Amid thousands of private and public doors closing in the wake of COVID-19, the hashtags #showyourroots and #waitforus are trending globally on Instagram in support for hairstylists everywhere. On the same front, searches for “home hair cut” have spiked by 417% on Pinterest alone.
“So many hairstylists are doing the right thing right now by staying at home. However, they lose all income because unfortunately you can’t do a Zoom meeting for a haircut,” says Nikki Lee, celebrity hairstylist and cofounder of Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles. To better navigate the waters in this confusing time, we reached out to some of the top names in the business to find out how we can lend a hand, and to ask how we should handle the tempting at-home cut.
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“I think the only positive thing to come from this current ‘COVID- 19 culture’ is that we now have more time to connect with other hair colorists and stylists in all parts of the world to hear their struggles and solutions,” says celebrity colorist Chad Kenyon. One of Kenyon’s newfound solutions? Making root touch-ups easier than ever for his high-profile clientele. “Under normal circumstances, I do not recommend for to do their color at home, as it’s not as easy as it may look,” he says. “But to get my clients through this time, I am preparing at-home color kits with their actual formulas that I have developed for them over the years, along with Olaplex N°1, to mix in, as I do with all my formulas. Then I will do a virtual application appointment via FaceTime or Skype to walk them step-by-step through the mixing, application, and rinsing.” During these virtual consultations, Kenyon says he will also walk through each client’s hair-care routine to determine if they should “switch it up.”
Lee is also doing her part to support fellow stylists during this time. Also the cofounder of hair-care line In Common, Lee has raised commission for stylists to 35-percent. (Stylists receive commission from each purchase made from their customized links.) More ways you can help your stylist during this trying time: “Pre-book a few appointments so your stylist’s book is full when they return to work, and refer your friends to them,” suggests Lee. If you’ve worked with your stylist for years and you have the means, pre-paying for an appointment would go a long way, too. “Last but not least, give them extra love on social to help them with their following!”
To Chop or Not to Chop?
When it comes to making a drastic change at home, every stylist interviewed for this piece are in agreement: Don’t do it. “It is never a great idea to cut your own hair,” explains Michelle Cleveland, celebrity hairstylist and owner of Hair Addict Salon. “Unless you are a highly skilled contortionist and can move your arms behind your head while working a three-way mirror like it’s your job, forget it!”
David Cotteblanche, FEKKAI stylist, educator and editorial stylist agrees: “I don’t advise cutting your own hair, but if you must, then avoid making any drastic changes and focus on small trims on the tips of your hair—don’t try to replicate any layers.” Another must-follow rule from Cotteblanche: “Use the right tools. Do not use kitchen or kids scissors—invest in professional tools. You can order them on Amazon.”
Can’t seem to fight the urge to cut? Cleveland offers up this helpful hack: “Use any and all hair accessories you can find to distract you from seeing the regrowth: clips, barrettes, elastics, hats, scarves—if you’ve got it, use it!”
So many hairstylists are doing the right thing right now by staying at home. However, they lose all income because unfortunately you can’t do a Zoom meeting for a haircut.Nikki Lee
All About the Bang Trim
While stylists agree drastic chops at home are a definite no-no, some stylists, such as Garnier celebrity hairstylist Ashley Streicher and Glamaquad artistic director Giovanni Vaccaro, say bang trims are okay to do at home if you are in dire need. However, their instructions should be followed closely.
“Stick to very small and very sharp scissors, like eyebrow or even cuticle scissors,” says Streicher. “Do not use a shaving razor—that will fray the ends of your hair and make it very frizzy. The small scissors help so that you can only take a little bit [off] at a time, which keeps you from lopping off big chunks of hair on accident.” Vaccaro adds: “Be sure to point cut, which means holding your scissors vertically to cut into the bang so it has more softness and the line won’t be blunt.”
Streicher and Vaccaro agree bang trims should be done on dry hair instead of wet—and styled as you normally wear your hair—so you can see exactly how the bangs will lay. When it comes time for the trim itself, Vaccaro breaks it down for us. “Grab the amount of hair you want to cut and gather in the center of your forehead, twist and cut. Cut less than you think you should—trust me,” he says.
Steps to Success
“Section your bangs from the rest of your hair so you’re only cutting the proper hairs,” adds Vaccaro of the all-too-common mistake he’s seen so many of his clients make. The solution: section clips, or tuck the rest of your hair behind your ears to keep them out of the way. Another tip we would have never thought of: Don’t pull the hairs when cutting! “If you apply too much tension to the hair, you will cut more than you want. Let them lay the way you want to wear them, and you’ll have the best chance of getting it right.”
While your stylist knows the best bang shape to enhance your particular face, you might not as you prep for your first-ever trim. For square faces, Vaccaro says to stay away from blunt bangs and to soften the line. Oval faces can wear any shape (lucky!), heart-shaped faces should stick to wispy bands, thick, side-swept bangs are key for round faces and for long faces, try to keep bangs “straight and heavy.”
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