Welcome to cutting your hair 101!
Today, we will cover in depth how to cut your own hair with clippers and there is one rule of thumb to remember at all times… don’t worry too much because it WILL grow back.
Yes, that’s the number one motto to go by when using clippers or scissors to cut your own hair. No matter what happens, it will grow back.
It’s a wonderful feeling to have achieved a decent look on your own at home.
I mean what can possibly go wrong? Just kidding, yes things can go wrong… they can actually go very wrong!!
But this article will cover the A to Z of all the tried and tested techniques, tricks and preps to make sure you do minimum damage and get maximum satisfaction when you clip your hair at home.
Let’s get started.
Table Of Contents
Some Thoughts Before You Cut Your Hair Yourself for the First Time
You must first convince yourself that you are cutting your own hair and you must take it seriously. Have a clear mindset, a plan of action and you will be ready for it.
The biggest obstacle for anyone cutting their own hair is the lack of clear intent, plan or idea of getting a haircut at home. Since you have found your way to this guide, it shows that you are ready to do it.
Remember one thing in terms of hairstyles, haircuts for men may look easy but they are not as easy to actually cut. Mistakes that you make with short hairstyles will be much more apparent compared to long hairstyles. So, if you need a confidence boost, then start with a trim rather than a fade.
Plan for It When You Don’t Have Other Plans
Don’t make the overconfident mistake of giving yourself a haircut before a date, or your brother’s wedding. If you have plans, invites, events to go to, then without a thought go to a barber.
Plan for giving yourself a haircut, when you have no other plans. Give yourself plenty of time in order to fix potential mistakes that you may not be happy to live with for even a day.
Do not procrastinate and pick up your clippers thinking let’s see what happens. Have a clear plan of what hairstyle you want to try and look up some basic DIY instructions to avoid major disasters.
Make an Appointment with Your Barber (Just in Case!)
If you are super conscious about how you are going to look and can’t live with the regret, then just book an appointment with your regular barber. Just in case you find it difficult to tolerate what you have done to yourself for even a day, you don’t want to devastate yourself.
Its best to plan for a haircut early in the day, so that you have plenty of time to give yourself a haircut, shower, get final glances and if you are not happy, then you can go to the barber.
As such, you will have a win-win situation. If the haircut at home is fine, then you can cancel your appointment and show off your hairstyle. If the haircut doesn’t go as planned, then you can get it fixed without too much fuss.
If you ask your barber, you may even get some tips as to how to deal with your hair when you cut it yourself. Your barber may lose your business, but he will give you some pointers that will come in more than handy for you.
Learn to Live with Your Mistakes
Cutting your own hair with clippers at home is a big risk, but you must prepare yourself to live with potential mistakes. It is important to remember that you will learn a lot from your mistakes.
But that’s only if you learn to live with the mistakes you make. So, with that lesson in mind, be comfortable in walking around with a less than perfect haircut.
Fixing your own mistakes from one haircut to the next, you will eventually get better DIY haircuts. You will develop your skills with every haircut at home.
Pick the Right Tools for The Job
It is absolutely crucial that you choose the right tools for getting the job done.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be spending hundreds of your hard-earned money on professional clippers, accessories, etc. It simply means, pick up the lawnmower to cut the grass and not a pair of scissors.
Don’t use the scissors you use to cut paper, cardboard, or just about anything when cutting your hair. Make sure you get a decent pair of scissors to be used for your hair.
Check out some of these clippers and their reviews to find one which is best for your needs and budget.
Remember, the best hair clippers to be used at home are not a particular brand or model. Rather it is what is within your budget and most comfortable for you to use.
No matter how good a barber or hairstylist, nothing can replace a good pair of scissors. Even if it is for a few snips here and there, you will need a good pair of haircutting scissors.
You may even consider something like thinning scissors. These are an excellent tool which I love for my own hair. For those with extra thick or dense hair, the thinning scissors with teeth are great.
The next tool you need to have is mirrors. You will need more than just the mirror hanging on your bedroom or bathroom wall. You will need a handheld one so that you can check the back of your head, sides, etc. A good three-way mirror is good to have.
Some other tools you want to consider are a barber cape to keep the mess you make to a minimum or easier to clean up. The less hair you get on yourself, around the house, the easier it will be for you.
Once you have picked up all the necessary tools, you are ready to cut your own hair.
How to You Cut Your Own Hair at Home?
When cutting your own hair with clippers for the first time, choose a hairstyle which is as easy as possible. Since it will be the first time you are cutting hair, you may not know which hairstyle is easy and which is not, don’t overthink it. Start with a simple haircut and slowly you can work your way towards more complex styles.
A Buzzcut – The Simplest Haircut
A buzzcut is the simplest form of a haircut. You may or may not know the term, but you will know the style.
All that is done with a buzzcut is choosing the desired length of your hair and then going all over your head. All you have to do is decide on the length you want to leave the hair and then use the appropriate clipper guard and go over your head.
If you use a decent hair clipper, then the hair will cut evenly with little no pulls or tugs in the hair. It is fairly straight forward as you simply have to make multiple passes to make sure that you don’t miss out on any outlying hair.
The final step is to clean up around the edges and the neckline. We will cover edging, ears and neckline more thoroughly in a bit. There you have it, the buzzcut is achieved.
A Taper Cut – An Easy DIY Haircut
The second hairstyle that you can easily achieve cutting your own hair is the men’s regular taper cut.
The basic and key thing to remember is that, you can’t put back what you cut away. So, always cut as long as possible and then work your way down to shorter lengths.
Select the longest clipper length and trim the sides and the back to match up with the longer length of your hair on top. You can do this repeatedly, until you see that it is blended to your liking. You can also use scissors to get rid outlying hairs.
Overall, if you think you want to go shorter on the sides, then simply select shorter lengths and then blend it as much as possible with the top. Getting the all-round even look with longer hair on top and shorter on the sides is the trick to making this haircut work.
You can repeat this step until you get to your desired length.
Edging – Trimming the Neckline & Surrounding Areas
One of the most difficult parts of cutting your own hair is the edging. Many a times, the haircut itself is fine but things get messed when you are trimming the neckline and edges.
The best way to get this right is to treat the edging similar to cutting hair. The mistakes that result from edging are due to the fact that it is treated completely different to the haircut itself.
So, it with edging treating it as a blending haircut but for much shorter lengths. Don’t harshly try to cut away the edge, rather fade in the edges blend it with the skin.
You can use an edging tool like the beard shaper, neckline shaper, etc. to get an even square or rounded neckline. Otherwise you risk getting a lopsided neckline.
Using Scissors to Cut Your Hair
The use of scissors is trickier than using hair clippers. Of course, you don’t have the luxury of knowing exactly what length you are cutting with the least amount of control.
There is a minor preparation needed to make sure you get the best results. You want your hair to be slightly wet before cutting it with your hair.
Work your hair to your desired style, and then trim it to your desired length. The logic of cutting the hairstyle is the same as you would use the clippers by cutting the edges and then cut your way up.
You need to hold very little amount of hair to clip with your scissors with every turn. You must remember that hair will shrink up or be frizzy when dry, so if you are unsure about the length then dry your hair before cutting off to a shorter length.
For shorter haircuts, I would recommend to almost always use a clipper. For longer haircuts, you can use scissors to trim to a desired length and size. The scissors are always useful for shaping, edging and trimming even after using hair clippers to cut your hair.
Reasons to Cut Your Own Hair at Home
Now, let’s consider some reasons as to why you should consider cutting your own hair at home.
You may be wondering, why should I?
As someone who is somewhat conscious about their hair, I would say no as well.
But there are clear advantages for which even I do it every once in a while. The following are some of the most beneficial reasons why you should cut your own hair:
Save a Lot of Money
Regardless of which state you live in, you will agree there is a significant cost involved keeping up with your grooming every month. Depending on the type of barbershop you prefer, you can spend anywhere between $40 to $100 or even more with a trip or two to the barbers monthly.
If you consider this amount over the course of the year, you can spend between $500 to $1000 at the barbershop. Even getting the most premium of tools, you can easily consider yourself to be set with tools and haircuts for well within $200.
Comfort & Convenience
You no longer have to plan a weekend for a visit to the barbershop. It’s not just about the one-hour trip at the barbershop. But it has to do with getting an appointment or actually going to the barbershop, the wait, the before and after of the haircuts.
With a proper tool and acquired skill, you will be able to try and experiment with different styles. For not just yourself, you can even help with kids in the family, friends, etc. You can simply cut and jump in the shower and you are ready for the day.
I am sure you can think of countless times, where you thought at the end of a haircut that this should have been like that or otherwise. You may have given the barber specific instructions but the end result was not how you wanted it.
Whether it is due to the barber’s negligence, or for some other reason, the point is you don’t get what you wanted. And you are left at an awkward situation where you can’t even complain.
Cutting your own hair gives you absolute control. You are free to do as you will whether it is a bold, experimental look or something simple that you can’t get others to do for you.
Of course, this is the reason I don’t even have a regular barber, I seem to going different places to find the ideal barber for myself. When you cut your own hair, you will be satisfied even more regardless of the hairstyle.
For experiments where you don’t like the haircut you gave yourself, you will still be satisfied that it is well within your control.
An Amazing New Skill
As you learn how to cut your own hair at home with clippers or even with scissors, you will begin to amaze yourself with this new skill. Mind you, it will take a lot of practice, patience and many haircuts but you will develop your skill slowly but surely.
you cannot imagine the satisfaction you will get when you get a compliment for a hairstyle that you gave yourself. Beyond the self-satisfaction, you will feel accomplished with a new set of skill.
Now the reasons for you cutting your hair at home on your own may be few or many, but this guide will surely have helped you to understand how to go about it. At least I hope it will help you!
At the least, it may have saved you from some of the anxiety, nerves, etc. that comes with the thought of cutting your own hair. Remember, they will grow back and so what’s the worst that could happen?
Give yourself the time, and practice to learn how to get professional haircuts at home to save yourself time, money and frustration.
Remember to check out reviews of the best clippers and make sure you pick one which is right for your needs, hair type, and of course, your budget. You will be at a big disadvantage, without the right set of tools.
Do you have any funny stories about cutting your hair yourself? Any critical questions or issues that I didn’t cover in the article?
Drop your comments in the box below and I will get back to you!