Why DIY is not the solution when it comes to personal grooming during the Covid-19 lockdown

Leonie McKiernan explains just why you should fall to the temptation of DIY hair colouring and home waxing kits....

Leonie McKiernan

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Leonie McKiernan

Why DIY is not the solution when it comes to personal grooming during the Covid-19 lockdown

The whole home-waxing thing turned didn't turn out so well.....

Nobody will argue that we have faced a tough couple of months thanks to Covid-19, and it’s not unexpected that we are all starting to suffer a little from cabin fever.
But if there’s one thing this lockdown has taught us it's that…..we should NEVER, and I repeat NEVER, resort to DIY personal grooming.
I have learned this by bitter experience and I feel I should issue a public service announcement stating the obvious: things like waxing, threading and dyeing hair, are best left to professionals.
Put down the box of home hair colour. Step away from the easy (yeah right) wax strips. In fact run, run screaming from the beauty aisle in your supermarket. You’ll thank me for it later.
I once thought I was capable of looking after my own basic beauty routine. I was wrong. Oh, so, so wrong.
Take waxing for instance. I’ve been waxed before. It’s never been the highlight of my month but my usual beauty salon does make it as pain free as possible.
Clearly the possible alternative of turning into a Yeti filled me with a degree of overconfidence in myself (or let’s be honest, it was desperation) so that I willingly purchased two boxes of cold wax strips last week.
To put this in context for you, it has, in the past, taken me two days to finish the process of pulling off a bandaid. A. Single. Bandaid.
Really, if I sat down and thought rationally about the whole home waxing thing, I would have realised that this probably wasn’t the right choice for me.
But it’s kind of like cutting your own fringe. Once you’ve started that first cut, you have to plough on. It’s like some weird sort of self humiliation. You keep going in the mistaken belief things can’t get any worse.
They can. They did.
I should have stopped when I had issues bringing myself to pull off the first cold wax strip. But I was so thrilled with the results that I decided, like the road to a bad home-cut fringe, to keep on going.
In hindsight it was probably a blessing there was no one else in the house with me at the time. I used a lot of inappropriate language and at one stage hobbled around the house with two wax strips stuck to my leg as I alternatively lectured myself and cried like a baby.
That was probably the lowest point.
I suspect that some of my neighbours may have heard me screaming with every wax strip I removed. I am not sure whether I should be grateful none of them called the gardai (that's the police to those living elsewhere) to report a murder or insulted that nobody seemed worried by the blood curdling cries for help coming from my house for the better part of three hours.
At that point I finished the first leg.
I then had a lie down for 20 minutes so I could psyche myself up for the second leg. I decided this was probably something best left for a new day.
Day 2 of the waxathon was no better than day 1. Firstly it took me 20 minutes to convince myself to rip off the first strip, because I knew the pain that would ensue, and then I discovered I’d applied it upside down so pulling it off was a bitc…..ahem a most difficult procedure which produced quite a colourful monologue.
It took three very stern episodes of talking to myself and another hour and a half to finish the second leg. I cried the whole time. I am not ashamed to admit it.
Despite the fact the box said these strips could be used in the bikini area I, thankfully, baulked at this suggestion.
That could have involved a trip to A&E and our frontline staff are already traumatised enough at the moment. No one needs to see a grown woman sobbing about a wax strip stuck to her nether regions.
You would think I learned my lesson about attempting home care alternatives to professional beauty treatments with the waxing experience, right? Wrong.
So yes, 24 hours after the waxing fiasco I succumbed and bought a box of home dye - Iced Mocha, by the way - when I went to buy essentials like milk and bread at the supermarket.
In my defence, I never set out with the intention of buying the dye. It sort of just, I don’t know, happened.
And as for the choice of dye. Well, it was selected, I’ll admit, on the basis that I was hungry at the time and I like iced mochas. Probably not the best rationale for picking a hair colour but it had been a long day at work and there were exactly six boxes of colour left on the shelves. I panicked and picked the one that sounded closest to what I would eat. No, it doesn’t make sense. Sue me.
I did do the 48 hour patch test - see I can be responsible! Of course this gave me no real indication as to the final colour, because the patch test was behind my ear and it took two mirrors and a lot of contorting to check I hadn’t succumbed to a potentially fatal allergic reaction to the test spot. It never occurred to me to check out what the end colour may look like.
35 minutes of dyeing later I now know. Iced Mocha is the equivalent of dark, dark, dark, dark, brown. This is, I would like to state, despite the fact that on the box it looked nothing like this at all. I look even paler than usual. Possibly corpse pale. It’s not a great look. Even goths would be embarrassed to be seen with me. On the plus side I did manage to cover all the greys so, you know, the box didn’t lie about that particular promise.
I would now like to apologise profusely in advance to my usual colourist. I am sorry, really, really sorry. It was a moment of weakness. I promise to wear a sign telling everyone you aren’t responsible for the unholy colour of the hair on my head at the moment. I swear.
So it is with some degree of authority on the subject of DIY home grooming that I can now confidently tell you all - DON’T. Do not attempt it. No way, no how, not even a teensie weenie little try, like, plucking your eyebrows by yourself. You will regret it.
Admittedly the alternative is that we’ll all look like Tom Hanks in Castaway, but you know, we’re all supposed to be social distancing anyway.
Trust me….leave this whole beauty thing to the professionals. They are worth every penny.