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Help! Salons Are Closed and My Hair is Turning More Gray by the Minute

Updated: Apr 1, 2020

So many memes, so many gray hairs. By now, we have all seen the witty rhetoric online: “Everyone will know your real hair color within 3 weeks.” How many times can you camouflage your gray by flipping layers from one side to another before it bursts through? Some of us wonder if this is the time to transition to a brilliant gray all over. Others ponder how to battle the daily change in color hues from the trenches of our bathroom. Amidst salon closings due to COVID-19, many wonder whether it is worth the risk to fight the good fight despite lack the expertise. We asked experts in Maryland, New Jersey and Ohio and they all agree: Leave the coloring to the professionals. Here is why:

1) Women often color their hair at home to save money or to save time. If you make a mistake, the color fix tends to be more costly and much more time consuming when you make it back to the salon.

2) Box color is unpredictable and although you might “get lucky”, it is not consistent.

3) You can actually damage the integrity of your hair if you do not use the proper coloring process. Hair stylists use higher quality products. Stylists have the expertise to apply bleach and highlights which can ruin hair when box color is previously used.

4) Blondes need to be especially careful. Hair color does not “lift” color. As a result, when applying box color, it is difficult to blend the band of color as the hair grows.

5) Formulas are created based on each client’s individual levels and tone. It is not a “one size fits all” like you find with box color.

One hair stylist provided advice if you MUST color your hair at home:

1) Stick to the same brand and same color. She shared that women often experiment with different colors or buy whatever is on sale. She tells us it is best to stick with the same exact brand and color so when you return to the salon, your stylist won’t have to “lift” multiple layers of varying colors.

2) Use a good, sulfate-free shampoo and cut your hair regularly.

Here are some recommendations from novice stylists:

1) Candy from Westerville, OH has colored her own hair when she has not had time to get into her salon. She has had luck with Feria by L’Oréal because it brings out the natural highlights. She cautions, however, that if improperly used, you can end up with a less than desired tone. One time she turned her hair orange and her hair stylist was not pleased with her. It took 2 months for her stylist to fix her mistake.

2) Sheryl from Fairfax, VA says that she has colored her own hair for years. She has had more success with E Salon and Madison Reed than other products. Sheryl recommends if coloring highlighted hair, use a cap to pull through hair or brush color on small strands of hair.

Another option is a temporary root spray or powder that will get you through the day or night until your next shampoo. You can even brush on eye shadow if you find a match. This works particularly well if you are a brunette – grab your brown eye shadow and brush away. If you are in a pinch, it really works!

When you get on that video conference rocking a nice blouse on top and sweats on the bottom, ask yourself, is my hair ready for primetime? If you plan on coloring your own hair, consider some of the risks that can impact hair beyond our time at home due to COVID-19. Before you break out the coloring process, give a spray, powder or even eye shadow a try. Perhaps ladies, here is another thought - just let it go! You will be back to your salon in no time.

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