Learn how to cut boy hair with clippers and no scissors in this tutorial from a dad who has been cutting his own hair (and now his sons’ hair) for years.
My Dad cut my hair when I was younger, and when I got older I started to cut my own hair.
I’ve only paid for 4-5 haircuts my whole life. I wouldn’t say I give myself amazing haircuts, but I have saved a lot of money.
Plus, I think I have gotten better with practice. By practicing on myself for so long I am more prepared to cut my own boys’ hair. I now have three boys, so I foresee a lot more haircuts in my future!
Cutting a boy’s hair doesn’t have to be very complicated. Most boys aren’t entering any beauty contests, and I think most boys don’t care of they have a fancy haircut. That probably changes when they become teenagers!
Mostly, I think boys look better when their hair is off of their ears and neck. The longer their hair gets, the more potential there is for messy hair. My tutorial is for simple to cut and easy to maintain haircuts, that are better than a buzz cut!
I aim to provide clear instructions in this post in text form on how to cut boy’s hair with clippers. Additionally, I have included my video tutorial, if that is how you would prefer to consume this information.
I like to start using clippers for haircuts as soon as I can get my boys comfortable with it. That has only meant 1-2 haircuts with scissors for each boy when they were a baby (click here for tips on how to cut a baby boy’s hair)
How to Cut Boy Hair
Clippers versus Scissors
I prefer to use a clipper set as soon as I can because I think it is much easier to use a clipper set than to use scissors. I feel it is safer for younger kids that have a tendency to turn and move suddenly. Plus, I think it is nearly impossible to cut your own hair with scissors.
Clippers help you to achieve more consistent results. Clipper sets have guards that you attach onto the clipper to help you cut hair at a specific length.
My clipper set even has a few specialty guards for around the left ear, right ear, and eyebrows. The highest my set goes is a #8 guard, which cuts hair one inch long. I use this on the top middle of my head. This is the closest set I could find to the one I purchased.
Then I work my way down with a 6, 4, 3, and a 2. You can specifically buy larger numbered guards, but I haven’t tried this out before. I did put it on my birthday wish list.
Tips for Success
Here are a few things that I think you should remember when preparing to cut a boy’s hair with clippers at home.
Clippers can be loud and seem scary to a child. Use lots of encouragement, and explain what you are about to do, and to some degree, why.
The older a boy gets, and the more experience they have with clipper haircuts, the less of a problem this should be.
Comb their hair beforehand to prevent the guards from catching on knots, and pulling at the hair. I have had kids bail before the end of a haircut, and refuse to let me near their head with anything for weeks. It is better to avoid the upset feelings than to try to recover from them!
If you have some type of phone or tablet with a favorite show or video, use it to distract the boy during the haircut.
Like a magician, use MISDIRECTION! Haha!
I believe my boys are more willing to get their haircut knowing they can watch something, than if I didn’t let them watch anything.
Another tool to use with a hesitant or scared child is bribery. I’m really only talking about something small, like a cookie, one episode of a favorite show, extra time at the park, or something simple like that. We have tried suckers, but they tend to get a lot of hair on them during the process – gross.
When picking out the location of your haircut, let me suggest the bathroom. Most bathrooms have an outlet and a smooth floor. The outlet lets you plug in your clippers, and the smooth floor and surfaces allow for easier cleanup.
If you have a bath mat, just toss it to the side until you’re done. If your outlet is not in a convenient spot, you can use an extension cord. I have cut hair on carpet. Afterward, I simply thoroughly vacuum up the area. As well, I have used a vacuum for cleaning up a bathroom floor after a haircut.
I suggest a small chair, where the child can sit comfortably. You will want to be able to access the back of their head easily, so I suggest using a small stool to sit on.
Plus, it is nice to use a smooth apron of some kind. I simply used a trash bag for my boy’s last haircut, because the apron that came with my kit had developed a few holes.
If the boy is getting too much hair on their face, you can ask them to close their eyes while you blow it off. Just make sure you don’t spit on them, haha!
One good thing about cutting hair at home is that you can just throw them into the bath after the haircut is over. It makes for less hair in the car and easy cleanup of your child.
My Haircutting Method for My Sons’
My haircut method is simple.
I use an 8 all over the head. I do this so if I miss a spot later that I want to cut shorter, at least it is only as long as a #8.
Then, everywhere but the top, middle of the head I use a #6. Then I use a #4 from about the point of the temples down, including the top of the back of the head.
Then, starting a little lower than where I started with the #4, I will use a #3. For the bottom of my hairline, the sideburns, and around the ears I will use a #2 guard.
For the final trim around the ears, the neckline, and the sideburns I will just freehand it with no guard.
I usually take about 20-30 minutes. I try to avoid leaving obvious lines of transition from one length to another.
You want everything to blend into each other. You can usually do this by cutting at different angles in a bit of a V-shape.
You want to pull up and out at the end of a cut.
I think it is helpful to take your time, try to clear off most of the cut hair, and move the uncut hair around with your fingers to see if you missed a spot.
It is helpful to remember that long hair can always be cut shorter later, so be a little more careful as you’re cutting the short sections.
Another advantage of a boy’s haircut is that if you mess up, you can probably simply cut most of the hair around it shorter, too.
Most people won’t look twice! If you really think the haircut didn’t work out, you can be assured that it will grow back. Hey, maybe it will help the kid develop a bit of character, haha!
With all of that being said, most of this post can be summed up very easily. Use clipper guards to cut from long at the top to short at the bottom! Good luck, and may your boy’s haircuts turn out surprising well!