3 Pandemic Hair Fails & How to Fix Them

From botched bleach and bad bangs, here's how to bring your hair back from the brink.

3 Pandemic Hair Fails & How to Fix Them

It was all fun and games cutting our own hair during the pandemic until we woke up one morning and realized we looked less "Demi Moore" and more "Dudley Moore." So how do you bring your hair back from the brink? First, take a deep breath. Second, see the tips below.

Fail: Botched Bleach
Fix: Tone, Condition, Cut

When you lighten your hair, it breaks open the cuticle, stripping the hair of its own natural pigments. This results in the hair becoming porous and vulnerable to damage from heat. It loses its shine and elasticity, and if done incorrectly, can break off and fray the ends, resulting in damaged dry-looking hair. We normally have a waxy cuticle layer around each strand of hair. This keeps moisture in and protects the strand from heat damage. But bleach lifts away this layer.


Once the hair is bleached, it cannot go back to its normal color and texture. To recreate it and account for the damage, the hair often can be treated by a semi- or demi-permanent, or permanent color, known as a toner or glaze. Deep conditioning treatments are crucial. And get a good trim or style, which will help clean up and prevent split ends. Occasionally use a keratin treatment to bring back shine and control frizz.

Fail: Bad Bangs
Fix: Style and Accessorize

You've always wanted to try bangs but were too afraid — until you realized no one would see your hair for a year! When it comes to unruly or poorly cut bangs, it's usually just a waiting game for them to grow out. So what tips can you use in the meantime?

Bangs can often be parted on the side of choice and softly swept to the side. However, an overall side part can often accentuate the bangs.

For hair that is shorter or pin-straight, the texture can make the hair harder to stay in place. Use a light texturizing wax or cream to help keep the hair in place. You can also use a bobby pin or cute barrette for extra hold.

For hair that is curly and textured, you can occasionally use a curling iron to wind back your bangs to match the texture of the rest of your hair.

And as always, cute hair accessories like headbands can help keep your bangs out of your face while they grow out.

Fail: Crooked Cuts
Fix: Communicate at the Salon

When the salons closed, so many of us took a pair of scissors to our strands. What did we get for it? Uneven cuts and... unique styles. How can you help your hair come back from the brink when you go back to the salon?

Make sure your stylist understands your lifestyle. They should know if you have children or you have a job that requires your hair to be pulled back. Do you style your hair or need to be in front of the camera or on zoom calls? Do you try to manipulate the texture of your hair with heat styling or products?

Also, always bring some hair inspiration! Save any photos of celebrities or models with haircuts you like so you and your stylist have a place to start the conversation. However, remember that your hair likely won't look exactly like the picture. Your stylist will take into consideration what length and style you feel best in, as well as your face shape, skin tone and facial features.

Quiz: Is Your Hair Stressed?

Find out if your hair is damaged and what to do about it.

Are you stressed about your hair? Or is your hair stressed? Things like straighteners and curling irons, bleach and dye, and moisturizers and treatments can all affect your hair quality and potentially damage it. Take this quiz to find out if your hair is screaming for help and what you can do to treat the damage that's been done.