Lockdown hair tips from the pros

Main photo by The BlackRabbit on Unsplash

If you’re in need of a fringe trim or dealing with regrowth over lockdown while you wait for the magical words “Level 2” to be uttered then read on.

We have asked the experts for some tips on taming lockdown hair!

Keep it simple

Hairstylist Diane Orange’s suggestion for lockdown hair is like her approach to life – “Keep it simple and healthy”.

“Being home is a chance to relax a little,” says Diane. “Let your hair go free. It’s a chance to use dryers and hot tools a little less, which is less stress on the hair.”

Diane has just moved back to New Zealand after living and working in Hong Kong for the past 13 years and has landed straight into lockdown in Auckland after MIQ. She’s looking forward to a fresh start when Auckland goes to Level 2 but in the meantime, she’s no stranger to lockdowns.

For Zoom calls, if you need to look professional, she suggests wearing your hair in a loose bun, low pony or braid.

Twist your hair into a low pony. Photography by Henri Lajarrige on Unsplash

Embrace your own hair colour

Lockdown is a chance to let the roots grow out a little if you’re wanting a change.

“Especially for women wanting to let the white come through and get off the merry go round of root tints every 3 or 4 weeks,” says Diane.

“You could look at going for a more highlighted or balayage look when salons do eventually open. The longer roots give us a chance to truly see what is under there,” she says.

“And imagine how great you are going to feel when you step out of the salon post-lockdown. It makes the wait all the more worthwhile!”


This could be your chance to go grey and stay that way, like fashion designer Karen Walker did after New Zealand’s first Level 4 lockdown.

Karen Walker embraced grey after New Zealand’s first Level 4 lockdown. Photography by Olivia Fitzpatrick

But if you are not ready to take that step just yet, there are a few home solutions.

One hack, if you have grey regrowth coming through but still have to do important work Zooms and want to look your best is to touch up your regrowth with some eyebrow/eyeshadow powder, says Michael Beel of Buoy Salon & Spa.

“Or when you are next at the supermarket pick up some root retouch coloured hairspray (L’Oreal do one) for about $14,” says Michael.

Another great product on the market is Beauty Dust. Co. Root Cover powder which comes in a variety of shades can be brushed onto damp or dry hair (though when applied to damp hair it has more staying power). It’s best to apply in natural light to get the best coverage as the shine from overhead lights can make it tricky to see what’s what.

When using hair mascara or colour blending powders there is a multitude to choose from.

Perhaps just do your parting or where the greys are most, suggests Guy Roberts from Metier.

It is best to avoid doing this before exercise advises Guy, otherwise you’ll have dripping black streaks down your face after your YouTube ab workout or combat classes on tv or 7 min workout or yoga session.

“It is not a good look, you’ll scare your husband/partner/boyfriend/or surprise FaceTime call! Or Zoom meeting,” says Guy.

Guy also advises “avoiding the root glow” as is known in the trade, for example, don’t use a red-brown or mahogany if your hair is already a more neutral shade.

Colouring hair yourself

“Please, please, please AVOID doing a home colour,” says Diane. “Contact your hairdresser for advice if you’re feeling tempted to do something yourself. There are lots of root touch up products like Wow Root Cover or L’Oreal root touch up spray.”

If you really are intent on colouring your hair at home Guy suggests going semi or demi which generally gives 60 to 80 per cent coverage. 

Take care if colouring your own hair. Photography The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

“It’s easier to fix and Grows out quicker should it go wrong,” says Guy. “Phone your hairdresser if you have their number. I’m sure they will be willing to impart the knowledge, after all, we are at home bored!”

And use an emollient lotion conditioner or Vaseline – anything like that – on your forehead pre-colour to avoid that awful stain around the hairline.

“Avoid taking colour through the mid-lengths and ends overlapping, especially dark,” says Guy. “It can look very matt, almost squid ink black and unnatural.” 

When, and if, using box colours Guy suggests always doing a patch test on the skin on your neck just behind your ear, as they contain more harmful chemicals like PPD (Paraphenylenediamine). 

PPD is the most common allergen generally, more present in darker colours, and with cheaper box colours they possibly contain cheaper chemicals that probably haven’t been as rigorously tested enough.

“The professional colour ranges spend a lot of time and money researching and using less harmful chemicals in their tints and lightening powders,” says Guy.

Have a go at cutting your own fringe. Photography by Altin Ferreira on Unsplash

To fringe or not to fringe…

That is the bang on dilemma, says Guy.

“Remember the hottest trend at the moment is the curtain fringe, longer cheekbone-defining looks ala J Lo/Alexa Chung so leave it, let it grow, and once it’s longer your stylist can perfect the look when we get you back in the chair.”

If you choose to cut your fringe he suggests doing it wet and sectioning all longer hair away to avoid new fringe pieces! Take a section 2cm from the forehead – and always cut vertically up into the ends, never horizontal/straight across.

“That is the biggest mistake. That’s when you get that nice wonky bang,” he says. “Vertical cutting allows more room for error and always leave it a little longer because it will shrink a tad when dry and you can always take a little more off, no putting it back on.”

Use a comb to hold hair gently. It creates less tension than pulling it tightly down with your fingers. The fringe will jump up less, and this way you won’t cut your eyebrows off or fingers!

“For a wavy curly fringe definitely leave the fringe at least 2cm longer to allow for shrinkage factor,” says Guy. 

Try to avoid the old rusty or blunt kitchen scissors. Have you got an arts craft box with a more delicate sharper pair? 

Avoid using blunt scissors. Photography by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

“If you stuff it up, remember we can fix anything,” says Guy. “That also goes for colour. As a colour correction specialist I personally love a good fix-up. Transformations are always the best so why not take a little risk and have some fun with colour and if you are blonde, get some peach or pink – adding it to the ends can look wickedly good. 

“For blues or greens or any interesting crazy shades, look to interesting and cool people like Billie Eilish with her DIY beats music and hair,” says Guy. “The new generation is embracing this so go for it. After all life is too short and we are in a world of chaos and a monumental pandemic, it puts it all in perspective – it’s just hair!”

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