What a time to be alive, am I right? From quarantine, to social distancing, to no longer being able to simply go out and make an ass of yourself on any given night, things are happening:

At home hair experiments, often inspired by the internet, are nothing new. However, the “new normal” and amplified alone time has definitely caused a surge in inspiration.

In the salon, we’ve seen a smorgasbord of the end result of at home experiments gone bad. From the bob someone always dreamed of and never wanted, to the fifty shades of orange in an ill informed global bleach-out, and of course, plenty of that classic drug store one shade that doesn’t always cover one whole head of hair look. Sometimes there’s only one way to find out exactly what you don’t want to find out, you know.

The founders of hairstyling and the public in general before haircare what a booming international industry were certainly familiar with DIY hair, and that is exactly what the aforementioned hair experimentation got me thinking about: the beginning. Just because Oribe and Loreal weren’t around, beauty had yet to be commercialized in the media, people still utilized their appearance as means of expressing and refining themselves.

The oldest know form of styling the hair is braiding, which dates back around 30,000 years or so. The necessity of covering grey hair dates back to Egyptian times. They used henna to fight their own genetics. Greeks and Romans used extractions from plants to alter their color. They even went so far as to permanently tint their hair black with lead and leaches. Dangerous and extreme, sure, but can you really put a price on self-confidence? What about personal creativity?

I find it interesting and inspiring that this pandemic in 2020, a time that our ancestors could never have dreamed of, has brought us back to the basics by way of taking the fate of our appearance into our own hands. What will be next?

Laura Powers, 2020. Author retains ownership; reuse or reprint by permission only.

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