Stylists’ Actual Advice for At-Home Hair


With many salons and barbershops still closed across the US, people have been taking their hair into their own hands. Even though some states have reopened, these “unprecedented times” have led many to reach for a box of hair dye or kitchen scissors to trim their bangs. Before committing to changing your look, read these tips from some of our favorite pros in the industry!

Stick with Root Touch-Ups

If you’re feeling the need to dye your hair right now, look to Nikki Lee — hair colorist to the stars. Lee recommends sticking to your roots, noting “when you start running color through your ends, that’s when it becomes a little more intense.”

To keep things on the “safe side,” be sure to take the time to look at the side of the box dye you’ll be using. “If your natural root color is on the side of the box, then that color will work for you,” Lee explains. “If it’s not, don’t use it because you’ll end up with hot roots or your hair will be too dark.”

Keep it Temporary

For a more temporary fix, Lee recommends using root touch-up sprays. “I use [them] when I’m on set working with my girls,” she shares. “If it’s going to make you feel great during this time, use it. It washes out, and you won’t have to spend a small fortune to correct your color back in the salon.”

Lee also recommends using Garnier’s new color revivers. “They’re pigmented masks,” she explains. “If you’re feeling like your highlights are just a little dull (or if you’re a brunette and think your hair’s simply brassy), you can put that all over, and it will refresh your color. It won’t shift your root, but it’ll give you some shine and pigmented color to make you feel better.”

Cut with Care

For those reaching for the scissors, Olivia Garden educator Ambrosia Carey recommends “flat ironing the hair completely straight and focusing only on skimming the dry ends.” You also do not want to “pull the hair while cutting to avoid the hair jumping shorter than intended.”

“One specific technique you can use is splitting the hair down the middle and cutting the ends against your own body,” Carey explains.

“For a less blunt look, you can try a point cutting technique on the ends,” she shares. “If you do point cut, be sure to never close the blade all the way to reduce the risk of taking off too much hair.” For a successful cut, Carey recommends using the Olivia Garden Silkcut Pros.

Be Strategic

For a shorter cut, Andis Global Educator Michael Mejia says the most important part is having the right tools, such as clippers (Mejia’s fave is the Andis Cordless Envy), guards and mirrors.

You want to begin by cutting the sides and back of your dry hair. “Wet hair is not good for the clippers and may actually pull at the hair instead of making a clean cut,” Mejia explains. He also suggests “using your natural hairline as a guide. Clean up any hairs that are noticeably past your natural line. This will ensure you don’t cut too much off and create a more natural finish.”

Additionally, Mejia recommends not using scissors to cut the top of the hair. “You won’t be able to get a balanced cut, and it will very difficult to get a haircut later if you hairdresser has to correct your mistakes.” Instead, “use products to change up your style while you have a bit more length,” he advises.

When in Doubt, Turn to Styling

For those looking to elevate their look without cutting or dyeing, Carey recommends that you “try styling waves or curls to freshen up your look.”

“Using the Olivia Garden Style-Up brush, backcomb the entire root area to provide more lift. Then, gently smooth it down with the Olivia Garden Devine brush to take the frizz away and add shine,” Carey explains. Her favorite styling tools are the Olivia Garden Ceramic Flat Iron for fine-medium hair and the Titanium Flat Iron for coarse-textured hair.

Carey also recommends “changing your part-line for a day or two or sleeking one side back using clips or bobby-pins.” Another fun way to change it up is by adding an accessory like a scarf or headband to hide unwanted regrowth.

Have you taken your hair into your own hands during quarantine? Share your experience in the comments below!

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