Olaplex products are expensive, though, so you can look for trial-sized kits first. There are cheaper options out there, too, like Pantene’s Intense Rescue Shots. Or, if you have a bottle of mayonnaise (yes, mayonnaise) in your fridge already, slather it on wet hair for a DIY softening treatment.
A shampoo brush is always a worthwhile addition as well; they help scrub your scalp clean, especially if there’s a lot of product buildup hiding among your roots.
At-Home Hair Removal
If you normally get monthly waxes, you might be feeling a little off right now, but you can keep your hair under control at home with these options. See our hair-removal guide for more details.
There’s really no need to spend the money on going to a salon for any facial waxing; I’d reserve that for sensitive areas like your bikini line. If you’ve never used wax before, carefully follow the directions and do a patch test first to be safe.
Pre-waxed strips for eyebrows make me nervous, even ones designed to mimic an eyebrow shape. There’s just too much room for error. Instead, try a precision wax applicator like Parissa’s Waxing Pen. It helps you apply the wax only where you want it. Start slow, and remember: It’s better to finish up with tweezers than to take off too much.
Nair’s Leg Masks have been a lifesaver for me, since shaving irritates my skin. They’re easy to use and leave your legs feeling smooth, but they do have that distinctive Nair smell. If you want longer-term results, and are strong willed and can bear ripping a wax strip off your own leg, Glee’s pre-waxed strips come highly recommended by WIRED writers.
If you’re ready to permanently reduce hair growth, the HoMedics Duo Lite IPL device works wonders. Intense-pulsed-light (IPL) devices such as this target the hair root, causing it to fall out and greatly reduce regrowth over time. I had little hope this would help, but after a few weeks of use, my leg hair really started to decrease. But similar to laser hair removal, the company says this IPL device is not safe for use on blonde, red, or gray hair, nor on very dark skin.
Soothe Sore Muscles
Self-care and relaxation go hand in hand, so there’s some overlap between this guide and our guide to keeping calm during quarantine, particularly when it comes to soothing all the aches and pains your human suit endures.
My favorite method is taking an epsom salt bath at the end of the day (or sometimes in the middle of the afternoon) to fully relax. Over the last few months, I’ve found other ways to keep my muscles happy. When we tried the new Theragun percussive therapy devices, I felt like I was treating myself daily to a mini-massage. No muscle knot can stand up to the 60 pounds of pressure those machines can produce. The biggest downside is that they’re all quite expensive. From the $400 Elite that was our favorite overall to the $200 Mini, a Theragun is an investment.
For a less expensive (though still not cheap) method of relaxation, I’ve been lying on a Bed of Nails acupressure mat for 10 to 20 minutes every few days. Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, but instead of needles, the mats and pillow are equipped with round plastic plates (or “nails”). The pressure of those nails against your body is said to release endorphins—and it doesn’t hurt, I promise. I’ve been using it when I notice my back is starting to ache from slouching over the computer, and while I can’t say it scientifically helps my body, anecdotally it feels like a nice body reset.
Find Peace for Yourself
If grooming and face masks aren’t what you need right now, try to find some time to relax in whatever way works for you, whether that’s two bubble baths a day or 12 hours spent playing Animal Crossing. You can even try a weighted blanket—I love curling up in bed and pulling the 20-pound Yaasa (plus a 13-pound cat) over me
I know it’s hard when it feels like the world is ending, and people on the internet are talking about ways to be productive during this pandemic. But your mind will benefit from any time you put aside for peace (maybe log off Twitter for a bit). You don’t need to work out every day, write the next great American novel, or learn a new craft. Just let yourself be OK.
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