Cut it? Color it? How to Maintain Your Hair From Home
Tips and tricks to keep your mane healthy and thriving
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Instead of cutting your hair at home, treat your hair, and get it in great condition – while you have the time.– Anthony Cole, Sebastian Professional Lead Stylist
Self-care comes in many forms. From aromatherapy baths to morning meditation and deep-tissue massages to hair salon visits, the maintenance of wellbeing is undoubted – and consistently – on-trend throughout the US. In fact, according to Statista.com, the hair care industry, alone, generated nearly $13 billion in revenue in 2019 and provided jobs nationwide to more than 400,000 cosmetologists, hairdressers, hairstylists, barbers, and even shampooers.
However, with the salon industry’s not-so-socially-distanced work on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, hair professionals are doing all they can to remain centered, inspired, and engaged. “I can’t wait to work already,” says Anthony Cole, Sebastian Professional Lead Stylist. “It’s so difficult to just be home when you know that there’s so much out there you want to do.”
Virtual Consultations & Online Education
As Cole awaits the “reopening” of the US, he is hard at work doing whatever he can to continue maintaining his client relationships. Cole has taken to FaceTime consultations, which offer him a platform to discuss future client changes prior to returning to the salon. “We also talk about what they can do now–from home–to take care of their hair until their next appointment.”
Additionally, Cole is a Sebastian Professional international educator, who typically teaches in-person classes. For the time being, Cole has shifted to virtual education, where he streams demos on Instagram Live on topics including editorial hairstyling and capturing Paris Fashion Week looks from designers like "Project Runway" winner Christian Siriano.
At-Home Hair Maintenance Tips
If you’re feeling hard-pressed to dive into a consultation or too antsy for an Instagram education, fret not. Cole has a few tips on tresses to share with the masses. For those who do not have access to their colorists or root powder, consider a non-glitter eyeshadow. “Wet a small makeup brush and use it to apply the eyeshadow to cover your gray roots, as needed. Then, spray with hairspray to secure the shadow in place and avoid fallout,” he recommends.
So are you itching for a trim? Cole encourages you to hang tight. “Instead of cutting your hair at home, treat your hair, and get it in great condition – while you have the time.” Replenish your hair with a nutrient-rich mask while you are cooking or cleaning. Cole suggests applying the mask, adding a plastic wrap around the head, and leaving the mask on for a few hours while you do household tasks. “You can also take it one step further by adding a hot towel over the plastic wrap, which will create steam to open up the hair cuticle and help the conditioner sink in,” he shares.
In addition, if you're growing bored of your look, perfect your braiding skills or work on your curling styles and beach waves. “Try not to worry so much. You can’t go anywhere anyway, so take the time to experiment with looks you never thought you’d try on your own,” says Cole.
As for men who are thinking about a quick-fix buzzcut, Cole encourages speaking to your stylist or barber about the right number to use on your buzzer. Or, if you’re not feeling very clipper-happy, you can simply do some clean-up around the ears and the nape of the neck until your next appointment. For beard maintenance, if you don’t own clippers, you can use a shear with a rounded tip around the jawline. “The rounded tip makes it so that you don’t nip yourself,” says Cole.
Is it the Right Time to Change Color?
Although Cole advises against at-home coloring experiments, some consumers don’t want to wait it out to see their colorists. South Florida resident Jill McGarry, 34, goes into the salon a couple of times per year, at most, but prefers to practice on her own. “I have been doing my own hair, one way or another, for 19 years,” she shares. “I found my first gray hair at 15, so that kind of sealed the deal, so I would not have to spend money every 4 to 6 weeks to cover the roots.”
Currently, McGarry is 4 weeks into her latest project: attempting to achieve a silver hair color from a previously dyed brunette hue. “Throughout the project, I have sent my hairdresser several pictures,” says McGarry. However, she is experiencing a few hiccups, like leaving the recommended toner in for too long (which resulted in brown-gray-green hair color), followed by a bleach bath, which stripped said toner out. McGarry is now back to blonde, but not the ideal shade, so her saga continues. “Tonight, I will be doing another (temporary) toner. Wish me luck!” she pleads.
In addition to tapping her hairdresser regularly, McGarry has been researching on YouTube aplenty. And, if all else fails, she plans to set up an appointment to get things fixed as soon as the pandemic is over. “Or, I can always bring the ‘Britney’ back and shave my head. Just kidding… kind of,” she jokes.
I am a seasoned lifestyle storyteller and content marketing strategist. My main beats include food and beverage, wellness and nutrition, festivals and event production, music, travel, cannabis and small business.
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