With lockdown coming, here’s how to remove gel nail polish, cut your hair & give yourself the perfect spray tan at home

WITH beauty salons and hairdressers set to close as we enter lockdown on Thursday, people might be fretting about their hair, nails and tans.

But fear not; with our easy, step by step guides we've got it sorted.

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How to cut your hair in four easy steps

STEP ONE On dry straight hair, comb and section into a centre parting. Continue this parting all the way down past the crown and down to the nape of the neck. Then split the hair into quarters and clip up the hair in front of the ears, out of the way. At the back of the hair, either side of your parting, draw a line horizontally leaving you with an inch section thick and clip the remaining hair up and leave down your inch section. This will be the hair you are going to cut.

STEP TWO: Taking the hair from your inch section, comb it all so it's knot free then take an area in the centre. Once again comb the area so it falls naturally straight down. Use your comb as a ruler and take off the desired amount.

STEP THREE: Start to include more hair from your clipped up section and repeat the process taking one inch slices and combing the hair straight down. The hair you cut previously will act as a guide. Once it feels even continue to the sides.

STEP FOUR: Taking an inch thick slice sectioning from your original parting above the ear towards the face and clipping up as you go. Use the hair you see at the back as a guide. Repeat this until no more sections left.

How to cut men's hair using clippers

STEP ONE: For the back of the head, put a grade-two blade on your clippers for a standard cut, or longer or shorter as desired. If unsure, and to save a row, start longer.

Begin at the nape of the neck, moving the clippers up and down to a point level with their eyebrows. If new to this, you could use a ruler.

Use clippers in the opposite direction to the hair growth, so no long bits are left. Ease away at the ruler line so hair blends.

STEP TWO: Move to the left and repeat on the side of head. Using the ruler in line with the eyebrows, move the clipper up and down. Move to the right side and repeat.

STEP THREE: For the top of the head, change the clipper to grade five for a shorter cut or grade eight for longer. Run the clippers from front to back, working across the top of the head. Work in the opposite direction to the hair’s growth.

STEP FOUR: Tidy up with a grade three on the clippers, blending the shorter back and sides with the longer top, moving the clippers up and outward. Take the grade off and run it on the neck to tidy stray hairs down to the hairline, then do the same with the ears. Pull the ears out . . . but be gentle!

How to cut your fringe at home

STEP ONE: Wash and towel-dry the hair. Then get a comb and scissors and let your wife, partner or daughter brush their fringe to where it would normally sit, downward towards the eyes. This should be a triangular section. It is important not to bring too much hair forward from the back or it will be too thick. Then, put the rest of the hair in a ponytail.

STEP TWO: Take an inch-wide section of fringe and comb it taut – bringing your fingers down their hair, keeping it tight to the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows. A bit of hair will be left hanging below your fingers.

STEP THREE: For the next step make sure you cut just below your fingers, so the hair will have room to bounce back slightly when dried and you will not have cut the fringe too short. If you are not sure, leave it slightly longer and you can always come back to the job. Less is always more if you are not sure.

STEP FOUR: Repeat the previous steps – moving to the right and left of the fringe section, cutting with scissors held sideways, working all the way left then all the way right. Make sure you are only cutting a bit at a time. If you are ready to advance your skills, as you gain experience, face the scissors vertically to the fingers and chip-cut – this will give the haircut a softer finish.

If you are spray tanning at home

You can apply a spray tan at home, in a pop-up booth, or you can go to a salon.

Often an airgun or airbrush will be used to create an all-over mist, which can various nozzles or jets for even coverage.

If you're going for a spray tanning at home, there are a few pitfalls that are easily avoidable.

No-one wants to end up patchy, orange or streaky.

Here's some simple steps to follow before you tan:

  • Moisturise the day before – but make sure this is showered off beforehand.
  • Avoid applying deodorant before your appointment.
  • If you shave or wax, always do so at least 24 hours before your appointment – this will give time for your pores to close. Hair removal after your spray may remove some of your tan.
  • Exfoliate before your session to ensure a smooth base.
  • If you want a perfectly bronzed face, remove any makeup first.
  • Remove any jewellery to avoid lines.
  • Apply nail polish – this will help prevent the tan staining your nails and cuticles.
  • Don't wear perfume before you whack on the tan.

Get rid of those gel nails

TAKING off gel and acrylic nails roughly can result in long-lasting damage to nail beds – not to mention how unsightly the end result would be.

Here are the easiest and most gentle ways to remove your mani at home so you don't have to go to the salon – so get your acetone and tin foil ready.

Gel nails tend to be easier to remove than acrylics.

Here are the most effective and least damaging ways to do it.

  • Use a large buffer to remove the topcoat off your nails
  • When this process is complete, get the difficult-to-reach areas with a smaller file
  • Make sure to apply a nail strengthener or conditioning treatment after buffing the polish off. This will strengthen the cuticle and prevent your nails from scratching and breaking.
  • Soak a ball of cotton wool in nail polish remover
  • Place a section on each of your nails
  • Cover with aluminium foil
  • Leave for around 20 minutes
  • Remove the aluminium foil
  • You should then be able to lift the false nails off

If your skin begins showing signs of irritation, it's advisable to stop the removal process immediately.

Get rid of acrylic nails asap

Acrylic nails are notoriously more difficult to remove – and it's important to be careful if you are attempting to take them off without professional assistance. These two methods involve lifting the falsies off your nails without using force or damaging your cuticles:

  • Avoiding the nail bed, use a nail clipper to trim down your acrylics
  • If they're too tricky to snip off, try filing them down
  • Carefully use a buffer to file the topcoat off your nails
  • Fill a small container with acetone
  • Apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline to the skin surrounding your nails to protect it
  • Dunk your hands in the acetone for 30 minutes
  • Use the nail buffer to remove any remaining acrylic residue
  • Moisturise your hands

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