The lockdown finishing line has taken a few steps back, and although the quarantine may have stopped the outside world, it hasn’t stopped our natural selves from doing their natural things.

With our hair and nails now spiralling out of control, it's never been a tougher time to see the shutters over the high street's barbers and salons. Luckily, we're stepping in with all of our handy hits to do-it-yourself and overcome the self-care nightmare.

Salon ready: nails and skincare tips from an expert

As this is a serious matter, we’ve enlisted the help of lifestyle guru, Becky Bowden, editor-in-chief of to bring you all the best tips and tricks to keeping yourself intact during lockdown.

Be the boss of your acrylic nails

Becky has given us her greatest quarantine advice starting with what to do if you’re a regular nail salon visiter burdened with the task of managing your own acrylic nails.

Becky says, “If you have been wearing acrylic nails and are now unable to visit your local salon to have them removed or replaced, don’t panic! Although it is always best to have a professional do this, you can carefully remove your acrylic nails at home.

We live in a small seaside town and my nail technician had the brilliant idea of sending out little goodie bags filled with everything I needed to take off my nails at home during these extreme circumstances. You can also order most of these bits safely online so there is no need to go to a store. Here’s what you'll need:

  • Nail files and nail buffer
  • Acetone
  • Cotton wool pads
  • Tinfoil
  • Cuticle oil
  • Moisture replenish nail polish
  • Orange stick or cuticle pusher

The first thing you need to do is to file your acrylic nails to remove some length. Make sure you don’t file your natural nail, you just want to take some of that acrylic length off. Then file off some of the acrylic from the top of each nail.

Saturate your cotton pads with acetone and use the foil to wrap this around each of your nails. Do one hand at a time unless you have someone helping you. Leave this to soak for at least 15 minutes. You should probably also place an old towel underneath your hands so that the acetone doesn’t spill and damage your surfaces.

Remove the foil and acetone soaked cotton pads carefully so you can rewrap if acrylic still remains. You should now be able to use your cuticle pusher or orange stick to push off all (or some) of the acrylic.

If some remains, repeat the soaking process again and wrap back up with the foil. You should then be able to take off the remainder of the acrylic.

Don’t force the acrylic off as your natural nails are going to be very thin and brittle. It is very important not to rush this process or you risk damaging your natural nails. If you have any doubts, reach out to your nail technician before-hand.

To finish, lightly buff your nails with the nail buffer and apply your moisture replenish polish and cuticle oil. Use plenty of hand cream and moisturiser over the coming days to keep your hands and nails in good condition.”

The DIY Avocado face mask

Confining ourselves to the indoors can have nasty effects on other aspects of our health, such as causing dry skin. Fortunately, Becky is on hand with some handy DIY hints to keeping your skin super healthy and silky smooth.

Becky says, “Avocado may be a tasty breakfast treat but it can also be used as a key ingredient to make a super simple and quick face mask from home.

Simply half the avocado and remove the large stone in the middle. Scoop out the flesh from both halves and place into a bowl.

Use a fork to mash the avocado up (as if you were making the start of tasty guacamole!) then add one tablespoon of honey and stir again.

You can now apply the mixture to your face. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes and let it sink into your skin before rinsing with warm water and patting your face dry.

Both avocado and honey are naturally moisturising and will give your skin a fresh and healthy glow.”

Conquering the haircut at home

For many of us, the time has come to tame the mane. And although some have already taken the plunge and sheared the whole lot off, the vast majority of us are sat at home, overgrown, debating whether to hold out or go at it ourselves.

With our top tips on tackling the homemade haircut, you can avoid the extreme and keep things in check until the pros can have a go.

Gear up

Before we begin, let’s take a look at all the tools you are going to need.

  • Clipper: For shorter hair, aimed at tidying the back and sides. It’s best to use a clipper with guards to give yourself more choice of length.
  • Clips: To keep your hair in place, particularly if you are on your own.
  • Scissors: Not your kitchen ones, proper ones. They’re also not as expensive as you might think.
  • Brush: For longer hair.
  • Mirror: If you can get hold of two mirrors, one being a hand mirror and the other on a wall, you should be able to give the back of your head a go.
  • Old towel: To wrap around your shoulders and stop all the hairs getting down your back or onto your clothes.

If you don’t have any of these items, fear not for you can get your hands on everything through Quidco and get cashback whilst you’re at it.

For hair clips and professional scissors head to Etsy by following this link and clicking here. For clippers and everything else go to Argos by following this link and clicking here.

Let's get cutting

Once you’re fully equipped, it’s time to start the show. If you’re cutting shorter hair, this video from the London Barber will show you how to put your tools to good use.

The main takeaways:

  • Wash your hair before you start, but make sure it’s dry when you begin.
  • Use hair clips (if necessary) to hold your hair in place whilst you’re using the clipper.
  • Start the clipper on a higher grade and work your way down – it’s always better to take off too little than too much.
  • Work the clipper up the side of your head and out. Do not follow the curvature of your head around to the top.
  • To see the back of your head, stand with your back to your mounted mirror and hold your hand mirror in front of you, then start working away.

When you come to use the scissors, it’s best to wet your hair and grab a comb (or use your fingers if you don’t have one). Slide your comb or fingers through your hair, then hold a (very) small amount in between your fingers and snip off the ends. Keep it simple and take off as much as you’d like bit by bit.

If you’re looking to wield the scissors and cut longer hair, make sure your hair is dry and brushed then start by separating the hair into four sections and clipping it into place. As before, snip off small amounts at a time evenly between the four sections until you have your desired length.