Also included: advice on how not to screw it up.

By Summer Cartwright
Updated Apr 01, 2020 @ 4:30 pm
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While home, we’ve discovered ways to become our own fashion designers, manicurists, and virtual wingwomen, so it was only a matter of time before we started adding at-home hair stylist to our quarantine resumes. Spouses, parents, children, and friends everywhere have now been tasked with the duty of giving a men’s haircut — something horrifying to picture, but actually doable for the average novice, according to experts.

All it takes is a few items to have the perfect at-home setup, says John Scala, president of The New York Shaving Company. Among the most important: dependable and easy to use clippers. Scala, along with celebrity hair stylist and Biolage brand ambassador Sunnie Brook, agree on the best brand to use. Wahl, one of the first brands to manufacture a practical electric hair clipper, has hair-cutting kits that Scala says “come with everything you need.” Not to mention, they’re at an affordable price point. Depending on the size of the kit, prices range from $18 to $50 at most retailers.

“Wahl is the best and won’t tug on the hair,” Brook says, adding that you should be on the hunt for the kits that come with different clipper attachments. “I prefer the plug-in version as it’s more powerful and lasts longer, but the one with a charging station is very good too if you don’t plan to use it frequently on multiple people.”

Scala tells InStyle that performing your first cut isn’t as scary as it seems. “Read the instructions, talk to the boyfriend, your dad, your husband, and see how much they wanna take off,” he says, advising first timers to do a small “veteran stroke” to test the waters. Then, plan to use a few different number guards to get the best look possible. Just remember that the lower the number of guard, the more hair that’s going to come off. (A combination Scala recommends is using a 2 guard on the sides, a 1 guard for the perimeter — around the ears and at the neckline — and a 3 higher up, then trim the top with hair scissors.)

When you’re trimming hair with scissors (the kind made for hair, not for paper), Scala says it’s best to wet the hair with a spray bottle first and dry it a bit with a towel before you begin. Brook says she uses a multi-benefit spray on any hair type before trimming because “It protects the hair and makes it more manageable to comb during the haircutting process.”

As for his last words of wisdom, Scala says not to stress too much about the results: “At the end of the day it’s a haircut, it’s hair, it grows back.” For hair inspiration, visit Sunni and The New York Shaving Company’s Instagram pages. Happy cutting!

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