Are you getting desperate for a haircut? Is your favorite barbershop closed because of quarantine? Stop! Before you pick up those clippers or that hair color, be sure to read these 5 tips that will help you avoid any costly mistakes that you will immediately regret. I've been getting lots of calls from clients who are at their breaking point with their hair. Some are letting their spouse cut their hair, some are cutting their own and some are looking to the internet for any advice on what they can possibly do in the meantime.
- Less is more
Don't try to be your barber! If you're going to trim your hair, remember we're trying to maintain here. As much as you may think you can do what your barber can, you can not. If you normally get a very short cropped haircut , lets say a skin fade on the side with a #0, your safest best is to start with a guard a few numbers higher just to get you through. I would suggest starting with a #2 at the lowest. If you jump up at least 2 guard sizes from where you normally are, its gives you some room for error in case of any mistakes and makes blending a little easier. I know you may be feeling brave, your husband or wife may be telling you how confident they feel. DONT DO IT!!
2. Easy on the beard
In case you didn't know, your jaw is a different shape than the top of your head. Who would of thought right? Now that we got that anatomy lesson out of the way, I'll tell you why whats important. When we're cleaning up our beards, the goal is to shape our jaw line and give a tapering affect to your beard. What the heck is tapering you ask? Tapering is giving the illusion that all of the hair is the same length, even though its not. The first sign that your beard needs maintenance is when your "wings' start to poke out from your cheek bone right below your ears. If you can keep those areas manageable, it will go a long way in keeping your beard looking decent until your able to see your barber again. As I stated in point number one, again I repeat, less is more. Start with a higher guard but this time, you will mostly be focusing on the cheekbone area. Most importantly, make sure you're going WITH the grain, not against. This is especially true if you have any type of length in your beard. If you're going to be brave and try to shape your chin area, I would suggest a freehand technique. All that means is the clipper will not be flush to your face, it will be gliding across your beard, just barely touching your beard enough to tame those wild hairs.
3. Trimmers are dangerous
Unlike their clipper cousins, trimmers will not forgive you for any mistakes you make so pay very close attention. Be extra careful when using the trimmers for outlining, especially around your beard. You will most likely not be able to accomplish a sharp line like you normally get when you're in the barber chair. It could be the quality of trimmers you're using, they may not be sharp enough, your hand may not me steady enough. It can be a number of things but remember, we're going for maintenance, not pin perfect precision. To be safe, keep your lines as natural as possible around your cheek area. Don't fall in to the rabbit hole of constantly pushing the line lower and lower. Don't try to get it perfect because the next thing you know, congratulations you just gave yourself a neck beard.
4. Stay away from Color
Color can be extremely challenging even for the most experienced stylists. Results can be very erratic due to how the color is mixed, shelf life, application, pre-existing color, changes in the body, I could go on and on but you get the point. As tempting as it may be to run to the store (which you shouldn't be doing anyway) and pick up that just for men box that will leave your hair looking like a penny, fight the urge. Those cheap over the counter boxes have shades that look very unnatural and will have you looking worse than when you started. If you decide to go ahead and do it anyway because god forbid anyone sees your gray hair in your next skype phone call, be mindful of application time and shade. Semi permanent color rinses are supposed to be quick and easy. Try to stay as close to your natural shade as possible, usually these products have swatches (synthetic colored hair piece) displayed in front of the color to help you match your natural tone.
5. Keep your hair healthy
A healthy set of hair will always lay better and look better overall. Take this time to tighten up your hair, beard and skin care routine. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on products in order to improve your hair health. Doing a few simple things like reducing the number of shampoos down to 2 to 3 days a weak. Doing that will stop you from stripping all the essential oils that your hair naturally needs. That routine may take some getting used to but in a few weeks, you should see a notable difference in how your hair looks and feels. Instead of shampooing everyday, condition every day. The same goes for your beard, and please stop using your body bar soap to wash your beard. That is the perfect way to dry out your beard and start that dreaded beard itch that is tough to get rid of. Use a dedicated beard wash that will not strip, and apply a daily beard balm or beard oil to keep it moisturized throughout the day. Exfoliate your skin once a week and use a daily moisturizer for your skin. The better you nourish your skin and hair, the healthier they will look and feel.
I hope these tips help to hold you over until your local barbershop is open again. The best news of it all is that if you happen to make a horrible mistake, there's no mistake that we cant fix at Chophouse. When our doors open again, we will gladly fix that hackjob you've so proudly been wearing for the past month and we wont judge you for it.
Chophouse Barber Company
6715 Weslayan street
Houston, Texas, 77005