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COVID-19 forces Minnesotans to find ways to accept what the salon can't change

With salons closed, Minnesotans have found innovative ways to style their hair or embrace their natural color.

MINNEAPOLIS — COVID-19 has interrupted our grooming routines. With salons closed, many are learning to accept what the salon can't change. 

On her 50th birthday, Dana Nelson decided it was time for a change. So, she cut her hair with the help of her son, a high school senior. 

"I was thinking, do I dye my hair pink or do I just get it cut? You know I wear my hair short so I get it cut every three or four weeks," she said. "You are only 50 once so we're going to try a new do! I remember that I'd actually shaved my head when I was 24, so that's like half my life ago so we're going to try to look again."

With a pair of clippers, her son shaved her head. 

But that change was fueled by COVID-19.

With salons closed, Minnesotans have found innovative ways to style their hair or embrace their natural color. 

Comedian Greg Coleman posted a video on Facebook on an attempt to fade his hair. 

"No matter what, all of this social distancing, I agree with it until it comes to a haircut," he said in his bathroom mirror.  "This corona stuff needs to end. I am gonna be bald."

He tried to give himself a fade, and failed.

"I was just trying to taper off the sides and went like this-- zip -- now I am gonna be looking like this for the next week and a half," he said laughing. 

Melissa Taylor owns the Beauty Lounge Salon in Uptown. She says, be patient.

"Put the scissors down. If you can avoid it, don't color your hair at home," she said. 

"If  you color your hair at home, it's a lot harder to fix it when we come back to the salon. So if you could, put your hair up or do a different style or just don't look in the mirror, but just try not to color your hair at home."

Jokes aside, COVID 19 changed our world and revealed some vulnerabilities.

Taylor and other stylists hold client secrets and often offer a listening ear during dark days. 

The barbershop has been a safe space for men to exhale and shed their feelings. Now, they can't go. 

Denzel English is a barber at Man Cave Barbershop in St. Paul. 

"Just hearing them out could do a lot for the way they are feeling," English said in a previously recorded interview before COVID-19. "Although it is a haircut this can give people peace of mind."

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Taylor says it is tough on everyone, too. This week, she hosted a Zoom call to connect with clients and provide education on ways to maintain their hair. She spent the day helping people understand the ingredients in products and what is best for different hair types.

"The biggest challenge for me is not being able to see and interact with my clients," she said. "We are on social media but it is much different communicating with people than  being on Instagram or Facebook and actually seeing them in person."

As she connects, she is offering some tips to help you fix what the salon can't.

"Look at what your products are actually supposed to do, so look at the label of your product.  Is it volumizing or is it a styling product or is it a hydrating product? Look at the labels and try to use your products as they are recommended," she said. "A lot of times, companies are specific on the function of the products and we don't use them correctly. So nobody's really going to see you right now so it's the perfect time to experiment with things you never tried do use before."

Perhaps the silver lining in all of this, COVID-19  is teaching us to accept ourselves the way we are.

RELATED: Celebrating birthdays in the age of quarantine