Men cutting their own hair isn’t a new idea. But DIY haircuts have been a growing trend in recent years. Barbers and hairstylists recommend that men get a haircut every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how fast their hair grows and what style they usually wear. However, getting your hair cut that frequently can be a significant investment in both time and money. If you’re the adventurous type, you may just want to learn how to cut your own hair at home.
Why Cut Your Own Hair?
There are many reasons to begin cutting and styling your own hair at home. If you’re getting a $25 haircut every three weeks ($30 with tip), you’re spending about $510 per year on haircuts. If you see the same barber or stylist every time, you spend time and effort scheduling appointments or in waiting rooms. Finally there’s the convenience factor of being able to cut your hair at home, at your convenience.
First, decide on your hairstyle. For your first time, we recommend just trimming up your existing style or giving yourself a buzz cut. And don’t try cutting your own hair for the first time right before an important event.
You should also make sure you have a good hair cutting area in mind. A well-lit bathroom is the ideal spot. If you don’t have a three-way mirror installed in your bathroom, you can pick up a smaller portable one online for cheap, enabling you to see the front, back, and both sides of your head. A handheld mirror can also work, but can be a burden to use.
Before the day of your cut, make sure to assemble all the supplies you’ll need. It’s worth making an investment in good clippers. You don’t have to spend a fortune and you can check out these professional hair clippers and trimmers for barbers to find the best choices. Which clippers you should buy mostly comes down to a matter of personal preference.
Clippers with self-sharpening blades are a low-maintenance option ideal for someone just starting out with home hair cutting. While detachable blade clippers are wielded by most professional barbers and stylists, adjustable blade clippers are better for beginners.
Adjustable blade clippers allow you to adjust your cutting length mid-cut without changing blades. They’re more straightforward to work with, often come equipped with tons of accessories, and are typically quite affordable.
If you’re doing a simple haircut, clippers may be all you need. If you’re like to leave your hair longer on top though, you may also want to get some stainless steel scissors.
Ambidextrous scissors are best: even if you have a dominant hand, you may need to switch hands to get the right angle.
A cutting comb with both fine and wide sides can help you get more detail.
Finally, keep a spray bottle full of water on hand to use during your haircut.
Ultimately, picking high-quality grooming products can serve multiple purposes, including beard grooming and manscaping.
How To Cut Your Hair
Set yourself up for success by washing and conditioning your hair before you cut it. Hair that is clean, free of product, and tangle-free is easiest to cut.
If you’re only using clippers on your hair, allow your hair to dry first as clippers work best on dry hair: if you’re using scissors on part of your hair, leave that part damp and use a hair dryer for the rest.
Haircuts With Clippers
For a buzz cut or other easy cut, start at the top. Select what clipper guard you want. When in doubt, start with a bigger number: you can always go back and take more hair off, but you can’t put it back on if you go too short. Move from front to back, using a gentle pressure. Be sure to go against the grain for a more even cut.
Next, move onto the sides. This is where having clippers with a lot of attachments come in handy. It can be tricky to maneuver clippers around the ear, but many clippers will come with ear taper attachments to make this step easier.
Finally move onto the back of your head, cutting from the bottom to the top, once more going against the grain. This is where the three-way-mirror comes into play: while you can always feel the back of your head to make sure you didn’t miss anything, it’s always better to verify with your eyes.
Clippers and Scissors Cut
For a cut with longer hair on top, you’ll actually start at the bottom. Choose the appropriate guards for your hair length. A haircut that transitions between shorter sides and back and a long top will require at least two different guards so that you don’t have a pronounced line of demarcation. Remember to make sure that any part of the hair you’re cutting with clippers is dry.
You can use salon clips to pin hair out of the way so you have an unobstructed view of the sides. Imagine there’s an invisible horseshoe running around your head just above your ears where your hair should naturally transition from short to long.
Cutting The Back and Sides
Using the shorter clipper guard, start at the base of your skull in back and run clippers against the grain, until just under that horseshoe part. Do a few passes with the clippers to make sure everything is even. Then switch to the longer clipper guard to taper and fade around this transition point and blend hair together.
For guys who are visual learners, it can be helpful to see a fade haircut live. Online tutorials and even videos of skilled barbers at work can inspire and teach valuable cutting techniques.
Cutting The Hair on Top
Once the back and sides of your hair are cut to your liking, unclip the top part and spritz it with water. Part your hair the way you usually tend to wear it. Then part hair into sections and cut each one in a straight line.
Your fingers make a great guidance tool here. Thread hair between your index and middle fingers and pull strands through to your desired length, then use barber scissors to trim the hair, using your fingers as a guard against going too short.
After you trim each section, compare it to previously cut sections to make sure it is blending appropriately. This is where you should pay the most meticulous attention to detail.
Clean Up Your Hairline
When you’re satisfied with your scissor cut, take one more critical look at your head from all angles and address any missed spots. You can also go back to the clippers this point to clean up your hairline. If you have facial hair, also take some time to blend your sideburns and beard for a cleaner, well-kept look.
Remember that stylists have to go through training before they cut hair professionally. If your hair isn’t perfect on your first try, don’t be discouraged. The more comfortable you get cutting your hair at home, the better you will get.
Over time, you’ll be able to move more quickly. It doesn’t take practice, but eventually you’ll save both time and money cutting your hair at home, without sacrificing on style.