Everything you always needed to know

We asked local hairdresser Van Capizzano for help.


Photo via Getty Images / Prathan Chorruangsak / EyeEm

About a month after he obeyed the state’s advice on home support, my boyfriend started begging me to help him cut his hair. (Hint: my flashbacks to the mullet and lopsided chops I gave to my once long-haired Barbie dolls as a kid.) Despite my persistent attempts to reason with him and tell him about my lack of expertise , after a few days, gave way. When he sat down in the chair we had recklessly placed in the middle of the living room, what followed would probably be called a near temper tantrum. No, not from the person about to have electric blades put on the side of their head – from me, her barber, who was too nervous to touch the single-strand clipper.

Eventually I found the courage, but as the hair started to fall to the floor, we quickly realized that this business wasn’t as easy as it looked when you’re in the hands of a professional. We’ve all found ourselves question after question about how the heck to remove male head hair without being royally mistaken – with only an equally ignorant counterpart on hand to guess an answer. Miraculously, my boyfriend’s hair ended up turning out to be half decent (and I for one was glad he still had some on his head), although I can’t say I’m looking forward to it. make it a regular event.

When I spoke later with Van Capizzano, owner of Tribe Barber in the South End, he reassured me: “It’s manual training that takes years and years,” he said. “When I teach someone how to cut their hair, it takes six to nine months until the first day I start letting them get behind the chair and make a buzz. So don’t be hard on yourself. Phew, that reassures me a bit. Still, if you’re like most people with short hair, there’s a good chance you want to get a cut now, and there’s even more chance that you (or your reluctant newbie hairstylist) won’t. probably don’t have exactly six. months of experience to your credit. This is where Capizzano comes in. Read on for the tips he shared for an at-home haircut.

Before you start, you should know …

… That the cleverly neglected look is still present.

“Try to make it look like you’re not trying,” he says. Which is great news for those of us who don’t leave the house a lot these days. “If you look at a lot of actors and models and people in entertainment their hairstyles are usually not very polished,” he says. “It’s like when someone’s beard is too neat and their face is weird. I feel the same for my whole head.

… That going to extremes is a good idea right now.

For those who are tempted to completely shave their heads every now and then, now is your chance, says Capizzano. “All guys look pretty good with a shaved head whether they have a lot of hair or not,” he adds. If you are ready to say goodbye To these braids, the expert generally recommends using all four guards on your trimmer, which he says will result in a longer cut that works well for most people.

Alternatively, he adds, it’s also a great opportunity to experiment with growing your hair out. The key to keeping longer hair out of your face as it stretches out is simple: just tuck it behind your ear. “The real trick for this is to take a comb and put it on your ear with the teeth of the comb pointing straight at your head and then slide it back. This will bring all the hair back behind your ear,” “The other secret to styling success is not shampooing.” Capizzano explains. “I haven’t shampooed my hair since I was twelve. [Shampoo] tears her hair out. Your body makes this oil for a reason: to keep it supple, moist, and healthy.

… What tools to have on hand.

Your beard trimmer does not fall into this category, says Capizzano. Instead, the barber recommends going online and ordering a Wahl 5-Star Senior, a professional-grade trimmer designed to cut hair on the head. “Beard trimmers are generally the same price, but don’t have as much strength, horsepower, or durability,” he says. “In addition, the numbering systems are deactivated between [different brands of beard trimmers], so one might give you something completely different from the other, ”he says.

Regarding the scissors, Capizzano is a little more lax. While he notes that realistically, steel shears made in Japan and designed for haircutting are the best, he also acknowledges that they tend to cost hundreds of dollars, if not more. So if you are planning on using scissors, whatever you have on hand will do. “I’m going on vacation with some friends and they ask me to cut their hair or their kids ‘hair or their wives’ hair and I just go to CVS and [get scissors] the. They will do the job properly, ”he said. “My first boss would always say, ‘I don’t care what kind of scissors you use. If you are good you can cut with broken glass.

… Whether you are working with wet or dry hair.

“If you are using a trimmer, the hair should be completely dry. Anything that is wet is difficult for the razor to pass through and will damage your mower, ”explains Capizzano. If you are a beginner and cut your hair with scissors and a comb or with your fingers, the pro recommends doing it while the hair is wet as it will be easier to work with. “Wet hair is pliable. You can stick it, push it back, push it forward and [you’ll] are easier to clean and handle, ”he says. Just be careful to err on the side of caution and go longer than shorter, especially if you cut when the hair is wet, he adds. Since the hair is elastic, it may appear shorter than expected when dry. And as Capizzano says: “You can always shorten it, but you can’t put it back in place, if you haven’t figured it out yet. “

… A simple trick to avoid mower errors.

“I hear it with guys who cut their beards all the time – they forgot to put the clip on,” says Capizzano, noting that every time he does a haircut he checks the clip three times that he does. he uses between shots. “I do it all the time because it keeps me in the habit.”

Now here’s how …

… Cut your hair with scissors.

“The rule of thumb is you want the hair shortest at your neck and around your ears, and then it elongates a bit as you go up. You want the width up, ”says Capizzano. With your hands vertical – preparing to cut from top to bottom rather than horizontal – and your palm facing your head, pinch the hair between the tip of your index finger and your first knuckle. If you’re right-handed, he recommends starting with your left temple, combing the hair through your fingers, cutting vertically, then moving your hand around your head a quarter of an inch at a time until you are reach the other temple. Then come back to the right temple and place your hands a little higher, working on the other side again.

In terms of length, Capizzano says to keep in mind that it’s always best to play it safe by going longer. One way to make sure of this is to avoid cutting inward once you reach the widest point of your skull, called the parietal ridge. “Keep one finger to the side and imagine it going straight up. you do not want [the scissors] enter from this point; only upwards, ”he explains.

… Cut your hair with a clipper.

The first thing to accept? You won’t be able to make a perfect fade. “It takes years of practice and everyone does it differently,” says Capizzano. With this set of expectations, you can still achieve solid results with a few pro tips. A key point: the fade must start at the level of the parietal crest. Using the Wahl, start with a number four guard and use it up to the parietal ridge. Then, half an inch below where you started the first time around, use the number three guard from there, all the way around the head. Repeat a half inch below with the number two guard, then the number one. At this point you should be at ear level where the hair will be the shortest.

… Clean up your favorites in the blink of an eye.

Capizzano suggests taking a comb and pushing the hairs of the sideburns forward, then trimming them directly where the hairs of the sideburns meet the skin. Then comb the sideburn hair towards the ear and do the same on the other side. Finally, using your comb, you can move up and down the center of the leg to lightly cut the hair there as well.

… Cleanses the neck.

Capizzano’s general attitude towards this area (as well as the favorites, for that matter): “Stop hyper-focusing, now is not the time anyway,” he says. If you feel like you have to do a little maintenance there, however, it’s best to have someone help you navigate that area and use a feather razor or feather razor, than you can order online. “They’re serrated, so when you run them against someone’s neck or even put your thumb in them, it doesn’t cut you,” says Capizzano. But beware: “Almost everyone goes too high,” he adds.

… Get a cut similar to that of Capizzano.

“All the guys come in and they’re like, ‘I like it longer on top and shorter on the sides,’ and I’m like, ‘So, you wish every haircut was done? “Says Capizzano.” I’m not doing this on myself. “Instead, her barber, using scissors, cuts off almost her entire head the same length, except for a part of it. triangular in the front of his head, which he likes to leave on a bit longer. “It’s basically like my head had a buzz a long time ago, and it grew, and then the forehead was just a little longer than the rest, ”he explains.

To give the look a try at home, Capizzano suggests gathering the hair from the two front corners of your head, where the hair growing to the side meets the hair growing to the top, and connecting the two dots about a quarter of the way. way back over your head so that they meet in a triangular shape. Separate this section and zoom the rest of the head with a guard number eight. If it’s too long for your liking, reduce the size of the guard (stopping at number five) until you’re happy with the length. Then, using scissors, lightly trim the severed front part until you like the look of your “do”, keeping in mind that less is usually more.

About Allen L. Campbell

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