A Barber’s Guide to Trimming Your Hair in Quarantine

Per our increasingly shaggy video chats, this is the article we all need right now.


First things first, while it might be tempting to just start cutting your own hair in quarantine — you’ve watched your barber do it for years, after all — that’s generally a terrible, awful, ill-advised idea (case in point). In fact, when I asked barber Asia J if we could get away with clipping our own hair while we wait for barbershops to open back up, she responded, “Only if you have clippers and want a [buzz cut], but other than that, just grow your hair out and keep it conditioned.” This is especially true if you have thick, curly hair, which is a whole lot tougher to tackle than thin, straight hair.

But that doesn’t mean you need to give up entirely: You can always make an attempt at your minor trimming needs during quarantine with these tips from hairstylist Natalie Rose Dixon.

How to Trim the Nape of Your Neck
First things first: Don’t try to line up the back of your neck — according to Dixon, that’s a job best left for your barber. Instead, she recommends using electric clippers to trim only the peach fuzz growing just underneath your actual neck hairline: “Place your hand over the hair on the back of your neck, then trim everything below your hand,” she explains. It really is that simple!

How to Trim Around Your Ears
Bushy hair sprouting around the ears can make any hairstyle look like a shaggy mess. Fortunately, Dixon has a quick-and-easy process for trimming around the ears: “Comb the hair over the tops of your ears, then use electric clippers to carefully trim along the outsides of the ears,” she suggests. Just be careful not to get too carried away.

How to Trim Your Sideburns
“Lots of guys use the heights of their ears to gauge how high they should trim their sideburns,” Dixon says. “But the problem is, most people’s ears are different heights.” Knowing this, she recommends drawing an imaginary line across the center of your face, then using electric clippers to trim your sideburns accordingly. For more comprehensive burn-trimming tips, check out our guide to perfectly even sideburns.

There you go: Equipped with these tips, you can make it through quarantine without turning into a literal dandelion. Just try to use restraint, or else you’re sure to get a scolding from your barber when things open back up again.