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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Students on cutting their own hair in isolation

Grinnell College has moved online, meaning that students are back home. In a time of social-distancing, things can get boring quickly. After one has exhausted their Netflix options, picked up a new hobby and cleaned every inch of their childhood room, what do they do to pass the time?

If you answered, ‘get a haircut,’ you would be correct.

Rebecca Fox ’23 tried out a whole new hairstyle. Fox cut her hair into longer bangs in order to play it safe in case things went wrong. When asked about her muse, Fox wrote in an email to The S&B, “My style inspiration was literally just the WikiHow page on ‘How to cut wispy bangs.’”

Fox’s appearance in the hairstyling scene took multiple attempts. But with the help of other Grinnellians, she persevered.

Rebecca Fox ’23 shows off her new long bangs. Photo contributed by Fox.

“I cut my bangs on March 23 but they looked really, really bad, so I cut and fixed them some again on March 25 with the help of a group of Grinnellians through FaceTime,” she said. “It was kind of an impulsive decision; I had thought of doing it for about 24 hours before I did it. I asked a couple of friends for input and they advised me to go for it because, worst case scenario, they would be mostly grown out by the time we come out of quarantine.”

Fox’s family strongly discouraged any attempts at cutting her own hair but, Fox wrote, “I was bored and felt like taking a risk!”

While Fox’s new haircut turned out to be a success, she is adamant that her skills do not extend to cutting others’ hair.

“I strongly feel that no one should ever let me near their hair with scissors,” she said.

Like Fox, Razmeet Samra ’20 cut her hair in a new, adventurous style. Samra was bored and wanted something to do while procrastinating writing her paper, so she decided to shave her head. “I have a buzz cut, but I’m a fan of describing it as ‘I’m bald’ because bald is a funny word,” she wrote in an email to The S&B.

Razmeet Samra ’20 has been compared to “an egg” by her housemates. Photo contributed by Samra.

Samra did not have a style inspiration but has been told that she now resembles a wide variety of objects. “I’ve been told I look like a lot of things by my housemates: mainly bald Natalie Portman, Eleven from stranger things, an egg, ‘Straight out of the academy,’ a basketball, etc. It’s pretty fun,” she wrote.

For Noa Goldman ’22, her new hairstyle was a family endeavor. Her mom and brother helped create her new style. “It was a pretty contentious event, because I was nervous that I would get a weird bowl cut! It turned out great and I gave everyone a hug to say sorry for being a bit grumpy during the process!” wrote Goldman in an email to The S&B.

Noa Goldman ’22 plans to cut her brother’s hair as well as her own. Photo contributed by Goldman.

Goldman has been considering a new style since being home. With the help of her brother and mom, she now has a French-style bob. Goldman considered getting bangs but was not ready for that level of commitment.

Inspired by her new hair, Goldman plans to try out her own styling skills on her brother. “The plan is to give my brother’s hair a trim this weekend, which is exciting! It was a team effort with mine because I was nervous about doing the back by myself,” she wrote.

Like Goldman, Tess Kerkof ’21 had help creating her new hairstyle. Kerkof’s roommate cut her hair into a chin length bob with a blond streak. While the haircut was planned, the bleached streak was spur of the moment. When asked how she would describe her new style, Kerkof wrote, “Claire from the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen,” referencing the culinary magazine’s popular YouTube series, in an email to The S&B.

Tess Kerkhof ’21 added a blonde streak to her new ‘do. Photo contributed by Kerkhof.
Judith Tong 20 and Esther Hwang 19 collaborated on new haircuts. Photo contributed by Hwang.

Judith Tong ‘20 and Esther Hwang ’19, a December graduate, also worked together to create Hwang’s new style. Hwang’s hair was already buzzed, and Tong added grids. The roommates described Hwang’s style as a wrapped ham. Tong also cut her hair into a triangular side cut within a mushroom cap.

Hwang had asked Tong to cut their hair but was not sure what style they wanted. Tong suggested grids and Hwang replied, “LOL I’m fine with looking stupid; we’re not going anywhere anyways!” Tong recounted in an email to The S&B.

Govind Sartaj ’21, decided to cut his hair out of necessity. “It wasn’t so much a new hairstyle — it was me trying to look less like Tom Hanks in Cast Away,” he wrote in an email to The S&B.

Sartaj knew that he would not see many people, so he felt comfortable taking the risk of changing his usual longer haircut to something shorter. His style inspiration was Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders, but Sartaj has decided not to commit to the new hairdo, and he does not plan to style his own hair again anytime soon.

“I think I got really lucky — if I tried doing something like this again, there is a great chance that I would end up looking like a brown Shrek. I would not wish that on anyone,” he wrote.

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