Pandemic haircuts have begun, and they're just as bad as you think

Years from now, when we look at photos from this era of house-bound isolation, the thing that may jump out first is all the people with bad haircuts.

Barber shops and hairdressers are among the long list of non-essential services with no choice but to shutter amid COVID-19. After nearly a month of physical distancing, many people have started looking a bit shaggy.

So what’s the harm in pulling out the clippers and cutting your hair at home?

The answer, it seems, lies in the pictures.

Social media is flooded with images of people with lopsided, patchy and sometimes downright mangled quarantine hairdos. On YouTube, do-it-yourself haircutting videos have been viewed millions of times. And some celebrities, deprived of their glam squads and professional stylists, have started posting pictures of their self-inflicted hairstyles.

Alannah Mechedder of Montreal decided she was due for a snip, so she asked her mother and brother for help. With no professional clippers in the house, they got creative with the help of a beard trimmer.

"They start doing the back and then all sudden I hear ‘Whoops,’ and feel it halfway up my head,” Mechedder told CTV News.

The result — a surprise buzzcut.

"It's interesting. I can feel the breeze through my hair,” she said, laughing.

Pop star Pink shared a picture of what happened after she had a couple of drinks at home and took the scissors to her hair.

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Quarantine diaries

A post shared by P!NK (@pink) on Mar 24, 2020 at 4:24pm PDT

Country music singer Blake Shelton shared the results of his quarantine cut: a mullet with stripes edged on the sides.

Quarantine mullet update 3/26/2020... @gwenstefani has decided to take it to the next level.. Stripes.

— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) March 26, 2020

Even British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry admitted that she’s been experimenting with her own hair at home.

"They say the number 1 thing not to do in a pandemic is your own hair and I will say believe them," Henry said during Tuesday’s daily press briefing.

"And my apologies to ... my hair dresser, but I did do some of my own tinkering with my hair in the last couple of days so, yes, I did not go to the hair dresser's."

For some, forgoing a haircut was too much too bear. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has faced widespread criticism for getting her hair cut after previously saying, “Getting your roots done is not essential," the Chicago Tribune reported. The mayor defended herself, saying she works in the public eye and that the woman who cut her hair was wearing a mask and gloves.

On the other end of the equation are the barbers and hairdressers without a place to practice their craft. Vancouver-based Hair stylist James Valiant recently posted a video of him using scissors and a blowdryer on television to give Jennifer Lopez a new look.

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As a direct order from the Prime Minister of Canada ���� I am doing my part of self isolation and I am working from home �� 2 weeks quarantine, going mad ... send help soon... share if you can relate �� #hairdresser #hairdressermagic #hairstylist #suki #salon #covid19 #virus #coronavirus #vancouver #canada #love #caring #clean #washyourhands #highriskcovid19 #covid_19 #dontgiveup #nopanic #preparedness #isolate #thiswillpass #healthcanada #bettersafethansorry #kerastase #jlo #sharingiscaring #alone #pandemic #fun @jlo @chrisappleton1 #missingwork

A post shared by James Valiant (@jamesvaliant) on Apr 2, 2020 at 2:13am PDT

"It's kind of preparing myself to go back to work,” he said.

For men determined to give it a shot, the co-owner of Montreal-based barber shop Latelier Gents has posted a tutorial on Facebook breaking down the basics of a simple self-cut.

Cutting your own hair may be ill-advised, but stylist Aaron O’Bryan says a little trim won’t hurt.

“This is a time to practice, nobody’s really going to see it,” he said.