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How To Maintain Your Salon Services At Home


Welcome to ITG University, your crash course in at-home grooming. Did you forget you signed up? Did you never think you would sign up? Well, what was once an elective now feels a bit like a graduation requirement—if you’re down for the challenge of maintaining the beauty treatments you usually pay for, that is. ITGU’s followed the lead of other prestigious universities across the globe and recently transitioned to online learning. But don’t worry! You’ll still have everything you need to succeed. (Plus, if you ever want some extra help, you can always phone your favorite beauty pro for some one-on-one digital tutoring.) Here’s your syllabus for the next few weeks.

Shaping Your Own Brows

The required reading: How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Shape My Eyebrows and Wax Your Own Eyebrows Without Going Too Far

The lecture: Watch how Kristie Streicher trims each hair individually for a feathered look, or try this thread technique if you don’t trust yourself to tweeze symmetrically. If you’re waxing, watch how Anastasia Soare combines it with tweezing on Kim Kardashian’s brows.

The homework: Get a tweezer, eyebrow brush, and a small brow scissor for sure.

Or go in the opposite direction and start your brow recovery journey.

At-Home Brow Tinting

The required reading: Adventures In DIY Tinting

The lecture: Watch YouTuber Ashley Aman try the technique on herself with Godefoy’s tint kit and beard dye (an off-label secret because it doesn’t run). If you’re not ready to take the plunge, you can try this trend of tinting the skin under your brows with self-tanner.

The homework: All you need is your tinting method of choice—and you’ve got some options.

Taking Off Gel Nails

The required reading: How To Remove A Gel Manicure

The lecture: Here’s a video of someone removing them with foil so you can nail the technique (skip to 3:18 for just the removal process). Or try the soaking approach, which is faster but a little more involved.

The homework: You’ll definitely need acetone and some cotton (if you’re doing the foil method, you’ll steal some tin foil from the kitchen, too). A file and cuticle oil will come in handy once the polish is off.

Doing Your Own Manicure

The required reading: Give Yourself A Better Manicure and, if you want to get fancy, Do Your Own Gel Nails At Home

The lecture: Julep founder Jane Park shares a lot of helpful technique tips in this video tutorial, and Olive and June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle has a particularly good tutorial, too. (She uses Olive and June’s poppy tool, which might make polish application easier but isn’t necessary.)

The homework: At the very least, have cuticle oil, a cuticle pusher, a nail file, base coat, top coat, and your color of choice on hand. Something to dry them faster might help, too.

Or keep it simple and try a men’s manicure, otherwise known as a buff and shine.

Giving Your Feet A Pedicure

The required reading: How to Pedicure Yourself

The lecture: This video is part tutorial and part ASMR, but it’ll show you in detail how to exfoliate and groom your toes.

The homework: You can break down a good at-home pedicure into something to exfoliate with, something to moisturize with, and a cuticle pusher to keep everything looking clean. All the rest are just extras—fun extras! Once your toes are tamed, go in with a base coat-color-top coat sandwich.

Removing Unwanted Body Hair

The required reading: The Tiny Tool That Makes My Mustache Disappear for facial hair, and I Do My Own Brazilian Waxes—Here's How for everywhere else. And, if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into wax, this story weighs the pros and cons of a few more at-home methods.

The lecture: Can you convince your roommate to wax you? Great! This video is old and kind of cheesy, but the technique is broken down perfectly. If you’re doing it on yourself, YouTuber Taasha Renee’s video shows you how to contort.

The homework: While you might be more used to blue hard wax (it’s what they use at European Wax Center, for instance) soft wax is easier to use. You’ll need baby powder, a wax heater, popsicle sticks, fabric strips, wax… You know, your best bet might just be a wax kit, like this one. Or just use a strip.

Coloring Your Own Hair

The required reading: How Not To Mess Up Your At-Home Hair Color

The lecture: Josh Wood, the colorist who helped on that story, posts lots of home hair coloring videos on YouTube—this one, where he stands by to instruct as someone colors their own hair, is particularly good. This tutorial from the brand Madison Reed, shows you how to color with a bottle or a brush.

The homework: Get you some hair dye—for your roots permanent color is best, but for lengths opt for a gloss or a semi permanent tint. And maybe add a mask to use after.

Giving Yourself A Salon Blowout

The required reading: Start with How To Wash Your Hair, and then The Three Steps Your Blow-Dry Is Missing.

The lecture: Drybar has a thick hair and fine hair version of the blowout. The techniques are slightly different, but both videos are clear and easy to follow. And here’s a tutorial for blowing out coily hair with minimal damage.

The homework: You need a blow dryer, a brush and/or comb, and sectioning clips. And it wouldn’t hurt to use a heat protectant. Or, you can cheat the whole thing: the Revlon One-Step still exists!

Then extend your hard work for up to a week—here’s how.

Photo via ITG