While we wouldn’t want to be in retail right now, we suspect that anyone selling hair clippers (or hats) has probably made a fair chunk of change over the last eighteen months.
Why? With most of Australia’s population having suffered through multiple lockdowns and strict social distancing measures this year thanks to The Spicy Cough – Sydney and Melbourne currently still feeling the pain – we’ve all been missing out on haircuts. Yes, for most Aussies, there’s been some alarming gaps between salon sessions over the last two years, and our hairstyles are the worse for it.
While some Aussies have tried to find loopholes, such as going for ‘haircut hangouts’ or barbers indulging in illegal out-calls, most of us have instead resigned ourselves to the terror that is the home haircut. While not all home haircuts are terrible, there’s definitely been more than a few dodgy ones out there, necessitating some shameful hat wearing.
Thankfully, we’ve spoken to a few of the country’s top barbers, who have been kind enough to share some tips for home haircut success to tide you over until barbers can open again, and you can get a proper haircut done.
Their first tip: exercise restraint.
“Don’t go for a drastic restyle – just reference what is already there,” Nathan Jancauskas, founder and managing director of Men’s Biz, advises.
“Tidying up the neckline and around the ears will go a long way.”
“For those who wish to go down the DIY route, it is best to do so conservatively and just try to use a clipper to trim the sides (for a haircut) and blend it upwards, leaving the top untouched,” says Khushwant Dhanoa, managing director of Truefitt & Hill Australia.
“Alternatively… Go for an aggressive buzz cut with their clippers. Either of these [options] would not require scissor skills. If the results do not turn out as expected, [men] should bear in mind that their hair will grow out and at the end of the lockdown their friendly neighbourhood barber is always on hand to save the day!”
The other option is to let your hair grow out longer and be more proactive when it comes to styling it, rather than go for a substandard, shorter cut (which might leave your barber with too little to work with once you can actually visit them).
“With [the] light at the end of the tunnel so close, I would advise any clients who have gone this far with growing it to stay strong,” Jacob Martin, founder of Tate & Lyle suggests.
“We’ve seen a lot of our clients embrace long hair. Styling is key when it’s long – using natural-looking products to tame those uncontrollable ‘fly aways’ so I advise using sea salt sprays, or creams to give a little hold and blow-dry into shape.”
“If you’ve really got to cut it yourself, I’d be grabbing the clippers with say a 4 or 5 guard and shave it off. You’re still going to have a little bit of length that your barber can work with to give you some shape when we open back up again,” Trent Pridmore, founder and CEO of The Emporium Barber, advises.
Of course, for many men there’s no substitute for a proper haircut, and no amount of home trimming can make up for it. Thankfully, we’re on the right track, with over 50% of Australians aged 16 and over now double vaccinated (and COVID-ravaged New South Wales, crucially, now over 60%) – it won’t be too much longer before we can all get chopped.
Indeed, Australia’s barbers are up for the challenge: “our staff do like seeing a ‘home job’ and the satisfaction of fixing it for them,” Jancauskas shares.
With that in mind, check out our guide to the best summer hairstyles for men so you can get a little grooming inspiration for your next barber’s visit.