Hair stylists, unfortunately, do not count as essential businesses right now. As a result, many of us have seen our hair grow long, ragged and, well, mop-like. But have no fear: Chris Appleton, hair stylist to the stars (and most notably the man behind J. Lo and Kim Kardashian’s luscious locks) is here to help you learn how to cut your hair (assuming you want to do more than grab a pair of hair clippers and buzz it all off. But, assuming you want a more sophisticated cut, Appleton posted a video that lays out how to cut men’s hair quickly, and, perhaps more importantly, without fucking it up beyond all recognition.
In the Instagram video, which clocks in at less than five minutes long, Appleton uses only clippers, scissors, sectioning clips and a hair comb. Whatever custodial parent has taken over the hair-cutting duties for the family may want to check this out.
Keep in mind that a buzz cut will do just fine in these trying times. But we all have a lot of time on our hands, so why not learn a new skill?
1. Section Out The Hair
Honestly, this seems like the hardest thing to do. Appleton instructs amateur hair-stylists to section out the hair in two sections: the longer part (that’s usually the top of the head) and the shorter part (that would apparently usually be the sides.)
2. Bring Out The Clippers and Buzz
This is the fun part. Set the clippers to a 3 or 4 setting and start buzzing off those locks.
According to Appleton, you should always start buzzing at the front of the head and move to the back as you go along. Use the clippers in an upward motion (no shit). When you reach the back of the head on one side, go to the front of the head on the other side and start over.
3. Make It Look Better
Alright, maybe being a bit glib here, but this is the step where, if you really want a nice hair cut, you create the ‘fade’ effect by using a shorter attachment than the one you used in the second step. You shave halfway up the head to create a fade and a blend.
4. Starting To Get To Too Many Steps
Kidding, kidding. Since you’ve spruced up the sides of the head, the next logical step is to unclip the sectioned hair, wet the formerly sectioned hair, and grab your scissors.
This is where it starts to get kind of difficult: imagine a half-circle shape on the top of the head (whatever that means?) and trim the hair shorter on the sides of the “circle.” Then, you want to cut to the desired length at the top of the head, remembering that this should be where most of the length of the hair is.
Appleton says this can be done effectively using a ‘point cut’ — a cutting style where you hold scissors perpendicular, not parallel, to the hair to keep texture in the cut. We’d like to remind you that you can just buzz the whole head at this point if it starts to get too involved.
5. Fix the Front
Pull the front pieces of hair backwards and do a ‘point cut’ that way. Appleton says this is important because it will keep length in the front of the face when the hair gets laid flat again — and because the person wielding the scissors likely isn’t a licensed cosmetologist, keeping length in the front of the face is a good thing. If you want to cut it a little bit shorter, you can, but you can never add back on to your mistakes.
Once again, we’d like to remind you that taking to someone’s head with a pair of clippers, rather than doing a fancy shmancy haircut, is a totally fine thing to do. You do not need to become a great hairstylist during quarantine. But considering that there are many hours in the day — and not that much to do — perhaps becoming the Barber of your house isn’t the worst way to spend your time.