If you’re thinking about cutting your own hair, you’re not alone. There are a number of men learning to cut their own hair at home. Because a trip to the barber shop can be troublesome, time-consuming and even expensive, a DIY haircut could be the perfect solution for some guys. And while giving yourself a haircut with clippers can be a challenge the first time, figuring out how to cut men’s hair is a skill worth developing.
Whether you have long or short hair, this guide will teach you how to cut your own hair. From a buzz cut to a short back and sides with long hair on top, here’s everything you need to know about using clippers to trim your hair.
Best Self Hair Cutting Tools
Before you start, you’ll need the proper hair cutting tools. For example, you’ll need good hair clippers, scissors, and a handheld mirror. Here are the best self hair cutting tools to consider buying.
For short hair, especially if you want to taper fade the sides and back or give yourself a buzz cut, you’ll absolutely need a top-rated clipper. However, there are different levels of quality when it comes to trimmers.
Professional hair clippers come with a number of guards and will get you the best performance. The Wahl Professional Magic Clip offers a powerful motor, sharp blades, high precision, corded and cordless use with 90 minutes of run time on a single charge, and excellent handling. Rated as one of the best barber clippers on the market, this machine is perfect for men who are serious about getting clean cuts at home.
For guys who just want cheap hair clippers that are reliable, easy-to-use and have all the necessary combs, we recommend going for an affordable cordless model like the Wahl Color Pro. This complete hair cutting kit provides a full set of color-coded guard combs and combines stainless steel blades with a powerful battery that gives 60 minutes of run time. This model is excellent for beginners on a budget who want maximum mobility.
If you’re willing to upgrade to high-performance corded electric clippers, the Wahl Elite Pro is a home haircut kit worth a serious look. With a sleek design, self-sharpening blades, a powerful yet quiet motor, an adjustable taper lever, and premium accessories, you can’t go wrong with this product.
Other barber tools required include shears or scissors. While most of the trimming involved will be done with clippers, scissors can help cut the hair on top of your head and fix small areas. Designed with an ergonomic hold and built with stainless steel to stay super sharp, these are the best hair cutting shears around.
Lastly, you’ll want to invest in a three-way mirror you can hook up anywhere. If it’s the first time cutting your own hair, you may be able to get away with using the mirror in your bathroom and holding up a hand-held mirror.
But if you want a complete self hair cutting system, a sturdy mirror with a versatile design will ensure you see every angle when trimming the sides, back and neckline.
Choose The Best Haircut
Picking the best haircut depends on face shape and personal style. Good men’s hairstyles flatter your facial features. But before you attempt to cut yourself a comb over fade, slicked back undercut, or blowout taper, we recommend you start with an easy haircut for your first time.
Short haircuts like the buzz cut or crew cut can be achieved with just clippers and no fading. And although the most popular styles have short hair on the sides with longer hair on top, these short cuts make the blending much simpler since all the hair is very short to begin with.
Even a #2 or #3 guard on the sides and back with a #4 or #5 cut on the top can minimize the contrast, give the appearance of a subtle classic taper, and result in a nice crew cut or crop top.
Just remember that you can always cut shorter, but you can’t grow back your hair in a minute. So start conservatively with longer guards. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to wear a buzz cut for a month or visit a barbershop to get the cut faded.
Wash Your Hair
Before you start cutting, men should wash their hair with shampoo and conditioner. First, clean hair is easier to cut and work with. Styling products can make it harder to comb and feed your hair into clippers, and this can distort the lengths across your head. Furthermore, moisturized hair is soft and can be brushed to remove tangles.
After a shower, make sure to properly dry your hair with a towel. Damp hair can straighten out and seem longer than it is, and this can cause guys to end up cutting off more than desired. Then, when the hair dries, you end up with a much shorter haircut than intended. Only use clippers on dry hair.
Where To Cut Your Hair
While most men will naturally cut their own hair in the bathroom, this area might not be ideal for everyone. You’ll need space to maneuver, good lighting, and a large mirror.
Some bathrooms have dim yellow lighting that can obscure your view or cause shadows. Consider a setup with natural light.
As you prepare your work space, get familiar with your tools. Turn the clippers on and off, move the adjustable blades back and forth, and clips the guards on to ensure they remain in place.
Cutting Your Own Hair with Clippers
The most popular haircuts for men have short sides with long hair on top. To accomplish this, barbers always start haircuts by cutting the sides and back with clippers.
To do a buzz cut with clippers, it won’t make a difference so you can affix the right guard and start cutting front to back. For an uniform length cut, always buzz against the grain.
Otherwise, follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to cut hair with clippers.
Start Cutting The Sides
Choose your guard size, clip on the comb, and run the clippers up the side of your head. Starting from the bottom and moving the clippers upwards to the top, gradually work your way from the sideburns to the back.
Keep the machine steady, slightly tilted forward, and flush with your scalp to scoop up as many hairs as possible. Even with good clippers, it’s important to do a few passes to make sure all the hairs are the same length.
Lastly, make sure the short hair on the back and sides are at least a couple guard sizes shorter than the longer hair on top. Experienced guys can cut the lower part of their sides one length shorter than the upper part to create a tapered look.
How To Cut The Back of Your Hair
To cut the hair in the back of your head, you’ll need to work the clippers up from the neckline. Use a mirror to see the back and go slowly. The awkward position will take time to get comfortable with. If you are fading hair and trimming different lengths, stay consistent with the guards.
Ultimately, cutting your own hair short in the back and sides should create a seamless look throughout. Employ an upward flicking motion to pull the clippers back and naturally blend the sides with the longer hair on top.
For beginners, this basic hair cutting technique can be enough to give yourself a taper fade. Obviously, a skilled barber can do a fade haircut better, but as long as the tapered hair transitions smoothly, it’s a good enough DIY cut.
How To Give Yourself A Fade
Doing a fade by yourself can be really challenging, but for men who are curious about this trendy modern haircut, here are examples of the best fade haircuts to copy.
With so many different types of fades, including the high, mid, low, and bald fade cuts, there are a number of ways to fade hair with clippers.
For one, you’ll need to determine where the fading will begin. A high fade is edgy, while a low fade is more classic. Second, guys have to decide how short the faded sides will be. Blending a skin fade can be hard, so we recommend starting with a #2 or #3 low fade and working up.
This requires gradually blending the hair smoothly by changing combs, going from a #2 or #3 to a #4, #5, or #6. The line should be symmetrical on both sides and even all around the head. Like anything else, practice makes perfect and a keen eye is necessary.
How To Cut The Top
Unless you’re trimming a buzz cut or crew cut, the hair on top of your head will need to be cut with scissors. Like you see professionals barbers do, you’ll want to use your fingers to gauge the length and maintain consistency throughout. Alternatively, use a comb to pull up the hair and cut in a straight line.
Begin in one section of your head and continue all over the top to ensure the same length. When cutting long hair shorter, grab strands from different sections or come in at different angles to avoid missing areas.
For the hair in front (your bangs), comb your hair down and cut across your forehead. If you have a receding hairline or widow’s peak, you may want to leave hair longer around your temples and bald spots to cover these areas.
When finished with the top, run a comb through your hair to look for irregularities or long strands.
Clean Up The Hairline with Trimmers
Ideally, a trimmer like the Andis Professional T-Outliner can be helpful when making sharp, precise cuts around the hairline and neckline. Otherwise, just use your clippers and turn them upside down.
Using a trimmer or edger, clean up your sideburns as well as the hair around the ears. The goal is to have the hairline curve around your ear nicely.
Next, you’ll want to follow the hairline down behind the ears and into your neckline. These cuts will need to be symmetrical on both sides of the neck, so don’t trim too far inward.
Finally, the neck can be trimmed in a few different ways. Choose between a tapered, rounded, and blocked neckline haircut.
Style Your Hair
After washing, shampooing, conditioning, and drying your hair, inspect and take a final look. Use the best hair products for men to style your hair.
Styling your favorite hairstyle will tell you whether you gave yourself a good or bad haircut. At this point, you can make adjustments to your work.
However, we will note that you shouldn’t worry about small issues. Many of these minor mistakes will hardly be noticeable in a few days as your hair grows out.
Cutting Your Own Hair At Home For Men
Cutting men’s hair is a useful skill to have no matter what your motives. From saving time and money to extending the life of your haircut by touching it up at home, there are plenty of benefits.
Nevertheless, we still recommend you visit a traditional barber shop near you once in awhile, even if it is to pick up tips and tricks from professional barbers!