Hair: Don’t Do It Yourself, Guys …


Don’t let your man loose with the scissors before you pass him this piece by expert barber Ellen Donovan …

We’ve all seen the videos and the memes of mens’ haircuts gone awry. Don’t let your man be that person. There are sensible ways to remain neat and groomed under lockdown, as Ellen explains:

You are frustrated about not being able to maintain a clean self-image or get rid of the constant ‘bedhead’ look (or groom beards properly). Without your barber or hairdresser it seems impossible to manage. So, here are a few tips to keep yourself feeling slightly less hairy and a little bit more yourself!

First things first. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt an entire haircut yourself unless you are trained or don’t care about the results. There are a lot of simple ways to keep your hair tame and neat while it grows during this period of isolation. 

Washing your hair and brushing it into a style you’re happy with is the best way to start your day. Trying to style your hair after you have slept on it is very difficult when it’s overgrown as no matter what you do to it that hair will not listen to you. It has created its own style and you can’t change that. But water, shampoo and heat can change that. Wash your hair, comb it out, use a hairdryer. These three steps will allow you to control the way the hair sits for the day. There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube to show you the best way to blow dry your hair if you find it difficult. But it is something you can do by yourself, easily.

Consider new products to keep the style in place. Products I like to use are wax, clay, hairspray, sea salt spray or even styling powder. All these are great for giving you a strong hold with a natural look. Gone are the days when we used sticky gel to style our hair. Vo5, Uppercut Deluxe and American Crew are all very affordable supermarket brands and have a great range of simple styling products. If you have a regular barber or hairdresser, contact them if you need advice or a new product and I’m sure they would arrange to get it to you. Don’t be afraid to play with different styles as your hair grows out. Now is a great time to experiment and accept the growth we didn’t know we had.

Moving on from styling to grooming, a very simple way of keeping your hair tame is with a beard trimmer/clippers or sharp scissors (NOT a kitchen scissors). The most unkempt part of overgrown hair are the sideburns and the neck area. These areas are extremely easy to clean and all you need is a tool of your choice and a comb to brush out all the stray hair. If you follow the natural hairline with the edge of the trimmer’s blade or the tip of your scissors you can clean out all the stray hair and remove all the hairs that hang over your ears.

There are plenty of simple step-by-step tutorials to follow on YouTube. I always recommend having someone to help you and do it for you/with you as it is very difficult to do your neck yourself and I wouldn’t recommend it. The main thing to remember is not to do too much. Keep it simple, take your time and follow the natural hairline. Then you can’t do much damage!

A new trend arising from lockdown seems to be men shaving their full head of hair off completely with the home clippers or even just cutting it much shorter than they would usually to avoid the chaos of their overgrown hair. If you’re someone that is used to having a shaved head then why not, but if you are someone who struggles with hair loss already or is conscious of a receding hairline – shaving it all off is not the best solution for bulk removal. The reality is the grow-back of this takes a lot longer than you realise and in some cases, if you struggle with thinning hair or hair loss, it may not even grow back to the same extent.

If you’re really considering doing this then the best option for you is to get an attached guard for the blade you’re using that allows for a longer amount of hair left on the head than stubble. Try an attached 10mm, 13mm, 16mm or even longer guard. My advice is to start with taking off as little as possible and ease your way down to a shorter length if required. You can certainly use a shorter length on the sides and back. This will remove a lot of hair but won’t leave you bare and questioning why you did this to yourself!

Wahl, Babyliss and Remington are all great brands of affordable hair clippers to have at home – all are available at Boots. What’s great about these is you can also use them for cleaning up your beard once you’re allowed back to your local barber. They definitely won’t go to waste.

Lastly, for people struggling with hair growth or thinning hair, even slight balding, this is the perfect time to try out some vitamins and shampoos to treat your hair and get some thickness back into it. The best shampoo and conditioning treatment proven to work on my clients and friends is Nioxin, available at Boots or Peter Mark online. It is fantastic for stimulating hair growth and thickening hair. It is the only home treatment I have seen that really works – I can definitely say it’s worth the time and money. There’s nothing complicated about it – the instructions are simple.

I always recommend vitamins when it comes to hair growth. Biotin vitamins are great for thickening hair and hair growth. They’re affordable and can be found either online or in Holland and Barrett or in any nutrition store.

If you use social media platforms, Instagram is a great resource for information or videos or tutorials on everything I’ve explained above. Try adding in a hashtag to the search box with the word or two words most related to your query! #hairgrowth



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