How to Give Your Man an At-Home Haircut (with Tips from a Professional Stylist)
With a little help from celebrity hairstylist Kristan Serafino, PEOPLE Style & Beauty Director Andrea Lavinthal successfully gave her man a quarantine trim — watch how it's done
Even though hair salons across the country are starting to reopen, many people are hesitant to get back in a stylist’s chair. Some may be waiting for case numbers to lower in their state, while others simply can't score an appointment thanks to the influx of people eager to get to the barber. So until further notice, my husband has no choice but to put his haircut in my hands.
You’d think as a beauty editor, I would be more than up to the task, but about two months ago, I attempted to give him a trim and the results were what I’ve been calling “heavily textured.” That unfortunate incident made me realize that I needed to call in a professional.
Enter celebrity hairstylist Kristan Serafino who works with Ryan Reynolds, Michael J. Fox and Jake Gyllenhaal. We scheduled a Zoom call so she could virtually walk me through the steps. Two hours and lots of deep breathes later, Justin’s hair turned out, well, shorter.
Here, Serafino’s five key tips to executing a successful at-home haircut.
Start with Dry, Clean Hair
“When hair is dry, it shrinks.” Enough said.
Work in Sections
Before you even pick up the clippers, you need to identify the back, the sides and the front of the hair. This is important so you know which areas to cut with the clippers (the sides and the back) and which to cut with scissors (the top). When using clippers, use an upward scooping motion, going over the same section a few times (up the center, up towards the left, up towards the right) to blend the lines left by the guards.
Cut in Small Snips
Use hairdressing scissors, which are designed to cut hair, point them down and angled slightly to the side (7 o’clock if you’re right-handed; 5 o’clock if you’re a lefty), then snip off the desired length. This technique (called “point cutting”) leaves a more natural looking edge that grows out better than a blunt line.
Clean It Up
When cutting the hair around the ear, you have to move the ear out of the way by folding it forward or pulling it down. Start at the sideburn then work your way around the ear. For the back, use an electric trimmer to remove any hair on the neck, but do not buzz into the actual haircut.
Apply Product, Properly
This last step is actually a lesson for guys. Once the cut is complete, squeeze a nickel-sized dab of styling cream onto your fingertips. Rub just your fingertips together then, working from back to front, apply the product to hair like you’re shampooing it. This will prevent you from weighing down the front section with product.