Kelly Herbst

So here we all are: self-quarantining and trying to do what we are asked and trying our best to not risk spreading this virus.

We hope everyone is doing OK and finding the sliver linings in the midst of the unknowns this pandemic has brought with it. I think we all thought this would be winding down by now, and it just isn’t. Gov. Phil Murphy recent extended the order for 30 more days. That brings us to about June 5. That does not necessarily mean that salons and barber shops will open then, though. So, how will everyone stay looking good?

The first answer is to try your best to wait.

But we realize that may be too much to fathom for many of you. So, I am going out on a professional limb and saying a decent box dye will not be awful if only used on roots to match existing color that is growing out. Just be cautious and only do the roots.

We can work with that one-time box dye job when we see you again. We do not recommend an all-over drastic color change at home. We also do not suggest highlighting at home.

For haircuts that just cannot wait, there are some very good online tutorials out there. If you must resort to self cutting (LOL), be sure to watch several tutorials. Pick one you like and then watch that one video as many times as you can until you feel super comfortable with what needs to be cut and how to cut it.

Again, nothing drastic is recommended, just a small amount of maintenance to get bangs out of eyes, hair off the ears, and frizz off the neck.

This is actually a great time to give your hair a rest, try growing it out longer, get good at using dry shampoos and embrace hats (it’s been cold and windy here anyway, so put a hat on it!). Think of it as a small savings plan, too, so when you start going out in public again you can treat yourself to a great color, cut, style, professional products or maybe even extensions!

For hair that is damaged, or for our long and natural-haired mavens, be sure to deep condition since you have so much time to do so! Letting hair go a little longer between shampoos is also good for hair health. Less stresses on the tresses! Go for a moisturizing restorative conditioner as opposed to oils like coconut and olive oil. Oils can coat instead of penetrating the hair strand. Use a water based moisturizing conditioner to help restore your hair.

As a final note, be patient and kind with everyone.

Many people have lost income, or may be essential and taking the risk of getting exposed to the virus. They may have lost loved ones, suffer from depression, or are just struggling in some way. Many hairstylists have not yet been able to get through to unemployment. Most salons have not been eligible for any government assistance.

Some bigger box salons have chosen to close their doors permanently. Many smaller salons may also be forced to close as weeks stretch into months. Not to mention, once reopens are announced, there will be a lesser number of clients taken and longer time between clients to be in compliance with the rules that are being rolled out. Rules like complete sanitization of all equipment, the salon area and the stylist apron, etc.

The extra time is necessary, but in the salon, time is money. The expense of proposed PPE (personal protection equipment) and extra sanitizing products and equipment will add to the already high product expense per client. Most salons and stylists work on low profit margins and depend on tips to keep prices reasonable for their clients.

One day at a time. Hoping to see you all soon at a salon or barbershop near you!

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