WHEN we eventually emerge from lockdown the first thing most people will want to do is hug their nearest and dearest, but for some they will be running to their hair stylist to sort out the unruly mass of top of their head.

We have all seen the memes doing the rounds of how people’s hair might look post lockdown, and it seems churlish to be so obsessed with our split ends and roots at a time when doctors and nurses are doing all they can to keep patients struck down with coronavirus alive.

Bizarrely in Spain hairdressers have been considered an essential service despite tight restrictions on movement being in place.

Most of us will probably admit to having cut our own fringe at some point with the kitchen scissors only for our hairstylist to have to rescue it at the next visit.

But is now the right time to tackle our hair by ourselves and get out the home dye kits? How do we maintain our hair in a crisis and is it really worth chopping into our layers, or should we leave it to the professionals?

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We asked Scotland’s celebrity crimper, Taylor Ferguson, for his top tips during lockdown.

His name is synonymous with the best in hairdressing and his work has taken him all over the world, participating in prestigious hair shows in London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Bangkok and Amsterdam.

And with more than 50 years in the industry, he is a favourite with celebrities. Billy Connolly and Gregor Fisher are regulars and the pair have welcomed hundreds of other famous faces into the salon including Penny Lancaster, Rachel Hunter, Lulu, Belinda Carlisle and Nigella Lawson, as well as most of the Old Firm in the 1980s.

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Mr Ferguson said: “No-one enjoys bad hair days and, yes, we may well have a few ahead, but please stay calm. In this current crisis our health and mental wellbeing are key. I do know already from clients’ reactions on our social media platforms to the temporary shutdown that hair care is a potential worry and I get it.

“I’m dealing with daily emails from clients asking me what to do and how best to do it. I’m urging caution and care. Scissor distancing is advisable but I’m sure needs must as we continue the lockdown period, so the temptation to reach for the scissors of clippers will increase.

“Although many of us are stuck at home and working from there we’ll still be seeing others via our FaceTime or Skype social catch ups or logging into business video calls with colleagues in their front rooms or makeshift office spaces. Keeping up appearances will still be important and we shouldn’t lose pride in ourselves, but the important thing is to keep calm and don’t add haircare stress to the agenda.

“Until my family members here need a haircut the only trimming I’m able to do is in the garden. So I’ve put together some advice, tips and recommendations to help us all get through the weeks and possibly months ahead.”


1 Try not to stress about your hair

We’ve enough going on in our lives just now so please aim to keep hair stress to a minimum if you can. Yes, those dark roots will emerge. Yes, the shape will grow out eventually. But we’ll survive a few bad hair days. Many are facing much worse than hair worries. We need to keep that all in perspective. Adding stress about your hair could impact negatively on your hair’s condition and we need to avoid that happening.

2 Use this time to detox your hair

Cut down on washing your hair. The less you wash it the better the condition will be. If you have to make an appearance on screen and you’ve got some wayward locks sticking up then just dampen down. Aim to just wash your hair with the usual products once a week if you can.

3 Reduce product use

Give your hair a chance to de-choke, to detox from all the usual products we use. Some products re-activate just by damping down again. So instead of adding more and more, aim for less. You’re not going out and about as much so you can adopt a more relaxed attitude – and remember all of us are in this together and our hair is growing at pretty much the same rate.

4 Aim to dry naturally

Chances are we’ve got more time on our hands than usual so unplug the hairdryer and let your hair dry naturally. Finger dry it. The lack of focused heat on your hair will help improve your hair’s condition.

5 Switch off straighteners

This is so vital to keep in mind. I know the damage hair straighteners can cause to hair so this is a good time to switch them off. I see many cases where people have overused their straighteners so this period will give your hair a much-needed rest from that daily blast of excessive heat. If you’re still working and worried about appearing on Zoom with what you consider to be bad hair then pop on a hairband, scarf, bandana or hat.

If you do feel the need to wear any heated appliances like your straighteners etc then please think about using heat protection products.

An intensive hair masque can also help once a week – on for 15 minutes at least – to help up the moisture in your hair if you go down the heated appliances route.

6 Your own hair produces good oil

Remember that the best oil is that produced from your scalp. Brush your hair thoroughly daily from the root to tip. This will stimulate the production of oil and that in itself will help condition your hair.

7 Alarmed by your roots? Don't panic!

As we’re now into at least our third week in isolation then without question if you have your hair coloured there will be regrowth.

Stay calm! It’s not the end of the world if you’re showing some darker roots. Chance is right now they’re on trend! Everyone after all is in the same boat.

To do the work conference calls with confidence pop on a hair band, a bandana or a cap if you want to keep your roots secret.

If you’re going to home dye then please, please carefully read any instructions and do a patch test first to check out the impact before you literally dive in head first. I can’t stress highly enough the need to carefully read and understand the directions given.

If you’re browsing the shelves for the right hair dye pack – as opposed to trying this online – hold the colour sample or swatches shown close to your own hair to colour match more effectively. If you’re in a shop with a family member get them to check the match too – and aim to do it in natural daylight.

It might be worth doing a test section of a few inches first before applying it to your whole head. That will allow you to assess the colour match that you want to achieve. Let’s face it, at the moment many of us stuck at home are perhaps more time-rich than usual and so there’s no mad panic to get the job done quickly. If you’re worried about the rescue job your hairdresser may be facing after the lockdown is unlocked then think about focusing only on your roots rather than taking it through to mid-length and the ends.

If you have fine hair then colouring at home could impact on your condition so please, please be extra-careful.

There are touch-up sprays out there from big haircare companies like L’Oreal and Schwarzkopf that can give that much-needed colour boost relief. They do a good job. These are wash out so you’re not going to do anything too extreme to your hair’s condition.

If you opt to stick with the regrowth coming through in your natural colour and you style with a parting then change that parting. You might find that alone helps the colour spread. Opt for a zig zag parting – it’s a great way to reduce the visual impact of any pesky dark roots.

8 Cut with care

My advice on home cutting is simple. Don’t overdo it. The more you chop the less chance you’re giving the professional hair stylist of rescuing it when we do reopen. As we Scots say – go canny with the clippers.

9 The one fringe that’s still happening

While the Edinburgh Fringe has been halted, our hair fringes are going to become the biggest issue over the summer if lockdown runs on. I’m pretty sure no-one will be halted trimming that fringe. If that’s a given for you then avoid pulling it down too tightly as once cut it will spring back up. Less is more so please don’t get carried away with the cutting.

10 Fancy A YouTube trim?

There will be countless instructional videos on how to cut hair out there online. My advice? Watch several times before you embark on mirroring what you see. I can call myself a hair stylist because I’ve been cutting hair for more than 50 years now and there’s nothing to beat having a trained professional standing there taking charge of your hair. Would I ask a plumber to cut my hair? Never. The key to DIY haircare has to be caution, caution, caution

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