While we deal with the giant curveball reality has thrown at us this year, our routines are changing drastically. In stressful times we often forget about our well-being while worrying about the health of others. However, with quarantine in effect, we should learn to use our extra time at home productively.

Since we can’t visit our hairstylists, many of us have allowed our hair to grow out freely while struggling with self-maintenance. Others still have to worry about looking presentable due to at-home video calls.

Whether you have chosen to let your hair grow wild or you still need to tame it, your hair care routine is crucial when showing yourself some love in quarantine. Several experts have weighed in on the best methods of keeping your hair at its prime when stuck at home. Check out their advice below.

Altering Your Routine

The human body deals with stress in various ways, often taking it out on hair growth and overall health. Under strain, the body faces hormone imbalances that throw its natural processes out of whack. The consequences are commonly either a dry, irritated scalp or greasy roots. You should base your routine around your hair, so if you can identify the way your hair reacts to stress, you should take note.

Dry Hair

If your hair usually dries out and becomes dull, you should take action to hydrate it before the problem becomes permanent. Leave-in conditioner is a common solution as it infuses moisture into the hair shafts, making up for what your scalp is lacking. Hair masks and other leave-in products can achieve the same result. More importantly, hydrating your hair goes hand in hand with hydrating yourself. Drinking enough water throughout the day, and avoiding alcohol helps your scalp maintain moisture and produce healthier hair.

Oily Hair

Alternatively, your scalp may react by over-producing sebum (oil). Excess sebum causes the same greasy roots that result from not showering after a few days, its an unpleasant feeling, but be sure to treat it correctly. Unlike what many think, taking showers more frequently worsens this issue, as oil tends to overproduce when washed too often. A high-quality dry shampoo works well due to its ability to absorb excess oil, leaving a healthy amount on the surface for easier styling.

Be Gentle

The risk of brittle hair or breakage also increases due to slower hair growth during long periods of stress. Since there is less young, healthy hair to replace the old, the hair becomes dry and sensitive. If your routine includes styling your hair to look nice for a conference call, it is best to avoid using heat tools that already cause the hair to become more brittle. Along with products that moisturize the hair, it is helpful to let your hair air dry after washing rather than using a blowdryer. For those who work essential jobs and need a faster routine, use the blowdryer on the lowest heat setting as an alternative.