Quarantine bangs? More like quarantine mullet

How sporadically changing my hair keeps me sane

  • All the equipment needed to change your hair at the drop of a hat. Photo Sheena Macmillan

As of right now, I have a mullet.

This change didn’t happen overnight. It took several months of being in the house for me to get to where I am at this moment.

The mullet journey started on June 29, a couple of weeks after my 21 birthday. Cabin fever left me itching for a change.

Taking inspiration from a friend of mine, I decided to bleach the bottom section of my hair. I separated my hair from ear to ear, slapped on some box bleach, and hoped for the best. In the days leading up to this, I intently studied Brad Mondo videos on YouTube. When it came time to put my learnings to action, however, everything went out the window. We were going in for the long haul, and I was okay with that.

My hair is naturally brown and box dyed black, so after three rounds of bleach my hair was yellow at the roots and orange at the ends. I was okay with that. I kept my hair in braids that made it look like marble cake.

While I liked how my hair looked, it was irreversibly fried. That itch for change came back.

My grandmother passed away in July, and after her funeral I decided to cut my hair as a way of starting a new chapter. There is life in death type of thing. 

I sat in the kitchen and my mom chopped away at my hip-length hair until it rested above my shoulders. Ink black and caramel orange hair pooled around my feet, and I felt lighter. My new hair made me happy.

On July 21, mere days after getting a bob haircut, I caved and gave myself some quarantine bangs. I looked just like my preschool photos.

On Aug. 6, I bought blue and red semi-permanent dye. The plan was to go full Jesse and James from Pokémon—half of my blonde hair was going blue, the other red.

From then until October, I kept re-cutting and re-dyeing my hair but my look stayed relatively the same. Blue turned to purple, red turned to pink, and my bangs kept getting shorter. Being able to control this one small thing made me happy. 

I’d grown restless with my hair and craved something new. On Oct. 3, I decided to bleach my whole head of hair. What followed was something professionals would diagnose as a mess. My hair was a mix of too many colours: light pink where the red dye used to be, pale yellow at the roots, and a variety of blonde shades everywhere else.

Nevertheless, I was happy with my creation.

A couple of days later my mom helped me cut my short hair even shorter—I had chin-length hair just like former Bon Appétit chef Sohla El-Waylly. I painstakingly dyed my hair red again, this time avoiding my roots so the colour went from light yellow to orange to red. I was flexing my elementary school level art skills.

That brings us to now. On a semi-ochastrated whim, I shaved the sides of my head and started hacking away until I ended up with something resembling a mullet. Making such a drastic change made me feel free. Everything around me is up in the air, but I can still control my hair.

I can count on my hair growing back, and I can count on it picking up the pigment from whatever dyes I throw at it.

My mom asked me if I’d lost my mind after cutting my hair into an ‘80s classic, but I’ve never felt more in control. 

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