While a haircut is not at the top of anyone’s list of necessities during the coronavirus pandemic, changing your hair can be an incredibly powerful act that generates a sense of control, something we are all sorely missing right now. It’s been eight weeks and, like many of you, I desperately need a haircut and color for my roots, now a rodent-y mix of gray and mouse brown.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, I saw Elizabeth Ashley (Liz) Smoot on a regular basis at Laboratorie, a beautiful, locally owned salon in Roland Park. Although the salon is shuttered for now, owner Bethany Magliacane has been putting in long hours each day to keep the business afloat so that her team of stylists can come back to work after this crisis is over. For anyone who wants to support this effort, the salon is offering gift cards and is selling their mostly eco-friendly, Italian-made, organic hair-care products online, a partnership with the product makers where Laboratorie receives a percentage from online sales.
My Instagram algorithm is onto my Covid-19 hair issues, but rather than clicking on the proliferating slew of home dye kits in my feed, I checked in with Liz, who specializes in all kinds of color, from natural to complicated fantasy colors, hair painting, balayage, and corrective color.
Since she cannot currently do the work she loves to do, the stylist, named “Best Hair Colorist” in 2018 by Baltimore Magazine, has been nesting in her Locust Point home with her dog and boyfriend, supporting the local restaurants and bars in her area, as well as staying in touch with her clients via DMs, FaceTime, and Instagram video tutorials. In the wake of a Covid hair apocalypse, Liz shared some advice for home hair care, including solutions for covering bad roots, options for cutting your own bangs, the best products to try at home, and why bleach is not your friend.