Updated: Jul 9
April of 2020 is a strange time for humanity, and an even stranger time for humanities hair. In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and flatten the curve, many “non-essential” businesses have been forced to close their doors. Unfortunately this means barber shops too. The CDC has advised against gatherings of ten or more people and recommended that people “social distance” and stay 6 feet away from one another, all of which do not allow barber shops to continue to operate.
(Here is a link showing how you can help support barbers during these tough times)
The reality is that until we are able to control the spread of coronavirus, you will probably not be able to get a professional haircut. Some barbers are calling it “hairnobyl.” So, unless you are planning on looking like Tom Hanks from castaway, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Though this is easier said than done, especially for those with a receding hair line.
Hair loss can be extremely emotionally and physically draining, tack on the fact that it drastically narrows your haircut options, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster during this pandemic. When your hairline is receding you can no longer pull of any haircut, only certain cuts that are curated to thinner hair will look good. Since a professional haircut is out of the question, this article is going to explore 4 different haircuts for guys with receding hairlines, all of which are relatively simple and can be done at home. By the end of this article you will know how to give yourself 4 professional looking haircuts and be able to make the decision about which haircut is right for you.
Number one: The classic buzz cut
Kicking it off is a timeless classic, the buzz cut. So simple yet so clean, a buzz cut requires no styling or maintenance, not to mention that your hair will dry off in seconds, and will make your morning routine a breeze.
A buzz cut is great for a receding hairline because it forces you to own it. When your hair is buzzed, your hairline is exposed. If you can own this look you will undoubtedly come out of this quarantine with a newfound confidence!
When opting for the buzz cut look, you have two options: you can go for the no-guard (almost bald) look, or you can use a #2 or #3 guard. We recommend the longer option if you still want to have it look like you have hair on your head.
How to do it:
Start with a #3 guard and buzz the top and front.
Then switch to the #2 guard and cut the sides and back. Going one guard shorter on the sides and back brings the hair slightly tighter to the sides, therefore not drawing as much attention to the temples (i.e. areas of hair loss).
Finally, use a #1 guard to trim the sideburns and those pesky neck hairs (hint: definitely use a mirror for this step). Be careful during this last step to not go too high or it might not look natural and you may have to opt for the clean shave look.
Voila, now you have a nice looking, easily manageable haircut to get you through the quarantine. Oh, and hopefully a newfound confidence to be able to own your hairline!
Number two: the (short) crew cut
Another classic, the crew is another relatively simple cut that looks great, even if you have a receding hairline.
Just like the buzz, the crew cut requires little maintenance (depending on the length you choose for the front) and is relatively easy to pull off at home. Essentially, a crew cut is where the hair is tapered, meaning it is shorter in the back and the sides and a bit longer towards the front. If you have a receding hairline, we recommend keeping it shorter as it may not look as good with thin hair, just being honest here. But, you can always try for a longer style and if you don’t like it cut it shorter. Again, since the hair is shorter on the sides it takes the attention away from the temples, making it a perfect cut for a receding hairline.
How to do it:
Start with a #2 or #3 guard and cut the sides and back. Work from the bottom up here eventually stopping at a point where you want the longer hair to be.
Now cut the top/front with the length that you want. We recommend starting with a #4 guard for the crown area and a #5 for the front.
Then comes the hard(ish) part. You want to use a guard size in between the two sizes you already used (i.e. if you used a #2 for the sides and a #5 for the top, use a #3) and blend the length at the bottom with the length at the top. This sounds harder than it is, essentially you are just making sure there isn’t an obvious contrast between the longer and shorter lengths. This will almost certainly take more time than the buzz cut, but it will be worth it.
And there you have it, a cut that gives some variety to a buzz cut while still looking good on someone with a receding hairline.
Number three: high and tight
Even though it is the most complex cut on this list, it is still relatively easy to pull off. The high and tight haircut is essentially a “longer” version of the crew cut with a few modifications.
Instead of tapering the sides and back, the top remains two guards longer and the front and crown are the same length.
This is a haircut with lots of room for personalization. The reason that it looks good for a receding hairline is the same as the crew cut, the sides are shorter and the top is longer which takes the attention away from your temples. Although with the high and tight haircut you can keep the top as long as you want, meaning that if you have thick enough hair you can use it to cover your temples as a styling option. This option is geared more towards people who still have thicker hair, but maybe are just receding slightly. If you have thinner hair you might want to choose one of the other options.
How to do it:
Start with a shorter #1 or #2 for the sides and back of your hair. Work your way up stopping at the point where you want the hair to be longer.
Use a #5 or #6 to trim the top and front.
Finally use a #3 or #4 to blend the two lengths. This may seem like the same process as the crew cut but the contrast in lengths is much greater and the taper is a bit more profound.
All in all this is a good option if you like a slightly longer look. It’s clean, easy, and a great option for someone who’s hair just started receding.
Number four: the one you didn’t want to see… but maybe you needed to: the clean shave
Hair loss can be debilitating. It can have a drastic effect on your emotional state and suck you dry of any energy you might have had otherwise, it’s no fun.
Why not try something new while you’re stuck in quarantine? Since you are probably not going to be seeing anyone besides your close friends and family for the time being, there is no better time to try the clean-shaven look!
Not only would it give you the chance, with no repercussions, to see what you look like with a shaved head and see if you like it, but if you do like it, it could also save you time and money that would have otherwise been spent on treatments. Get your families opinion on it and decide if you think you can own the bald look. Bonus: studies have shown that being bald doesn’t deter the ladies at all, in fact some of them like it.
Don’t think of it as giving up, think of it as an experiment. If you end up not liking the final product, you still have time to grow your hair out before the quarantine is over and you have to go back in to work.
How to do it:
Start by trimming your hair with the shortest guard. This will soften the hair and make it easier for the razor to cut.
Next, check for moles and bumps that you might not have felt otherwise, you don’t want to slice yourself open.
Third, apply shaving gel across your entire head. This ensures that the razor will glide across your scalp with ease.
Lastly shave the darn hair off. Use light, gentle strokes and shave in the opposite direction that your hair grows so that you don’t hurt yourself.
You’re done. Congrats, you had the confidence to try something many men are extremely apprehensive to do. If you end up loving it then you will be saving a hefty amount on time, energy, and money on treatments. If you don’t, at least you can say you tried and you can regrow your hair before the quarantine is over.
The world is a strange place right now. The best thing that you can do for yourself and others is to follow social distancing guidelines set by the CDC, meaning don’t go to the barbershop even if it is open. Hopefully one of the haircuts we talked about above is appealing to you because you can keep yourself looking and feeling fresh even if you’re at home all day. There’s no better time to try out a new hairstyle, especially for guys with receding hairlines. Who knows, maybe you will love it and never go back, or maybe you will hate it and grow your hair out again, either way there are lots of options to my fellow balding kin.
Whether you decide to go with the crew cut or the high and tight, you should still be using treatments that can help you keep your hair. Finasteride and minoxidil, as well as several other treatments, can block DHT, increase blood flow, and improve your overall hair health. Pair that with a good haircut and you’re good to grow.