We’ve all been there. About Day 8 of self-isolating, about your 67th Zoom meeting, and about your (I lost count) episodes binged on Netflix. “Quarantine Hair” hits you. What is Quarantine Hair? It’s when your hair gets taken out of your morning routine, because your morning routine disappears into your state of solitude.
A hair routine on the surface, is the time you spend washing, styling or merely tying up your hair to make the transition from sleep to success in your day. Why is this so important? Because devoting care and attention to your hair first thing in the morning subconsciously shapes your energy and outlook for the day. Spending the time to refine your look can ground the rest of your day in confidence.
So how can we create a hair-nurturing routine that will uplift our daily life? How can we do this even if we don’t have hair or are in the early stages of post-chemo hair regrowth? Here are some of my favorite tips.
1. Hairdress to Impress (Yourself)
Spare a couple of minutes to tie or pin your hair back neatly, even before brushing your teeth or making your bed. Starting the foundational rituals of your day with an already polished personal appearance will make you feel like you are making great headway (pun intended) and that you are ready to accomplish your tasks.
Since my hair has been growing back following chemotherapy, it has been really tough to get the short strands contained into a ponytail or half-do. A neat trick I use all the time is making a low bun for the hairs I can manage to gather, and slipping on a goes-with-everything head wrap to keep my hair neatly styled for the day.
If you are currently rocking a bald head, you can still maintain a morning routine with this simple conditioning technique: take a small wash cloth, apply a bit of moisturizing lotion, wet with warm water, and rub gently from the front to the back over your entire scalp. Then slip on your head wrap to lock in and maintain the moisture of your skin all day.
* I prefer to use gentle, unscented and deep moisturizing lotions. Here are a few of my favorites (1, 2, 3).
Shop Comfort & Style: Day Wear Head Wraps
2. Quarantine, But Make It Fashion
Exercising personal cleanliness by washing my hands and not touching my face has been made a little more difficult by…my hair. Anytime I move or turn my head, the short strands of my post-chemo hair sweep across my face, and my hands follow them. Even with long and managed hair, it can be a force of habit to want to fix stray strands, which may lead to accidental face touching. Can you relate?
Wearing a head wrap to keep your hair contained, and your hands away from your face, is a great way to stay present in the moment. By removing the worry of face touching from your day, you are also disabling COVID-19 from sneaking into your thoughts constantly.
@mutant_strong in the I Pink I Can Head Wrap (on sale)
3. Low Maintenance Mane
Is it just me, or has being at home constantly made us even more busy?! While I do miss the hustle and bustle of being out and about in New York City, I am grateful for the shift to the digital space. It’s allowed me to connect more easily with colleagues and even partake in major life events of loved ones across the country. From baby showers to weddings, to writing workshops and brainstorming calls.
Hopping from one event to the next can be a whirlwind and I always feel better when I am dressed for the occasion. To keep things simple and appropriate, I start my day off by throwing on one of my favorite, comfortable neutral tops or dresses, and simply change my head wrap for the occasion. It’s improved my punctuality and relieved the pressure of having to wear something different for each meet up.
4. Say Yes to Your Tress
Right now is the perfect time to reset your hair health. As our hair suffers the side effects of daily life (health, climate and hormone changes to name a few) we hardly have the time to stop and show our tresses some TLC. While you are staying at home and keeping your hair wrapped, I recommend doing a castor oil conditioning to revitalize your hair and scalp.
Derived from castor beans, castor oil is loaded with vitamin E and fatty acids. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and emollient properties make it ideal for ultra-hydrating masks. To condition, massage a dime-size amount of oil onto your scalp and allow it to soak for anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight (depending on your needs), before rinsing with water or shampoo. If conditioning with castor oil overnight, we recommend covering your hair with a head wrap to protect your pillows and sheets.
* Don’t forget your lashes and brows. Use a brow brush, thin bristle brush, or even a Q-tip, to apply oil to these areas.
Here are a few organic castor oils that you'll love (1, 2).
5. Sleep in Satin Peace
Sleeping on satin is a beauty trick I turned to before losing my hair to chemo, and one I’ve used since then to put part of my hair care routine on autopilot. While keeping up routines is important right now, adding low effort habits to our self-care is a nice bonus to have.
Common bedding fabrics, like cotton, tend to create friction between your head and your pillow, which can lead to irritated follicles, dull and frizzy hair, and breakage. Covering your hair in satin before bed keeps hydration going through the night, since satin doesn’t absorb your skin’s natural oils like cotton does. The result is stronger and shinier hair, and a happier scalp over time.
What are some of your favorite #QuarantineHairDontCare tips? Share with us in the comments and connect with us on social media!
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