Why Not Try: Cutting your own hair at home

I'VE got this thing where I only really enjoy visiting barbers in foreign countries. It's one of the ways I get a cultural hit abroad.

I've had a cheap and nasty Vanilla Ice treatment in Shanghai - for the record I asked for a "short back and sides". And in the Philippines, at my request, I had a short-cropped mohawk.

At a $10 barber in Japan, to my horror, my hair was fashioned into a look that better suited an American soldier in the Second World War.

I have no interest in waiting in a queue with shaggy compatriots at an overpriced barber shop even with the promise of a frosty craft beer with my name on it. You'll have to dangle a much bigger carrot.

In fact, for roughly the same price as a trip to the aforementioned barber, I purchased a standard set of clippers from a reputable brand. That was more than a decade ago, and ever since that fateful trip to the shop I've been cutting my own hair in variety of styles.

This is not an activity for the faint of heart or the unco-ordinated. One must possess a steady hand as any sudden unwarranted movement could trigger the need for a "bare blade all over". Mistakes happen and I'd be lying to you if I said I've never had to make spontaneous creative detours.

One of the biggest challenges is working in front of a mirror and understanding that everything appears in reverse. "I'll just make a quick sweep towards the front. Oops, wrong way!"

But like with any craft, it takes time to find your feet. Within a couple of years - that's only about 12 haircuts - I found myself capable of creating seamless fades from the short cropped sides to the unkempt locks on top of my crown. And when my father celebrated his 60th birthday with a generation gap theme, I chose to go down a generation and sliced some "phat tracks" into my skullcap much to the delight of other party-goers.

Follow David on Twitter: @bigkamo

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