As people continue to settle life in quarantine, many are taking whatever measures they can to feel some semblance of normalcy in a situation that is anything but familiar. For many women and men alike, this means keeping up with habitual beauty routines as a measure of self-care.
While businesses deemed non-essential across the country have been closed, the idea of not getting into a hair salon for an indeterminate amount of time can be stressful for those who habitually color their hair. Still, there are ways to continue upkeep without causing damage, according to hairstylists.
Celebrity hairstylist and salon owner Kee Taylor, who is behind the famous tresses of stars like Keke Palmer and Nafessa Williams, advises that if you’re someone who lightens their natural hair color, you’re probably going to have to wait for a professional to do his or her job.
“When it comes to coloring your hair, it’s always best to stick with what you’ve already been doing,” she tells Yahoo Life. “If you’re someone who uses box dye regularly and you love it, great! But, if you typically get your hair professionally colored and you want to use box dye during this quarantine period, you’re going to really stress your stylist out when you get back to her chair.”
Michael Canalé, celebrity hair colorist who created Jennifer Aniston’s signature “Rachel” look from Friends, agrees, adding that he doesn’t “recommend doing highlights yourself,” but tells Yahoo Life that “the rooted look is in style right now.”
If dark and grown out roots aren’t your thing, Taylor says any haircare professional would “prefer if you use a root touch up product to cover up any roots versus trying to color your hair yourself” and recommends using “root crayons or root touch up sprays” in the interim.
Canalé also recommends a temporary color concealer for “covering grays in the part around the face” so that “your salon will be able to pick up where they left off.”
If a root spray or concealer isn’t enough to hide stubborn grays, the option of box-dyeing your hair with semi-permanent color gets Canalé’s green light for the time being to “give you 2-4 weeks of gray coverage” but reminds clients that “this does not lift hair color.”
And for those who do want to take the full plunge and opt for a full box dyeing option, Canalé says that a “box permanent dye” is “fine for now as long as you buy the right kind” in order to lift your base color.
“It should say on the box how many levels it lifts. If you are covering gray with darker colors, do the hairline with a color that is two shades lighter.”
There are also steps those with color-treated hair can do to prolong their dye jobs without having to touch anything up.
Canalé recommends using a “color and shine-boosting gloss” and adding “ adding “oils, like Argan, to your conditioner” for a little extra TLC, as quarantine “is an ideal time to give your hair that extra attention.”
Taylor endorses the use of “a color refreshing shampoo and conditioner” while also reminding clients that “leaving [hair] alone as much as possible will help the color stick around longer … don’t heat-style it, don’t overwash it.”
She also suggests adding a “hot oil treatment or some other kind of deep conditioning treatment into your routine … just coat your hair in your favorite moisturizing hair oil and wrap it up in a shower cap (or even a plastic bag if you need to get creative). Leave it on for 20-30 minutes so the oil can really penetrate the strands, then wash it out and condition as normal.”
The big takeaway, Taylor says, is that the more hydrated your hair is, the longer your color will stick around. She urges clients to “consider deep conditioning a little more often to make sure hair stays super moisturized and healthy, which will help preserve your color longer.”