Fashion icon Billy Porter is getting into the men’s grooming business.
On Monday, Barba Men’s Grooming Boutique, an N.Y.C. barbershop, launched the first edition of its ‘Quarancuts Virtual Hair School,’ featuring actor Billy Porter and his husband Adam Porter-Smith. In the Instagram video, the salon’s founder Xavier Cruz walked Porter through giving his partner an at-home haircut step-by-step, to demonstrate how others can keep up their grooming regimes while social distancing during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“These are tough times, and I know a lot of you are not feeling yourselves, and many of you are cutting your own hair. I’ve seen those selfies,” said Cruz in the video with a wide-eyed expression. “Or maybe you’re asking, your brother, your mother, your father or husband to cut your hair, but they’re not exactly professionals. So we’re launching Quarancuts Virtual Hair School.”
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At the start of the video, when asked if he’s ever cut someone’s hair before, Porter, in a large pair of bedazzled glasses, jokes, “No, not on white people.”
Cruz jumped right into the tutorial, talking the Pose actor through the process while including helpful techniques for a smooth cut. While Porter admitted that he had trouble trimming around the ears, the finished product looked well done. For their participation, Porter was awarded his “Amateur Barber Certification,” while Porter-Smith was given a “Certificate of Bravery.”
Inspired to give your significant other an at-home cut? Cruz shared some of his top tips with PEOPLE, below.
What are the biggest mistakes you have seen people make when it comes to at-home haircuts?
“Well, with my guidance, there’s little room for mistakes so, I encourage those who want to take on a haircut at home is, listen to a professional. The mistakes I’ve seen are men taking a clipper to their heads with the wrong guard thinking they’ll have plenty of room to work with and all of a sudden, there’s a massive hole to fix. At that point, you’ll just want to cut the whole throng down.”
What’s the most important thing first-timers should know if they are attempting to do a haircut by themselves?
“Less is more. I cannot stress it enough. If you’re going in for the first time, you’ll want to start with the largest clipping setting first. You can always inch your way shorter. Make sure you have all the necessary tools before you start.”
Is it a bad time to consider a buzzcut if you don’t normally rock a shaved head?
“This is THE perfect opportunity to try a shaved or military cut. I’ve had many clients ask. ‘How would I look with a shaved head?’ Nine times out of ten, they will never go for it but now? Why not? It’ll grow back before we’re all sent back to work.”
What was it like collaborating with Billy Porter on a quarancut?
“Billy was amazing. A little nervous at first but I think he nailed it. He’s a talented guy so, why would this be any different from his many other accomplishments? We had a lot of fun. He’s a fast learner and obviously a very patient man”
What are some ways people can help support their local hairstyling communities during this challenging time for businesses?
“If you’re able to afford it, don’t let the tipping stop. My team has been getting a little help here and there from their regulars. That shows loyalty, love, and support. I think it’s a beautiful thing. If money is an issue (and we all know it is) give a shout out to your stylist on social media and don’t forget to mention the salon they work for. This will help to keep them relevant. All we see and hear about is the situation we’re all in.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.
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