Should You Cut Your Hair At Home? 5 Top Hairstylists Weigh In
This is Winging It, where we're helping you master your favorite salon treatments and looks without having to leave the house.
With salons across the country closed indefinitely to encourage social distancing in an effort to stop of the spread of COVID-19, the only way to get rid of annoying split ends and grown-out bangs are by cutting them yourself. But even if you're not feeling reckless enough to give yourself a dramatic quarantine haircut, think twice before you pick up a pair of scissors and start trimming the ends of your hair.
"A good pair of sheers is like $1000, so if you’re using kitchen or paper scissors, you’re not honoring what your hair needs, which is good tools and technique," says Jon Reyman celebrity hairstylist and founder of Spoke & Weal.
What's happening outside the walls of your apartment might seem more important than what your hair looks like. But, when life seems uncertain, a good cut or style can completely change your outlook, giving you a sense of control when everything feels uncertain. And let's face it: we could all use some positivity right now.
So, what should you do if your hair is starting to look just meh while stuck at home during quarantine? We asked a handful of top hairstylists.
So, I Really Shouldn't Cut My Hair?
Stylists across the board agree that you shouldn't try to cut your own hair at home. "Now is the time to leave your hair alone," says Yusef, hairstylist to Rihanna.
"If you mess anything up, it can take the longest time to correct," says Cristina Bosque, senior hairstylist at Rita Hazan. "Your stylist might have to go shorter than you want when you finally get back into their chair."
That being said, Reyman gets the need to cut bangs that are long enough to poke you in the eyes. "Point cut into the bangs and don't cut them blunt because a blunt line is hard to soften." he says. Point cutting is where the scissors are held vertically to cut into the ends of the hair. But if you don't feel confident enough to cut your own bangs, pin them back with bobby pins to get them off of your face until salons reopen.
Go Hard On Hair Treatments
Instead of going for a cut, use this time at home to repair your hair from heat damaging and styling. The right hair treatments will add moisture back into the hair and restore it, which will make split ends look less obvious.
"One of the reasons you get a haircut is that you want to manage the damage on the hair," says Reyman. "Instead of cutting the split ends off, repair them." He's a fan of Khairpep, a leave-in mask formulated with peptides that re-glue broken hair bonds together, as well as Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector, a favorite treatment among stylists and celebrities.
An alternative plan of attack is focusing on color and shine-boosting treatments. By enhancing your current hair color, your entire look will feel — not to mention look — like you recently had your hair done at a salon. "The Rita Hazan Ultimate Shine Gloss is great to use in the shower, after shampoo and before conditioner," says Bosque.
A color-depositing hair mask like Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver 5 Minute Nourishing Color Mask will also revive dull, faded hair color. "You can put it all over and it's going to refresh your color," says Nikki Lee, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Nine Zero One Salon. "It won't shift your root, but it'll get you shine and some pigmented color on there just to make you feel better."
Shampoo With Caution
"Along with the temperature of shower water, the minerals and heavy metals built up from water can leave build up on your hair and make it look brassy," Lee explains. She recommends adding a filter to your shower head to purify the water.
Another option is adding a treatment that reverses water damage into your haircare routine. Reyman likes Aquis 01 Prime Water Defense PreWash. The pre-shower spray prevents hair from swelling and stretching when its wet, which can lead to frizz and breakage.
As for how often you should wash your hair, it depends on your hair type and needs. "Typically, you want to shampoo coarse hair less," says Reyman. "Fine hair gets greasier a little quicker, so you want to shampoo it a little more." Instead of washing your hair, Williams says you can also wet hair and simply run a conditioner through it.
If you are going to blow dry your hair post-shower, Lee says to make sure you're using a heat protectant spray that also strengthens hair like In Common's Magic Myst, a product from the haircare line she created with Nine Zero One Salon co-founder Riawna Capri.
Practice Your Styling Skills — But Hold Back on Heat Styling
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the average person's hair only grows a quarter of an inch per month. "Short hair like pixie cuts or bangs will grow out a little quicker," says Reyman. "But, styling is what's going to distract you from your cut and split ends." The damage is what makes your cut look older than it really is.
With everyone social distancing for the foreseeable future, many salons have started posting tutorials and tips on their social media feeds to give clients ideas on how they can play with different hairstyles at home and look like they put some effort in if they're doing a bunch of Zoom video calls when working from home. "Follow and interact with your stylist on their social media channels to support them too," says Bosque. "Stylists are posting salon videos from their archives, as well as at-home tutorials online right now."
If you want to add some waves or texture to your hair, Yusef suggests spraying your hair with a leave-in conditioner when it's damp, braiding it into two big plaits, and letting it air dry in lieu of using a flat iron or curling wand. Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner works well across all hair types.
A ponytail or bun is also a foolproof option. "Put your hair in a sleek bun or ponytail with hair oil so it works as a treatment and an intentional style at the same time!," says Alex Brown, celebrity hairstylist. "We aren’t seeing many people during this time, so I find it very important to do the least possible amount of heat styling right now to have the most gorgeous hair for summer!"
On top of giving your heat tools a break, Yusef says it's important to be gentle when brushing your hair. Avoid using round brushes, which tug and pull on hair, and opt for a brush with soft bristles like the one from his new line of hair tools, The Y by Yusef.
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Reach Out to Your Stylist
Since salons are closed, your stylist is out of work. If you want to support your stylist and your salon during this time, reach out to pre-book a haircut or buy a gift card to use towards your next appointment.
You can also DM or text your stylist to see if they're doing Zoom consultations. They can help give you styling tips and suggestions. The price of a consultation will vary, but it will be less than the typical salon appointment, plus it's a way for them to generate income — whether or not they're eligible for employment insurance.
During these consultations, your stylist can also suggest products and treatments to use to give your hair some extra love while stuck at home. Some brands are generating special affiliate links for stylists so they get a fraction of the product sale when you make a purchase.
"In Common is giving a 35% commission to all stylists who use their own personalized links and send it to clients," Lee explains. "Clients must click through the custom link and the stylist will receive the 35%, which In Common is paying out weekly."
So, if you have a pair of scissors within reach, put them back in whatever drawer they came from. Thanks to these stylists you've got better options that won't end in a DIY haircut disaster.