With varying levels of lockdown keeping us at home throughout 2020, you’re probably staying on top of your beauty regime from the comfort of your own home. From investing in an at-home wax kit for hair removal to dyeing your own roots with box dye, there are more and more do-it-yourself beauty products hitting the market. And while you might think with your newfound beautician skills the salon might be a thing of your past, you may need to think again. In fact, there are a number of treatments that can cause more harm than good if not carried out by a professional.
There’s a reason full-time hairdressing courses take at least two years to complete. Experience is crucial when it comes to cutting someone’s hair. After all, you probably wouldn’t be completely trusting towards a newly graduated hairdresser with little experience. Professional hairdressers know exactly how different types of hair behave and how each cut will look when it’s finished being styled.
The scissors you use are also important. You should only ever use sharp shears to avoid destroying the hair cuticle, which could even lead to further, long-term damage to your hair. As salon owner and professional hairstylist Errol Douglas explains: “Cutting hair is a trained art and you’re cutting with proper scissors. You’re not cutting with scissors which is going to make your hair even more jagged, you’re cutting with shears.”
Whether you’ve noticed small blackheads along your nose or you have a pimple that just won’t go away, the urge to start scratching at your face can sometimes get overwhelming. But it will actually work in your favour to leave it until you can see a professional to complete any facial extractions. Using the right tools can prevent your skin from scarring and may even protect against infections. As dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse explains: “When you squeeze the skin and ‘burst’ the pimple, you’re creating a tear in the skin, which then needs to heal and can leave a scar.”
You may also cause damage to your skin if you keep squeezing a stubborn spot or blackhead. A professional will be able to advise on whether a spot is ready to be extracted or not, as well as the best process. If the procedure isn’t completed properly, you can even run the risk of introducing bacteria to any microscopic scars, which could lead to an infection.
If you’re trying to treat acne symptoms at home, we recommend refraining from touching your face, and instead relieve any pain with ice rather than trying to pick and drain the spot. You should also treat your skin using over-the-counter acne treatments, such as gentle exfoliants, cleansers and toners, which will help to keep your skin clean.
Facial peels and masks are among the most popular ways to pamper yourself at home. You might think that making them yourself can save you money rather than shelling out on an expensive facial, but plenty of recipes may do more damage than good.
Activated charcoal, for example, has increased in popularity over the past few years. Some recipes claim that mixing non-toxic glue with activated charcoal offers benefits for your skin, including the purported extraction of blackheads. However, experts have advised against this method of blackhead extraction, as glue is not made to be used on the skin. While it may look like glue can peel out impurities and blackheads from your skin, in actuality it’s more likely to be “a combination of dead skin cells, tiny hairs, and mostly sebaceous filaments”. These are small hairs that ensure our natural oils reach the surface of the skin, keeping it well hydrated.