Tips for cutting hair at home during COVID-19

If you are looking a little shaggy around the ears, or boredom has you contemplating bangs, it might be time to give yourself a haircut while cooped up at home.

B.C. provincial health officer Bonnie Henry ordered salons and barber shops to shut their doors on March 21 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. This means many British Columbians could be tempted to give themselves a trim, or a whole new hairdo, in the coming weeks.

Missy Clarkson, owner of Studio 209 salon in Vancouver, joined CBC's morning radio shows Thursday to offer tips to anyone tempted to clip.

"The best advice I have ever heard is small tools, small mistakes," said Clarkson.

She said start by finding the tiniest scissors you can. She recommended nail scissors, saying the curved blades are great for "carving around the ears" and trimming bangs.

To trim bangs, Clarkson recommends cutting small sections vertically, rather than horizontally, for more control and precision.

If you are planning on using clippers to buzz your hair or just tidy it, Clarkson says to use the guard attachments to regulate how short you want it. Clipper guards are numbered and the lower the number, the closer your cut will be.

Brittany Spencer/CBC

The dye job

Worried about your roots starting to show on your next video chat?

"Whatever you can do to boost morale at this point is a good idea," said Clarkson.

She said if you plan on using boxed dye, always pick a darker colour and just touch up to roots. Clarkson advises staying away from shades lighter than your own hair.

And if things go horribly wrong? The good news is that not many people will see it, and Clarkson has you covered when the coronavirus closures end.

"We are happy to fix it when you are all back in our chairs," Clarkson said with a chuckle.

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If it feels good, do it

Clarkson said how we feel can be tied to how we look, and it's important to feel good right now. 

There are plenty of free tutorials online for hair and beauty tips, and Clarkson suggests checking out YouTube for videos that show you new updos or styles you can practise at home.

"A lot of times people come into my chair to feel good ... and we don't have that right now," she said.

That said, Clarkson added that not doing anything can also be beneficial.

"It's great to not be washing it so much; it's healthier," she said.

Start a trend

Clarkson said unprecedented times can lead to new trends.

She said after the 2008 recession, the balayage trend took off. This is a sunkissed look where highlights are more pronounced at the ends of hair and softer and lighter at the crown of the head.

Clarkson said it happened because people could no longer afford to maintain traditional highlights.

Her prediction for what will come out of having people fend for themselves at home for a while?

"A trend I think will actually happen from this is shaved heads!"