It can be difficult to get your hair cut and styled as a black man. All hair has the same composition, but how it grows differs by ethnicity. African-American hair grows from a flat-shaped follicle and tends to be extremely curly. This can make your hair difficult to style, as clippers that have no trouble with straighter hair may struggle when faced with coarse, kinky hair.
But you don’t need to worry. There are clippers on the market that can handle African-American hair, and in this guide, we’ve compiled the 7 best hair clippers for black men. They have certain traits that make them ideal for black men, letting you drop your worries and just get on with styling.
Don’t wait up; take control of your hair now!
Table Of Contents
Best Hair Clippers For Black Men Comparison Table
|Wahl 5-Star Magic Clip
|Wahl Clipper Elite Pro
|Heavy duty motor
|Wahl Lithium Ion+ 9818
|4 Extra head
|Remington Shortcut Pro
|Extra wide Blade
|Wahl Lithium Ion Clipper
|Wahl Peanut Clipper/Trimmer
|Oster Fast Feed Clipper
|Wet or Dry
Top Seven Hair Clippers For Black Hair
Out of all the clippers on the market, we’ve chosen these seven as the best clippers for black hair. You need a good bit of power to cut through African-American hair, and we’ve selected them specifically for that very purpose.
At the very top of our list is an excellently-made clipper from an excellent brand. The Wahl Magic Clip is everything that the marketing promises. It’s basically a standard Wahl clipper that’s shed its wire, and it weighs a very light ten ounces.
Cutting power is provided by a rotary motor. It’s not as powerful as Wahl’s classic V9000 that powers its flagship clippers, but it still packs a good amount of punch. Combine that with the #2161 stagger-tooth crunch blades, and you have a combination that won’t balk at any type of hair. Thick, coarse, curly, the Magic Clip goes through it all.
To control cut length, you have two options. The box comes with eight combs, the longest being a full 1″ and the shortest being 1/16″. A taper lever allows for fine adjustments of blade position, and thus makes the Magic Clip a good tool for fading and blending.
The Magic Clip runs both corded and cordless, so you’re never at a loss. Its battery lasts for 90 minutes from a full charge, and the battery needs 2 hours to top up. The cord goes into the tail, in the same spot as on a typical clipper. Since it’s a lithium-ion battery, you don’t have to worry about it weakening as the charge depletes; it’ll perform at the same level whether you’re at 100% or 10%.
Also included in the box are some implements for clipper care: a blade guard, blade oil, and cleaning brush. With these, you have all you need to keep the Magic Clip running smoothly.
We do have to note that there are some downsides. First is one of convenience: there’s no battery indicator, so you’ll have to track for yourself how long you’ve been cutting; though since it’s also usable corded, this isn’t as bad as it sounds. Another downside is that its blades are almost too sharp. If you’re using them with no gap between the two blades for the closest cut possible, you risk cutting into the skin.
At the end of the day, it’s a lightweight package that contains the perfect combination of motor, blades, and battery life. Another clipper can be better in one or two of those factors, but none of them come close to putting all of them together. The Magic Clip won’t let you down.
You could do a lot worse than Wahl’s Clipper Elite Pro Kit. Wahl certainly means it when they call it a kit; not only do they pack it in a premium hard storage case, but they also include a whole range of other accessories, adding up to a 21-piece kit that makes an excellent home cutting setup.
The kit is centered around its clipper, which at 19 3/8 ounces is actually pretty heavy. It’s contained in a sleeker version of Wahl’s standard clipper body, so you’ve got the same solid grip around the case. Plus it’s nice and durable; you don’t have to worry about it coming apart if it gets knocked about.
Normally we wouldn’t recommend an electromagnetic motor when it comes to cutting African-American hair, but the Elite Pro packs enough power in its premium motor to overcome our objections. Couple that with Wahl’s self-sharpening stainless steel blades, and hair that would normally pose a problem to lesser clippers won’t stop the Elite Pro.
To control cut length, you’ve got a combination of combs and a taper lever. The taper lever is fairly usual, giving you fine control of blade position. But the combs are special. Wahl has packed their premium combs, and once you’ve tried them, you’ll never go back to another comb. They’re made of tough plastic and have a stainless steel clip to attach tight onto the clipper. You get ten of them, of lengths from 1″ to 1/16″.
It runs on an eight-foot heavy-duty cord that can survive pretty much any abuse, just like the clipper it powers. There’s also a cord wrap to help secure the cord when it’s not in use. The rest of the 21-piece kit is a marvelous array. In addition to the clipper and combs, you also get a storage bag for the combs, a blade guard, and a cord wrap. To help in styling, there’s a barber’s cape, a styling comb, and a pair of shears with a blade cover. And of course the maintenance tools: cleaning brush and oil. All this is contained in a hard plastic storage case, so it’s easy to pack up and move elsewhere when you want to.
There’s nothing wrong with its performance. The Elite Pro’s main downside is that it’s too large, and so it has a hard time handling small spaces. It’s also heavy, so extended use may be hard on your arm. Plus, for all the quality of the combs, Wahl hasn’t included any ear taper combs in the set; a minor annoyance, but one worth noting.
Let none of that stop you from picking up the Wahl Elite Pro. It’s got the power to cut through even the coarsest and curliest hair without slowing down, and it also has a host of accessories to polish up your hairstyle. And all that at an amazing price!
Wahl isn’t afraid to break into new ground, as this particular clipper proves. The Stainless Steel Lithium Ion Plus 9818 is a multiple-use tool that could very well be the only men’s grooming tool you’ll ever need. It departs from the standard Wahl clipper body, instead being encased in a rounded stainless steel body. It weighs just under a pound and the body is easily gripped, but it has no gripping aids.
It comes with a standard clipper blade for general hair cutting. The blade is on a detachable mount, and the Lithium Ion also comes with other blades to fulfill other needs. There’s a detail trimmer, a detail shaver, and an ear and nose trimmer. This means you’ve got a lot of options to work with, and can go from hair cutting to fine detailing without having to slow down.
Length control is entirely by combs, and you get a set of twelve. Eight of them are typical combs, ranging from 1″ to 1/8″. The other four are shorter stubble combs. Since the Lithium Ion 9818 lacks a taper lever, any fading is done with the stubble combs, though you do have a good set to work with.
A lithium-ion battery provides 4 hours of excellent power, and it needs only an hour to charge. Since it’s cordless-only, the relatively short charge time is a blessing. In case of mid-session battery failure, there’s a quick charge: one minute on the charger gets you three minutes of working time.
The box also includes the usual extras. The blade oil and cleaning brush are expected, but there’s also a beard comb, and a storage case to make it easier to bring it around.
The Lithium Ion’s shortcomings come from it being a generalist. Where specialists struggle to do anything outside their field, a generalist tool like the Lithium Ion struggles to do its various roles well. You can get good results out of it, but not nearly as good as if you were using a dedicated clipper or trimmer or shaver. More relevant is that its small size doesn’t let it pack that powerful a motor, so it may struggle with thicker hair. Plus the stainless steel body without any gripping aids makes it difficult to keep a grip, especially when wet.
All this in mind, the Wahl Stainless Steel Lithium Ion Plus 9818 makes for a very good generalist or an excellent second clipper that can pick up the slack that your main clipper can’t handle.
While we’ve been mainly looking at Wahl products, they’re not the only clipper brand in town. Remington is another big name in men’s grooming products, and their Shortcut Pro is proof of their expertise.
The Remington HC4250 Shortcut Pro is a tiny, odd-looking thing that doesn’t really look like a clipper. It fits right into your hand, and it’s barely any larger than its own combs. It weighs just a little over a pound, and its body is also rubberized to aid your grip.
It’s odd-looking because it’s a specialist tool. The Shortcut Pro incorporates an extra-wide blade that’s half again as wide as Remington’s other clippers. This lets it cover more hair in one pass, and the blade is also curved so that it can follow the contours of your head. This ensures an even length all over. Speaking of length, you also get a set of nine combs, from 1/6″ to 5/8″.
Power is provided by a lithium-ion battery with 40 minutes of working time. The 4-hour charge time can be a pain, but you can also use it corded, so it’s more an annoyance than an actual problem.
The package includes the clipper and its combs, the charger, a cleaning brush, and a travel pouch. With the Shortcut Pro so compact, the extras make it an easy traveler. It also helps that it’s easy to clean. The blade is detachable, and the whole device is washable; you can simply run it under a tap, brush out the blades, and let it dry.
The problem with the Shortcut Pro is that it’s a specialized tool. This means it’s very good at one thing: the buzzcut. With the combs on, it can do variations on the buzzcut. It also means that it struggles to do any other style that isn’t a buzzcut in one way or another, so you don’t have many other options while using it. Performance-wise, the motor struggles a little with thick hair, so comb thoroughly before cutting and go slow, give the blade time to work.
Sometimes you want options. But sometimes you just want to give yourself a clean simple buzzcut. When that’s what you want, nothing does better than the Shortcut Pro.
While the names may be similar, the Lithium Ion Pro 79600-2101 is not at all similar to the Stainless Steel Lithium Ion Plus 9818 we looked at earlier, which is also why we’re including the model number, to avoid confusion. But where they do find common ground is in battery power and excellent performance.
The Lithium Ion Pro discards all thoughts of looking like Wahl’s classic clippers, instead choosing a modern, rounded black and silver shell. Weight clocks in at just under a pound and the shape lets it fit nicely in the hand.
But while the exterior may be modern, the insides are all classic Wahl. The cutting combination is a rotary motor and carbon steel self-sharpening blades, letting the Lithium Ion Pro cut through pretty much any hair it might encounter.
As usual with Wahl, you have a good amount of options to control cut length. You get ten combs from 1″ to 1/16″, and if you need finer adjustments, there’s a taper lever. You also get two asymmetrical combs; these are ear taper combs, which help you get a good fade around the ears instead of resorting to scissors.
Power is excellent: the battery gets 2 hours of working time and needs 3 hours to charge. If you need a quick clip, the quick charge is fifteen minutes plugged in for twelve minutes of use, should the battery fail you mid-cut. It’s cordless only, so best to make sure it’s topped up.
You also get some nice additions to the clipper, beyond just combs. You get a small, battery-powered trimmer for those small spaces the clipper can’t get to, which runs off two AA batteries. In addition to that, there’s styling aids: scissors, a styling cape, two combs, and two hair clips. Maintenance tools are the usual: blade guards for the clipper and the trimmer, blade oil, and a cleaning brush. And to carry everything, there’s a storage bag.
Ironically, the Lithium Ion Pro’s main downsides lie in the battery. The three-hour charge time is already an obstacle, especially since it’s not usable whilst plugged in. The battery-powered trimmer drains its batteries quickly, so line up some spares or invest in a set of rechargeables.
But no matter where you are, at home or on the go, you can count on the Wahl Lithium Ion Pro to cut through your hair, and you also get a range of options to style your hair with.
In any lineup of clippers, Wahl’s Peanut clipper looks odd in comparison. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a trimmer that got lost. It’s tiny, it weighs four ounces, and the casing lives up to the name of ‘Peanut’.
But Wahl has never let us down, and the Peanut still does its job. Inside that peanut shell is a rotary motor that provides good power to the blade while still keeping heat and noise to a minimum. That motor powers a blade that’s unique to the Peanut.
In addition to that, the Peanut also comes with four combs: 1/2″, 3/8″, 1/4″, and 1/8″. There’s no taper lever, so if you want a longer cut, you’ll have to get creative.
It runs off a 7-foot cord, a foot shorter than the industry standard. It also comes with the standard clipper maintenance tools: a blade guard, blade oil, and a cleaning brush. No surprises there.
You can only pack so much motor power into four ounces, and that’s where the Peanut suffers. It tends to ‘chew’ on hair instead of cutting it on the first pass, so it’s best to take it slow, to avoid any pulling of hairs. Plus, since the blade is smaller, you cut less hair per pass. These two factors make it a slow cutter. A smaller downside is that the Peanut may feel too small for men with large hands; if you find it hard to get a good grip, try holding it with your fingers instead of your whole hand.
Even at such a small size, the Wahl Peanut is still an excellent clipper. It can do your entire head with ease: not just the hair on top, but your facial hair as well, since it’s small enough to fit into tight spaces. It can also serve as a good second clipper: do the bulk cutting with a larger clipper, then switch in the Peanut to handle fine detail work. And of course, since it’s so small, it makes a good travel clipper. If you need something that can fill one or all of these roles, the Peanut is the clipper for you.
Any barber knows the name of Oster and knows their Classic 76. This model, the Oster Fast Feed, is a newer product that is no less competent than the older one.
The Fast Feed is a burgundy cylinder, quite typical of Oster. The casing itself is curved and the back and sides are ribbed to help you get a good grip. It only weighs a pound, which means you can feel the power without it being too hard on your arm. Ergonomically speaking, it’s a reasonably good clipper.
The motor and blade combination is even better. Unlike every other clipper in this article, it uses a pivot motor—specifically Oster’s Whisper Quiet pivot motor, which is built to provide a lot of power while cutting down on noisiness and heat buildup. The blades are classic Oster: Cryotech-treated in extreme temperatures, ensuring that whatever abuse they face, they can endure.
For length options, you have two options. It comes with four combs in differing lengths: 1/2″, 3/8″, 1/4″, and a short blending comb. It also has a taper lever that lets you go from #1 to #000 blade sizes. In all, that lets you vary cutting length to a fine degree, so you have a good range of styling options available to you.
It only runs corded, with the industry-standard eight-foot cord powering the clipper. You also get the standard maintenance tools of a blade guard, blade oil, and brush. The real weakness of the Fast Feed lies in its combs. They’re rather flimsy and can break under heavy use, so you may wish to secure a set of more durable combs to use instead of the included set. Plus you can always use more length options. The warranty is also a bit disappointing compared to its competitors, as it only holds for a year.
Despite these objections, the Oster Fast Feed is a solidly reliable clipper that can take on any hair no matter how coarse or thick. It certainly won’t slow down when faced with curly thick hair.
What To Consider When You’re Buying Hair Clippers For Black Men
When you’re looking around on the market to see which clippers fit you best, you should keep a few things in mind before you make your choice.
Motor: Cutting Power
Most of the cutting power in a hair clipper comes from its motor, and there are three options to choose from.
Electromagnetic motors are the first and cheapest choice. They use an electromagnet to push the blade back and forth with the aid of a spring. This means you get the fastest blade speeds and the longest working life, but it also means they tend to be underpowered (as they only cut on every other stroke) and they overheat quickly.
Pivot motors use two magnets to push a bar on which the blade is mounted. This means a slower blade speed compared to electromagnetic motors, but it also means it cuts on every stroke. You get more cutting power, and the slower speed also reduces heat.
Rotary motors dispense with the magnets and use a mechanical motor to move the blades. They’re even slower than pivot motors, but they are also the most powerful. When you need power to cut through thick, dense hair, the only real answer is a rotary motor. Although they do tend to be mechanically complex and expensive.
Black men will fare best with pivot and rotary motors, but a powerful electromagnetic motor can still do the job (as we see in the Wahl Elite Pro). If in doubt, better to go with the rotary option.
Blades: Length And Comfort
The type of blade you get on a clipper doesn’t really do much for cutting power, as the motor handles most of that. Where blades do make a difference is in cut length and cut comfort.
All the clippers we’ve outlined above have either fixed or adjustable blades, but some clippers have detachable blades, similar to the Wahl Stainless Steel. This is mainly to let you switch out blade sizes, and therefore adjust cut length. You mainly see this in high-end clippers like the Oster Classic 76.
Blades are usually made of stainless steel, as we see in all the clippers above. Some other clippers use ceramic blades. Compared to steel blades, ceramic ones are sharper, require less maintenance, and don’t get as hot. However, they’re also more expensive and more brittle.
Combs And Other Extras
Every clipper comes with a set of combs that let you vary how long a hair is left behind by the clipper. Combs are the accessories you’ll most often use, as they give you more options in styling your hair. Couple that with a good pair of scissors, and pretty much any hairstyle is within reach.
Some clippers come with other tools to help with styling, like scissors or hair clips. These tools will also expand your haircut repertoire. You can get them separately, but there’s value in getting a complete package in one purchase. And of course, we can’t overlook maintenance. Every good clipper will come with blade oil and a cleaning brush. A clean and oiled clipper means a much faster and easier haircut, which is quite important with coarse hair.
Handling And Ergonomics
How is the clipper shaped? How does it feel in your hand? Is it too heavy, too bulky? Is it easy to grip, and does it help you keep a grip on it?
Clippers need power to get through coarse hair, so most clippers for black men will need to have some heft to them. With proper shape and grip aids, a clipper can still be easy to handle while you cut your hair. Still, too heavy a clipper can be tiring on your arms, so consider if the power is worth the weight.
The Long And Short Of It
It may seem difficult at first to get some proper hair care as a black man, but don’t despair! The best hair clippers for black men on the market can handle your hair and give you the hairstyle that you really want. Whether it’s the Wahl Elite with its full range of accessories and powerful motor, or the simple, specialized convenience of the Remington Shortcut Pro, or the reliable power of the Oster Fast Feed, you have a wide range of options that will serve you well.
So whatever hairstyle you’re planning to have is within your reach. Choose your clipper, set up your haircut station, and get cracking. Ever thought you couldn’t have a good-looking hairstyle just because of your hair? You just need the right tools.