How to maintain hair, nails while sheltering in place

Despite salons and barbershops not being on the state’s list of essential businesses, a photo of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her barber, Cashmere Neal, surfaced on social media on April 5. The Mayor and her barber were pictured standing only a few inches apart, appearing to be violating the six-foot social distancing order currently in place. 

“I had the pleasure of giving Mayor Lightfoot a hair trim,” Neal included in a lengthy caption attached to the picture. “Thank you for all the hard work and dedication put forth to help our city,” she continued.

The mayor faced backlash from the public about her decision to get a haircut after the city released a “stay home, save lives” public service announcement on March 30 in which Lightfoot stated “getting your roots done is not essential.” 

Lightfoot informed reporters, the barber wore a face mask and gloves while cutting her hair. Neither Lightfoot nor Neal were wearing a face mask in the photo posted to Neal’s Facebook page.

The mayor is the face of our city so who can blame her for keeping up her personal appearance. Even those who are isolated indoors are feeling the desire to continue to stay groomed to look presentable. 

Chicagoans who depend on these professionals to stay groomed are forced to figure out alternative grooming habits at their home.

Cherelle Newsome gets her hair professional done once every two months. “I’ve been braiding my hair down and putting wigs on,” said Newsome.

She gets her finger and toe nails done every three to four weeks depending on the growth of her nails. According to Newsome, she has been forced to finally “embrace the natural” state of her nails as she has been giving herself simple manicures and pedicures. 

Barber shops and salons are sacred places for African American men and women to come together and be themselves without fear of judgement from the outside world. Blacks can get advice from one another, share stories and laugh while getting their hair styled and/or cut. Barbers and hairstylists play the role of a counselor for a lot of their clients.

Willie Clark, an Inventory Control Quality Assurance department warehouse associate at Amazon, is not thrilled about going to work without a proper haircut. According to Clark, he feels he looks very unkempt and brings his confidence down. 

“I’m just keeping my hair picked out and moisturized for the time being,” said Clark.

In the “stay home, save lives” PSA, Mayor Lightfoot also motives an off-screen persona about the importance of staying home and not attempting to visit non-essential businesses while the stay-at-home mandate is in effect.

“What’s more important, saving lives or getting a pedicure? It’s cold out, nobody is going to see your toes,” the Mayor states.

Madeline Chapp is in desperate need of a pedicure, but she is one of the many Chicago residents who is choosing to follow the mayor’s advice.

“I just try not to look at my feet, they are a hot mess,” she said.“I’ve been tweezing and trimming my own eyebrows. I plan to purchase some wax strips for my upper lip.”

Lightfoot defended her decision as reporters questioned her about her choice at a press briefing on April 6.

“I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye,” Lightfoot stated. “I take my personal hygiene very seriously. I felt like I needed to have a haircut. I am not able to do that myself and so I got a haircut,” she followed up.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your salon services at home:


Dyeing hair roots, according to


  1. Mix the dye according to the instructions on the box.
  2. Fill the special root comb applicator bottle (if using).
  3. Comb it through your hair while gently squeezing the bottle. Make sure you’re coating your roots, but not overlapping your previously dyed hair too much.
  4. Massage the color into your roots to ensure it spreads evenly.
  5. Leave the dye on your hair for the specified amount of time.
  6. Rinse it out with lukewarm water. 

Manicure, according to



  1. Remove any previously applied nail polish.
  2. Shape nails.
  3. Soak away.
  4. Apply callous/cuticle remover.
  5. Remove excess cuticle and calluses around the nail.
  6. Moisturize.
  7. Prep for polish.
  8. Paint nails in layers.
  9. Reapply moisturizer.


Filling in acrylic nails, according


  1. Remove any previously applied nail polish.
  2. Use a rough nail buffer to remove the lifted or excess acrylics.
  3. Now apply a drop of nail primer using a brush on your natural nail. (the uncovered portion)
  4. Prepare and Apply the acrylics.
  5. Dry, File and Buffer.
    • After applying the acrylic, leave your hands still for the next few minutes and let the acrylic dry completely.
    • If you want, then you can file the nail to reduce the overall length as your nail grew over the last 2 weeks.
    • Buffer the entire nail using the soft side of the nail buffer to make the overall texture smooth and shiny.
    • Keep filing and buffering until you get the desired shape for the nail.
    • Finally, paint the nails.