Repairing the beauty damage done during quarantine

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode Beauty Editor and Northwest Arkansas mama of 3

If you haven’t cried quietly alone in your bathroom, are you even on lock-down with kids? There are lots of reasons to hide away for a cathartic boohoo right now — angry toddlers, grounded teenagers, cutting your own bangs. I can’t do much to help with the kid drama, but the good news is the salons are starting to open back up and we can hopefully start fixing some of the damage we did out of quarantine boredom.

Salons are still on tight restrictions and have a lot of cancelled appointments to make up, but there are highlights at the end of the tunnel! Until then, start planning exactly what to ask your stylist for by being honest about what you’ve done. *insert maternal wagging finger here*

Help, I went against literally everyone’s advice and... cut my bangs!

Don’t panic, you’re not the first person to look to the scissors during a crisis, whether it be a global pandemic or a really bad break up. First, it might be simply the technique you used for cutting your bangs. A blunt cut can be very unforgiving of any DIY errors and a professional stylist can add texture and blending to your bangs for a softer look that better frames your face. Did you catch the most important part of that sentence? A PROFESSIONAL STYLIST. Step away from the scissors until you can get to a salon.

Part of your problem may not be the length or style of your bangs but how they are laying on your head. A straightener or curling iron usually are too fat to get really close to your head and leave you with Swiss roll bangs. To tame your fringe, turn your straightening iron on it’s side like tongs and use the indirect heat to guide your roots. If you only have a curling iron, put a light towel over the top of your hair and iron it down. Make sure it’s dry or the steam will burn you, ouch.

If there is absolutely no redeeming your bangs or you’ve realized they just weren’t for you, there are plenty of ways to hide them until they grow out again. A pompadour, or bump, is the easiest option and will add some cute height to you hair. We’re in the south y’all…the higher the hair, the closer to Jesus, amiright? Pull your bangs straight back and twist them to create a poof. I prefer to use a barrette to secure my hair because it’s very thick. But you can use Bobby pins, too. Just remember to put them wavy side down for better grip. If a pompadour is a little too sorority sister for your taste, a side twist clipped to the side achieves the same goal with a more sophisticated look. My sister turned me on to these life saving barrettes that don’t budge, even in the hair of her super athletic daughters.

…Dyed my own hair!

The good news is, you probably won’t need to admit this out loud because your stylist should be able to spot a box dye from a mile away. But if you have a set routine that takes a certain amount of appointment time, it would be best to warn her or him when you make your appointment that you might need a little extra time and TLC to repair damage or color. A deep conditioning or keratin treatment can help replenish the moisture in your processed hair.

If you went so far as to bleach your hair to strip out the color, which is very popular right now as the trend of unconventional hair color holds strong, then your hair may be especially brittle. Expect to lose some length to repair the damage and listen to your stylist’s advice. Healthy hair looks thicker, so you may appear to have more hair even if you lose some inches. In the meantime, avoid heat styling and use a deep conditioning treatment every few days, skipping washing in between.

…Became one with my dry shampoo!

This one is a little tricky because I am actually a huge advocate of not washing your hair everyday or even every few days. During the dryer months, I only shampoo once a week. While we are social distancing and staying home, this is a great time to retrain your hair to not expect a daily wash. The more you wash, the dryer your hair gets and the more oil your scalp produces, therefore making your hair greasier so you have to wash more and we’re caught in a loop.

But the few weeks it takes your hair to adjust to a new schedule can be torturous for some people, and dry shampoo is a life saver for soaking up excess oil. Unfortunately, overuse of the powdery formula can create quite a bit of build-up and cause problems later, like flat, lifeless roots and hair loss. This can be easily corrected with a scalp treatment like Head and Shoulders Supreme Detoxifying Scalp Mask. You can also create your own scalp exfoliant with apple cider vinegar.

…Tweezed my own eyebrows and now I look like 90s Drew Barrymore!

To be fair, this may have been damage done in the actual 90s and we can’t blame Corona. There are eyebrow growing serums but they can have inconsistent results (ie: they might work). Good old-fashioned castor oil applied with a brow brush seems to have the same level of success. This can also be said for restoring brittle, damaged eyelashes. Also, a biotin supplement will encourage hair growth.

If thin brows are something you’ve suffered from for years and don’t see new growth happening, then microblading is a semi permanent tattooing procedure that has incredibly realistic results. Just make sure you go to a reputable salon that is willing to give you plenty of references for your own review process. Or a simple reshaping and brow tint might be enough to add the illusion of volume while your brows grow back.

…Went all Hulk on my artificial nails and now they’re a brittle mess.

I have a feeling this is going to be the biggest beauty sin we see as we crawl out of our quarantine dens. Who doesn’t like picking at something when you’re bored or under stress? But now it’s time to start repairing the damage so your nail tech doesn’t flinch when you go back in. A Nail Recovery Kit like this one from NailTek will get you on the right track by moisturizing your nails and keeping them protected. The idea of avoiding polish so your nails can “breathe” and repair is an old wives’ tail. A daily oil treatment and avoiding letting them soak in water are the best steps to recovery.

Now that we are on our way to recovery of the physical trauma of the last couple of months, we can work on the mental trauma. Does anyone know if Amazon has a convenient kit for that? Maybe a combination package of wine, Prozac and a weighted blanket? Or sunscreen, a billowy swimming gown and margaritas? What would be in your self -are, barely hanging in there emergency kit?

We will be adjusting to another new normal, but that’s why moms are made of steel…put us under pressure and we can adapt but we never lose our strength! Happy Spring, Mamas!

Got a beauty or hair question for Andi? Send it to us so she can write about that topic in an upcoming Beauty Buzz. Email it to mamas[at]nwamotherlode[dot]com. Click here to read more beauty posts by Andi.