Almost every day, it seems, I am fixing a “mistake” some guy has made on his own head. From shaving the temple points to trying to cut his hair, taking things into your own hands may sometimes result in tragedy (or at least leave you looking silly before you make it into the barbershop. To that end, I’ve listed my five tips for five mistakes men make with their hair.

1. Shaving Off Sideburns

Five Mistakes Men Make with Their Hair
Five Mistakes Men Make with Their Hair. Photo © Cultura RM/Wonwoo Lee | Getty Images

Never trim your sideburns higher than about one-quarter inch below the point where the top part of the ear connects to your head. This isn’t the 1980’s when the horrible trend of shaving the sideburn higher than the top of the ear was popular, and I hope w never see that trend again. Your sideburns also play a big part in framing your face, so modify them accordingly. These days, there is no real trend for how long your sideburns should be. In general, do what fits your style. That said, a longer sideburn works well on a square face or a face with a long chin, a short sideburn can balance a short or weak chin, and a round face can benefit from a fuller, medium-length sideburn. Another great rule is that, if you wear short hair, a more neatly trimmed sideburn looks appropriate, while those with longer hair can pull off a fuller burn.

2. Shaving Off Temple Points

Shaving Off Temple Points
Photo © JFCreative | Getty

Never shave off the point of hair at your temples. For almost every man, the hair on the sides of the head forms a little bit of a point just above the temples. This is completely natural, yet I have a few clients who seem to insist on shaving it off, and it just looks strange. As a barber, I will often neaten up the area to remove any stray hairs and, for some, taper this area a little tighter to match the face. Usually, the shape of the hair will naturally conform to the shape of the temple area. Anytime one shaves beyond the natural hairline, it can look odd and, after a few days, looks unsightly as it grows out.

3. Shaving the Neckline Too High

Shaving the Neckline Too High
Photo © Damien Richard |

Don’t shave the back of the neck high into the hairline. It drives me nuts to see a barber block a haircut high into a client’s neckline. This may look good for a minute, but two days after the haircut starts to grow out and stubble appears on the neck, the haircut will look like (insert your favorite expletive here). For those who would like a tighter, higher, neckline, opt for a taper instead as it will grow out more neatly. If you do like a blocked or rounded (outlined) look, ask your barber to stick to the natural hairline so that the hair will grow out evenly. It is also helpful to know the different types of hairline finishes so you can choose the one that is right for you.

4. Cutting Their Own Hair

Cutting Their Own Hair
Photo © Chris Windsor | Getty Images

Never cut your own hair. Unless you’re performing a simple at home buzz, probably your hair is best left in the hands of a hairstylist. Your hair is such a big part of your look; it’s essential to get it done right. There are more ways to save money on grooming and haircuts, although most barbers and hairstylists go through somewhat extensive training before they are allowed to pick up a pair of shears. Cutting hair — and doing it right is not as easy as it looks.

5. Shopping on Price Alone

Five Mistakes Men Make with Their Hair
Five Mistakes Men Make with Their Hair. Getty Images.

Never shop for your haircut on price alone. As I mentioned above, your haircut is a HUGE part of your look. In my career, I have fixed the more cheap chain and overpriced salon haircuts than I care to count. An excellent haircut is worth a little extra time and effort than going to a cheap, high-volume chain, but a high price doesn’t always mean you’ll get a great haircut. The decision on who cuts your hair should be based on a variety of factors such as your hair length and personal style. So, consider other factors before you choose a barber or stylist!

Avoid These Mistakes

If you’re guilty of one of the above men’s hair mistakes, now you know. Consult your barber or stylist who can show you things like proper sideburn length and how to maintain your style between visits.

How to Shave Your Sideburns

Shaving your sideburns can make or break your haircut. Sideburns add distinction to every man and are part of the everyday look. Learn how to properly shave your sideburns in our video.

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