With much of the country practicing social distancing, getting a haircut at a salon or barber shop is pretty much off the table. Fortunately, with a few tips from professionals, you can stretch the life of your last cut and even give yourself a trim at home. It goes without saying, but in stressful times like these, self-care is more important than ever.
If a cut is starting to feel a little overgrown, there are options to extend the life of a look, says Oscar Blandi, hairstylist and founder of Oscar Blandi Salon. “The first thing is, of course, use products,” he says. “You want to try to mix gel and pomade. Wet your hair and apply gel first. Then use a pomade. After applying the pomade, comb and use low, cold air to blow dry and let it stay in place.”
Vaughn Acord, men’s grooming expert, founder of men’s grooming brand V76 and co-founder of mizu Louis Licari salon in New York City, agrees. “Product is the quick answer here. Adding ‘weight’ with product and giving it texture. It may also be a good time to see your hair get a bit longer. Experiment! Try a different look. What a safe place to do it!”
V76 By Vaughn V Rated Natural Wax ($21; dermstore.com)
Acord recommends his own product, a wax that will add that weight and shape, while giving the hair texture.
Murdock London Vintage Pomade ($18; nordstrom.com)
This water-soluble formula will give your hair a slick, classic hold.
Jack Black Clay Pomade ($23; nordstrom.com)
This pomade has been a favorite for years for a reason: It works. It’s buildable, meaning you should start with a small amount, and add more for better hold.
Axe Signature Clean Cut Look Hair Classic Pomade ($6.99; target.com)
A little goes a long way with this pomade, so the tin will last a long time, and deliver a clean-cut look.
If you need more help, Ann Shim, director of education for Groominglounge.com and Grooming Lounge Barbershops, offers simple solutions. “One thing that I suggest that can help him look less overdue for a haircut is to shave the neck hair without really going into the haircut,” she says. “Lightly trimming the hair over the ears with either scissors or a small trimmer with an attachment can also help make the haircut look less overdue.”
As Seen on TV MicroTouch Max Personal Trimmer ($9.99; target.com)
This battery-powered trimmer can easily tackle hair on ears, eyebrows, necks, noses and sideburns, and will definitely clean up your neck.
Conair Cararra Marble Shears with Safety Blade Cover ($12.99; target.com)
These surprisingly stylish shears can be used to trim hair over the ears, or the odd stray that’s messing up your look.
Remington All-In-One 8pc Men’s Rechargeable Electric Grooming Kit ($19.59; target.com)
This electric grooming kit is a bargain, and has 16 settings for all your facial grooming needs.
Need an allover trim? Blandi has advice for guys with short hair. “You’ll need a clipper with big-size combs attached,” he says. “Start from the nape of the neck all the way to the line you desire. You want to create an arch. Think of a half circle, try first on the side behind your ear and aim narrow, and keep moving from side to side. Start with a large attachment, get familiar and go with a smaller one until you reach the length you desire.”
Philips Norelco Hair Clipper Series 5000 ($34.99, originally $49.99; kohls.com)
The multiple attachments that come with this clipper allow for everything from a buzz cut to 1 inch of hair.
Wahl Lithium Ion All-In-One Multi-Groomer and Trimmer ($39.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
You’ll trim your cut with ease with this cord-free clipper set that also comes with a trimmer, detailer and holds a charge for over three hours.
If you have longer hair, Acord says to relax and have fun with it. “Longer hair should just chill. It’s OK to leave it! On average, hair grows approximately 1/2 inch each month,” he says. “I would like to think we will be able to be back to work in some manner to address this within the next few months. Fingers crossed! Again, product can really help here, too. Try different partings. Move it around. Tuck it. Try a different approach.”
V76 by Vaughn Grooming Cream Ultralight Hold ($20; dermstore.com)
This light-hold cream gives hair a smooth texture and creates natural movement, making it ideal for styling longer hair.
Baxter of California Grooming Cream ($20; dermstore.com)
This paraben-free cream is ideal for coarse and curly hair, offering a sheen and light hold.
On the other hand, if you need a clean-up, Shim says that longer hair is harder to cut by yourself, so she recommends getting a second pair of hands to help lightly trim the back with scissors.
Japonesque Classic Barber Shears ($12.99; target.com)
These classic shears feature elongated stainless steel blades, making them ideal for longer hair.
One thing all our pros agreed on? Take a cautious approach. This is not the time to give yourself a whole new look. “I think the best thing to do is a little trimming around the ear sideburns and neckline,” says Shim. “Just try to hold tight until you can get back in to see your regular barber or stylist, or at least try your best for now.”
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.