For many, the coronavirus pandemic is putting beauty routines out of rhythm. And the result is more than cosmetic: Taking care of ourselves can play a huge factor in our mood, productivity and overall wellbeing.
Local cosmetologist Ashley Hazelwood gave us a few helpful at-home beauty tips to keep your hair, skin and nails healthy and safe until salons are back up and running.
Be Picky About Hair Dyes
We’ve hit the point of quarantine where, if you dye your hair, its natural color is probably peeking out at the roots. While the easiest solution to tame your mane is to reach for a box dye at the grocery store, Hazelwood recommends exploring other options first.
“As a professional, it kind of breaks your heart to see people using box color,” Hazelwood says. She urges that the hair dye formulas salons use is starkly different than box dyes, which are made with a cocktail of chemicals harsh enough to permanently damage your hair and scalp.
Hazelwood says that many stylists around the city—including herself—are offering root touchup kits as a temporary solution. She recommends contacting your salon to see if they’re offering root touch-up supplies. Otherwise, commercial root touch-up sprays and powders can also get the job done.
She recommends: “Oribe is a little bit of a pricier line, but they have an awesome product called the Airbrush Root Touch-Up Spray,” she says. For permanent color, she says Madison Reed’s Professional Hair Color At Home is a good salon-quality hair dye kit without harsh chemicals.
Utilize Color-Protecting Products
To make your hair color stretch longer, use a color-care shampoo and conditioner. Hazelwood says that color-depositing conditioners are also a good option, which condition and give hair a semi-permanent color in tandem.
She recommends: Overtone Coloring Conditioner
Communicate With Your Stylist
If your bangs are starting to creep into your vision, it’s probably time for a trim. But before you reach for the scissors, Hazelwood suggests that if you have a close relationship with your regular stylist, check in with them. They may be willing to walk you through the trimming process.
“We all miss seeing our clients, so a lot of us are willing to take the time to do this,” Hazelwood says. “You can even send them a small Venmo donation as a thank you.”
Let Your Hair Down
In these days of quarantine, throwing your hair in a bun is a rite of passage. But Hazelwood says that this could be contributing to hair breakage and split ends.
“Elastic ponytail holders are super damaging,” she says. “Instead, use fabric ponytails or the coil ones. They are less damaging.” And even if you’re lounging at home, she recommends just letting your hair hang loose to minimize hair harm.
She recommends: Kitsch Spiral Hair Ties
Take Your Vitamins
Hair loss is attributed to high stress, and many are experiencing high stress levels during this time of so many unknowns. Along with participating in what you consider self-care—like taking a bath, reading or meditating—Hazelwood recommends taking a biotin supplement, which plays an important role in the health of hair, skin and nails.
She recommends: Sugar Bear Hair Gummies. “They’re awesome multivitamins. I’ve seen clients’ hair really improve when taking these,” Hazelwood says.
Carefully Take Off Nail Color
When removing gel or dip nail color, Hazelwood’s number one tip is to not pick the color off. “Picking will cause potentially irreversible damage to your nail bed,” she says.
Instead, begin by using a nail file to remove the top layer of your nail color (the coat that makes it shiny). Soak a cotton ball in full acetone—not just nail polish remover—and place it onto your nail bed. Place aluminum foil around your fingertip to keep the cotton ball in place and let rest. After about twenty minutes, the color should wipe clean with a little pressure.
Even if you remove nail color correctly, acetone in itself can cause nail beds to dry out. Reconcile that by reactivating the oil glands in your cuticles—you can do this by rubbing coconut or olive oil into your cuticles and letting sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
Keep Hands Moisturized
Frequent hand washing is necessary during this time. However, the result can be dry and cracked hands.
Hazelwood recommends the age-old trick of coating your hands in Vaseline and wearing gloves overnight. When you wake up in the morning, rub your hands to let the rest of it soak in.