The Guardian

How Hurricane Maria forced Puerto Ricans to change their hair

After months of heat, humidity and power outages, long, blown-straight hair is hard to come by – inspiring new looks crafted at improvised barber shops
A woman does her granddaughter’s hair in an area of San Isidro, Puerto Rico, without electricity in October. Hurricane Maria has forced people to change their grooming routines. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Not long after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, unleashing floodwaters, flattening homes and knocking out the power supply, Consuelo Quezada noticed another, more subtle, change to life on the island.

Attending her first mass after the storm, Quezada saw that her fellow churchgoers did not have their usual Sunday morning hairstyles.

“I think I just saw everyone’s real hair for the first time in my life,” she told her family after the service.

Four months after the hurricane made landfall, ordinary life in the US territory is, and 15.5% of the population still lacks electricity.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian3 min read
Touching In Yoga Is Touchy Indeed - And It Should Be | Sasha Brown-Worsham
Yoga studios must set ground rules for physical contact. We can’t play fast and loose with consent
The Guardian17 min readPolitics
The Great American Tax Haven: Why The Super-rich Love South Dakota
It’s known for being the home of Mount Rushmore – and not much else. But thanks to its relish for deregulation, the state is fast becoming the most profitable place for the mega-wealthy to park their billions.
The Guardian2 min read
Eating Disorders Have Been Rebranded As ‘Fasting’. But They Are As Dangerous As Ever
Chicago rapper CupcakKe has been criticised for social media posts about her month on a water fast. It’s tech gurus who led the way in this irresponsibility