Grooming Practices That Require Less Upkeep

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Living in the time of COVID-19 means being ready anytime the government calls for another shelter-in-place order. It’s not the ideal situation for people who care a lot about their grooming, but there are steps we can take to ensure that we’re able to maintain ourselves even when our go-to salons have to close down. Here are some hair and body grooming practices that are low maintenance to prepare you for the next quarantine.

Hair

It’s best to go to your barber regularly before they have to go on government-mandated lockdowns again. What’s considered essential and non-essential varies from state to state, and there is no consistency across the board—but it’s best to assume that your favorite barber would be closed during the shelter-in-place order, so you’re prepared.

If you find, however, that you still need a cut the quarantine is lifted, here are some key things to remember for a DIY haircut for longer hair:

Invest in a good pair of hair-cutting shears. You can buy a pair from Amazon or at your local CVS. Oil them up before you use them using argan oil or coconut oil to prevent hair damage.

Comb your hair flat and section them into four parts. Angle the shears and your fingers flat and straight, rather than sloped. Use a finely-toothed comb, and if it gets stuck around the ends of the hair, that’s when you know where to cut.

Part your hair into four sections, from the center part of your forehead until the nape of the neck. Then separate those two sections into two sections each.

Pull down every section to cut, with the previously cut section guiding you.

Cutting men’s hair should be simpler—use hair clippers to clean up the hair around the ears, sideburns, and neckline, and go about it slow, steady, and careful. It should be enough until the salons open up again.

Take note that once you start, make sure you commit to it. It will look strange and uneven when you only do one part and disregard the rest. Take it slow and easy, and take your time.

Nails

For nails with gel polish, make sure to have it removed before the lockdown starts up again; it’s a pain to try to remove gel polish at home. For those who want to do their nails during quarantine, here are some tips:

1. Remove any remaining polish you have on your nails.

2. Trim your nails down to a more manageable length to give them time to grow before you have to do them again.

3. Pour warm water and a few drops of essential oil into a bowl and soak your nails for 30 seconds. While drying your hands with a towel, push back the cuticles gently.

4. Buff the center of your nails to keep the surface smooth. Wash your hands after you’ve buffed all ten nails.

5. Spray acetone or rubbing alcohol onto your nails and wipe them down using a cotton ball.

6. Add a base coat, the kind that will allow your polish to last longer.

7. Paint your nails depending on the pigmentation of your nail polish and how opaque you want it to be. Paint with the brush three times—one stroke on the right, one stroke on the left, and one stroke on the center. That’s considered one coat. Don’t add another until at least five minutes; let the nail dry a little to avoid coats congealing with each other. Once you’ve achieved the color and level of pigmentation you want, add a clear coat to ensure polish longevity.

If you want your nails to be even more low-maintenance, consider not putting polish at all. Our nails need a break from polish, and staying home for months at a time may be the time you could use to give your nails a breather.

Body hair

Even before the lockdown orders take effect, visit your local waxing salon to get rid of unwanted body hair. Here are some benefits to getting a wax over shaving or doing a DIY waxing session at home:

Waxing pulls the hair by the roots and in the direction of its growth, so it takes so much longer for hair to grow back. When they do, they grow back much finer and smoother.

It’s also a way to exfoliate the skin because waxing helps eliminate dead skin cells.

There will be no micro-cuts or bruises, which means there will also be no discoloration.

Waxing is the best option for when you won’t be able to get rid of body hair for a few months, so book an appointment before the salons close up shop again.

The stay-at-home orders need not preclude us from feeling well-groomed. So don’t worry about caring for yourself during quarantine—you have plenty of options.

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