Like in Malaysia, salons and barbershops in many parts of the world have been shut by the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of us are feeling shaggier than normal, perhaps tempted to take hairstyling matters into our own hands.
The most important thing if you attempt a home haircut is to use very sharp scissors, says Jens Dagne of international stylists’ group Intercoiffure Mondial, not blunt kitchen shears or the children’s craft scissors. "Dull scissors crush the hair and cause split ends after another week or two," he says.
Before you resort to cutting your own hair, Dagne recommends styling it differently. People with long hair might find that adding or embracing curls, tying your hair back or using a scarf gives you the feeling of a fresh haircut. For those with short hair, using styling gel or wax might be enough.
Applying volume-boosting products in your hair also can give a fresh look to a grown-out hairdo, says Birgit Huber of Germany’s Cosmetic, Toiletry, Perfumery and Detergent Association (IKW).
But with many short haircuts, a few centimetres of growth can already feel extreme. And it’s difficult to fix a fringe with styling products alone.
So, if you must cut your hair, find the sharpest scissors in your home. That might even be a nail clipper, if it's a hair emergency. With very short hairstyles, use a razor to attend to the neck line.
To prevent split ends, Dagne advises treating the cut edges with a non-silicone tip treatment. This moisturises the hair and helps prevent breakage.
If you want to touch up your colour at home, stylists warn against switching up the product. Changing the product you use can cause breakage and unexpected colour reactions — if not immediately, potentially at the next regular colouring appointment.
Some salons are selling their products for at-home use, so reach out to your stylist to see if it’s possible to buy a home kit.
If that’s not possible, Dagne suggests avoiding chemical hair dyes and instead using hair treatments that contain natural pigments to refresh coloured hair. You also might be able to get through your quarantine using non-permanent colour sprays and powders.
If you decide to colour, you shouldn't wash your hair for one or two days before, Huber says. This protects the scalp’s natural sebum layer, which helps prevent irritation when dyeing. -- dpa