Lockdown Dilemma: Keep the bush or prune it back

It’s quickly becoming a blur to most of us, but the quarantine officially began on 23 March 2020. That means we’ve had 51 days slogging it in lockdown. That’s a long time to go without a haircut.

We all know that hair grows slow, but with so many days in isolation, it’s had a fair amount of time to sprout. For many of us looking in the mirror, we’re reminiscent to a garden bush that’s suddenly bloomed, with leaves and branches in all directions.

Indeed, hair grows at an average rate of just 0.35mm per day. By our maths, this means after a week our hair will have grown by 2.45mm. In a month, this adds up to about a 1cm (1/4 inch) of growth and after 51 days close to 1.8cm. Put simply, the bush needs be pruned back into shape.

With the hairdressers still closed, potentially until July and beyond, many of us are thinking of having a go ourselves. This has its pitfalls as reflected by the DIY haircut disasters which keep appearing on social media. For those ready to take the jump, you can take one of two paths…

The Pure Buzzcut

The buzzcut has been the clear favourite amongst the public. A buzzcut in its purest form is referred to as an 'induction cut'. 

It’s defined by having the same hair length all-over, which is most easily achieved with a pair of electric trimmers. Indeed, the name stems from the buzzing sound of electric clippers typically used to cut these short styles. 

The buzzcut is the definitive no-fuss hair style, which is easily and cheaply maintained, however it suits some men a lot more than others.

The male fashion blog, Mankind, comments, “If you have a lean face, strong jaw, and good cheekbones, you're a shoo-in for the buzz cut look. ... If you don't fall under that bracket, you may still be able to pull one off, but it'll more than likely require some creative use of beard grooming to square off your jawline.”

To get a buzz cut at home there are some key things to remember.

The first is preparation. Make sure your hair is as dry as possible, as wet hair sticks together and can slow down and possibly clog the trimmer. Also, if your hair has significant length (i.e. you can clasp it in your hands) then you should use scissors to shorten your hair first.

Now its time for execution. You should start by shaving with the clipper at the top of your head, using linear front-to-back motions. Then proceed to the front, back and sides of the head, taking care to go over the same area several times until it looks uniform and blends together as one.

Finally, once you've got the all-over that you desire, you need go down on your guards (or remove them) and carefully clip around the ears, neck and your sideburns, to get the accentuating definition.

Whilst in lockdown, the buzzcut has been popular amongst celebs, who have posted their new styles on social media including Instagram and TikTok.

Those that have gone with the same all over include the former England captain David Beckham, who is renowned for his previous hairstyles that include a mohawk and manbun. Beckham debuted the look on Instagram in April with the caption, “Just had to be done.”

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The More Refined

For those lucky enough to be spending quarantine with someone else, a more tailored haircut is a possibility. The other person can see everything. They can sculpt using different trimmer blades and a pair of scissors, and reach areas at the back of the head that are otherwise inaccessible.

This means you're not limited to the most basic of buzzcuts. More complicated styles like a crew cut and back-and-sides are on the menu.

With a crew cut the hair on the top of the head is faded from front to crown. The longer hair at the front is styled as a pompadour, as the large volume at the front (the “pomp”) gradually recedes towards the back of the head.

Then, to fully define the crew cut, the back and sides are clipped to a short, uniform length and then a transition is formed to the top of the head by tapering the lower part. This tapering is initially quite tricky but easy to get the hang of.

Those who have been lucky enough to have had haircut assistance during lockdown include Cristiano Ronaldo, who put his faith in his wife Georgina Rodriguez, to perform a crew cut.

Piers Morgan, also documented his hair cut from wife, whilst self-isolating from Good Morning Britain. He went for a safer back-and-sides.

In both cases the damage was far less than initially feared.

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As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at help@manbehindthemirror.co.uk