In lockdown hair hell? Try these at-home tricks for cuts and covering gray

If you aren’t careful during the COVID-19 pandemic, your coming days might include really bad hair.

By Ingrid Schmidt

If you aren’t careful with your hair during the COVID-19 pandemic, your coming days might include having a man bob or a self-inflicted horror haircut or glaring color and extension outgrowth that reveal one too many secrets to your significant other or your colleagues on Zoom video chat.

In search of answers, The Times turned to pro hair colorists and stylists in L.A. to get tips and tricks on how to best tend to hair during quarantine.

One universal piece of advice: Tap into your usual stylist for personalized help and book a post-quarantine appointment now to beat the rush — as recent cancellations at some salons have caused future bookings to back up.

At-home coloring tips

Hashtags such as #saveyourroots have been circulating recently on social media in an effort to encourage people to skip buying box kits in support of the hair service industry. However, some people can’t resist wanting to color their hair now, especially after glancing in the mirror at gray locks or unflattering dark roots.

Hairstylist Kiyah Wright tends to the hair of Laverne Cox, Tyra Banks, Jennifer Hudson and Gabrielle Union at her business Muze Suites within Salon Republic in Beverly Hills. She’s on speed dial for color advice.

“The women with the gray hairs [growing in] are the ones freaking out, asking me, ‘What do I do? There’s too much science involved,’ ” she said.

Cunningham’s advice is to be careful when it comes to using box color. “I had a bunch of people call me in a panic, saying, ‘Which color do you like the best at Rite Aid?’ ” she said. “Box colors usually end up darker, and most people’s hair is lighter in the front, so we always give everybody a lighter hairline. Buy an extra box in a lighter color for the hairline. Believe it or not, if your hair is a shade too dark, it’s depressing.”

“If they feel it’s so crazy that they are wanting to use box color, going darker is a lot easier than going lighter,” said colorist Christine Thompson, co-founder of Spoke & Weal salons. “More people make mistakes trying to lighten a dark base and, when done incorrectly, it can be so difficult to fix.”

She recommends home hair-color maintenance brand dpHUE as another option after tracking down a hard-to-find copper hue for a client.

Mark Ferdman, chief marketing officer of DpHue, told The Times that business is up “over 1,065%” since March 19, with 90% being new customers “driven by the Root Touch-Up Kit product, in seven shades.” The kits are available for $30, and the brand is doing a commission split with colorists who place orders through the dpHUE Pro App.




  • Due to stay-at-home orders, my last salon appointment was canceled. In a panic due to gray hair in my part, I decided to try the Root Touch Up kit in medium blonde. It was so much easier than I was expecting. I’ve had my color done every 5 weeks at a salon for several years. I love this product! Left it on for about 50 minutes, and it blends so well with my professional color! Thank you, dp HUE!!

    Stephanie on

  • I tried the “Root Touch-Up Kit,” for the first time last week. I was in need of coloring my gray! It was the BEST! Easy to use and with the help of my husband I was able to color the back! The color turned out perfect leaving my hair shiny, smooth and the right color. There were a couple of spots in the front that did not cover well. My gray resistant to color . . . I did leave it on an extra 15 minutes . . . although next time I will leave it on a bit longer. Love the product!

    Rene Lindahl on

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