During this latest lockdown in Malaysia, like many other non-essential services, barbers and hairdressers have had to close their doors at least until Covid-19 cases are under control again.
While some men have managed to sneak in a last-minute trim before restrictions, a vast majority are probably at home, pulling at their overgrown manes in absolute frustration.
If you are a stickler for tidiness, then perhaps you can try to cut your own hair at home.
Tricky as it might be, here are some handy tips for Malaysian men who are in desperate need of a trim.
Decide on your hairstyle
It’s good to have a rough hairstyle idea in mind before you even begin.
With so many online DIY guides, you can easily find a few that not only help you choose a preferred style, most might show you how to cut it into shape as well.
While each guide will vary in one way or another, pay attention to the details as there are some things that you would want to know beforehand.
Get a good hair clipper
No, using your toolbox scissors to chop off your locks is not going to cut it. A barber uses the right scissors, brushes, combs and clips for the job and so should you.
Above all else, you will definitely need a clipper.
Decent hair clippers are widely available online, with prices ranging between RM70 to RM200.
After all, you only need a dependable clipper that gets the job done well, not one that is meant for models or one that will set your hair on fire in short order.
Get two mirrors prepared
Having a clipper is nice and all, but moving it blindly around your scalp will most likely lead to a fashion disaster and worse, unforced injuries.
To avoid such hairy catastrophes, get a wall-mounted mirror and a hand mirror to help you cut your hair.
Having one of each ensures that you can see what’s behind your head. Be sure to get a hand mirror with a strong handle to avoid seven years of bad luck.
Cut your hair in a suitable spot
It goes without saying that you should cut your hair in a well-lit area, unless of course uneven sideburns or fades are your thing.
Haircuts are also a messy affair so be sure to lay out a large plastic cover or old newspapers to catch your loose hair, or just have a broom ready to sweep up the mess after you’re done.
If your bathroom is bigger than a closet, you could cut your hair in there, which will make cleaning up quick and easy.
Get everything prepared
Once you have your clippers, mirrors, scissors and comb ready, you are all set to go.
Be sure to have your clipper guards within reach; these are the components that decide how much hair the clipper shaves with each pass.
More often than not, there are eight different guards provided with most standard clippers, so it’s up to you to figure out which one serves your style best.
Keep your hair damp before cutting
Hair is easier to cut when it’s nice and damp. So, get that spray bottle filled and ready.
Water acts as both a lubricant and an adhesive, keeping your hair together while making It easier to separate and hold.
Wet hair is also more elastic, allowing you to stretch your hair more which results in hairstyles that retain their shape for much longer.
Position yourself well for your haircut
Unless you’ve managed to bribe your partner or roommate to cut your hair for you, you’d best cut your hair whilst standing up.
The best possible position is to stand before a wall mirror, with your clipper and your hand mirror in each hand.
While cutting the sides and the back of your head, position your hand mirror in such a way that allows you to see it reflected in the wall mirror in front of you.
Use your scissors only when necessary and when visibility is good.
Mind you, your first DIY haircut won’t be an image of perfection but it beats wearing a mop on your head. Plus, you can probably visit your barber for a professional haircut in a month’s time or two.
So, for now, just stay home and try your hand at cutting your own hair.