“I f***** my hair up in lockdown – help!”

We get it. You couldn’t take your fringe getting in your eyes, or your roots staring at you in the mirror, so you took matters into your own hands. It’s time to come clean as you prepare to book your first hair appointment post-lockdown. Will you admit all your wrongdoings? We have advice from top stylists on how to help them help you

Confession: I used a box dye…

You just wanted to feel a bit normal. How different could it be, really? Well, pretty different as it turns out – and it can land you with a hefty bill and multiple appointments to fix.

“Often box dyes come out too dark,” says Siobhan Jones, creative director and co-founder of Rose & Wild in Fulham, and A-list celeb colourist to the likes of Little Mix. “What you want to do is try and soften the colour before you come in to the salon. You might find that by softening the colour it’s better anyway, but it gives your hairdresser a better base to work on.”

How does one soften it? Well, you need to reach for a seriously deep-diving shampoo, one that will really deep clean hair and take some of that unwanted pigment with it. “The best one I know of is Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three,” says Siobhan. “It’s made to remove things like chlorine and lots of impurities for a real deep clean.” If all else fails, reach for washing up liquid – yes, good ol’ Fairy Liquid. “Your hair will feel pretty grim but it’s the same idea!” Siobhan explains.

Confession: I don’t want my hairdresser to know I went against advice…

Trust us, they’ll know. “I would be really honest about what you’ve done,” says Siobhan. “So make sure you’re honest and bring in notes on what you’ve used if you can, it will really help your colourist. We use L’Oreal Professionnel products at Rose & Wild, so if I know you’ve used a L’Oreal home hair colour I know they’ll be at least a bit compatible.”

Jordanna Cobella, creative director of Cobella in Kensington, agrees. “Gathering as much information on the products they’ve used will be a huge help in deciding how to move forward. It’s imperative that we fix mistakes in stages,” she explains. “Pictures of hair before and after home colouring can help too.”

It’s important to bear in mind that a split-second decision might need multiple appointments to rectify. “It may be that the first appointment is used as a root touch-up, or a preliminary highlight service and the main colour correction is booked for a second visit,” Jordanna adds. “This allows us time to take a strand test and also to re-patch test for any colours we may need to use. We make sure our clients are open to suggestions by offering at least two potential avenues for colour and cuts. Our main objective is always to do things in stages to preserve the condition of the hair, to allow time for a full hair diagnosis, skin test and for a beautiful gradual result.”

Confession: I trimmed my hair with the kitchen scissors …

“Obviously, we can’t do anything about growing it back! But what we can do is put more of a shape back in,” Siobhan laughs. “If you’ve just hacked at it and it’s really blocky, your stylist could work to soften the edges, rather than losing any more length. It’s all about having a bit more movement.”

What if you’ve tried to trim your fringe and it’s sprung up like some sort of antennae and refusing to lie flat? “What we can do is maybe add more hair from the back, bring it forward and extend the look of the fringe, make it look longer.” Siobhan also suggests blow-drying the rest of your hair forward, over your fringe, so that the combination of weight and heat helps to keep your fringe looking flatter until you can make it into the salon.

If you really can’t wait to grow out your mistake, Siobhan recommends clip-in hair extensions that can tide you over with minimal effort. She uses them all the time on her celebrity clients, “when they just need a bit of length or to pad out the hair for red carpet looks.” Siobhan likes Hair Rehab extensions for their excellent shade-matching options.

Time to tally up your sins and book in for an appointment post-lockdown. You can find out about Rose & Wild availability here and Cobella availability here.