Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Monday, we are now heading into Lockdown 3, in which all personal care services - including hairdressers, nail technicians and beauticians - will have to close. In a return to DIY beauty, there are lessons we have learnt from previous lockdowns about how to pandemic-proof our beauty regimes. Here's our guide to doing it the smart way.
Lockdown-proof your cut
What have we learnt since the last lockdown? Step away from the clippers. If the first lockdown taught us anything, it was to not to attempt a DIY haircut. Because, after all, hairdressers will eventually reopen again and a winter lockdown is grim enough without making do with a lopsided fringe. If you’re desperate for a style update mid-lockdown, hop onto hairdresser George Northwood’s excellent YouTube channel for easy-to-follow tutorials.
Prior to closing, hairdresser Desmond Murray noted that “many of my clients have already been asking for a haircut that will still look good as it grows out in the next month or two.” If you want some framing around the face, you can try your own ‘curtain bangs’ - a longer fringe that has its shortest point at the tip of the nose, graduating longer down the sides (think Goldie Hawn and Sienna Miller). It looks extremely chic for starters, but also allows you to clip it back or tuck behind your ears as the style grows out. Luke Hersheson, who recently cut curtain bangs for Victoria Beckham, has been inundated with requests for the style over the past three months and you can find a tutorial on face-framing on George Northwood's You Tube channel.
Lockdown-proof your colour
As for hair colour, our habits changed while salons were open. Anita Rice from the Buller & Rice salons noticed after the first lockdown, "clients were asking for face-framing highlights, and by gradually lightening your hair with pieces of highlight or balayage, you can give the overall appearance of lighter hair without dealing with the obvious regrowth of block colour,” she says. The stylist John Vial has also noticed a rise in women asking for lighter pieces of colour around the face, “which is good for looking more polished on Zoom calls without a big commitment,” he adds.
However while we can't see our hairdressers, the biggest beauty learning from the first lockdown is to invest in the condition of our hair, with an array of hair masks and conditioners. This is particularly important as we are in the winter months, and will help to keep the condition of any salon colour looking better for longer.
One of the bestselling products since the first lockdown is the No. 3 Hair Perfector mask by Olaplex, £26. ASOS, Space NK and Cult Beauty all reported this hair hero among its top-performers. If you want to improve the look and feel of your hair during this lockdown, give it a try and you’ll see why it’s so popular. For a good bath-time allrounder, the new Rose Pink Clay Mask by Aromatherapy Associates, £40, is a nourishing treatment that can be used on the face as well as the hair. Slap it onto dry hair for 10 minutes before you shower and rinse. Just using it twice weekly will help to keep the hair soft and shiny.
Lockdown-proof your face
We’re not going to be caught out this time around when beauty treatments are concerned, either. Light therapy helps to stimulate collagen production in the weeks following an appointment. Bonus: light therapy is also proven to boost your serotonin and dopamine levels for an instant feel-good factor. Although you can't go in for a physical appointment at the moment, our beauty team swear by the Boost at-home light therapy mask by The Light Salon.
It’s pricey at £395, but you can use the at-home device as often as you like for a quick 10 minute session. It helps to stimulate collagen and is instantly relaxing. Just what we need after those government press conferences. As for your bathroom cabinet, invest in a good ceramide-rich face cream to tackle any dry skin brought on by the cold weather. Kate Somerville’s Delikate Recovery Cream, £69, is instantly soothing, as is the High Performance Moisturiser by ADC Beauty, £55.
Lockdown-proof your nails
Let’s be thankful we don’t need to worry as much about well-painted toenails this lockdown, and instead leave your toenails unpainted and nourished with a good cuticle oil until you can see a professional again.
As for at-home nails, ditch the DIY attempts. The nail expert Marian Newman regards a cuticle oil such as Solar Oil by CND, £6.95, as “the single most effective product to keep your nails in good nick while you’re at home”. Apply it nightly, and you can feel your nails getting stronger by the week. For a quick paint update, she’s been using a nail brightener to make the nails appear healthier in a flash. Try the Je Glow Nail Brightener by Le Mini Macaron, £12.99. It’s easy to use and you don’t need an overly steady hand for good results. Because if the first lockdown taught us anything, it’s to sit tight and leave certain treatments to the professionals.