7 Tips for Natural Black Hair & Styling During the Pandemic
6 /24 /2021
While having pride in your natural Black hairdos is great during normal times, you must ask yourself if certain styles can be dangerous for your health during a pandemic. During a pandemic, no one can afford to jeopardize their health, or the health of loved ones, for beauty routines that are popular, but could carry the virus.
The pandemic shows that many things we used to do, we have to give up, at least temporarily. Just as we meticulously have to think through everything we do in a pandemic to protect from Covid, from wearing masks, sanitizing and vaccinating, we have to switch up hairstyles and other styling routines to protect ourselves, now and going forward.
Health officials have given instructions on major, well-founded precautions for the general public, primarily encouraging everyone to wear a mask, social distance, and get vaccinated. But health officials may not necessarily tell you the precautions for your personal daily routines, particularly grooming natural Black hair or wearing specific outfits. A pandemic requires you to take every precaution possible to protect yourself. Change grooming routines, yourself, that you recognize could put your life in jeopardy. Below are practical suggestions to promote health and beauty that have long been used for people to protect their bodies.
1. Long hair. Long hair. Humans have long realized the importance of pinning hair back for health reasons, whether to protect from lice or bugs when participating in outdoor activities, or to reduce cigarette smoke and other pollutants from getting trapped in hair. In the pandemic, it is only logical that long and full hairstyles that are worn loose near the face, could make a person vulnerable to the contagious Covid virus, if it gets on their hair. (The virus is not contracted through the hair or scalp, but if the virus gets on hair, it can linger for hours, and in some cases, days.) So, it is safer to wear hairstyles that are pulled back from your face or pinned up. Other options can be to wear a scarf, hat or cap when out. Now is probably not the time to get a 30-inch weave.
2. Hair extensions. When buying extensions, it is advisable to wash them before installing them. Covid has been found to live on synthetic hair longer than on natural hair. But, if you choose to wear extensions (natural or synthetic hair), wash before installing. When out, keep your hair away from your face and wash your hair frequently.
3. Long nails. Long nails can carry dirt and disease. People touch everything with their fingers. This is no time to have long nails AND not wash them properly, in an attempt to protect a nail job. This is a good time to touch items (doorbells, elevator buttons, etc) with your knuckles, the back of your hand, your elbow, etc.—so you avoid touching items in public with your hands.
4. Long eyelashes. Can add-on lashes, particularly synthetic ones, put you at greater risk of contracting a contagious disease? You decide. If synthetic hair carries the virus longer than natural hair, it is logical that the same applies to synthetic eyelashes.
5. New outfits. Before wearing a new outfit, consider washing it. If you buy clothing online, or in the store, that is not sealed in a plastic bag, it is best to wash it before wearing it. (This doesn’t include clothes that must be professionally cleaned.) If you want to make sure an item fits, before washing it, try it on before taking a shower, so you immediately shower after you try it. If you determine to keep new items, you can keep them contained in a bag until you wash your next load of laundry.
6. Outfit styles. Skimpy outfits may not be the best, at this time, to protect against a contagious disease. Styles that cover your body, are more protective. If you wear something in public that exposes your skin, once you come home, you should shower before doing anything. If your body has been covered, after being out, you might only need to wash your hands and face, and change your clothes.
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7. Beards. Beards that are popular when working from home during the pandemic may not be good when out and about, and working back at the office. Face masks may not cover a full beard, allowing Covid to transmit. Consider shaving the beard to protect you and those around you.
This is practical information that has been used for generations to protect from illnesses; it is not intended here as health or medical advice. Follow your doctor or health provider’s advice.
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