Hair Stylists Weigh in on the Dos and Don’ts of Quarantine Hair
When we go through traumatic life experiences (like a bad breakup, a family death or even a tough cross-country move), it’s always tempting to want to make a dramatic change to our appearance—and unfortunately, our hair is usually the first to take the hit. Once you’ve read all the books on your shelf, listened to all the podcasts in your lineup, and binged all the Netflix shows, it’s tempting to venture off into other, more creative ways to fill your time. But resorting to your kitchen scissors to chop off your hair for a theatrical TikTok video probably isn’t the best idea right now. And unless you want to complicate your post-quarantine hair appointment, it’s best to avoid trying out the below until you’re back in their chair, under their professional care.
Don’t cut your own hair.
Your hairstylists are strongly suggesting you not cut your own hair “for the ‘gram.” “I know cutting our own hair seems tempting right now, especially since we don’t know when we’re going to be able to see our stylists again, but I’d recommend just holding off—a few extra inches won’t hurt you,” says Annagjid “Kee” Taylor, celebrity hairstylist and author of “All Hair Is Good Hair.” “Don’t risk poking yourself with scissors or causing your hair to look like a complete mess!”
Trying to cut your own hair with the incorrect tools is a no-no, too—please put down those kitchen scissors! “You likely don’t have the right tools to cut your own hair,” says Dominick Pucciarello, a celebrity hairstylist. “I keep seeing people trying kitchen scissors or small eyebrow scissors [to cut their own hair], and those just aren’t the right tools and leave so much room for mistakes.” Your household scissors aren’t sharp enough and can leave your ends looking crooked and frayed.
If you’re going to try and cut your bangs, do it properly.
If you really can’t step away from the scissors, you can consider cutting your own bangs, but don’t chop haphazardly, and don’t give yourself new bangs. “The tendency is to pull [the hair] and cut, but this will end up making them too short, which is the usual outcome,” says Juan Carlos Maciques, a hairstylist at Oscar Blandi Salon. “Let the hair lay naturally on your forehead and then cut the ends. Use a point cutting technique as opposed to straight across so that they are more effortless looking and easy in feel.”
Don’t try and color your own hair.
If you’re someone who normally uses box dyes and you’re happy with the results, then keep on keepin’ on. However, if you’re someone who gets their hair professionally colored and you’re thinking about picking up the box dye at the grocery store, many hairstylists recommend skipping it. “You’re just going to stress your colorist out when you’re finally able to get back into the salon chair,” explains Taylor. “Just think: do you really want potential weeks of color correction?”
Don’t forget how much stress it’ll add to your locks, too. “Remember that attempting to drastically change your color can lead to major damage,” says Maciques. “You have no idea how this can translate to extensive breakage that usually leads to having to cut your hair. Instead, use a root concealer spray or powder to get you through this time.”
Don’t bleach your hair.
There is so much that can go wrong when attempting to bleach your own hair and, considering it’s such an aggressive chemical process, it’s best to leave it in the hands of professionals. “You could risk chemically burning your scalp, or your hair becoming so brittle it literally breaks off,” says Taylor.
Pucciarello agrees, stating that the major breakage and damage at-home bleaching can cause just isn’t worth the risk. “In general, coloring your own hair is always tricky and people don’t realize that lighting plays such an important part in coloring your hair,” he says. “If you have too much warm or soft lighting and your eye isn’t trained as a professional colorist, you’re going to see something completely different, which could lead to mistakes.”
Don’t chemically straighten your hair.
Similar to the amount of chemicals used in bleaching your hair, trying to chemically straighten your hair at home is not a good idea. “Again, these chemical processes are aggressive and intricate, and you need to be really careful,” says Taylor. “In general, I would strongly recommend that anything involving chemicals be left to the professionals.”
So, what can you do to your hair while stuck in quarantine?
Just like you’re (hopefully) giving your brain and body much needed TLC during this time, experts suggest you do the same for your hair, too. “Take out extensions, lay off the dye,” suggests Pucciarello. “Spend some money on a great conditioning treatment or make your own and let your scalp breathe. Scalp treatments are also a great option right now. I truly think now is the time to repair your hair and treat it right!”
Being in self-isolation is the ideal time to strengthen your hair and get it prepped for your first stylist appointment post-quarantine. “The very best thing you can be doing right now is making sure your hair stays strong and healthy so that when you are able to get back in the chair, your stylist can quickly get you looking your best versus doing damage control,” says Taylor. “This means you need to add lots of moisture: add a weekly hair mask into your care routine. You can also take your favorite hair oil and apply it mid-lengths to ends. You can wrap your hair in a shower cap and let it penetrate for a good 20 to 30 minutes.”