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The haircut has always been a slightly awkward, stressful ritual that has rarely resulted in a satisfactory result. In early 2020, I received a hilariously bad $59 haircut from a salon in my neighborhood. From that point forward, I decided to take things into my own hands. How difficult could it be to buy my own equipment and start buzzing my own hair on a weekly basis?
I picked up the first electric grooming kit I could find on Amazon. Turns out it’s really easy to do this yourself. In a year where the common refrain was “I haven’t had my hair cut in 3 months ha-ha,” I always had a clean cut. Not to mention the many other benefits of having extremely short hair, but I’ll leave that praise for another article.
When you buzz your hair and especially when you buzz recently-buzzed hair, you end up with a lot of hard-to-remove little hairs. This depends on the thickness of your hair, how oily your scalp is, and a few other factors, but we can agree that it’s irritating. Getting just one of these hairs stuck in the collar of your shirt can ruin your day. For this reason, I’d schedule most of my in-person haircuts for the end of the day.
I’ve spent a lot of time attempting to clean up and remove little hairs after I cut my hair, and I’ve had a lot of success. In this blog post, I’ll tell you about my methods, many of which your barber should be able to employ if you’re still paying someone for the service.
Brush or Towel Your Head
Once the clipper has been turned off, you want to dry off and knock any loose hair onto the floor. This has been standard for every haircut I’ve ever received. This should take 30 seconds at most. You shouldn’t be checking the towel or brush to see how much hair it’s picking up, just take a few swipes and move on.
Wash Your Hair
This is one of those weird ironies about paying for someone else to cut your hair. Your hair needs to be washed if you want the majority of those pokey hairs to be eliminated. Yet, how many barbers and stylists used to make me ask for this service? Most of them. How many people are happy to pay $40, $50, $60+ for a haircut just to take it in stride and go home and hop in the shower? Weirdos.
Washing your hair is the best way to get rid of loose hair. I’m not a guru here. Use some shampoo and conditioner if you want. Then, towel dry. If you’re standing in a shower the amount of hair removed from your scalp and surrounding areas should be obvious when you look down. Don’t forget to clean it.
Things start to get weird here. I have started using my vacuum to clean up my scalp. I just take the shortest hose, hold it at an angle, and get to work. It’s a pretty neat sensation though this usage carries some risk of accelerating balding and simply blowing out your eardrum if you hold your attachment improperly. How can I tell that it’s working? Truthfully, I can’t.
The Lint Roller
This is the answer to your problems. This is the ultimate tool. Once your hair is completely dry, a lint roller is the best way to remove any remaining hair. It works equally well on skin or scalp.
Currently, I’m moving through a few rolls of the Scotch-Brite roller. I’m going to transition to the extra sticky version once I run out. The basic ones work pretty well, but I used to have a brand that I can no longer find on Amazon that was much stickier.
You can get 4 or 5 solid rotations out of each roller sheet before they lose adhesiveness. Since the sheets so clearly display the hair they’re removing, it’s tempting to be neurotic and keep using them until the sheets aren’t pulling anything. Truth be told, it usually takes me about 5 sheets before I’m satisfied. And, my god, is it satisfying.
I find it bizarre that these haven’t been widely adopted by barbers across the country. You can make similar headway using various types of tape, but I find it often leaves a residue and is harder to work with in general. If you’ve been experimenting with different brands of lint rollers or tape, please let me know.
The Microfiber Cloth
Ever feel like, no matter what you do, when you slip your shirt on it still manages to attract some hairs? Why not embrace that fact and expect the same performance from a microfiber towel? I bought a set of Zwipes towels about 5 years ago and I’ve found that they make a huge difference not only in cleaning but also for finishing the job after I’ve done all my other cleanup.
First, I wet the cloth and scrub my head. Then, I do the same thing with a dry cloth. It always, and I mean always, will pull new hairs. This is even despite the other methods being quite effective. Microfiber is magic.
As the months have passed by and I’ve learned more about grooming myself, I’ve realized that there’s a good reason that most barbers won’t go crazy trying to clean up your scalp after a haircut. It takes a really long time! Even today, it takes me roughly as long to clean up as it does to actually cut my hair. The cleanup is never as satisfying, but is equally necessary.
Though this is one of my fringe posts, I hope someone faced with the same problem will stumble upon it and learn something. I’d be happy to compare notes.