What to do about ‘quarantine’ hair
Wrangling unwanted hair may seem a trivial pursuit in our current situation. But as we come to grips with life in lockdown, it’s worth doing whatever makes us feel good.
If that means taking a stab at a new fringe, hair stylist Anthony Nader, founder of Raw hair salon in Sydney’s Surry Hills has some advice: it’s just hair. “Salon owners like myself will always be here after your experimenting stage.” Whether you plan on letting nature take its course during quarantine, or are more inclined to DIY, three experts reveal the dos and don’ts of personal grooming at home.
If you have grey hair or dark roots showing, Anthony Nader says opt for a coloured root spray, and comb it through.
DIY dyeing is fine, says Nader, but do not attempt anything more serious than a semi-permanent hair colour. And if you’re blonde? “Hand on heart, doing your own roots is so risky – it never ends well.” Nader says you’re better off freshening up your blonde strands and any brassiness by using a mauve coloured shampoo and conditioner.
Men, says Nader, should feel free to embrace longer locks (including that beard you’ve always wanted) but this is no excuse to let it all slide. “Manscaping is a must. Aim to trim your beard at least once a fortnight.”
There is no need to use a beard shampoo, he says. Simply wash your face and ensure you have good lighting.
According to Hannah Mutze, National Brow Artist at Benefit Cosmetics Australia, only two things are required to grow out your eyebrows: patience and time.
“The process is unique to every person and can take anywhere from four weeks to 12 months or more”. Still, says Mutze, “every hair counts.”
Mutze recommends tweezing, but only a little. “Place your pinky finger over your brow ensuring the bulk of it is completely covered, then only remove the hairs that sit higher or lower than your finger. Try tracing a horizontal line on either side of your finger with a brow pencil to make it easier.”
“Brush your brows daily,” says Mutze. “This stimulates the skin around them, encouraging blood flow to the area which can lead to more growth.”
While you wait, fake a fuller looking brow with a fibrous brow gel like Gimme Brow Plus. “The micro-fibres within the formula adhere to your brows making them look instantly thicker, fuller and more defined.”
Fancy phasing out shampoo? It’s known as the “No Poo” movement and its proponents claim to have been liberated from the soapy shackles of shampoo and the cycle of oil-stripping, preferring instead to use bicarb of soda, apple cider vinegar or nothing at all.
The result, they claim, is bouncier, shinier, healthier hair – though it is a process that can take between two and six weeks. In the meantime, you have to contend with, well, a lot of oil.
Diana D’Amore, brand manager at Original & Mineral haircare says that if you want to stop the cycle of overly dry hair or an oily scalp, a “clean” shampoo that’s free of sulphates and parabens is the way forward. The difference is that clean shampoos don’t foam up, which means your hair is no longer being stripped of oils.
“You may need to shampoo twice to begin with until your hair gets used to a sulphate-free shampoo,” says D’Amore. “Try a gentle deep cleansing shampoo like O&M Original Detox shampoo.”
If your favourite waxer is also in lockdown, you’re left with a choice. Do you want to find out what six months’ worth of body hair looks like? If the answer is yes, then as you were. If the answer is anything else, you can try DIY waxing, but be warned, you’re not going to get exactly the same results.
That’s because salons use hard wax, which is less painful. If you must wax, experts recommend prepping with baby powder, and using only small strips. And whatever you do, don’t overheat it.