Want to learn how to cut your own hair? This tutorial is geared toward men who want to cut their hair with clippers in the comfort of their own home!
There are a lot of reasons why I like to cut my own hair. Mostly, cutting my own hair saves me money, and I can do it at home when it is convenient for me.
Right now, as of the writing of this post, no one can go out and get a hair cut. I have been cutting my own hair for over a decade, so I have a lot of practice cutting my own hair at home.
I also cut my sons’ hair as well on a regular basis – here is a tutorial we did a long time ago about cutting a baby boys’ hair.
Honestly, I have paid someone to cut my hair only four or five times my whole life.
I am kind of cheap, and I’ve never enjoyed the decision-making process for figuring out how much to tip someone.
I don’t like to spend a lot of time on my hair. I feel that, for me, it would be overly vain.
I don’t really judge anyone who spends a lot of time on their hair, but it’s just not for me.
Just to be clear, I am male, and my hair cut style is of a traditionally male style.
If a woman wants to cut her hair per my instructions, then go for it! Another qualifier I feel that I should offer is that this is a super, simple, and easy hair cut.
How to Cut Men Hair with Clippers
Table of contents
Overview of Supplies
As such, it will not win any beauty contests. I only use the clippers. That is partly because I think cutting your own hair with scissors is too hard.
With all of that being said, I’ll provide some tips and tricks on how to cut your own hair using a clipper set.
Clipper sets have guards of different lengths to help you to cut your hair consistently and evenly. Sometimes, they have specialty guards for cutting around the ears and eyebrows.
Mine came with an apron, scissors, a small cleaning brush, and hair clips.
Here are a couple of different options on Amazon:
- Wahl Complete Hair Cutting Kit
- xTava Pro Clippers and Bead Trimming Kit
- You can browse all the different options here. Right now, most are sold out. You may have better luck at Target or Walmart.
For this hair cut, you will need a mirror that is close to an outlet. Bathrooms typically have this setup.
Don’t electrocute yourself! Be safe! I would remove most objects off of the counter and floor.
This will make clean up after your hair cut easier. Sometimes I use a vacuum to collect most of the hair, and then a wet cloth to get the rest.
You will want to wash your hair, and not add any product before you cut your hair. Your hair should be dry before you start.
I put my cut hair in my sink, when I was able, during my hair cut. This time I simply picked up most of my hair from the sink, and I put it in the trash. You don’t want to try and wash it down the drain, because you’ll likely clog your drain and/or pipes.
You can wear an apron if one is provided, or you could just not wear a shirt. I usually take a shower after I cut my hair, so most of the hair comes off easily then.
Everyone’s head is a little different size. A doctor once told me that my head size is outside the normal range, so I’ll try to be somewhat general in my instructions. That should help you to adjust things according to your head size and style preference.
Explanation of Guards
The longest/thickest guard for my clipper set is labeled as a #8. It is for cutting hair one inch long.
You can buy sets with longer guards, or you can buy the longer guards to augment a simpler set.
Additionally, most clippers have a lever on the side that you can use to adjust your length and taper.
Roughly, you should be able to cut at a 7.5 or an 8.5 with the lever adjusted. When in doubt cut longer, you can cut it shorter later. If you cut it too short, then you can’t make it longer later.
As you cut, try to avoid cutting clear lines between sections of hair of different lengths. You want your hair to get gradually shorter from top to bottom.
I think cutting going up while pulling out and a little up at the end, especially at slight angles that make a V-shape, is the best way to cut the sides of your head.
I try to be more careful when cutting shorter lengths because the color of your skin can make differences in hair length more noticeable.
If you’d rather watch a video, here is a tutorial I recorded:
Here are my simple steps to cutting your own hair:
- Step 1: With the #8 guard on your clippers, all over your head. I start at the top, but it doesn’t really matter. This helps to ensure that, if you miss any spots later, the length of any missed hairs isn’t longer than one inch. Before switching to a shorter guard, I like to knock off most hair that has collected on my clippers.
- Step 2: With the #6 guard on your clippers, cut just to the side of the top middle of your head. Overall you should cut about a U-shape area with the top of your U-shape at your forehead. You should leave the middle of the top of your head at about an eight. Be careful to transition gradually as best as you can.
- Step 3: With the #4 guard on your clippers, cut next to where you cut with your #6 guard. Blend as best as you can. I picked the corners of my forehead hairline as the beginnings and end of this section.
- At this point, you might be cutting part of the top of the back of your head, where you can’t see. Listen closely to hear when you are cutting, and when you have already cut an area. Plus, you can use your fingers to roughly feel how long some hair might be. Try to keep a mental map in your head of where you have cut, and with what length. You can use the bones on the back of your head as reference points to keep track of where you are cutting.
- Step 4: With the #3 guard on your clippers, cut a U-shaped area around your head at about the height of the top of your temples. Blend as best as you can.
- Step 5: With the #2 guard on your clippers, cut a U-shaped area from the #3 area to the bottom of your hair. Be careful when cutting around your ear. You will likely need to use specialty clippers if they are provided in your clippers set, or tilt your clippers as you cut around the ear. When tilted, the clippers with the #2 guard should be touching the skin close to your ear, and be slightly raised off of the skin on the other end of the guard.
- Step 6: I am comfortable using my clippers with no guard, but you might want to be careful with your clippers. I have not idea if the clippers you have might cut you. With no guard or the smallest guard you have, trim your neckline, your sideburns, and around your ear as best as you can. For my sideburns, I try to pick a part of my ear to use as a guide for my sideburn length. For trimming my neckline I will try and pull my neck skin towards me a little, so I can see more of it in the mirror. However, it is impossible to see the back of your neck with just one mirror, so you could try using two mirrors. Use your fingers to feel the length, keep a picture in your head, and don’t cut too short. You can ask someone to double-check it for you later, and if they can help you know where you need to shorten it.
- Step 7: With a razor, whatever you shave with, clean up your neck hairs and where you trimmed up your sideburns. Look over everything and double-check how your cut looks.
- Step 8: Take a shower and wash your hair. Check your hair cut when it is dry because your hair might dry differently than you think.
- Step 9: Enjoy your cheap, low-maintenance haircut!
Cutting your own hair gets easier over time, and it can help save you money. Plus, it is a useful skill to have when you have to stay at home.
Forrest lives in Colorado with the wonderful Katie Clark and their two sons. Forrest was raised in North Carolina, graduated from BYU with a degree in political science, and loves to dabble in lots different things. Plus, he is a big MLS fan.
J North says
Awesome tutorial. Thank you!
what about a woman who wants on a real short cut Except in the back ?
We have had a few women say this has worked well for them!
Great haircut at a superb price! I gave you your first hair first, I taught you well and you have taken it another level of competence. You look good with that haircut. Sandra likes my hair longer.
Glad you enjoyed this post! Forrest learned from you for sure!