How to Take Care of Your Hair in Isolation
Three experts reveal how to check into hair rehab from home – by Alex Duffy
It’s never been trickier to squeeze in a salon appointment, and as each stressful and unexciting day in isolation passes, the temptation to try a DIY dye job or trim has never been higher.
Before you do anything you’ll regret, lock away the scissors, step away from the box dye and hunker down with treatments, at-home colour alternatives and styling tips to repair and embrace a low-fuss hair routine.
Below, three of Australia’s most in-demand colourists and hairstylists weigh in on the new hair rules that will bring you out of lockdown with healthy, glossy (and albeit longer) hair on the other side.
Don’t Try Anything Drastic
“Don’t let your well-deserved glass or two of wine give you long lost confidence to become a hairstylist” warns Anthony Nader of RAW Hair in Sydney. “It’s not worth waking up the next morning looking at the damage” continues Nader, colour transformations and fresh cuts are best left until your return to the salon.
The same goes for those few split ends, “put down the kitchen scissors!” says EdwardsAndCo founder Jaye Edwards, “the dull, blunt edges could potentially give you even more split ends.” Instead, try a slicked ponytail or a chic chignon to hide damaged ends and unwanted length, suggests Edwards. If a fringe or bangs are starting to get on your nerves, Nader says to lightly “dust” tips of the hair with the sharp scissors to remove unwanted length whilst working carefully to minimise the risk of a less than flattering outcome.
And don’t be tempted by a sneaky root touch-up either, “I would prefer it, and so would your stylist, if you wait until you come into the salon” says Barney Martin of sustainable salon Barney Martin Hair. Whilst Edwards, Nader and Martin’s salons are creating customised at-home colour kits for their existing clienteles, the experts say it’s best to steer clear of off-the-shelf permanent colour. “Box dye kits may seem like a good idea, particularly in these financially uncertain times, but only a professional can determine which product will deliver your desired results” says Edwards. If you’re not happy with your DIY ‘do, “you’re looking at colour correction which can be costly and take time” continues Martin.
If you’re desperate for a touch-up but can’t make it to the salon, Nader suggests trying your luck with your colourist; “ask point blank ‘can you help me with how to colour my hair from home?’” to seek advice and see if they can create a customised at-home kit. As a quick fix, Edwards, Nader and Martin recommend a colour touch-up powder diffused along the hairline and part, favouring Kevin.Murphy and Oribe’s micro-fine pigments to quickly and easily conceal unwelcome sparklers.
KEVIN.MURPHY Retouch.Me, $39.95; adorebeauty.com.au
Boost Your Colour
To keep colour bright, glossy and toned at home, the experts suggest applying a shade variation mask after shampooing every two weeks or so. “Coloured hair or highlights will become less radiant over time, and natural hair can also look dull and lack shine” says Edwards. Tailored shade variation masks “help neutralise tones and restore pure, radiant and defined highlights” by re-densifying transparent colour with radiant pigments, continues Edwards.
DAVINES Alchemic Conditioner in Chocolate, $44.95; salonstyle.com.au
To find the right shade and formula for the desired effect, “take into consideration whether you want a cool or warmer tone” says Martin, and don’t be overzealous. Whilst purple shampoos and treatments neutralise brassiness for a brighter, creamier blonde, “be mindful that blonde toning products can give hair a purple tinge” if left for too long, advises Barney Martin.
JOHN FRIEDA Violet Crush for Blondes Intense Purple Shampoo, $17.99; priceline.com.au
Make Hair Health a Priority
With a couple of extra hours in the day, Barney Martin recommends establishing a regular masking routine to repair heat and colour damage of years past. “Weekly masques can become a ritual, there are some brilliant treatments that are easy and user friendly to apply at home” says Martin.
To find the right mask for your strands, Nader says it depends on your hair type and concerns. “Hot oil treatments help strengthen your strands and prevent dry, brittle hair and split ends” he advises, whilst protein treatments are the perfect match for balayaged and bleached blondes, working to prevent breakage, restore elasticity and strengthen the hair. If strands have lost their bounce and lustre, moisture treatments will rehydrate and soften hair to recreate that freshly-cut feeling.
To make the most of each mask, Barney Martin recommends following his in-salon technique. Begin by apply the treatment to mid-lengths and ends of the hair, and wrapping hair up in a hot-water soaked towel, or tie hair into a bun and wrap with Clingfilm to trap in body heat for at least 10 minutes. “The heat will open the cuticle of the hair and allow the treatment to penetrate deeper into the hair” says Martin.
VIRTUE LABS Restorative Treatment Mask, $92; sephora.com.au
Let It Be
Whilst embracing a more relaxed beauty routine from home, try laying off hot tools and finding an air-dry line-up to work with hair’s natural texture. “You need to know your hair type, this determines a lot about your daily styling routine, as well as what products you should be using” says Jaye Edwards. “I see a lot of clients who believe they have fine, oily hair, when in reality, it’s the products they are using making their hair oily and therefore much harder to manage” he continues.
If your scalp is feeling oily or irritated, try taking a break from apply products directly to the roots. Instead, Anthony Nader opts for a volumising spray or plumping foam on damp hair as “the perfect volumising foundation compared to blasting dry hair with dry shampoo” which can build-up and compromise scalp health.
MR. SMITH Volumising Spray, $37; mr-smith.com.au
To prep fine hair for air-drying, Edwards reaches for Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Volumizing Paste in place of shampoo. Out of the shower, “towel dry your hair, apply a little product and twist and tie up into a loose bun”, then let it down when dry and apply a little more styling product to achieve movement and minimise flyaways in straight hair, recommends Barney Martin.
CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Cleansing Volumizing Paste, $69; sephora.com.au
To embrace natural waves, Nader tames frizz and adds extra hold by raking a serum or hydrating cream through damp hair. Then, he scrunches and twists two inch sections of hair into palms until it’s 80% dry for “more controlled and sculpted waves which will perform beautifully for at least two days”.
ORIBE Supershine Moisturizing Cream, $78; adorebeauty.com.au
For moisturised and bouncy curls, Barney Martin applies priming lotion to towel dried hair, running the product through hair with fingers for “definition minus fluff” that won’t weigh curls down.
R+CO One Prep Spray, $33; adorebeauty.com.au
Whilst living and working in isolation is trying for all, Anthony Nader reminds us there’s a silver lining; “think of this as your hair’s vacation, now is time for resetting. If you don’t have to touch a flat iron or hot tong, don’t. Your strands will praise you for it.”