Hugo & Alex's Hairantine Project Coifs For A Cure
By Alixandra Rutnik on Apr 27, 2021
"Lockdown hair never looked this good."
The year-long pandemic lockdowns haven't been particularly kind to the tops of our heads, as the inability to visit ones favorite salon or barbershop for months on end has left many of us with unruly locks. The London-based creative team and One Club Members Hugo Catraio and Alex Mendes found inspiration in this "lockdown hair," reaching out to fellow artists across the globe to create a poster series for a great cause.
The result? The Hairantine Project, a virtual gallery of bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied artwork, all being auctioned off to benefit Cancer Research UK. It is a great week to purchase a striking piece of art, because the last day to donate through The Hairantine Project is Friday, April 30.
We talked to Hugo to hear more about his "lockdown hair" situation and, more importantly, find out more about The Hairantine Project.
First things first, can you pinpoint the exact moment when you noticed that you and Alex had "lockdown hair?" When did it become a thing?
From the moment we heard non-essential shops in the UK (so hair salons and barbershops) would be closed, people naturally started to show some anxiety about it.
The key moment for us was a couple of weeks into lockdown when people started attempting to sort out their hair at home with terribly funny results.
What is the story behind The Hairantine Project?
Most of our ideas come from observing people’s behaviors. Alex has a close relationship with his barber and was constantly whining that it would take ages for him to get a haircut, so we started to notice how emotional people can be around this subject.
"We realized that hair will always be a source of striking emotions for people, especially those going through cancer treatment during and well after any lockdown."
The intention was to turn the buzz around “lockdown hair” into something positive and valuable. We realized that hair will always be a source of striking emotions for people, especially those going through cancer treatment during and well after any lockdown. We all know people who have been through this or who are fighting right now, so helping to fund Cancer Research UK extremely important. It was a natural next step to associate with them.
How did you source the artists?
We’ve approached many people whose work we’ve always admired. We sourced that little folder most creatives have somewhere with names of talent they would like to collaborate with one day.
"We sourced that little folder most creatives have somewhere with names of talent they would like to collaborate with one day."
The deadlines were quite short, and there was no budget involved, but we’ve been lucky enough to have over a dozen brilliant artists say yes initially and then a few more who found out about the project and asked to take part later on.
The donation process is pretty straightforward. We receive the order, discount the production costs, shipping, and everything else goes straight to Cancer Research UK. The goal is to raise as much as possible. Every penny helps, so there isn’t a specific number we have in mind.
With longer hair now, that means the hairdressers and barbers have more to work with when cutting — has any of this inspired you to change your own hairstyle post-COVID?
The shops have just started to reopen. People either booked weeks in advance or are queuing in the cold to finally get rid of their lockdown hair.
Alex was one of the people who booked an appointment well in advance. I wasn’t particularly desperate, so I haven’t had the chance to get my lockdown hair sorted yet. Our last haircuts probably happened around December last year.
We haven’t made any drastic changes to our own hairstyles– maybe we’ve tried a few different shampoos along the way.
You and Alex have been a creative team for the past ten years and counting– what is the secret to your teamwork?
The ability to be brutally honest and open with each other is crucial. We have the freedom to say that one idea is shit and then move on to a better one.
We feel comfortable discussing ideas between us that are still in the rudimentary stage, and we don’t worry too much about harming each other’s feelings.
Even though we are both from Brazil, we have very distinct lifestyles, so we’re always learning from each other and sharing references that maybe wouldn’t necessarily be connected.
"Even though we are both from Brazil, we have very distinct lifestyles, so we’re always learning from each other and sharing references that maybe wouldn’t necessarily be connected."
What are you and Alex working on together now?
We’re freelancing at the moment. I can’t say much more than that because they made us sign an NDA.
We like to always have a side project going on too, so next in line is designing the visual identity of our football collective in London, made by primarily creatives and plenty of Brazilians. Coming soon.
One Club for Creativity Members get featured here on the One Club website and across our social media channels. Have a new project you'd love to share? An upcoming exhibition and you'd like us to help spread the word? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always love to know what our One Club Members have been up to, so don’t forget to send us your cool work!