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  • Writer's pictureRebecca B.

Cutting Hair 101: Men First

Let's do this. Obligatory warning before we get started: This is for a TRIM only. We aren't talking, "Oooh, let me learn a new skill with my quarantine time!" or a "What the hell, I need a big change!" moment. The person needing a trim will not be cutting their own hair, but should have a trusted partner who will do the actual cutting. You both should have a very detailed discussion about expectations. I also recommend that both people agree to a hair cut, so partners will trade roles. Just seems more fair and fun, and each person will have a turn in the "hot seat." I think the men should get in that seat first! Why not.

*Side-note: all information has been provided by my good friend and hair professional extraordinaire, Jon Carter. I want to give him the proper props before proceeding. Big shout-out to @jboydcarter!

For equipment you will need shears and a fine tooth comb. Just order something affordable that will ship quickly. For the comb, teeth close together is best. An electric trimmer is great too, to give a polished look when you're done. Also, WATCH THE VIDEO! This coaching session (of sorts) is not meant to stand on its own, but to give further details to understand what is happening in this video...

Now for the good stuff. The most effective method for nonprofessionals is "Scissors over Comb"—The comb acts as a guard, the hair can only be cut as short as the width of the comb. The comb glides through the hair and the shears cut away the hair that peaks out beyond the comb's teeth. The closer the comb is to the skin the MORE hair comes away. This closer comb position is good to shorten the hair as close and tight as you like around the nape and over the ears. The farther the comb is from the scalp the LESS hair is removed. This farther comb position is good for the longer hair on top (though for our "trim" purposes, it's great to just leave the top alone).

For S Over C to work both the comb and shears are always moving. The comb is sweeping upward from the nape or sideburns to the crown and the shears are chomping away, rapidly opening and closing. I know, yes, I said chomping and rapidly. I'm sorry. The comb and shears should stay married (the couple should too, when this is all done, in theory). The shears are always right with the comb, almost touching it, as it carries out those sweeping movements. You should practice that chopping motion before you start cutting. Obvi. Jon says, "It'll get so natural that at some point you'll forget it's even happening. You're making yourself into a little machine like an old fashioned lawn mower, you want to find a mechanical rhythm."

I have to admit, the speed makes me nervous too. Am I really going to have the guts to be a lawn mower, not knowing what I'm doing? Yes I am, and you are too. This is the FUN PART! The guy in the video goes on to do some texturizing and other fancier stuff, skip that. But do clean up the cut at the end with the electric trimmer if you have one. It makes the cut look fresh and is actually the thing guys notice the most. It'll make em feel "clean." With the trimmers ONLY CUT OUTSIDE OF THE HAIRLINE. You're just cleaning up the stray hairs that grow beyond the outline that's been revealed. Bam, you're done.

Ok, got it? Go for it!!! Lol. I get it, you're nervous. Try to let that go. Men, assure your partner it's only hair and this should be fun. Men's hair grows really fast so any mistakes are going to be hidden soon. Start the cut way too long and then zero in on the shape you want as your confidence grows. "It's like pruning a topiary shrub," Jon says. Well, there's your next quarantine hobby!

Next up: Women in the Hot Seat!

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