It has now been over two weeks since hair salons in the UK were allowed to open, but many of us are no closer to being able to get our hands on an appointment. And it’s not surprising, really, given the circumstances. You see, a huge number of people all want their hair cut or dyed in a short space of time.
However, the last couple of weeks have been more interesting than ever for hairstylists. Not only has the routine of appointments had to drastically change in order to comply with new legislation, but they have also been faced with new challenges when it comes to treatments. “If you haven’t had a haircut in over four months, the quality of the hair is definitely going to be poor. What tends to happen is that the hair starts to split up the hair shaft. Wispy ends tend to be weaker, leading to breakage,” says Paul Edmonds, an award-winning hairstylist and the founder of Paul Edmonds London.
And don’t we know it? Speaking on behalf of those among us who have gone six months plus without a chop, I think it’s safe to say our hair is in dire straits. So what are we supposed to do with it during this interim period? Keep scrolling for the tips and tricks experts say will make your first post-lockdown hair appointment a whole lot easier.
This might seem obvious, but when your hair is misbehaving, reaching for heated tools can sometimes feel like the only way to get it looking a bit more normal, but heat is the last thing your damaged lengths need right now. “Put the straighteners away. If you have to use them, just keep them for special occasions. Leave your hair to dry naturally too,” says trichologist and hair health expert, Simone Thomas.
And it’s not just heat styling that can make your situation worse. Any sort of excessive styling will be causing unwanted friction. “Try to leave your hair alone as much as possible and hold out until you’ve got your salon appointment booked. If your hair is still breaking, you could be using the wrong hair bands. Silk material is easy on the hair, and there are plenty of lovely silk scrunchies, scarves and even pillowcases on the market,” advises Edmonds.
It turns out there really is no such thing as taking too much care of your hair, especially when you’re overdue for an appointment. “Actually, because people haven’t been styling their hair as much, the condition of most people’s hair isn’t as bad as I thought it would be after such a long time. However, many people have managed to do more treatments, as they have more time on their hands,” reveals Edmonds.
So do all of these at-home treatments really help? In short, yes they do. While overwashing your hair isn’t good for scalp health, treating your hair when you do wash it can make all of the difference. “The most important thing is to keep looking after the ends. Use deep-conditioning treatments on a regular basis. Adding protein and moisture to your hair will make your hairdresser’s life so much easier when you do see them,” he adds.
Understand Your Hair Might Have Changed
It’s not an easy time for anyone right now, but the situation over the last few months will have likely taken some sort of toll on your body and mind. Sadly, whether it’s down to health, stress or lifestyle, changes to your body can seriously affect your hair, too. “Increased hair loss is likely to have occurred during lockdown due to an imbalance of hormones caused by stress, as well as things like poor food choices,” says Thomas.
Right now, the best thing we can do is be kind to our hair. Thomas advises, “Try to avoid heat tools, drink two litres of water a day and follow a healthy diet. Supplements should be taken to support this. They can be great for hair health.”
A key thing to remember is that your next appointment will be far from normal. In fact, things are probably going to take a little longer, and the process will likely be more laborious for your stylist. “It’s good to have some visuals with you when you do go in for your appointment. It has been a long time since your stylist last saw you, and their memory might need a refresh, seeing as your hair won’t look at all the same as it did the last time they saw you,” advises Edmonds.
Similarly, Thomas recommends being as clear as possible with your current hair situation as you can be when it comes to booking. “Some clients might want something new or require a complete restyle if their hair has been left to grow. If that’s the case, salons will have to allow more time for the appointment,” she says.
Manage Your Expectations
If you’re used to regular colour touch-ups and you’ve gone four months without a freshen-up, it’s important to note that things might not be able to go back to how they were in just one appointment. “The first point of call would be to just focus on blending the colours if you have a lot of root regrowth,” says Edmonds. “Trying to do it all in one go will just end up damaging the hair even more.”
Next up, the perfect shampoo for every hair type.