There are few things more satisfying than having your barber hold their mirror up behind your head, nodding in appreciation (honestly, this time) and leaving the chair knowing that your hairstyle is on point.
The only problem is that hair has an annoying tendency to grow. Clippered sides start to fluff out just days after your refresh and that light, textured style on top quickly becomes weighed down flat to your head.
But not everyone has the time, money or inclination to be in and out of their barber’s chair every week. So, to help maintain that freshly-cut appearance for longer, and put a stop to bad hair days between cuts, we enlisted Simon Crawford, barber at Johnny’s Chop Shop in London’s Soho. From essential product switches to danger-free DIY tips, he can make your style work harder for longer.
The best products to keep unkempt hair in check are clays, particularly ones with a strong hold and matte finish. “Scoop out a five pence-sized amount, rub through your palms to spread evenly then run your hands through damp or dry hair to shape,” advises Crawford. Anything weaker and the added weight of longer hair will bring down your morning style by lunch.
Another reason to lean towards dry products like clays over waxes, creams and gels is that the longer your hair is, the more product you’ll need. Therefore you’re more at risk of having hair look greasy by the end of the day. Switch to a stronger product as your hair grows – you’ll need less of it and the added hold will stop your style flattening and looking lank.
If you struggle to stop your hair looking greasy by the end of the day, try a product that’ll soak up the excess – like a dry shampoo. Crawford recommends Johnny’s Chop Shop Hobo Hair: “It’s an instant hair refresher, de-greaser, volume booster and style make-over.”
The Great Unwashed
The longer your hair grows, the longer you can go without washing it (provided you don’t use too much product). This is because the grease produced on your scalp has a longer distance to go.
Washing less can help you avoid dealing with the unruly fluff caused by everyday shampooing as your hair grows out. “Blow drying longer, unwashed hair can keep it in style – helping to contain the beast,” explains Crawford.
Clip And Luck
If you do feel brave enough to cut your own hair, handle with care. You wouldn’t be the first to enter a barbers in need of a salvage mission.
There are however a few rules of thumb for at-home clipper use. “Go straight up and make sure you don’t go over the curvature of your head, which would affect the blending of the hair,” says Crawford. “Follow the same principle at the back as at the sides – you don’t want to cut up into the crown.”
Go too high and you’ll ruin barber-standard blending that connects the back and sides to the top. Leave that to the professionals. Please.
Sharpen Your Focus
Homework on the top is, again, not for the fainthearted. But if you’re brave enough to take on scissors, then stick to thinning out the hair. “Snip into the hair vertically, so you don’t affect the shape of the cut,” says Crawford.
“You’re basically taking the weight out of the hair. It provides a short term effect of making it look more textured that’s particularly effective with longer hair.” Just make sure you keep a steady hand on the tiller.