COVID-19 turned the world upside down. Businesses, services, and other institutions we thought were untouchable suddenly had to close up shop for an indefinite period, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
While establishments opened up in more recent weeks as governments eased up on restrictions, we can never predict if and when they have to close again to prevent more infections. Now is a good time to learn some basic DIY and at-home grooming skills, so we don’t have to depend on these salons in a world where quarantines are imposed.
But why do we need to stay well-groomed, you may ask? Why does it matter if I never leave my house?
Well, people may not be able to smell you, but they can see you. If you work from home and have to communicate with your team via video calls, you still need to present yourself like you did when you reported for work. Being in quarantine is no excuse for lack of professionalism. Doing remote work presents a new set of rules for etiquette and professionalism, and one important tip is always to look clean and presentable.
Here are some basic grooming skills men and women need to learn in a COVID-19 world.
Learn how to trim.
A sociological study found that our hair is one of the first things people notice about us. The hair is our crowning glory—it is a powerful indicator of our identity and expresses so much about our inner well-being. A classic haircut for males and a clean, well-maintained hairstyle for females will go a long way in helping us look presentable and work-ready.
Invest in a good pair of hair scissors and a set of clippers from nearby beauty supply salons or online stores. For males, stick to a basic, short, all-over buzz cut. This will keep your hair looking neat and groomed while waiting for your go-to barbershop to open up again. Ask for help from your significant other or roommate; there are helpful YouTube videos about how to cut men’s hair to help you get started.
For trimming long hair, put your hair in a ponytail on top of your head, and then cut the ends slightly. Make sure to trim lightly, so should you make a mistake, your stylist will have plenty of room to correct it.
Practice cleaning and shaping your eyebrows.
Eyebrows play a big part in framing your face. Rub a small amount of petroleum jelly before cleaning the excess hair with an eyebrow razor. Consider your face shape as you clean and shape your eyebrows—check online references for what eyebrows shape look best with your specific facial type.
Explore safe DIY waxing.
When doing at-home waxing, it’s important to protect yourself against possible mishaps like infections, burns, and abrasions. Here are some tips for safe at-home waxing:
- Do the necessary skin prep: exfoliate, clean, and dry your skin before waxing.
- Make a habit of checking the ingredients list, especially if you have allergies. Do a patch test (placing a small amount of product on your wrist) before using it to make sure you don’t have adverse reactions to the product.
- Test the temperature of the wax to make sure it’s tolerable, apply it in the direction of the hair growth, pull in the opposite direction, and ease the pain of the pull. You can also apply a numbing cream before applying the wax.
- Apply an aftercare product like a soothing cream to ease irritation and to keep bumps at bay.
Establish a skincare routine that works for you.
Proper skincare is important because our skin is our first line of defense against infection. Keeping it healthy and hydrated protects us from the harsh effects of the environment, and yes, even our screens.
It may seem overwhelming to start a routine because there are so many options and categories in the market—there are cleansers, toners, serums, oils, and creams, and even twenty-step routines. But skincare can be simple. Start with an uncomplicated three-step process: cleanse, moisturize, and apply sunscreen.
When in doubt, ask an expert. Some dermatologists and aestheticians do teleconsulting, so look for clinics that offer remote consultation services.
All This is Temporary
While there are benefits to learning how to groom ourselves during quarantine, the experts are still experts for a reason. These hairdressers, nail technicians, dermatologists, and other professionals studied these fields for many years, and they know how to take care of our skin and hair in ways that we are not able to. These DIY skills are only to keep ourselves well-groomed until it’s finally safe for us to visit our favorite salons and clinics again.