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  • Writer's pictureEmma Ward

Why Your Hairstylist Has No Right to Judge You For DIY Hair During Quarantine

Let's face it, when faced with crisis our first instinct tends to be to change our physical appearance in some way. One of the easiest ways to do that is with our hair. Break up? Let's get bangs. Lose a family member? Should probably get some highlights. Global pandemic? Shave your head, I guess.


While I don't recommend shaving your head, I also don't have any right to judge you. I see many many posts from fellow stylists shaming their clients for creating DIY hair while under quarantine. Look, I've shared some memes too, they're funny. I especially appreciate the ones that somehow relate back to Tiger King. If you haven't already witnessed that train wreck, please escort yourself over to to view it immediately.

I'm a full believer at making jokes to cope with difficult times, but stylists (myself included) need to remember that constantly posting shaming memes can be harmful to your relationship with your clients. At the end of our day, it's our job to make people feel beautiful. I don't know about you, but I've never felt beautiful while being shamed for my choices.

If your hairstylist is upset with you for using home-color or low quality products, they need to reevaluate their attitude. We cannot control what our clients do, especially during a global pandemic. People will find ways to help make themselves feel better, and their hair is typically a part of that. It is 100% okay to do something silly to your hair in the name of self-care.

Dear clients, your health comes first: physical and mental. If DIY hair will help to keep you sane, then that's totally okay. You have every right to do what you need to do and not be judged for it. As professionals, it's our job to make you feel your best AND to fix you up. Do not feel bad for taking care of yourself during a pandemic!

Now, please understand that this is not me recommending that you whip out a box of blue-black dye and throw it all over your gorgeous balayage. I've complied some tips for better DIY hair to help with the overwhelming need for change or control. Before I tell you anything though, please make sure that after this is over, you're honest with your stylist about what you put in your hair. It makes our jobs a lot easier if we know what we're up against.

Disclaimer: I am not recommending anyone use store-bought hair color. These dyes can be harmful and are very hard to remove. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using any chemical product on yourself. If you do choose to use these products, please preform an allergy patch test on yourself before use. In addition, I am not recommending that anyone cut their own hair. The purpose of this post is to aid in harm-reduction.


- Tips for cutting your bangs

I get it, you enjoy having vision and hair sitting directly in your eyeballs can hinder that. It's all good, a bang trim is one of the least harmful things you can do to your hair during quarantine.

  1. Take it slow. Don't rush, take your time.

  2. Start with just a little bit. Don't go scissor-happy right away, trim off a small amount first to make sure you like how it's going to look.

  3. Don't overthink it. I see a lot of videos of home bang trims where people do fancy twists or odd sections, don't worry about those. Just follow what you already have going on.

  4. If it's your first time, ask your hairstylist for advice first. They can probably link you to a helpful tutorial or guide you in the right direction to achieve the bangs of your dreams.

- Home-color that isn't as bad

Step one: do some research! I love this video from Brad Mondo, but remember that this is a basic introduction to color theory. Take a moment to read the directions of what you're using and preform an allergy test.

  • Avoid bleach if possible. This is one of the most hardcore chemicals to use on your hair, if you can resist, put the lightener away. If you must though, use a low volume developer and make sure to saturate your hair really well. Check on your hair often while the product is on, and follow directions on timing.

  • Do. Not. Use. Henna. Many people reach for this as an alternative to color because it's natural. While this is true, that does not make it good for your hair. Henna is extremely difficult to remove from hair. It often has a bad reaction to other colors and lighteners and can actually start to smoke. Try to avoid reaching for this stuff.

  • Sally's is better than a box. If it's available to you, I would much rather have you purchase color from Sally Beauty than a grocery store. While their color is not professional grade, it is usually easier to remove than box dyes.

  • Vivids are easy to play with! If you're rocking some funky hair, keep at it! You can order many types online. While Pulp Riot is my baby for vivids, you cannot purchase it online without a license. Here's an alternative to try out while isolating, click the photo to check them out.

- Hair care tips

Alright babe, it's time. Reach deep under your bathroom sink and find that hair mask you bought a while ago but haven't found the time to try.

  • Wash your hair less. Now is the time where no one is around. If you've ever dreamed of training your scalp to go farther between washes, try it out! I promise that with a little dry shampoo or styling, no one in your conference call will be able to tell if your hair is a little oily.

  • Try out all the products! Chances are, you may have a few mystery products under your sink. Take them out and see what you can play with. There could be a few gems hiding under there.

  • Try giving up heat. If you're up to it, try cutting heat styling out of your routine. If you're stuck at home, no one can see you anyway. Let your hair recuperate and show it some love by leaving it alone for a while.

- What to expect when you go back to the salon

As I've said before, your hairstylist should NOT judge you for Covid-hair. Opting for DIY hair does not make you less of a valued client, we appreciate your business!

  • Be upfront with your stylist and tell them what you used. We aren't here to judge you, but it does make our jobs much easier if we know what we're up against. Being honest with your stylist helps both yourself and them to get a better picture of what to expect during the appointment.

  • Your appointment may not be the same price, It usually takes up more product and skill to remove non-professional color. Talk to your stylist about pricing before you begin the service. Some salons determine pricing for corrections via the services they need to complete and others (like mine) go by the hour. Neither is the wrong answer, but make sure that you understand what you're in for. It could come out easily without a change to your regular pricing, but mentally prepare for that not to be the case.

  • Your appointment may take longer, Make sure that you prepare for not just an increased cost, but also an increase in time. Removing non-professional colors usually takes longer. Ask questions and don't plan to be at an event right after your appointment.

  • You may not get the result you want on the first session. Correcting hair is not a one-size-fits-all situation, it can often take multiple sessions to get the desired result. In your consultation, ask the stylist if they think the fix will take a few tries and what you can expect during the process.

- Don't feel bad about it

Please do me a favor by rocking whatever you choose to do (or not do) to your hair shamelessly. Who cares what it looks like, you did the thing and you should own it. I'm sure you still look like a boss, so wear it with pride!


I'll be releasing another blog post shortly to talk about ways to embrace your roots during Covid-19. Also, check out my Instagram for styling tips during quarantine! If rocking the regrowth is something you can handle, please do! After all of this is over, salons could really use the help to stay afloat. If you can hold off, please support local businesses that will need the love!

We're all in this together,


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