We miss our stylists and colorists. In fact, we miss the whole salon experience — the chitchat, the camaraderie and the confidence boost of a fresh color, cut and blow-dry. But these are strange times so here's my advice for women 50-plus: Use this break to reboot your hair health and learn some DIY skills that just might become part of your new normal even when salons do reopen. Here are 10 ways to take control of roots, dull brassy color, dead ends and haircuts gone wild:
1. Know some hair fixes are not a good idea
This is not the time to go blond or back to brunette or start playing guessing games with box color from an online drugstore. Take one stressed-out, dye-hard salongoer with chemically processed hair and no DIY color skills, add some drugstore color on top of all that and it's easy to end up with badly botched hair. It's also not the moment to chop your hair to a pixie or hide under a hat till it's all over. But that said, there are positive things you can do.
2. Focus on your roots
This is the key to immediate calm. All it takes is one product and five minutes to stop obsessing about that inch or so of gray, white or grimy brown at your part and hairline. Most root touchup products are water resistant so sweaty, humid, rainy days are no problem. Select a shade closest to your own and a formula and format that match your needs.
For precise coverage: Choose a brush-on powder (these come in eyeshadow-like compacts) like Color Wow Root Cover Up ($35, target.com) or Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Root Touch Up Powder ($10, target.com) or gel/cream with a sponge-tip applicator like Garnier Express Retouch Gray Hair Concealer ($9, target.com).
For regrowth of more than one inch: Choose a tinted root-camouflage spray like L'Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up ($11, ulta.com) or TRESemmé Root Touch- Up Temporary Hair Color Spray ($8, target.com)
The mist also fills spaces at the scalp for a thicker look so it's a good choice for fine, thin hair or a sparse hairline.
For a more lasting root coverup: Try a semipermanent or permanent formula like Revlon Root Erase Hair Color and Root Touch Up ($10, target.com) or Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color Kit ($7, target.com). These do not shampoo out but since you're just covering roots, your original salon color remains untouched.