Hairdressers Share Quarantine Hair Tales—and Fails

Rainbow hair, wigs, and emergency Zoom calls.

Photograph by Lauren Bulbin

“We did a Zoom happy hour with our clients. It was really fun—25 of our clients showed up. Some people were showing their roots, and one of the tricks we showed them was how to wrap a scarf around their head to hide their roots for work calls.”

Moira Grasso Bloom Salon, Tysons

“I did have a client who wanted to get a wig unit created for her mom. I didn’t have any measurements, so I had to use mannequin heads and my own head to gauge. She wears a short pixie cut. Cutting it to her face, without measurements—knowing how to hit the right peaks and points, how much weight to remove—was the most challenging [request I got] during quarantine. But overall, it was a success.”

Tiffany Naté

Tiffany Naté Beauty, Gambrills

“I felt like I was going through withdrawal, not having interactions with clients on a daily basis. So I would look through my book and see who I had on my schedule that day and check in with them. I wanted to know: What was the result of that job interview? What happened with their daughter? You hear stories all the time, and I was used to hearing the follow-up every six weeks.”

Brittany Mears

Bang Salon, U Street

“I have a cousin down in Texas, and his wife wanted to cut his hair over FaceTime. She had the camera all set up, and I guided her through the haircut. It came out great.”

Jamie Simon

Phenix Salon Suites in Bethesda and Hair Cuttery in Dupont Circle

“I have some clients who didn’t have shampoo at home, or they didn’t have blow dryers. [When things locked down,] they were like, ‘Oh, my God, what do I do? This is what I come to you for. What do I buy for my hair?’ I definitely got a lot of that. It was very mind-blowing to know that some of my clients didn’t have shampoo at home.”

Tasha Gaymon Salon Leau, Georgetown

“There are women of color who don’t know how to straighten their own hair. They were forced to wear it natural. I have one client who said, ‘What am I going to do with my hair?’ I said, ‘Girl, get a wig. You’ll be fine.’ I got two wigs during quarantine. It’s easier. Even if it’s not the best wig, it doesn’t have to be to look decent on a pixelated Zoom screen.”

Yene Damtew

Aesthetics Salon, Arlington

“I have this client, she got one of these kits at the grocery store or a drugstore—it was rainbow hair. It was a disaster. I don’t even know what color her hair was. It was a big mess. There is going to be some color correction, for sure. It’s going to be a fun project to fix that up.”

Jérôme Obry

Izzy Salon, Georgetown

“I had clients who wanted to touchup their roots, so I ordered color for them. They had daughters or husbands who were willing to help. I have this [mannequin] head I keep at my house, and we would get on Zoom and I would put the head in front of me and show them: ‘Okay, part the hair this way, start here.’ I think some husbands liked it—it was sort of a handyman thing, sort of technical. I also walked people through trimming their bangs on Zoom. I just did bangs. I didn’t want to go beyond bangs.”

Neven Radovic


“I can’t tell you how many clients wanted to send me checks for their service even though they couldn’t come in. Clients are very generous. We’re lucky to be in a business where we tap into people, we make them feel great. It’s a great business to be in.”

Michelle Dimitrov Salon Michel, McLean

Editor in chief

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.