Quarantine Beauty: From Roots to Plucks

It looks as though Quarantine 2020 is here to stay for a bit, and to keep from going insane, I find myself looking for silver linings. There are definitely some positives to all this being-a-prisoner-in-your-own-home stuff.

My closets are clean, my treadmill is getting used, and our yard is looking fabulous. My bored, grumpy child is about to make me consider a life in the woods (and the people on “Naked and Afraid” make it look like such fun); other than that, I see positives everywhere.

One such silver lining is self-care. We actually have the time for long soaks in the tub, extra time for workouts, or to get out that ten-minute face mask, but leave it on for an hour. The world is your oyster…go ahead and shuck it.

Zoom Out, COLLEAGUES–Way Out

In addition, you’re not seeing anyone but your family (and people on Zoom meetings, and no one really cares how they look on there anyway)….so now is a perfect time to give your hair and skin a break from all the makeup and product and heat damage we put ourselves through each day. Put away your hair dryers, your curling wands, and your flat irons. You won’t be needing them for a while, and–I can promise you this–your tresses could use a break.

Quarantine 2020 is also exactly the perfect time to train your hair. And, no, I’m not talking about a 5K or the Olympics. Training your hair involves teaching it to not need to be shampooed every single day. Typically, when I tell people it’s best to only wash their hair once or twice a week, they look at me like I’ve grown two heads and both of them are greasy.

But it is possible to train your hair to be able to do this. It just takes time, and it helps if you don’t have to see anyone for a while. Was Quarantine 2020 made for this or what?

Science & Training Your Tresses

First, a little science. Everyone has sebaceous glands in their scalp that produce oil. When you shampoo, you strip these oils away (especially using cheap, harsh shampoos), and your body responds by producing more. Therefore, the more you strip, the more you produce, and so on and so on. Which is why many people who shampoo every day have to shampoo every day.

If you stop stripping these oils every single day, eventually your sebaceous will catch on and stop producing so much oil. The downside to this, obviously, is that it takes a few weeks for your scalp to catch on. You will look and feel rough.

You may look like someone on the aforementioned “Naked and Afraid,” as it were, or someone who’s been lost in the woods for a while….or abandoned on a desert island without any good hair products.

A Survival Kit: When Grease Gets Gross

Full disclosure, it can get gross. You’ll need a “survival kit” for this period of time, to keep from caving in and washing too soon. I suggest you get a good quality dry shampoo (and dry shampoos are fine–they don’t strip oil, they just absorb them). Also, find some cute ways to put your hair up (YouTube is full of tutorials), and learn to love bobby pins, hats and scarves.

Start by waiting three days to shampoo, then four, then five and so on. I shampoo my own hair twice a week. I usually go four days, and ironically, I usually always get the most compliments on my hair on Day 2 or Day 3. Day 4 is almost always a ton of dry shampoo and a messy bun. My hair is healthier, it grows faster, and my color lasts so much longer. It’s totally worth the month or so of grunginess you must suffer to get there.

Let the Plucking Eyebrows Go

Another beauty routine you can let go of during Quarantine 2020 is eyebrow grooming. Whether you wax, pluck, or thread, now is a great time to let it go–as Elsa instructs.

For those of you who are regular groomers, have you ever felt like it never ends? Like, you go get your eyebrows done, and two days later you have hairs popping out again? Well, hold on to your britches, because here comes some more science. Each hair is on a growth cycle. Let’s say for the case of argument, each of your eyebrow hairs is on a 21-day cycle. You get them waxed, not really thinking about how last week you plucked a few.

Well, some of those hairs are still under the surface of your skin when you wax, but you plucked them 10 days ago. While you’d like that wax to last you 2-3 weeks, you’ve got hairs that are very close to popping back out again within a week of your professional waxing. The remedy for this is time and very bushy, unkempt eyebrows. Let them grow, let them grow! (And can you tell I’ve seen Frozen 358 times since Quarantine began?)

If you leave them completely alone for a month (or longer, if you can stand it) every single hair will have time to pop out and show itself. Then, when our long national nightmare is over, and we’re allowed to go to the salon again, go get them waxed. You’ll have given each hair time to reach its full growth cycle–so you’ll yank them all out at the same time, leaving your brows smooth  for much, much longer.

As much as it pains me to suggest going without shampoo and grooming, these are some sacrifices that will be well worth it when all this is over. And really, what’s your excuse? If your husband or kids or roommates complain, tell them you’re training for a wild reality show. They’ll probably be grateful you’re still bathing at all and (sing it with me) LET IT GO.