Is your hair treatment growing out? How to 'bridge the gap' until the next salon visit

Here's how to keep your hair healthy until you can visit the salon again.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Aly Walansky

As the country continues varying degrees of stay-at-home orders, many have gone months without a visit to the hair salon.

A break from visiting your go-to stylist may take some adjusting for those who are used to regular blowouts, color or haircuts. For those that have special hair treatments, such as extensions or chemical processes, things are extra complicated. What can be done to bridge the gap until they can be professionally refreshed?

While camouflage is the way to go when trying to minimize roots and gray hair — everything from moving the hair part to accessorizing with scarves and headbands — experts say there are also easy ways to protect chemically treated hair from damage in the interim.

Keratin and relaxers

What people on social media are saying:

What you should be doing:

Keratin and relaxers are similar in that they are both are used to smooth hair and loosen curls so they are easier to manage. But they differ on how they reach those goals.

For people who have keratin treatments that are growing out, the best bet is to keep using your sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners and let it be, advises Stephanie Angelone, lead stylist at RPZL in New York City, told TODAY Style.

“This is a good time to let your hair breathe and be natural for a while,” said Angelone. “Doing nothing is probably the most healthy thing to do to your hair.”

Chemical relaxers are a different ballgame since they chemically straighten the hair. “You will noticeably see where the straight hair stops and curly hair begins, which could be a complete nightmare,” said Allison Gandolfo, a colorist and beauty consultant at The Salon at Bergdorf Goodman. “It's best to flat iron the roots. If your hair is long enough, slicking it back tightly into a ponytail will also help to eliminate the harsh line from curly to straight."

Hair extensions

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Absolutely do not try to cut your hair extensions out by yourself. “Let it be! No one's leaving the house anyway,” said Angelone.

Angelone cannot stress enough how important it is to not try to cut your extensions out on your own. “If your hair is starting to get matted, do leave-in treatments every day and let the natural oils of the treatment break down the bonds of the extensions. They will eventually slip out on their own,” said Angelone. What else can we do to keep our hair in the best condition it can be until then? Two things, says Angelone: “Constantly keep it brushed, and don't let it knot too much."

Perms

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What you should be doing:

Less is more when it comes to grown-out perms. It's not a great idea to try to cut permed hair or attempt to perm yourself. It can wait for the next salon visit, but it shouldn't be too hard to hide the regrowth in this case. "If you have a perm, what you want to do is take a curling iron and curl the roots to match the curled ends of your hair," celebrity stylist Edward Tricomi of Warren Tricomi Salon told TODAY. Just be careful not to burn the scalp with the hot curling iron.

"These are temporary fixes, but it will get you through," said Tricomi.