cnet March 24, 2020


How To

Haircuts, manicures and waxing: How to keep up appearances during coronavirus quarantine


Beauty pros tell us how to deal with unruly hair, nails and skin when you're stuck at home and salons are closed.


Social distancing and government mandates require virtually all Americans to stay home and close business. And as countless businesses and newly unemployed workers face the unknown, the beauty industry is taking a hit. But just because your favorite salons are closed at the moment, that doesn't mean you have to let your own personal care fall by the wayside. 

Giving yourself some time to focus on you and relax may be exactly what you need the most. That said, if you're used to having a pro help you do your hair, nails, waxing and other grooming needs, you have options to get similar results at home. You don't have to be a pro in most cases, although the quality may not be the same (so set realistic expectations). But at-home grooming is enough to get you by until social distancing and shutdowns end. 

Doing your own hair, nails and even facials isn't as intimidating as it may seem and you can replicate the experience of your favorite salon at home. Below, beauty experts weigh in on how to maintain your personal care between appointments with affordable and easy options. 


If you need a haircut

If you're in need of a haircut it's best to save that for the pros. In the meantime, you can focus on taking care of your hair at home so it'll be healthy when it's time to go to the salon again. If you are worried about split ends, a Well+Good writer says these products helped her go an entire year without a haircut. 

Amy Abramite, salon educator and stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago says to focus on moisture and conditioning your hair in between appointments. "While waiting to have your ends trimmed with a stylist, focus on keeping the general health of your hair in prime condition by adding a leave-in conditioner to your beauty routine. It will nourish and moisturize your hair, as well as prevent split ends from heat styling before your next snip. Add your leave-in conditioner to towel-dried hair and blow dry to style," Abramite says.

If your bangs are too long

"Accessories will extend the appearance of your style while having salon withdrawal when you cannot get a blowout, haircut, or bang trim. To look polished and professional, a headband will push overgrown bangs out of your way for a fresh look," says Abramite. 

She continues, "If you have longer hair and want to conceal your dehydrated ends, try a bun for a polished look with a scrunchie. For ponytail lovers, slick back the front of the hair for a clean look and decorate the back with a large printed scarf."

If you need to touch up your hair color

If you haven't been dyeing your own hair at home, now isn't the time to try it. Most stylists agree that dyeing your own hair can lead to not only unsightly results, but could damage the hair since at-home and salon dyes are so different. 

"Box dyes tend to have fewer conditioning agents than professional color which leaves the hair feeling damaged. Correcting these home dyes usually takes more than one appointment and can be very costly," Karissa Schaudt, colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago says. Here's what stylists suggest you can do if you need a color touch up and can't go to the salon.

Wash less

The more you wash your hair, the more your color will fade. "Minimize your washes, ideally shampooing two to three times per week and always using a color safe shampoo. Wear a scarf or hat when you're in direct sunlight to keep fading to a minimum," Schaudt says.

Deep condition

"Take advantage of time and use deep conditioners or hair masks. If you only have your regular conditioner available use that. Apply on damp hair and let sit a minimum of 20 minutes. Regular use will prevent color fade-age, reduce breakage and improve the elasticity of your hair," Schaudt says.

Try a root touch up product

Root touch up products that are temporary and do not actually dye your hair are great options for hiding fading hair color or roots. "My favorite brands are Oribe and L'Oreal concealer spray; they rinse out and won't cause issues with future coverage. They have a variety of shades and work on all textures. If you're really desperate, find your similar hair color in eyeshadow or crayons to help diffuse harsh regrowth," Schaudt says.

For anyone with short hair

If you have a short haircut and are used to more frequent trims, you can clean up your cut at home -- but err on the side of caution. Shelly Aguirre, Stylist at Maxine Salon, says if you want to try to trim or cut your hair at home, "Small shears will help you control the hair coming off. Put the shears on an angle and lightly 'chip' at the ends. Less is more. You can always go back and trim a little more," Aguirre says. 

"If you have bangs, use caution. They are in the front and the most visible, so mistakes are easily seen. I would recommend chipping into the bangs while they are dry as hair shrinks from wet to dry. Let your stylist shape and cut your hair," she says. You can groom or touch up your current shape, but don't attempt an entire new cut or style. 

When it comes to the back of your hair, you need someone else to help you -- or at the very least, a good mirror so you can see what you're doing. "If you have a mirror so you can see the back of your head, that would be helpful, but you really need someone else to help. It's far too difficult to do on your own," she says. 

Use hair products like wax or pomade to play around with your style in the meantime. "Products can help. Make your hair more loose or messy with a light wax or pomade," Aguirre says.

Consider getting a trimmer, which is relatively easy to use on your own. "Trimmers can aid in grooming as well. You don't need to spend a lot of money here as it's just meant for light grooming in between salon services," Aguirres says. If you have never tried to trim your hair at home, watch a few video tutorials like this one that give you step-by-step instructions. 

How to help beauty professionals who've lost work

Many professionals in service-based industries, like the beauty industry, have been forced to close their businesses for the foreseeable future and lay off employees. Many beauty industry workers only make money when they're working in a salon with clients. In light of this, many are struggling to make ends meet and pay bills while they are out of work for an undetermined amount of time. 

If you'd like to support beauty professionals -- including your hair stylist, manicurist and other professionals -- here are a few ways to do that.

Buy gift cards to use later: Buy a gift card from your salon or directly from your service provider to use at a later date when it's safe to go back to a salon. Ask you favorite aesthetician how to best pay them in advance for services. 

Venmo them for a future service: If your beauty professional isn't currently working, you can Venmo them funds for a future appointment to help them have some income now while we all wait this out at home.

Ask if they will do a Skype or Facetime appointment to help walk you through an at-home treatment: If you're at not sure how to do a hair or skin treatment and want a professional's advice, ask if you can pay them to help you over the phone or via video chat.