Musician Ben Howard's lyrics, "Keep your head up. Keep your heart strong", is a comforting mantra for me these days, as we all get on with the weeks of lockdown.
I've also been trying to re-frame things a little by telling myself I'm not stuck at home, I'm safe at home! If we're going to remember to keep our heads up, why not have our tresses looking as good as possible in the process?
You could argue that there are many much more important things to be concerned about right now than our appearance. Yet there's something quite reassuring for a lot of women in keeping up their appearances during difficult times, and keeping the greys at bay seems to proving very popular.
With salon visits not an option for us at the moment, it seems many of us have been bringing the salon to our homes - with sales of at-home hair-colour kits sky-rocketing in the last few weeks. Whether our hair is low- or high-maintenance, we all need to manage our locks at home while salons are closed on lockdown. It can be soothing to feel like ourselves and act as a distraction.
As the saying goes, "When it rains, look for the rainbow. When it's dark, look for the stars". There is also a very practical positive to come from us learning how to mind, nourish and confidently colour our own hair at home - we may choose to not return to the salons for colouring at all and save big-time on our beauty budgets in the years to come. Silver linings hopefully.
Brush up on cleaning
Don't forget to wash your hair brushes. To do this, just remove the loose hair (it can be chucked in your compost bin - hair is actually packed full of nitrogen and makes for an amazing compost fertiliser), soak your brushes in a tiny bit of shampoo or washing-up liquid, rinse thoroughly and then leave them out to air dry.
If you fancy giving your hair a bit of TLC during lockdown, why not hit the wine bottle? Not by drinking it, but by using a nice bit of Cabernet Sauvignon in your hair mask. Sounds bonkers, I know, but the resveratrol in wine (found in the skin of grapes) acts as a softener and conditioner for our locks.
BUY: Unwined Cabernet Sauvignon Deep Conditioning Packet, €3.75, from pharmacies nationwide.
An itchy, prickly scalp, can be exasperated by colour, stress and fragrances and preservatives in shampoo. Try this for a calming, hypoallergenic shampoo made with botanicals to soothe distressed scalps and help restore its protective barrier function.
BUY: Phytopaisant Soothing Shampoo, €17, from pharmacies nationwide.
Home and dry
Hands down, this is the best dry shampoo I've road-tested. Why? It works a treat at ditching greasy hair, isn't pumped full of cloying synthetic chemicals, doesn't leave a shower of powdery particles all over your clothes and house, and lasts an age.
BUY: Klorane Dry Shampoo €9.60 from pharmacies nationwide.
For the brightest and lightest of blonde hair colour, try this option. Excellence Crème has been a firm favourite of those who have always chosen to home colour instead of going to the salon, as it achieves 100pc grey coverage and uses non-brassy, gentle tones, and this range is specifically for blondes. Using multi-tonal colours and soft shades, this is a great option when you can't get to the salon. L'Oreal Paris Excellence Crème Pure Blonde, €10.50, from pharmacies nationwide.
This is the first oil-powered permanent home hair colour on the market. Oil can do much more than just condition our hair - it's been proven to actually boost the colouring process, leaving dyed hair shinier and softer (as we all know dyeing processes definitely leave hair in need of a bit of extra TLC!) This option has no ammonia, so it doesn't have that highly potent chemical scent that some dyes have, and is also kinder to sensitive scalps. Garnier Olia, €10.99, from pharmacies nationwide.
If you only have a few grey hairs scattered here and there that need covering, check out this magic little wand. Think of it like a mascara wand for greys - with a little dab of the wand, it covers greys in a jiffy. Just brush through the grey hairs, then brush hair as normal, let it dry, brush again and you're ready to go! Needs to be shampooed out. Comes in five shades. L'Oréal Magic Retouch Precision Instant Grey Concealer Brush, €13.30, from pharmacies nationwide.
Made with 80pc naturally derived ingredients, and totally vegan, this is an easy-to-use, no-drip formula (just leave on for 10 minutes) that enhances your natural shade with healthy-looking colour. Using gentle ingredients (eg coconut oil and aloe vera), this is another option with no ammonia or added parabens.
It lasts up to 28 washes and fades away gradually, so it won't leave a harsh root line. Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Dye , €7.80, from supermarkets.
If you're looking to maintain blonde, silver, grey, bleached or highlighted brunette hair, check out this beaut. It was the number-one best-selling new haircare product in 2019. The collection has a shampoo, conditioner and a brand new mask in the range. It uses a highly pigmented purple formula that neutralises brassiness, or any 'yellow' tinge to white hair, clears bleached tresses and nourishes over-processed hair. L'Oréal Paris Elvive Purple Collection Shampoo, €7.30, from pharmacies nationwide.
If you're looking for a plant-based at-home hair dye, this could be a great addition to your beauty arsenal. This actually has a botanical-based formula which is also eco-friendly, using natural and organic certified ingredients. This comes in 30 shades, and is free from ammonia, resorcinol and all parabens. Naturtint Hair Colour, from €13.65, from health stores nationwide.