of course, not everyone has that kind of patience.
Matt Scherer decided to let his 9-year-old daughter Frankie wield the clippers for his significant trim in their St. Louis Park backyard. The haircut turned out really well, all things considered.
Frankie used the same vintage 1970s hairdressing smock that her grandma used to use when she gave haircuts to everyone in the neighborhood, said mom Katie Scherer.
“The skill seems to have skipped a generation,” she said. “She got a lot of coaching, to be fair.”
For those in need of a primer, well-known Los Angeles hairstylist Jen Atkin has created a new YouTube tutorial on how to cut men’s hair in 15 minutes with a clipper and household scissors. She also announced that her next video would teach women how to trim their own bangs.
High to no maintenance
Davee Ek’s calendar usually is full of lash lift, brow, hair and nail appointments.
Right now, she’s growing out her eyebrows and trying to embrace being a “forever homebody.”
Ek, an account coordinator for a Minneapolis public relations firm, has largely stopped wearing makeup. Instead, she’s spending time each morning planning “oddball” outfits to wear while working from home.
Inspired by Instagram accounts and hashtags devoted to “quarantine dressing,” like @wfhfits, @theindooroutfit, #ootdistancing and #distanceindisdress, Ek is getting creative. Silk pajamas with feather trim, tie-dye everything, stacking on as many pieces of jewelry as possible, which she described as “oddly outrageous outfits I would never normally get away with at work,” she said.
She also works some beauty regimes into her day.
“And now I have time for so many face masks, usually every other day and while I’m doing something else,” she said, “working on a deck or working out. I’ve dubbed it ‘multi-masking.’ ”
Others are finding the transition to be a little more bumpy.
After nearly two decades as an on-air TV reporter, former KARE 11 journalist Lindsey Seavert isn’t used to facing the world without makeup. She usually spends a big part of her morning curling her hair and putting on a full face.
But right now, working from home alongside her husband while juggling care for her two kids, ages 8 and 3, Seavert is going makeup-free.
“I barely even have time to look in the mirror,” she said.
She’s showering about every other day, wearing pajamas or workout clothes, and pulling on a baseball cap for video conferences for her role as a video producer and writer for a health care newsroom.
She’s also doing without the blond highlights she usually keeps up with “obsessive regularity,” she said. “I will soon find out just how gray my hair is. I’m both terrified and curious,” she said.
While Seavert misses dressing up and getting her hair done, this time is making her think more deeply about what was once routine.
She also feels like she is simply joining in a collective experience, where so many are “stripped down and in our native, pajama-clad states,” she said.
“A lot of my efforts on my outward appearance are both for me but maybe even more, the story I tell to the world,” she said. “I don’t feel a need to ‘tell that story’ to my family while hidden in my home. They love and know me for who I am, no matter what I wear.”
Erica Pearson • @ericalpearson