Blondies in Hackney

Why on Earth all those boys in London decided to bleach their hair during lockdown? I’ve never seen that many blondies walking around Clapton, London Fields and Hackney in general. And I’m not talking about those rhubarb delights that my friend baked for me – might share the recipe later with someone who truly deserves it btw. Between light tangerine and mustard yellow they – the boys – obviously bought this cheap home total bleach kit, oblivious to the fact they wouldn’t get this beautiful platinum blond colour from the packaging. The girls know, and they do it anyway. I mean I’ve done it many times before, transforming my own hair into a poor quality wig, but I knew what I was doing. Facing their lockdown loneliness they went through the process of changing their hair colour, in order to spice up their existence, what they thought would bring immediate joy into their life. Because they couldn’t – for once – control the world they faced the same powerlessness that we face as girls because we didn’t write the world’s rules, and acted on something they could change, their hair colour. Hair colours are political, it’s something you can work on, decide, change, choose and control. When you feel powerless, you take your scissors, or put your gloves on and cover your head with the white corrosive paste which is burning your eyes and your nose all at once. And now, the boys parade in the streets showing off their vulnerability. Because yes, you also have to accept to be vulnerable to cut or dye your own hair, you must take the risk of failure, to face the possibility of ruining both your hair and your pride. You have to let go on your ego, and down yourself to a peg or two. Locked for three months, the boys have no other choice than facing their hairiness. What to do with that? Getting rid of the fringe, badly trimming the sides, shaving everything or turning blonde. The last category is my favourite one, and I stare at them as long as possible to read in their mind the decisive moment when they decided to do it, and if they actually regret it. Clearly they regret it, but they will never tell.


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