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Melburnians reach for scissors with varying results

3 weeks ago 12

Home hairdo horror stories are emerging as Melburnians reach for the scissors while salon visits are banned.

With the businesses shut under stage four restrictions, people are watching online tutorials on how to tame their own tresses.

Crooked fringes, uneven cuts and botched colour are some of the reports from do-it-yourself jobs.

Catherine MacGillivray, of St Kilda, lopped her waist-long locks six times during lockdown with scissors she bought off eBay for $8.

“I’ve wrecked my hair,” she said.

“I watched a couple of YouTube videos and the girl made it look really simple.”

She describes it as an iso-addiction that has turned her lush hair “scraggly”.

“I filled my hair basin up every single time. I guess you go, ‘Oh it’s not that bad, I’ll just try and do a bit more’,” she says.

“It’s just about impossible to pull my fingers through my hair because it mats.”

Chadstone woman Julie Tullberg bought a clipper set for her husband but things didn’t go as planned.

“I totally butchered his buzz cut and so, I had to make it zero. It was so flaky I had to cover his whole head in vaseline intensive care,” she said.

“He was appalled. I told him I had training on YouTube.

“I told him it will look the same in a week.”

Hair salons will have been closed for three months by October 26, when restrictions are set to ease.

Despite the ban, hairdressers are still being asked to do cuts and fix botch jobs, while others are offering advice via phone.

People desperate for cuts are even posting jobs on market platforms like Airtasker.

La Poubelle Hair Studio Brunswick’s Beau Emmett said many people jumped at doing their own hair once lockdown began.

“Hairdressers are actually pretty skilled with a pair of scissors - I don‘t think it’s as easy as some people think,” he said.

Mr Emmett says he is not nervous about the idea of people doing their own hair.

“It’s like saying you’ve become a really good home cook during this time - it’s not like going to a really amazing restaurant and having a fantastic chef-cooked meal - it’s a completely different thing,” he says.

“You can try and emulate it, but it really doesn’t have that level of refinement and experience.”

Besides, he says customers miss the interaction with their hairdresser.

“We literally make people feel better about themselves,” he says.

“I knew when we went back after the first period of lockdown how much more than just a haircut it was for a lot of people - people that have been isolated, that live alone, work from home, completely by themselves - having that point of contact or just a really robust conversation with someone.”

Essendon Hair and Makeup’s Michelle Murphy said she’s not nervous either.

“No, I’m not concerned at all,” she said.

“I think they’re going to be desperate to see a hairdresser.

“It’s only affected my hair extension customers that have found an alternative that’s more consumer friendly.”

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