Are you looking to cut your hair but don't know where to start? You're not alone, with most of the world in some sort of lockdown, hairdressers and barbers have had to close, forcing a number of people into picking up a pair of scissors and cutting their own hair… often with disastrous results.
Lockdown Haircut is a brand new 'virtual barber' service, which connects you with a professional barber online for a 20-minute video call where they can walk you or a friend through your trim, step-by-step.
It sounds like a great idea, allowing you to support a local barber, as well as the NHS (which will receive a portion of the profits).
How does it work? First, you need to book your appointment online. This can be done in just a few minutes. Each consultation costs £15, £7.50 of which goes to the barber, £2.50 is donated to NHS Charities Together, and the rest goes towards VAT and running costs.
It's worth noting you will need an electric razor of hair clippers, a comb, and a laptop with a webcam. You can't use scissors. Scroll down for links on where to by hair clippers.
When the time comes, you will log in to your video appointment, where your personal barber will give you detailed step-by-step instructions. You can self-trim or ask a family member, partner, or housemate for assistance.
And that's it!
Where to buy hair clippers
- Buy hair clippers from Amazon (UK)
- Buy hair clippers from Argos (UK)
- Buy hair clippers from Boots (UK)
- Buy hair clippers from Amazon (US)
- Buy hair clippers from Walmart (US)
How to cut your own hair: T3's advice
Hair clippers consist of two elements: the actual clipper/trimmer and a number of combs of varying sizes. The larger the comb, the longer it will leave your hair. Oh, and they all always come with a small brush, supposedly for cleaning. Many still come with a tiny bottle of oil, for oiling the blades. Increasingly, you can buy clippers that claim not to require oiling, although I always find that claim a little suspect.
T3's Duncan Bell has cut his hair at home for many years, and has discovered a number of things. The first is that a good, wired hair clipper from someone like Wahl is still better than even the best cordless one.
That being said, there's a lot more convenience to cordless, especially if it's waterproof or at least water-resistant, and hence bathroom friendly.
Duncan recommends against trying to shave your head, or a long beard come to that, in the shower. Wet hair sticks together so it's harder to cut, and clogs the blades like a mother.
Even the best hair clippers tend to be a bit painful if you're cutting hair really short, as the blades start to scrape the scalp. If you've got dry skin this can be particularly unpleasant. For this reason, and many others, it's best to start with the longest comb feasible and work down. Usually, you would also tend to have it longer on top than at the sides.
Here is Duncan's advice:
- Oil your blades. Unless it's the type that doesn't require oiling – although even then it can't hurt.
- Wash your hair, but don't cut it while wet. Some people find having it slightly damp is optimum. I don't, but I'm just passing on what 'some people' think.
- You could try applying a little bit of moisturiser. This is tricky as too much will impede the blades and too little will make no odds. But just the right amount can reduce irritation and increase smooth gliding of blades.
- Use a mirror. No, really.
- Start with a bigger comb length than you need. This is especially true if you're attempting a more 'advanced' style with differing lengths, but it's also advisable if you are doing a straight French crop, army crop, suedehead or even a Full Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
- Gradually work your way down through comb sizes.
- As you'll already know from the barber's, you'll never ever remove all the cut hair from your head, neck, clothes and body by giving it a brush. The great thing about cutting your hair at home is you can just jump in the shower, though! If you've gone for a short crop, a handheld vacuum cleaner on a low setting is also a good option – no, really.
- Apply moisturiser or after-shave balm. But probably not actual aftershave, as it may smart a tad.
- Collect all your head hair and use it to stuff home-sewn pillows. It's a fun hobby to help you pass the time as you maintain social distance or self-isolate!