One of the things we learnt in ‘Lockdown’ during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was that we are not that talented when it comes to at-home hair-care. Looking after our barnets became quite tricky as the weeks rolled into months since we last paid a visit to our hairdresser.
OK, so maybe we did take a small moment of delight in seeing some menfolk with a dodgy home ‘do’, hiding our secret envy for those stylists that make it all look so damn easy. But more fool the men who lured us ladies with taunts of ‘how hard can it be?’.
Ladies with a fringe or artfully styled ‘bangs’ also had to take the plunge with the scissors of doom. Let’s face it, if we did have a go at a trim ourselves, who can honestly say they got tooled up? More likely, it was a quick grab of anything we could lay our hands on that would restore vision – kitchen scissors, nail scissors or even the ones we only use Christmas and birthdays for cutting wrapping paper.
The lack of a regular trim did leave us with a difficult and sometimes misbehaving head of hair. Dry ends combined with hurried Zoom-friendly damp-haired up-dos were leaving many of us with a frizzy delight.
Getting our hands on something decent to tame the mane proved tricky, so an easy home-care solution was required. A product or treatment that could restore both calm to our frenzied follicles and a smile to the miserable face looking back at us in the bathroom mirror.
Three approaches were tried on the lockdown-locks:
- The friend-of-a-friend’s-aunt-who-used-to-know-someone-who-worked-opposite-a-shampoo-factory social media type of advice. This meant attempting to sleep in hair coated in coconut oil. It resulted in a restless night’s sleep, a mucky pillow case because the carefully placed towel got dislodged in the night, and a grumpy lady in the morning who realised that she actually values sleep over frizzy hair. It didn’t go well.
- The ‘leave conditioner on a bit longer than usual’ during the morning shower approach. This meant combing the conditioner through (after getting the floor covered in water because the comb was not taken into the shower initially), and leaving it on longer than normal. This didn’t make a huge amount of difference to be honest – 2-3 minutes feels like a really long time when you are just standing under a shower. On reflection, if a razor had been grabbed as well as a comb, this could have been combined with a bit of de-fuzzing along with the de-frizzing. No huge results here either.
- The ‘supermarket shop because lockdown means I can’t wander around looking for nice products to try’. This was a challenge in itself. Have you ever hovered for more than a minute or two in this section of the supermarket, let alone when there is a socially-distanced queue outside waiting for you to crack on and get out so they can go in? The choice was huge and the prices ranged from reasonable to hair-raising (not that my frizzy locks needed much help in that department). I was wary of buying anything too pricey – we all end up with dusty bottles of something on top of the bathroom cabinet that we forget to use – but also worried I would spend the equivalent of a wet-cut on a jar of goo that might not work. Then I spotted the sachets – little tear-open packets of hair-care joy that promised to tame my mane. A win-win – I could spend a fraction of the cost to try it out plus keep my gin/wine budget intact (a girl needs support in Lockdown, remember!).
The verdict? Yes, we hate to admit it, but our hairdressers are right. There is no substitute for a regular trim and indulging in a salon treatment now and then when it comes to taming the mane. But our recommendation? A little sachet of hair-care joy from the supermarket is perfect for a little treat. However, if you are feeling a little more adventurous than us and want to mix your own lock-lotion, or maybe read about some ready made fixes for problem hair, this article from Good Housekeeping might be just up your street. Either way, stay away from those kitchen scissors!