A top NYC stylist on DIY haircuts and color

Well, we’ve truly hit that point in isolation of hair despair: overgrown, dry and brittle, and color fading fast.  And spare a thought for all the bottle blondes who are thought to be on the brink of extinction. Self-care in these trying times starts with looking and feeling your best. In a bid to boost your confidence, save your sanity, and restore your mane to its former glory (or at least some semblance of), top New York hair colorist and blonde expert Lauren Paglionico, founder of LRN BEAUTY, imparts her wisdom as a Cleo guest blogger. Now put that bowl and scissors down and listen up…

The lowdown on highlights

If your colorist highlights your hair and does not put any color directly on your roots or scalp, you are not a candidate for at-home hair color. My beloved blondes, take heart, check out my YouTube tutorial on how to maintain your color at home. The best thing to do is wait it out or try a  temporary fix to give your hair the illusion of fresh highlights — try ColorWow Root Cover Up in blonde. For brunettes and redheads with roots or gray, I recommend a root touch up spray like L'Oreal Professionnel Root Concealer. And if your hair gets brassy over time without professional highlights, I recommend IGK Mixed feelings.There is a purple version for blondes and a blue version for brunettes. These drops are highly concentrated and cancel out brass on the first use. You can add these to your shampoo, conditioner, and styling products.

At-home color is not created equal

When it comes to permanent color, it’s important to note that out of the box color is not created equal. It is a generic color that is high in ammonia and peroxide, which can dry out your hair. It’s best to consult with your colorist to see what they recommend. If you are unable to get in touch with your colorist, head over to Color & Co, by L'Oreal. There you can take a hair quiz or chat with a color expert to find the right shade. I only recommend this option for women who have red or brown hair.

Use protection

Color-treated hair requires extra love and attention. I recommend only shampooing 2-3 times per week. The key is to use a shampoo and conditioner that is for your hair type and texture. Some women lack moisture. Others need extra volume. Some women have oily roots and dry ends. Using the correct shampoo will help your color last longer and help maintain the health of your hair. I recommend any shampoo from Milbon. All Milbon shampoos are color safe and have their signature patented silk protein that  protects color from fading and repairs hair from the inside out. Refrain from using heat when possible but always apply a heat protectant like Ouai when you do.

Shine on

Over time our color tends to lose its vibrancy. Unfortunately, this comes with the territory. If you love the shine your hair has when you leave the salon, the good news is you can help maintain this at home. I love Oribe Glaze, which acts as a topcoat and is great to use between salon appointments.

DIY Haircut

Do not try this at home without consulting your stylist! Hopefully, they can talk you through it over FaceTime or Zoom. Many hairstylists are also offering virtual bang trims and haircuts.  Nicolette Rauchut is a great stylist who works for me at Studio 522, a studio and gallery collective that celebrates female artists, who is offering virtual haircuts and styling sessions on her Instagram. If a haircut isn’t an option, I recommend doing a conditioning treatment to keep your ends from splitting. One of my favorites is shu uemura silk bloom hair mask for damaged hair.

The latest hair trends

A little  inspiration never hurts, especially now, and so there’s plenty hair-wise to look forward to. The good news is 2020 is all about enhancing what nature gave you. Overall, everything is going to be a lot less maintenance. Hair color will be softer and easier to maintain. Highlights will still be bright but have more depth, to reflect how the sun highlights your hair in a much more natural way.  And I think women will be embracing their natural curls and waves rather than fighting it.

Lauren Paglionico is the founder of LRN BEAUTY, and co-creator of Studio 522, a loft style salon and gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea dedicated to Increasing the visibility of female artists.
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