The coronavirus curse: You’re messing with your hair, aren’t you?

Photo by Caitlyn Bahm Henna'd hair looks glowing and glossy when it's all said and done. In the process, however, "mudpie" is the politest description of the greenish-brown sludge.

Get ready to see your hair stylist do a facepalm when you are once again able to plop down in his or her spinny chair. Because if you’re like the rest of us, you cut bangs, dyed your hair or gave yourself an uneven trim while we’ve been waiting out the coronavirus lockdown, didn’t you?
I see you out there with your dye-stained fingertips and those lopsided bangs warped by the front cowlick you forgot to consider. Because I am you. I am just a nanosecond’s worth of self-control and a few scissor snips away from tackling my short haircut that has evolved into a bushy mullet over the past month. (I’m still resisting. But weakening.)
And it’s not just the gals who miss the beauty professionals we took for granted. Even my toddler granddaughter is looking alarmed at my husband’s blossoming beard, although I think it looks kind of magnificent.
We are all ready to see the essential personal care businesses reopen again, no matter what safe social distancing practices we have to adopt.
Push those chairs six feet apart and get out your scissors, stylists. We’ll be hitting you like a tsunami as soon as we can.
My two adult daughters both succumbed to the Coronavirus Self-Styles over the past week, but they were surprisingly good at the task. Both are naturally brunettes, with Caitlyn sporting long, slightly wavy hair and Ginny having a riot of tight curls in her impossibly thick shoulder-length mane.
Ginny was the first to go, because she’s fearless. She bleached her hair to what one snarky critic called a “Ramen noodle head” color. Then she applied some fierce fuchsia dye twice because she missed a few spots the first time.
Now she has brilliant pink hair that I dare you to look at in sunlight without sunglasses on. It’s that bright. And playful and beautiful.
Caitlyn usually likes more subtle changes in her ’do, so after two test strips she cautiously tried a henna treatment to lift her locks into the dark red-brown range.
The dye process was unappealing, with the henna looking like the greenish-brown sludge you might find wrapped up in a Diaper Genie, clumped onto her hair and sealed in with plastic wrap around her head while the color soaked in. But her hair now looks brighter and has more depth of color — reddish-golden brown in the sun, and a deeper red-brown indoors.
Me, I’m just sighing into my makeup mirror and wishing I had their nerve. I’ve experimented with barrettes (nope), bobby pins (hellooooooo, granny), wide cloth hair bands (which always give me a headache), hard plastic headbands (my housecleaning standby style, and it looks like it) and even turbans (not elegant on this old country girl).
I’m also not garden-party-ready with a big swoopy straw hat, ready to return to the ’70s with a bandana or braced for the ’80s with a snappy fedora. It’s too hot for a beanie. My hair’s too short for a bun, and I dress too casually to try a snood.
So currently I’m relying on curling irons, hairspray and hope, and I’m constantly tucking my hair tightly behind my ears.
I loved my short haircut when my stylist twirled me around to face the mirror, but I’m hopeless at styling it myself. My old familiar favorite is the “can I speak to your manager?” graduated bob that’s just above shoulder length, longer at the front to frame the face and sloping up in the back. It’s a little outdated and old ladyish, I’m told. But maybe I can talk my stylist into it if we add some color for pizzazz. That’s IF I can stand the grow-out phase.
What haircut or color are you contemplating? How bold are you? Send photos if you took a whack at it yourself. Who wins the Dull Scissors Haircut of the Week?
CAROLYN BAHM is an editor for West 10 Media. Email her at, call the office at 901.433.9138, or drop a letter to her at P.O. Box 34967, Bartlett, TN 38134-0967.