If there is something that shouldn’t be experimented with without supervision, it would be a hair change. We’ve all been there, too young to be able to buy a lottery ticket yet (in our minds) old enough to buy a bleach highlighting kit, risking our virginal hair to look like the latest ‘it’ girl. My at home hair dye experience was inspired by Alexa Chung’s ombre ends when I was 14, but instead of the cool yet quirky vibe I envisioned my hair to look, my absolute lack of bleach expertise resulted in brittle ginger ends that easily broke instead of bounced in the wind. It’s a trauma that has caused me to sign a pact with myself never to let anyone other than a professional touch my hair again – that was until lockdown happened.

Much like the majority of the nation who swear solely by their trusted hairdresser, I watched in dismay my roots grow out inch by inch each week, and could clearly see that along with my usual balayage, I was in dire need of a trim/reshaping of my entire hair. Lockdown restrictions lightened, but with no news of hairdressers reopening, I entered every socially distanced picnic very aware of my appearance, and constantly fearing that others would be too. I wouldn’t say I’m a particularly vain person, but by not having the freedom to maintain my general appearance to the standard I felt confident with, my mood and motivation to do anything was taking a hit. So, in the same manner as how someone with acrophobia may try to get over their fears by standing on the viewing platform of a skyscraper, I ordered a BLEACH LONDON trim kit as a tool for my at home hairdressing therapy.

The Trim Kit

Having fully embraced the move from IRL to digital by their hair parties, I felt confident that some guidance from these hairdressing aficionados over Zoom would be invaluable. I opted for the Trim Care bundle – a pack including hair scissors, a fine toothed comb and their Hair Elixir – booked a Zoom call with Ines, a hair stylist from their Brixton branch, and mentally prepared myself that I could efficiently cut my hair till the big day arrived.

Something that even a virtual lens can’t change is a hairdressers ability to make you feel secure about your choices. A quick consultation started the virtual appointment, where I stated that I want to cut in a long fringe – a last minute decision probably induced by the adrenaline I had – and Ines briefly gave me an overview of how we (I) would achieve it. After feeling quietly confident, Ines directed and showed me each step on her hairdresser dummy head, which I followed as closely as I could. Communication, as well as a strong wifi connection, was key. Ines was quick to correct me when I had angled my scissors wrongly and I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened had I had a 10 second delay compared to her. Small talk about holidays changed to more personal, but not intrusive, questions on how we’d coped with lockdown: how it had affected our jobs, relationships and future plans. “At the beginning, I think I was really missing the social side. My job is so social I’ve found it quite hard just staring at my boyfriend's face every day,” chuckled Ines. As with many employees that work within the service industry, meeting and speaking with so many different people day to day seemed to be an unrealised perk of their job. “I've realised that I can be by myself. Before lockdown I would have to leave the house and do something if I was going to spend a couple of hours by myself, but now I quite like it.” Despite the scissors being in my hands, Ines’ relaxed temperament helped calm me. Shaky hands were nowhere to be seen, and within half an hour I had cut in a new style that wasn’t a complete failure.

Realistically, I won’t be banishing my local hairdressers for this regular DIY approach. Having your hair done is one of the most enjoyable forms of appearance maintenance women do, and while playing ‘hairdresser’ was less traumatising than I would have expected, it wasn’t fun enough to do regularly.But, I did feel that when I closed my laptop lid, I had learned some useful hair cutting tips as well as having a new haircut. Any fringe-bearer will know that the time length of how good a fringe will look is similar to how long an avocado lasts: perfectly ripe one day, inedible the next. My experience with Ines ended with her giving me some cutting tips as how to keep my fringe in shape, which will be critical for when I'm in between salon appointments. And if anything, this has proved that I can leave my hair horrors in the past and that not all at-home-hairdressing will result in tears.

You can book a virtual hair appointment and buy a trim kit, here.

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