Coronavirus brings hair-raising issues: More beards emerging, men shaving heads

Jazsmine Koonhow of KaeMilan Hair is offering porch-pickup while styling different wigs for her clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy of KaeMilan Hair

DOVER — Hair doesn’t stop growing in a pandemic.

With barbershops and salons closed down for the time being, Delawareans are turning elsewhere to manage their hair.

For some, that means attempting to cut it themselves. For others, they’re lucky to have a family member or a friend wielding a pair of scissors.

And there’s always the option of not cutting it at all. Rachel Richardson of Felton is choosing that route — for a good cause at the end.

“Just letting it grow until I can let a professional cut it to donate,” Ms. Richardson said.

The most creative option likely belongs to Jazsmine Koonhow, who owns and operates KaeMilan Hair in Townsend.

Ms. Koonhow has begun to offer porch-pickup for any of her clients who wear wig units. The wigs aren’t necessarily her clients’ real hair but they are made of human hair and she services them in full.

Her clients pay in advance, messaging the KaeMilan Hair Facebook Page and dropping off the wig on her porch. Ms. Koonhow then brings the wig to her salon to treat it.

First is a debrief wash to clean away any buildup from products. Then she washes the wig regularly before a deep-conditioning treatment. The wig gets washed out one more time, then is air-dried so there is no additional heat on the wig.

Finally, Ms. Koonhow styles the wig as the customer desires whether it is straight or curled. She wraps up by applying product and then lets the customer know the wig is available for pickup.

“I service them the same way I would service a normal client,” Ms. Koonhow said.

Ms. Koonhow said some clients have requested that she continue this service after the pandemic ends.

She also has a haircare product line called Essential Hair Care Collection, which she’s been providing to customers through the same non-contact dropoff and pickup service she’s been doing with the wigs.

“I’m a hustler,” Ms. Koonhow said. “My thing is, you have to get creative in situations like this. I’d never done the wig service like that before but if I can’t do hair right now, how am I supposed to make money? With this, I don’t have to have physical contact with my clients, or any human, and I can still have income coming in.

“The good thing is my clients have a mutual respect for me and I have respect for them. They are beyond grateful that I even started such a service. It’s nice for them they don’t have to do it themselves, they can drop it off, pick it up and rock their hair for the next two weeks.”

Options growing

While wigs are the way to go for some and others are seeking options as their hair gets longer and longer, some people aren’t having any trouble.

For some men during these pandemic times, nothing has changed.

“Pretty simple,” said Charles Wolfe of Dover. “I pull out the clippers and shave my head like I’ve done for the past 15 years.”
“Bald is beautiful,” echoed John Colley of Dagsboro.

Others had fortunate timing for their final haircut before quarantining.

“I got my hair cut short the day before everything closed,” said Brian Pierson of Harrington. “Hopefully my barber will reopen by the time I need another.”

Speaking of men’s hair, beards have taken off thanks to social media pressure during the pandemic.

Celebrities are posting the beards they’re growing during their time in isolation. The hashtags #QuarantineBeard and #LetsGrowTogether have become popular on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as people show off how well their beard is coming in.

David Henderson is one area resident who decided to grow a beard for the first time several weeks ago when the barbershops closed down, knowing he’d have little contact with others for the foreseeable future. How it looks depends on who you ask.

“I like it,” Mr. Henderson said. “My wife and daughter do not.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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