Watch a Master Barber Transform This Guy’s Look After a Year Without a Haircut

Following 2020’s lockdowns, we all know how it feels to go for longer than we’d like without a haircut—and what a difference some grooming can make when it comes to how we look but also how we feel about ourselves. In a recent video on the Beardbrand channel, barber James Zap at The Dapper Den Barbershop in Ridgefield, Connecticut, gave a transformative haircut to a social worker client Ian, who hadn’t had his hair touched in nearly 12 months.

“It’s probably been just shy of a year,” says Ian. “This is the longest I’ve ever had it. I think maybe December [2019] was the last time… Normally it’s pretty short.”

As Ian is thinning slightly on his crown, James decides to give him a skinfade but keep some length on top so he can brush back a nd conceal where the hair is thinner. He uses a set of clippers to swiftly remove the majority of the bulk, then shaves in a guideline around the side of his head for the fade, and razes everything below it. “The back of your neck needs some sun,” he jokes. “It hasn’t seen it in a while.”

James then starts trimming the hair on top, saying he’ll come back and finish tidying the fade line later. “If I stay in one spot too long I’m just going to overwork it,” he explains, “and the last thing you want to do is move that line up.”

Once the hair is done, he starts giving the edges of the beard a cleaner, sharper line (
“It’s like power-washing a deck; satisfying for everybody!”) and blends the beard into the fade. He also trims back a lot of the hair at the lower end of the beard, which is actually neck hair, and squares off the outline for a clearer shape and neater look.

He then douses the hair and beard with salt spray, blow-dries the hair and beard, and applies balm to the beard, and Ian is stunned by just how different he looks—and he expects his wife to be even more thrilled.

“You’re looking great, man, I mean the hair alone,” says James. “The beard was just a normal clean up, kind of a maintenance thing after not being touched for a year, it’s going to look really clean and nice now. But the hair, man. There’s a difference.”

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