We’re getting to the stage of lockdown where people are really starting to miss their local barber.

Particularly if you have short hair, it becomes annoyingly noticeable when it’s too long. If you’re considering giving yourself a chop at home, there are a few things Anthony Laban from the Anthony Laban Barbershop wants you to know though.

Hair
First thing’s first, Laban says: "Don’t do it yourself – even barbers get someone else to cut their hair." So if you’re currently living with other people, definitely ask for their help – particularly for the bits round the back you can’t see yourself. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for people who live alone.

While a lot of men have opted to shave their heads entirely (a straightforward solution to the problem), Laban says: "Remember, now is not the time for a ‘new style’ – just trim. Don’t get carried away!"

Laban advises trimming around the collar, then moving on to near the ears. "Go lightly," he says, "this should give you an idea how much to cut off the rest."

The barber's top tip is "comb hair directly away from the head", and try to keep everything even. Go gently – particularly if this is your first time cutting your own hair or someone else’s – as it’s easier to trim as you go, than fix things if you hack too much back. Laban says: "Lockdown is not forever, and within a few weeks you’ll hopefully be back in your barber’s chair." 

Shaving
Most men are so used to the process of shaving they don’t really give it much thought. Lockdown is a good opportunity to see if you can grow out that beard, or better yet, actually enjoy the ritual of shaving.

First, Laban says: "Exfoliate – really scrub! If you haven’t got an exfoliator, use soap and really lather up." Then run a flannel under a hot tap and wrap it around your stubble – this will help open up your pores.

Next, Laban advises rubbing oil into the stubble, followed by lathering up soap. Then it’s time to shave: "Keep the razor clean under a running hot tap, and shave with the growth." Repeat the process again, this time shaving against the growth.

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When you’re done, "run a flannel under a cold tap", says Laban, and wrap it around your face – this will help close the pores and minimise any redness.

"Finally, moisturise," says Laban. "Slather on the moisturiser and treat yourself to one last hot towel to get the cream deep into your skin. Apply aftershave if you feel the urge – treat yourself!"