Expert advice for cutting your own hair in lockdown

Truefitt & Hill managing director Khushwant Dhanoa, centre, with barbers Aras Sobooti and Affy Zulkifli. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong
Truefitt & Hill managing director Khushwant Dhanoa, centre, with barbers Aras Sobooti and Affy Zulkifli. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

As the weeks in COVID lockdown drag on, Canberrans are forced to confront their growing locks, shaggy fringes and grey hair.

Hairdressers and barbers remain closed, so should you try to be your own hair stylist and cut or dye your own hair?

Managing director of Truefitt & Hill barbers Khushwant Dhanoa said people with short hair could have a go at trimming their hair with clippers - with a few words of caution.

"As far as guys that are keeping the hair on the shorter side before lockdown, if they just trim the sides with the clipper, their top will tend to grow longer but because he would have been shaped and styled by the barber prior to that, the length of hair would be growing accordingly so they can just slick it back and gel it back," Mr Dhanoa said.

"Scissor work is a completely different thing altogether and unless they know what they're doing I generally wouldn't recommend it because it doesn't turn out very well.

"A more aggressive approach would be... basically give yourself a buzz cut, like a military cut, and just set it to a number two or number three clipper."

To give a little bit of shape, Mr Dhanoa suggested trying a lower number on the sides of the head and a higher setting on the top.

"The other important thing that I highlight to clients is if they do make a mistake, don't worry about it too much, it's just hair.

"It'll grow back and we are here at the end of the lockdown to help them sort it out."

If you are going to give a home buzz cut a try, Mr Dhanoa said it was best to cover yourself with a sheet to prevent hair getting into your clothes. Set up your home salon outside if possible to minimise mess.

Truefitt & Hill managing director Khushwant Dhanoa, centre, with barbers Affy Zulkifli and Aras Sobooti. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Truefitt & Hill managing director Khushwant Dhanoa, centre, with barbers Affy Zulkifli and Aras Sobooti. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

For people with longer hair, it's a little more complicated.

Co-owner of Revelation Hair and Beauty in Manuka Sarah Marchetti urged women be patient and wait until salons reopen for a haircut.

"Don't try and get out the kitchen scissors because you can just cause more of a disaster," she said.

"I know that there's been people out there who do cut their fringes and they've been doing that for years and if you feel as if you have the confidence to do so, then go for it. But if you've never done it before, don't."

For those who have their hair coloured in the salon, Mrs Marchetti urged them not to purchase hair dye from the supermarkets or chemists.

"It's more of a muck up job for us to fix to fix up when you coming back in," she said.

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Her salon was offering salon-quality home hair colouring kits for clients who couldn't stand their regrowth.

She recommended staying away from the home-bre (home ombre hair colouring) and encouraged people to embrace their greys. It doesn't mean you can't play around with your hair at home.

"If you are trying to grow it out, there's some actually excellent YouTube videos and lots of people on Instagram who specialise in up dos and that sort of thing and creativity.

"So there's nothing wrong with experimenting, with trying to put your hair up or curling your hair or trying even the old school crimping and stuff like that... I say yeah go for it."

The final tip: call your barber or hairdresser as soon as they're able to open as there will be a long queue of hairy customers waiting for a trim.

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This story Should you cut or colour your own hair? Here's what the experts say first appeared on The Canberra Times.