Last month, I started cutting my own hair and, for once, it’s not a cry for help. (I think.)
Andrew Tobias, in his book, The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, suggested the Tinkle hair cutter as a way to save money on haircuts. And so, despite my coworkers’ aggressive arguments against the idea, I went in… head first. And against all odds, didn’t come out of it looking like a shaved Gritty.
Look, my hair grows quickly and, not to brag, I have a lot of it. I did the math: my $25 haircuts cost me a staggering $600 per year plus tip.
Tinkle, however poorly-named, is a decent $3 workaround. It’s a two-sided plastic comb with standard, easily replaceable razor blades embedded between the teeth that basically shear off your hair as you comb it. The two sides offer two different lengths, which even allows for a bit of layering.
And despite the memories of failed, self-afflicted haircuts (and the crew cuts that came after), I gave it a go and, dammit, you should too. Just make sure watch some tutorials online, and not learn as you go… like I did.
It was a Friday night when I threw caution to the wind and did the deed.
My dome was a mess, and not the cute kind; the sides were overgrown and desperately needed trimming. I usually wear an undercut with long bangs pulled back with pomade or styling clay, so I thought the Tinkle would be ideal to extend the time between haircuts.
So, I thought to myself, if I want to accomplish the night’s goal and make out with a stranger, it might be time to throw caution to the wind, and give the Tinkle a try.
After a few passes with the comb, I felt my confidence growing. Each pull trimmed a meager amount, and it felt super rewarding to be in complete control of my appearance.
But that accomplished feeling went away as soon as I realized I had no idea what the back of my head looked like. I didn’t own a little mirror, and I couldn’t start Tinkling blind. The memories of all the aborted haircuts flooded my mind, and I felt only dread.
In my panic, I started running through all of the scenarios. Maybe I could wear a beanie to the bars (it’s dark and it’s Brooklyn, no one would suspect a thing). Maybe I could just hide in my room until tomorrow, and shamefully admit to my barber that I tried to cut my own hair (fuck, fuck, fuck). Or maybe I can cut my losses, chalk it up to experience, and completely shave my head.
Then, I heard footsteps.
I quickly threw on sweats and asked my roommate to step in and help me cut my own hair. Ever the beacon of hope and mercy in my life, she agreed.
She calmed me down and said she completely understood why I went this route. She kindly took the Tinkle, brushed the back of my head and even used it to trimmed an inch off my bangs. She offered to assist me for my next attempt, too, but only if I gave her notice beforehand. (A few days later, she’d tell me that she spent the afternoon cleaning the bathroom before my Tinkle experiment. And I effectively ruined her work.)
Let me be clear: the Tinkle won’t replace your barber or stylist. It’s no substitute for a bonafide haircut. But it’s a dead simple way for guys with undercuts or girls with pixie cuts to clean themselves up between salon visits. The simpler your haircut, the more effective the Tinkle will be. And at $3 (or less if you buy more than one), the only thing you have to lose by giving it a try is your hair, which will grow back.
Oh, and if you need any more convincing, I totally made out with a stranger that Friday night. I think her name was Alice, and she said she liked my hair.