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How To Cut Men’s Hair

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How To Cut Men's Hair
(Photo: Sinval Carvalho / Unsplash)
Is your barbershop still closed? If the wait is making you antsy, learn how to cut your hair at home.

With Covid-19 keeping barbershops and salons closed or operating on limited capacity, more men are taking it upon themselves to cut their own hair or relying on their partners to do it for them. While cutting women's hair is perhaps a bit easier given the longer length, men's hair is easier to botch since there's usually not a lot of it. Unless you're brave enough to just shave it all off, here are some tips and tricks from experts if you can't wait for your barbershop to finally open.


Before the cut

It's easier to work with clean and tangle-free hair. Shampoo and condition your hair before you cut it. Detangle with a wide-tooth comb. If your hair dries too quickly, you can fill up a spray bottle with water then just dampen hair if that makes it easier to cut it.

The best place to cut your hair is in the bathroom so you'll have access to a mirror and to running water. Prepare a handheld mirror so you can also see the back of your head. All you need are hair clippers, sectioning hair clips, a comb, and a pair of hairstyling scissors.

Section your hair

Popsugar enlisted the help of celebrity hairstylist, Chris Appleton. His first step is to section hair. Using hair clips, mark the difference between the longest areas and the shorter areas. Consider the hair on top of your hair to be the longest and the hair on the sides of your head to be the shortest. Appleton sections hair from the temple to the back of the head.

Also read: Don't Play With Scissors: Trending TikTok Video Alarms Hairstylists

Use the right clippers

Using hair clippers (not beard clippers), use a lower attachment than your barber usually uses on you. This allows room for error as you can always cut more hair if needed. For example, Appleton uses a number three first instead of his usual number four.

Work on the sides first

Start at the front of your head and work your way towards the back.  Starting at the temple in front of the ear, place the clippers flat against the head and move in an upward motion. When you reach the long hair section marked by the hair clips, stop, then flick the wrist up. Continue doing that until you reach the back of the head. Then, switch to the other side and meet in the middle at the back of your head.

Creating the fade

Once you're done buzzing the sides, change your attachment to a lower number. Appleton first used a four then changed to a three. To create a fade, start from the bottom to the top of your ears. Don't go all the way to the long hair mark as you did for the side buzz. The goal is to blend this bottom section to the buzzed section.

Trimming the top

Appleton says to imagine a half-circle on top of your head, which is basically already its shape. Remove all the sectioning clips and spray on some water if hair is already dry. Using the comb and scissors, trim the hair shorter on the sides of your imaginary circle. At the top of the head, cut to your desired length with a point cut. A point cut is when you hold the scissors perpendicular to the hair. This adds texture and keeps the ends softer and more natural. Finally, trim the front piece of hair with a point cut by pulling it backward so it lays flat when you comb it back out.

Remember to stay of the longer side when cutting your hair at home. It's better to work your way shorter than end up cutting it too short at the beginning and regretting it afterwards.

Related article: Covid-19 Effects on the Salon Industry

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