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How to Dye Your Hair at Home (Temporary or Semi-Permanent)

Faced with the life-altering circumstances of Covid-19, people are switching things up. That can mean a lot of terrible things, like losing a job or having a loved one get sick. For those fortunate enough to still be employed (and healthy), you may be learning to work from home baking lots of bread, or getting an overwhelming urge to change your hair color.

The desire to change your hair may be about taking back some control, says Suzanne Degges-White, a professor and chair of the Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University. “There’s so little right now that any of us can control, but our appearance is one thing that’s still within our power.”

Whatever your reason, I’m here to help. I’ve been dyeing my hair wild colors at home for more than a decade, and this guide is my best advice on how to recolor your hair in temporary and more permanent ways.

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First, Consider Temporary Options

Feeling impulsive, but not professional? Consider a temporary color change. These methods are cheaper and less invasive than attempting to dye your whole head. You’ll reap the benefits of fun hair color without the scalp sensitivity or regret.

Consider Extensions: You don’t have to get crazy with your own hair. You can add a streak of color to your locks with dyed extensions. (These have great reviews.) It can be tricky to match them to your natural hair texture, but if you’re willing to do some styling or flat-ironing, they will work fine.

Try a Wig: Amazon and other stores sell passable wigs, ranging from curly bobs to extra-long ombré options. For something more durable, try Insert Name Hair. The company offers clip-in ponytails, bright wigs, full-head extension sets, clip-in bangs, candy-colored space buns, and loose strands for feed-in braids. The hairpieces are pretty foolproof. I like everything I’ve tried from INH.

Try Temporary Hair Dye: These come in the form of sprays and styling products. They’re like makeup for your hair, so you can add color and wash it away in the shower. A temporary dye job won’t feel or look as sleek as one from the salon, but it’ll do job well enough. I recommend a few practice rounds to get used to the products. They’re typically better suited for small sections (like your roots, bangs, or ends) rather than full-head coverage. If you have long, curly, or dry hair, you might encounter some textural road bumps, particularly with products like waxes. Manic Panic Amplified Color Spray ($13) is easy to use, but if your hair is long, you might need a couple of canisters. Good Dye Young Poser Paste ($18) is a waxy styling pomade that’s incredibly pigmented and has a pleasant citrus smell. Use it in small sections of your hair for a bright pop of color.

Ready to Dye? Keep These Tips in Mind

Photograph: Dmitriy Pridannikov/Getty Images

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How To Use Your Phone to Declutter Your Life

Facebook Marketplace is built into the Facebook app for Android and iOS. It works well for local deals—especially if you’re trying to get rid of stuff that’s used or damaged somehow—but you can post items out to anywhere in the country as well. Again, be sure to read the advice that Facebook gives for sellers to keep yourself safe.

While they don’t have quite the polish and reach of eBay and Facebook, both Letgo (Android, iOS) and OfferUp (Android, iOS) make selling really straightforward (and Letgo has the option to just give away your stuff, if you really want to clear your home quickly).

Nextdoor (Android, iOS) is also worth a look as a locally-focused app for giving away or selling your unwanted items around the neighborhood. Of course, Craigslist is the elephant in the room when it comes to selling your stuff, and it has mobile apps as well (Android, iOS), and it’s definitely suited to mobile, in-person transactions.

Get Organized

Digitizing paper documents and getting rid of unwanted stuff are the two main ways you can declutter using your phone, but there are plenty of other apps willing to lend a hand too. Other tools are prepared to help you get organized, for example, whether that’s setting up a to-do list or making a searchable inventory of everything you own.

Google Keep (Android, iOS) and Notes (built into iOS) can put together records of just about anything, and offer intuitive ways of keeping your notes organized as well. Other options for keeping track of your work include the ever-popular Evernote (Android, iOS) and the more focused Todoist (Android, iOS).

Evernote can help you keep track of what you’ve got and what you want to do with it.

Evernote via David Nield 

Getting your home and your possessions in order is a lot easier when you know exactly what it is you’re dealing with, and Sortly for Android and iOS can help with this. You can add entries for all of your stuff, all tagged and categorized, attach pictures and specs, and even get estimated values for everything you own, which is especially useful for home or renter’s insurance, or replacing your items in case of a disaster.

How about turning decluttering into a game? A number of apps can “gamify” your to do list, adding challenges and rewards along the way, and a couple of our favorites are Habitica (Android, iOS) and EpicWin (Android, iOS)—both let you set yourself specific targets and compete against other people (so you could get your whole family involved in the decluttering process).

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How to Make a CDC-Approved Cloth Face Mask (and Rules to Follow)

The time has come to start covering your face. As we reported April 3, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends all citizens voluntarily wear a cloth face mask for essential trips out of the house to the grocery store, doctor, or other public places where the 6-foot …

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9 Easy Mess-Free Indoor Activities and Creative Ideas for Kids

If your kids are home because schools are closed, you’re probably scrambling to find ways to keep them occupied when they’re not being homeschooled. I’ve seen quite a few posts around the internet from well-meaning parents suggesting activities that are indeed fun for kids but are also almost guaranteed to …

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How to Stay in Touch With Friends and Family When You’re Stuck at Home

A few weeks ago, the phrase “social distancing” didn’t mean much to most folks. These days, you hear it frequently. It’s all about flattening the curve by physically staying away from other people to ensure that our hospitals have enough room for those who need it in the wake of …

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How to Entertain Your Young Children During Quarantine (2020): iPod Touch, Lego, Podcasts

In areas that have been most affected by the coronavirus outbreak, schools and daycares have been closed, and small children have been sent home. Even though our kids’ lives rotate around social gatherings—birthday parties, playgrounds, public libraries, zoos—we have to keep them isolated from other humans, large and …

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How to Watch Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Debate Tonight

Tonight, former vice president Joe Biden and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders will meet onstage to debate for the 11th time in the 2020 campaign season—but it’s never been quite like this. We’re days into a state of national emergency over the coronavirus pandemic that is rapidly spreading across the country. …

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Why You Should Avoid Stockpiling Tons of Dehydrated Meals

As we all collectively panic about Covid-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus), dehydrated meals are selling out in stores and online.As a reviewer on WIRED’s Gear team, I’ve eaten a metric ton of dehydrated food on camping, hiking, climbing, backpacking, and occasionally paddling trips. They’re great for …

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