Surviving Between Haircuts: A Guide For Black Men

Guys, we know that when our line up isn’t crisp, neither is our confidence. Hair starts to grow every which way, and that outfit without the hat starts not to look like a good choice to wear. You can’t afford to shell out the extra $20 for a line-up at the barbershop? Your barber is out of town and you want to keep your relationship monogamous? (Side note: Your barber cheats on you with multiple customers, while you’re sticking with him or her because of some misguided sense of commitment.) No worries. Here are some tips on how to get by until your hairline gets pimped.

Dad Hats

I know what you’re saying.

“Why not a nice 7 3/4 Yankees fitted hat?”

“My fedora won’t work?”

“What about a beret?”

Chances are, if you ask any of those three questions, this article isn’t for you. All jokes aside, these three hats draw attention to the fact that your hair isn’t cut. It’s all in the way they are shaped. The curved brim of dad hats contours perfectly with the hairline. Besides your sideburns, the only thing that needs to be accounted for now is how it goes with the rest of your ensemble.

The most important aspect of wearing a dad hat is to make sure it fits correctly. Pick up the one that’s in your closet right now and turn it around. You see the velcro strap? Leave it untied and place it on your head. Move it gently enough so that it rests comfortably on your uncut scalp. Adjust it enough to think “Damn, I’m going to kill ’em at the mall tomorrow.” Now, take your hands and apply them to the velcro straps. Pull them tight enough to where the hat won’t fall off of your head and press them together so they stick. It’s like finding the right bowl of porridge. Too loose and you’ll lose that perfect fit whenever your head bobbles. If it’s too tight, you’ll experience severe discomfort the longer you have it on. But when it’s just right: you just may not want your hair cut any time soon. Ok, I’m lying. Since when has that ever happened in the history of ever?

Brush your hair. Seriously.

I love Kevin Durant, but seriously.

Every guy has at least one brush around their house at any given time. Do yourself a favor. Go to the Chinese store around the corner and buy two more brushes. Make sure they are soft bristle because if you happen to purchase a hard one, you’ll notice serious dandruff flakes when you go to brush you hair. Now once you have the brushes, keep one in your car. This is essential. Next, take out the other one and begin using it right away. Use the brush you have at home as a back up brush because trust me, you’ll lose one.

At any given time, we are only one day without brushing from looking like Kevin Durant. As black men, with natural hair, our hair bunched up into knots when we leave it unkept. The knots can grow to look even worse when we go to sleep without some sort of hair protection device on. To avoid Durant Syndrome, brush your hair starting from the crown and going out. You’ll notice it begin to lay down and fill in light spots that were previously knotted up. Keep doing it consecutively for days and you may begin to notice the formation of waves, the ultimate show of dedication of cleanliness. To elaborate on that, my friend, is cause for another article. Safe to say that you want to brush as much as possible, whenever possible. You’ll gain confidence that comes second to having a crisp lineup from your barber.

Cut a part into it.

Ah, thank rappers Drake and Nas for popularizing a dying trend. Women love parts in fades now. Chances are, you or one of your friends has a pair of hair clippers in their cabinet. WARNING: Unless you are experienced, DO NOT attempt to line yourself up. Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures, but if you mess up your line you’ll want to stay in the house for another month or so.

Do you have the clippers? OK, now comes the hard part. Pull up a picture of “black fades with parts” on Google and find one that matches the style you want to match. I personally recommend straight line parts because they’re hard to mess up. If you go with the “Juice” part, the hairstyle that Tupac had in the movie Juice, the curvature of the part can easily be messed up. Whatever you pick, go into the bathroom and place the phone where you can see it. Now that you’ve done that, fire those clippers up and cut that part into your head. It’s only a quick line and shouldn’t take more than 20 seconds. Once you’ve finished obsessing over it, brush your hair, and now you have a temporary Band-Aid fix. Seriously though, go get your haircut.

Grab some co-wash from the store.

How often do you wash your hair? If you had to think about it, chances are your hair isn’t looking as shiny as it should. Dandruff accumulates in dry hair and is easily visible. If you use a hard brush, the dandruff break off in giant flakes on the shirt that you wear when you brush it. Imagine brushing your hair in public, wearing a black shirt, and all of a sudden your shirt becomes decorated with white flakes. You want to avoid that.

Before you struggle to fit your head into the sink in a manageable position, head to the nearest store and pick up some shampoo co-wash for black people. You could probably get similar results from just about any shampoo, but you never know how other stuff can affect your hair down the road. Better safe, than sorry. Once you get it, go home and grab a brush to prepare for after the wash. Turn the water on and place your head under the nozzle. Feels amazing, right? Once your head is wet enough, lather the co-wash and begin massaging your scalp. After you rinse it out, dry your hair and look in the mirror. Is your hair darker? That’s because you’ve rid it of all of the dandruff hiding in plain sight. Congratulations! Now brush your hair and you could probably go another entire week.

Going between haircuts isn’t easy, but it’s manageable if you work hard at it. I’m going three weeks strong using the tips I listed in this article. Look for ways to afford that haircut, but in the mean time, avert your attention to protecting the homeland that is your hairline.