The Current

'Did you try to do your own root canal?' Hair stylists recommend against quarantine cuts

As you count the days since your last trip to the salon or barbershop, a DIY cut may be sounding pretty good. Two hair stylists say to leave the cuts to the professionals and focus on styling instead.

Drop the scissors and focus on styling, two professionals urge

Heather McNamara recently took the leap considered by many quarantined Canadians — she cut her own hair. (Heather McNamara)

Read story transcript

As your time in isolation grows longer, so does your hair. While taking matters into your own hands with a pair of scissors or clippers might be tempting, two hair stylists have some advice for trimming your own 'do — don't. 

"I've been doing hair for over 30 years and I've never cut my own hair," Del Marie Brandt, a hair stylist who owns a salon in Brampton, Ont., told The Current.

Brandt's standard response when people tell her about their DIY cuts is, "did you try to do your own root canal?"

Del Marie Brandt owns Salon Paradise in Brampton, Ont., and said she misses the community her salon provides. (Courtesy Del Marie Brandt)

"Some people are very, very crafty and very resourceful. But I wouldn't recommend it to somebody for the first time."

Across Canada businesses, including salons are closed as governments recommend and enforce physical-distancing measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus

Travis Battaglia, a stylist in North Vancouver, said he agrees that cuts are best left to the pros.  

"As a stylist of 15 years, I have not taken clippers to my own hair because, as a professional, I just wouldn't do my own hair. So without any training, I don't think it's exactly the wisest idea."

'Hair has become an identity'

Battaglia said he understands why people are concerned about hair during the pandemic, even when there are more pressing concerns. 

"Hair has become an identity for so many people. And it's that thing that kind of makes us feel good about ourselves, especially in times like these where not much is feeling great. So I understand that people do want to be feeling like they look their best if they can't feel their best."

To look one's best, Battaglia recommends using different products and creating different looks.

If people cut or colour at home, that means professionals will have a lot of extra work to correct mistakes when they get back in business, he said. But if people focus on styling and don't make any drastic changes, the pros will be able to get everyone looking good more quickly, Battaglia said.

Stylists worry about effects of closure on their businesses

Travis Battaglia is a stylist at Supernova Salon in North Vancouver. He urges people not to cut their own hair during the pandemic. (Courtesy Travis Battaglia)

Both Bandt and Battaglia said they worry about the future of their businesses now that they can't work for the foreseeable future. 

Battaglia suggests using this time to let your hair get healthy again, free from harsh colour that can dry it out.

"So when you do come back to the salon, we can have a million different options working with the best quality hair," Battaglia said. 

"If our clients wait for us, as we're going to wait for them, I think that's going to be the strongest support that we can receive and to make sure that our industry isn't strongly impacted in a negative manner." 

Written by Justin Chandler. Produced by Danielle Grogan. 

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