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Barber Nic Singer demonstrates how to give a home haircut, he is holding an electric razor and pointing at a dummy head with beard.
Photograph: Supplied/The Lid Doctor

A barber's top tips for fixing up your haircut in lockdown

The head honcho from the Lid Doctor in Surry Hills walks you through home haircuts and beard maintenance

Written by
Alannah Maher
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Has the closure of hair salons and barbershops got you feeling a little long in the ‘do? Overgrown edges, fades, bushy beards and forlorn fringes have got many of us feeling more shaggy than shagadelic lately. Local barber Nic Singer from Surry Hills’ The Lid Doctor is on a mission to fix your “lockdown lid” – and by lid, he means your haircut, your ‘do, the statement on the top of your head that caps you off. Singer is providing one-on-one haircut guidance over Zoom free of charge, with a donation to charity encouraged. He got us clued up with a rough and ready guide to fixing up your lockdown ‘do so you can feel fresh for all those important video meetings. 

What you’ll need

A decent home haircut doesn't need a lot of jazzy or expensive equipment:

  • An electric hair clipper (you can get a professional set for less than $100)
  • Some clipper guards (to set the length of the hair)
  • A comb
  • A couple of clips
  • Scissors that are designed for cutting hair (so not kitchen or toenail scissors!)

You can normally buy all the above in a set.

Rear view of person's head as they get a haircut.Photograph: Supplied/The Lid Doctor

The Lid Doctor’s top tips for tidying up your haircut at home

"When doing any kind of home haircutting, always start by leaving more length than you first think. You can always go shorter, but you can’t put it back on. I recommend getting someone to cut your hair for you, it's tricky to do it yourself. Just tapering out the sideburns and the neckline will give the hair some definition and shape. If you can use the clippers to outline around the ear and down the neckline, it will smarten up the hair instantly. 

For tightening up those fades:

  • Always keep the fade lower than you think, it's much easier to blend any lines when you have more room to do it. 
  • Use light, controlled flicking movements with the clippers – you shouldn’t be ‘digging’ the clippers into the hair.
  • When cutting, don’t take the fade above the widest part of the head (that should then blend nicely into the top section)

For beards:

  • It's always nice to add some shape to the face with a beard. Achieve this by leaving the beard longer around the mouth and jawline to add some definition. 
  • When trimming a fuller beard, here’s an easy trick to help get a nice shape: use the clippers with a longer guard, turn them upside down and remove the bulk in a downward movement. If there’s any length you want to take off, use the clippers in an upwards movement. 
  • If you are growing a beard for the first time, it can get pretty scruffy and itchy, so I recommend using beard oil to help keep the skin healthy underneath and the hair soft. This will settle as it gets longer. I would then recommend investing in a beard brush or comb.

You can also just embrace the mane! It might be nice to be forced into a new style. And you can try out new styling products along the way. A personal favourite that I use in my studio is Evo."

Rear view of person's head as they get a haircut.Photograph: Supplied/The Lid Doctor

How to book in for a virtual haircut service 

Singer has launched a new virtual service where he provides one-on-one guidance via Zoom on how to achieve a pro haircut at home. You can book a Zoom tutorial through theliddoctor.com.au. There is also a cutting guide video available by request through the website, or you can email (theliddoctors@gmail.com) or make contact through Instagram (@liddoctor) or Facebook.

While Singer is providing this service free of charge, he is encouraging people to make a donation to one of two charities to pay it forward when they use his services. Short Back & Side Walks is a non-profit charity that Singer has been working with for years; it provides hair and beauty services for vulnerable and marginalised people, judgment and cost free. “It’s an amazing charity that has bases all over Australia that provide regular nights in easily accessible locations to those who are in need of someone to talk to and boost their self-confidence. They are always looking for new people to join their teams.” You can make a donation on the website

The other charity is Lifeline, Australia’s leading suicide prevention service, offering a 24-hour crisis support hotline (13 11 14). Since the current lockdown, Lifeline has experienced a record number of calls. You can make a donation on the website

Who is the Lid Doctor?

Originally from Surrey in England, Singer started hairdressing over 15 years ago at the age of 15 as a Saturday assistant in a hairdressing salon. After emigrating to Sydney in 2014, he has worked throughout some of the best barbershops in and around Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

In January of this year he set up the Lid Doctor, a barber studio at Salon Lane in Surry Hills. Salon Lane is a coworking concept offering a shared workspace for the hair and beauty industry. “I like to think the Lid Doctor provides a unique perspective of barbering, somewhere everyone is welcome. We see hair for what it is, and it's a safe space for everyone to express themselves. We provide traditional services and contemporary techniques in a modern and friendly setting.” 

Are your lockdown locks not your only problem?

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