Recently, I cut my hair from shoulder length to just above the ear. I go through cycles with my (mousy brown, quite coarse, wavy/curly) hair which are roughly characterised thus: long natural colour -> long, gentle golden balayage -> long, high lift blonde balayage -> just above shoulder length full head platinum, maybe with some pastel fun in there -> dye back to closest approximation of natural colour -> chop it all off, let it grow long and swear never to dye my hair again -> repeat. I am currently in the last stage of this cycle, enjoying my dark, short hair. You can see the evolution above.
It got me thinking: what would I do if the End Times happened and I was in the full head platinum stage of the above cycle!? The roots!!! That would make it barely worth finding a bunker somewhere and surviving. That may be *slightly* hyperbolic, but seriously – the re-growth would be a personal tragedy on top of the human tragedy of the apocalypse. You know, there are a surprising number of people who are preparing for complete societal breakdown; they’re called ‘Preppers’ or ‘Survivalists’. There are your normal (I use the term loosely) Survivalists building fallout shelters in their back gardens (I sat next to one on a plane. For 8 hours.) But then you also have your megarich Survivalists building luxury condos in disused weapons silos (the Survival Condo Project) or those who are ‘just’ purchasing planes, guns and plots of land in remote places like New Zealand. There’s a great piece in the New Yorker profiling these people and their ideas. They’re really convincing! The Survival Condo Project in particular is quite well appointed – medical theatres, including dentistry, a well stocked pantry with canned goods which is supposed to evolve to be some sort of End Times whole foods, seventy-five-foot-long swimming pool, rock climbing facilities, a pet park, classroom, gym, cinema and a library. Not to mention the plans to farm rear tilapia and grow veg. All this could be yours, including fancy-pants LED screens to (maybe?) trick you into thinking there is natural light, for a cool three million USD. Sounds fab. OH WAIT. Where are you going to get your serums? Moisturisers? Cosmetics? I mean, all of that recirculated, filtered air is going to be hell on your skin. And, what if your doomsday scenario includes the added hassle of being platinum blonde at the wrong time? I noticed that all of these Survivalists seem be men, and seem to have forgotten these facilities. If I’m going to pay up to three million USD for a luxury bunker it better have well stocked fucking spa facilities, just sayin’.
So, in the interests of prepping for the apocalypse, or at least scary societal break down, I would do the following (there is lots of stock piling):
- Really, I swear this time: I’m never going to dye my hair again. There’s that problem solved.
- Stock pile pure, unrefined shea butter. I’m convinced it never goes off.
- Stock pile coconut oil. Also convinced it never goes off.
- Stock pile powdered pigments and learn how to make your own cosmetics (apparently it’s super easy, I literally just googled it. God knows you’ll have the time).
- Learn how to make your own essential oils.
- Stock pile carrier oils.
- Stock pile apple cider vinegar (I don’t care what the bottle says, there’s no way this goes off).
- Make sure you have plenty of pretty little glass jars, pots and pipettes – some of these should be dark glass. If you are unprepared, do be prepared to raid the medical wing.
- Have a few glass crystal nail files. Don’t worry about polish – the goal is clean and natural in post-apocalyptic beauty looks, so as long as your nails are neat and healthy I think you’re fine.
- If you are in the unfortunate position of having platinum blonde hair at the wrong time, I really don’t know what to tell you. Even if the last thing you did above ground was dye it, it would still fade and turn brassy and you’d have to do it at least another three times. Maybe take some down there with you. Then cut it all off and start again.
- If you wear glasses and/or contact lenses – get Lasik surgery*.
So, there you have it – some loose guidelines for the building blocks to an effective post-apocolypic beauty routine. You’re welcome. Do you think I’ve left anything out?
*Also, seriously, do get Lasik – I was totally convinced after reading that piece in the New Yorker.