As we enter our third week of hardcore social distancing, people are getting understandably increasingly restless.
One perhaps surprising trend that has emerged is people’s sudden desire for drastic glow-ups.
First it was the beards, then the men started shaving their heads and then women were giving themselves DIY bobs. But now it seems people are taking it even further, as social media floods with images of women replacing their old hairstyles with what can only be described as an “extreme buzzcut”.
But what is fuelling this sudden trend to eschew conventional norms of femininity?
Perhaps it is a way to remove some emotional and physical weight from the past-anxiety ridden weeks. But there are a few other factors to take into consideration.
With most of us knowing we’re going to be stuck inside for at least a couple of weeks, one bad haircut really isn’t the end of the world, given only our neighbours and the odd lucky colleague on a Zoom call will likely see us. If you'd always had a bit of an urge to get experimental with the clippers, now may be the best possible time.
Robyn Vinter, founder and editor of The Overtake, shaved her head last week. She explained part of the decision was in part a logistical one – she needed a haircut and obviously couldn't visit her usual hairdresser. But she'd also been considering the style for a while.
Though I suspected it wouldn't look bad because I've had short hair before, I thought at least if it looks awful I don't actually have to go out.
For others, it may go deeper than a simply practical choice, and function as a way to regain control in times where so many of the freedoms we’re used to have been taken from us.
Rebecca Newman, a psychotherapist based in Pennsylvania, thinks that when we’re going through a period of transition that is particularly painful, we tend to make decisions that provide immediate relief. A drastic change in appearance is the perfect example of this.
She told indy100:
What's happening could be akin to shedding skin, and also possibly related to taking back a sense of control when everything else feels so chaotic.
There's no doubt that as a woman having a shaved head makes a bold statement. Whether this is true of all women with buzzcuts or not, it does signal to the world that we're not bound by traditional notions of attractiveness as dictated by decades of male-gaze permeated culture.
If you're vibing a shaved head look and you need a bit of encouragement, check out this viral video from hairdresser Brad Mondo reacting to women doing it. In the past week it's been viewed almost two million times, so clearly people are into it. (But turn off your adblocker just this once because all proceeds are going to charities working to fight the coronavirus pandemic.)