I’ve Become a DIYer

Like many people, I have been “given” the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and learn new skills during the coronavirus lockdown. Especially since the roving part of our retirement has been greatly curtailed.

Of course, it is true that “necessity is the mother of invention.” So, my new DIY skills include coloring my own hair and doing my own nails. In addition, I have helped some of my friends with their hair and nail emergencies, as safely as possible. Helping others makes me feel good and I don’t really have any other skills that can be used to assist people during the pandemic.


The really fulfilling thing about doing my own hair and nails is that I don’t have to find someplace to get them done. Taking the time while roving the world has been really challenging. I found on Our Big Trip, that it took quite a bit of effort to locate a highly rated professional. Then, I had to make an appointment and devote a portion of a day to both hair and nails. The time was especially impactful in places where sightseeing or a beach beckoned and transportation to a salon wasn’t a given.

Recapturing Time

At home, I would just make an appointment and go. But not having a home puts a whole new spin on things. So now I have independence around my time because I can color my hair when I have time. I don’t need to do it during business hours. In addition, I can do my nails every three weeks or so as necessary. I don’t need to spend valuable time obsessing about finding a good nail salon and a good hair salon. The only downside on the nail front is that it is really hard to do a decent pedicure on yourself, something I’ll have to work on. Also, I just don’t have access to the myriad of colors available at a salon. Oh well.

Consistent Quality

Another advantage of doing these things myself is that I can better control the quality. It can be challenging to explain to non-English speakers what the formula for my hair color is. In Thailand, they didn’t understand my notes so they matched the color of my ends and I wound up with red hair. When it comes to nail quality is an issue too. One time in Thailand the polish started peeling off before I even got out of the mall. Then I had to have them completely re-polished at another salon so a lot of extra time and money were involved.

Saving Money

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I don’t really care about saving money. But the fact is that hair and nails are pretty expensive in other places in the world. For example, in Thailand, my mani/pedi cost about $100 when a delicious dinner for two costs about $15. Go figure.

While my pedicure lasts about 6 weeks, my nails need to be done every three weeks. On this schedule, the money really adds up. I’m saving even more by coloring my hair myself and I can be sure it will be the color I want it to be. At least now I’ve experimented enough as described in This week in France to get a quality result.

Many of you know that I have cut Mike’s hair and beard every few weeks for the last 27 years. But I am definitely not capable of cutting my own hair. I’ll still have to get some help on that every few months.

I guess I will have to figure out what to spend all of my extra money on once the stores open up again.

During this lockdown, what have you learned to do that you never thought you would do?

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