Need A Haircut During The Pandemic? Here’s How To Do It At Home

illustration of woman cutting hair
Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ
illustration of woman cutting hair
Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

Need A Haircut During The Pandemic? Here’s How To Do It At Home

Bad hair days and bedhead abound with barbershops and salons around the country closed because of the coronavirus pandemic — but don’t break out your Flowbee just yet.

Reset asked two local stylists to share tips for scruffy amateurs who want to take matters into their own hands. Here’s their advice on how to tackle an at-home haircut:

illustration of a set of haircutting tools

When it comes to giving a quality haircut, the right tools are everything.

“Getting like a $50 or $30 pair of shears will make everything easier,” said Laura Boton, who owns Sine Qua Non Salon. “Don’t use … steak shears or whatever. … You must have something that resembles a haircutting shear to make it work.”

When working with African American hair, which can sometimes have a more coiled texture, stylist Kenyatta Mitchell-Echols recommends having cutting shears, a wide-toothed comb and a detangling brush on hand.

illustration of a hair style on a phone

As you pick out your new do, be realistic about what’s possible.

“I would begin with a really simple plan to avoid any catastrophic mistakes,” Boton said — think more of a trim, not a new set of bangs.

“We’re talking about minor tweaks when you’re doing your own hair at home,” she emphasized. “I wouldn’t try anything major.”

Find a friend

If you’re cutting your own hair, things may get a little dicey once you get to the back. Mitchell-Echols, who works at YO:U salon in Noble Square, recommends using a three-way mirror for a much-needed extra set of eyes.

If you don’t have one at home, she suggests asking a trusted roommate or family member to help with those hard-to-reach sections.

illustration of a video game console

Whether your child is squirmy or scared, keeping them still long enough for a trim can be tricky.

“I think the key is distractions,” said Boton, who’s used to working with rambunctious kids at her salon. “So iPad, Game Boys, any device that could keep them occupied.”

If you’re giving your child a barber cut, try having them wear headphones to block out the sound of the trimmers, Mitchell-Echols said.

Take it slow illustration

Above all else, don’t be afraid to take it slow.

“Taking your time is very important because it’s not what you do,” Mitchell-Echols said. Keep it simple for now, and thank (and tip!) your stylists when you finally get that first cut when the stay-at-home order lifts.

Libby Berry is a digital producer at WBEZ. Follow her @libbaberry. Katherine Nagasawa is WBEZ’s audience engagement producer. Follow her @Kat_Nagasawa. Zach Wilson is a production intern for WBEZ’s ‘Reset with Jenn White.’ Follow him @wachzilson25.