Why extreme makeovers help cope with the lockdown

Updated: Apr 26, 2020, 08:50 IST | Aastha Atray Banan | Mumbai

Shorn or coloured hair and bare faces that boast no makeup are symbols of how we are changing the way we look to cope with the way we feel

After a few weeks of cooking and showing off what you made, on Instagram, the boredom begins to get to you. As does the very real concern that you may not have access to your salon or hairstylist for another few weeks at least, if not months. That you don't have to step out into the world, and therefore, be judged for the off kilter fringe you have given yourself, means that experimentation is at an all-time high.

A Vice article seemed to suggest that those shaving their hair see it as a cathartic experience, a way to let off steam, or as one case study said, "I'll do something interesting, that way at least when I am at home, something exciting would have happened."

Makeovers are also meant to pump into you some confidence (That explains why so many people get haircuts after a relationship ends), and this is something we are all looking for. Hear it from those who tried it and survived.

Anshu Pande, 23, Aspiring writer

Before

I am away from the family in Perth where I am studying professional writing at Curtin University. My mother and sister are in Jaipur, and my father is in Dubai. When the lockdown was announced, I went out and bought myself bleach and colour, just in case. And it came handy. A few days ago, I coloured my hair purple. My sister was on video call with me, guiding me about the spots I had missed. My classes have now moved online and I'm sharing my apartment with seven others. Once I was done, I took selfies and posted them on social media. One of my relatives commented on the picture asking my dad if he was okay with it, and my father said, 'tedi hai par meri hai'. The best thing the purple hair has done for me is to elevate my mood and taken my mind off the worst. I have a mirror near my bed, and I now smile every morning when I get up and see my hair. I was missing my smile. Now, it's back.

Jehan Darukhanawala, 27, Auto journalist

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I have shaved my hair after six years. My brother helped me do it. I feel lighter and cooler, and that's good because the heat has set in. It's a way for me to stay cool at a time when I need to do it the most.

Dhemant Shah, 33, Garment retailer

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I live with my parents, grandmother and wife at our Vasai home. They finally got the chance to collectively remind me to shave. So, the first reason for shaving is to please my family. It's been four years since I shaved my beard. They are happy. People have been telling me that I look 15 years younger. But the best response has come from my grandmother, who is 90. Her eyes lit up when she saw me.

Jaya Tulsi Ramshetty, 24, Photographer

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I had wanted to shave my hair back in January. My mother was back from her trip to Tirupati and had shaved her head. I was inspired. But she asked me to hold off till my sister's wedding. But when the lockdown was announced, I went right ahead. It was only a week ago that I put up the pictures. The direct messages ranged from, "Are you sick?" to "What the hell did you do?"

But many also commented, telling me how beautiful I looked. I had waited to put the picture up only after I was ready. When the comments suddenly start coming in, you feel conscious. But the point is to own whatever you create. Then, nothing else matters.

I did it because I wish to reflect on myself and my life every day. I have realised we give our hair way too much importance, like so many other things: they don't make all that big a difference when they aren't around. It felt weird for a while [after I shaved], but when I went into the shower and felt the cool water and breeze on my skin, I felt great.

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Salman's Khan's brother-in-law, Ayush Sharma, who is with wife Arpita and kids at Khan's farmhouse in Panvel, also decided to give himself a new look. The chocolate boy curls are gone, as is the lean frame. His look, which is complimented by his new chiselled body, is edgy. He asked on Insta, "Bald look, or badass loo. Kaisa laga?", to which Varun Dhawan replied that he looked like WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin. We think it suits him.

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