How to Take Care of Your Hair at Home

Top tips and tricks for going the DIY route.

Now that we’re in the midst of a global lockdown, a lot of us have been resorting to DIY hair care and hairstyling methods in lieu of professional services. From learning how to trim our own ends to conducting deep-conditioning sessions to covering up roots, we’ve all been trying to achieve salon-worthy results while in our own homes as part of a regular hair maintenance routine.

The good news is that with the right tips and tricks, professional-grade looks are totally doable and right at our fingertips. Read on for solutions to the most common hair upkeep issues we’ve been facing and learn the best way to take care of your hair at home:

How to Cut Your Own Bangs

We’ve seen a rise in DIY haircutting and hair maintenance queries due to the current stay-at-home mandates worldwide. As you probably expected, cutting hair your hair at home has come to the forefront of many people’s minds. Over the last few weeks, there has been an increase of 120% in Google searches for how to cut hair at home. To help address this, we’ve tapped our resident expert stylists for insights on how to attempt correct DIY hair maintenance, while keeping any hair accidents at bay.

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“We all know how wrong at-home trims can go—just go on a search on YouTube!” caveats Unilever In-House Stylist Bailey Pope. “First, you will need a comb and sharp scissors; scissors what aren’t sharp will make it nearly impossible to get a clean shape,” she notes. “You’ll [also] want to cut after drying and styling, as wet hair can shrink up after drying.”

When it comes to cutting your own bangs, it’s best to err on the side of caution and start small. To properly trim your fringe at home (and avoid any disasters), follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Section out your pre-existing fringe and use clips on each side to separate your bang area from the rest of your hair.

Step 2: Wash, dry and style as usual.

Step 3: Comb hair to get it sitting uniformly.

Step 4: Hold your fingers parallel to the shape of your pre-existing line.

Step 5: With scissors at a 45-degree angle, create a straight line using uniform small “point cuts” following your current shape, a.k.a. the last shape your stylist created on you, as your reference.

Step 6: Comb down and use your fingers to loosen up your fringe to assess length.

Step 7: If you need to go shorter, move up ¼ to ½ inch and repeat. Note: It’s easier to take a few inches off little by little as you need it than to go all too short at once!

You can also tailor the shape of your new bang shape depending on the style you want. Whether it’s a full, fluffy, ’70s-inspired curtain fringe or a sweet, versatile side-swept option, start conservatively by cutting on dry hair to avoid going too short.

How to Color Your Hair at Home

Although this is also a process best left to a professional, dyeing your hair at home is a skill that can prove useful in a pinch (or during an emergency quarantine, when shops are closed). Again, given the current situation, there has been a rise in searches for how to color your own hair at home. Luckily, the sheer number of at-home coloring kits available on the market also suggests this is a process that can be undertaken at home, given the right guidance—and that’s where we come in!

We have seen a whopping 250% increase in “Best At Home Hair Color.” This is a strong indicator that many are looking to dye their hair at home. In light of this, you can find more tips on how to successfully color your own hair while in lockdown.

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First things first: Stick to color within one to two shades of your base to minimize the risk of any mishaps. On your next #sociallydistanced provision trip to the drugstore, carefully study the box dye options available and choose one whose “Before” image most closely matches your current color.

Step 1: Start on second- or third-day hair. Your scalp’s sebum (i.e. natural oils) acts as a protective barrier and will help minimize irritation from the ammonia and/or bleach present in box dyes.

Step 2: Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around your hairline and nape line.

Step 3: Read the instructions carefully and prepare a plastic or glass mixing bowl, a dye brush, latex gloves, plus a plastic fork or whisk for mixing and an old towel or T-shirt to protect from staining.

Step 4: Wearing your latex gloves, combine the hair dye and developer in your mixing bowl, following the correct ratio indicated on the box. Mix thoroughly.

Step 5: Do a strand test on a small section of hair to see how quickly your hair texture lightens/changes. Finer hair can lighten faster than thicker, coarser strands.

Step 6: Apply dye in two steps, starting from ½ inch away from your roots, downwards. Next, go back and do the roots at the midway point of your processing time, making sure to cover the entire head.

Step 7: Let set until the recommended time (or the time indicated by your strand test). Gently wipe away the petroleum jelly on your hairline and nape, removing any traces of dye on your forehead, sideburns and neckline. Rinse out hair with water, then shampoo and condition as usual.

How to Deep-Condition with a Hair Mask

Applying a hair mask is a super effective way to infuse strands with an added shot of moisture. Dry, damaged hair benefits the most from this extra level of hydration, but hair masks can be used by all hair types and textures to enjoy a quick dose of TLC, depending on your particular needs.

With a 250% increase in searches for “hair mask recipe” next, we’ll see how to correctly apply a hair mask or hair treatment, since how to repair damage is another high-volume query that’s been experiencing some lifts during the lockdown. We’ll also go through how to treat a deep-conditioning session as nice self-care indulgence while we’re staying at home.

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A once-a-week deep conditioning session is a good place to start for most hair types. Read on and get your self-care on:

Step 1: If your hair is on the drier side, start off with a wash-and-care duo of shampoo and conditioner to clean strands. If your hair is normal to oily, you can skip the conditioner after shampooing.

Step 2: Take a generous swipe of your hair mask and apply to your hair (if your hair is oily, start towards the mid-shaft). Coat hair evenly, concentrating on the mid-lengths and ends—that’s where most of our damage is!

Step 3: For added relaxation, massage your scalp with your fingers or a scalp brush.

Step 4: Use a wide-toothed comb to help coat hair evenly.

Step 5: Let sit, or cover with a shower cap for anywhere between 15 minutes to a few hours, depending on your hair’s current dryness level. Tip: Just like how sitting under a heated hooded dryer helps speed up a treatment process at the salon, steam from a hot shower can also help impart ingredients more efficiently into the hair.

Step 6: Rinse with cool water.

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Data used for the graphs and images are from Google Trends
Figures represent search interest relative to the highest point in the given period where 100 = peak popularity

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