Depending on the growth rate of his hair and the style he keeps it in, a man’s got to visit his barber every 2-6 weeks to keep his haircut sharp. While visiting a barbershop can be a relaxing ritual, in our busy lives, it more often feels like an inconvenience, and a significant expense. You thus may naturally desire to extend the life of your haircut and the amount of time you can let lapse between appointments with your barber.
While you obviously can’t slow down how fast your hair grows, there are ways to make your visits to the barber less frequent, without your hair looking untidy and out of hand. Accomplishing this concerns either choosing a more barber-independent hairstyle, or creating an at-home maintenance routine that allows you to delay your visits to the barbershop.
On the first front, you can choose to go with a buzz cut style and learn to cut it entirely yourself. This snips the barber out of the equation altogether.
If that’s not for you, you can choose a fuller, longer hair style, that sports more natural borders. With this kind of style, which has a little texture/shag already built in, the growth of your hair won’t be as noticeable, so that you can get away with having it cut less often.
However, if you have a haircut with harder edges — one that’s longer on top and shorter on the sides, and that’s faded and tapered with a tight hairline around your ears and the back of your neck — then the (over)growth of your hair will be much more noticeable. The shorter your hair, the more regularly you need to have it cut. But you can still postpone these haircuts for longer periods of time by touching it up in between appointments. Barbers actually sometimes offer to do this quick clean-up job for half the price of a regular haircut. But you can also do it yourself for free, and in less time.
How to Make Your Haircut Last Longer
After you’ve gotten your hair cut, your hair will begin to grow out most noticeably in the trails that run down your neck from either side of your hairline and in your sideburns. Extending the life of your haircut is then just a simple matter of cleaning up these problem areas. Here’s how to do it:
1. Get a sharp haircut.
For an in-between, at-home maintenance trim to be most effective, it’s best to start with a quality haircut in the first place. Hair that’s been precisely cut by a skilled professional will grow out well and be easier to return to form, while hair that’s been more poorly cut will grow out more awkwardly and be harder to tighten up.
2. Gather the needed tools.
You’ll need a few things to perform this DIY clean-up:
- Hair scissors — can be small ones
- Multi-purpose electric trimmer
- Hand mirror — you’ll need to be able to see the back of your neck
3. Trim your sideburns.
First take your electric trimmer and trim up the bottom edge of your sideburn so that it’s straight and at a length to your liking; parallel to the middle of your ear is a good general guideline.
Then, take your comb and comb the hair of the sideburn towards your face; use your scissors to trim these overgrown hairs along the vertical hairline of your sideburn. (You can do this job with your trimmer too, but it tends to turn out better when done with scissors.)
Repeat this process, this time combing your sideburn hairs towards your ear, and then trimming these hairs along the hairline. If there is hair covering where the curve of the top of the ear starts, snip that too. It’s possible to use your electric trimmer to cut all along the arch of your ear, but that’s hard for an amateur to get right, and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Then repeat on the other sideburn.
4. Trim your neckline.
This part is tricky to do on your own; if possible, ask a friend or loved one to do it for you. If you’re on your own, stand in front of a mirror, holding your trimmer in one hand and your hand mirror in the other so you can see the back of your neck in the mirror that you’re facing.
Then move your trimmer in upward strokes until it meets the hairline created by your barber.
5. Keep your hair smooth and styled.
In addition to cleaning up your hair in between appointments with your barber, try to shampoo your hair less often, and finish off your ‘do with some styling product; overgrown hair looks more unkempt when it’s dry and frizzy, so you’ll want to keep it tamed and tight.
Following this DIY maintenance routine can let you go as much as 2 weeks more before you have to get a real haircut, reducing your visits to the barber by a third to a half.