Has the Pandemic Changed the Way We do Our Hair?
The last seven months have been interesting to say the least. We’ve seen such drastic changes across multiple industries, effects of which I’m sure we’ll see for a lifetime. It was only this week we got wind of cineworld closing its doors in the UK permanently, due to the decline of those going to the cinema. Even though this isn’t pandemic related, Disney channel has stopped broadcasting in the UK recently, which was actually quite sad to hear as most of us grew up watching it. On top of that we’re seeing some of our favourite restaurants and shops closing down. It’s been a lot.
It’s fair to say that we’ve all been affected by the Coronavirus in some capacity or other, this has been the case for industries too. The pandemic has created an ever evolving landscape and impacted how customers relate and consume with everyday goods. For the tech industry and ecommerce businesses we’ve seen some major growth. However, when we look at the beauty and hair industry things have changed so much, as our daily habits have also changed.
Since lockdown, we’re wearing less makeup, dressing down more and how we do our hair is changing. These changes are results of the alterations we’ve made in our everyday routine. I wanted to look at how the ‘new normal’ has impacted black women and how we do our hair.
With CDB London being a wig company it is only fair that we discuss first and foremost how our relationship with wigs has been altered. Prior to the lockdown wearing wigs was the norm, and although it was a more expensive purchase it was one that most of us were willing to spend on. Wigs are convenient for the everyday woman and is a fantastic protective style. However, the outbreak has really impacted the wig industry in that we’re currently in a lace shortage. The number of lace in circulation has decreased a lot. Meaning wigs have become less of a commodity and more of a luxury. Our favorite protective style isn't as accessible as it once was.
On top of that prices of protective styles have increased and wigs aren’t the only ones. With the lace shortage, wig providers have been forced to increase their prices as costs all have rocketed up. They’re not the only ones hiking up their prices. Stylists who do braids have also been charging more. The price has been steadily increasing over the last few years, stylists were easily charging £85 yet, I remember when they were only £60. Now, I’ve even heard of people charging almost £200 for braids, whew. Protective styles have become expensive! Not to mention the inflation increasing the price of our expressions.
Both the increase in price and social distancing has caused many of us to learn new skills like learning to braid. I definitely attempted to learn, my attempt however was not successful. A lot of us have had to become creative with our hair as we don’t have access to hair salons. Some of us didn’t feel like wearing wigs at home and didn’t feel like combing it everyday, some of us is me. Meaning we had to figure out new ways to do our hair, watch loads of tutorials on YouTube and ask our mums or roommates for help because we struggled to get to the back of the head.
Another way the pandemic has impacted how we do our hair is whether we do it at all. Most of us are working from home now: meaning we don’t have to get dressed up for the commute or those meetings. I work alongside some incredible black women, get to truly be comfortable with my hair as there is a sense of understanding. There have been times I’ve joined a Zoom meeting with a headscarf on, or mid meeting I took off my wig. This is becoming more of a norm. Don’t get me wrong we might have a wig by our side in case we have a call with a client or manager!
Some people on the other hand, see looking after their hair and wearing wigs as a sense of normalcy. They don’t want the changes in the world to impact how they look after themselves, so they’re still spending on wigs and braids. It’s also a way for women to still feel nice about themselves, dressing up and doing your hair can really make a difference in morale. Also, the need for protective styles doesn’t go away. Personally for me being at home has made me become a bit more negligent with my hair, so I need those protective styles to ensure the health of my hair.
Overall, things have changed so much and how we do our hair has too. We don’t know for certain what tomorrow looks like, but what we do know is that we have a resilient community that’ll continue to flourish. We’ll adapt to all the changes and continue to be innovative when it comes to all things hair. Like we always have.