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Before picking up the clippers, read this haircutting guide

This far into the pandemic, you’ve likely thought about giving yourself a haircut. While it may seem overwhelming, it can actually be fairly easy to do. If you have the right equipment and do a little homework before you begin, you can successfully learn how to cut men’s hair step by step at home.

Men, women, and kids who have shorter hairstyles have to keep on top of their ‘dos more than those with longer hair. Not only is it more convenient to cut your hair at home after an initial investment of products, but it’s also way cheaper than visiting a salon every two to three weeks to stay on top of things.

hair scissors
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Products that help

Besides a comb, mirror, and scissors, you’re going to want to buy a decent grooming kit if you want to know how to cut men’s hair with clippers at home. Kits should have a rechargeable razor and plenty of guards depending on the length you want your hair. This Philips Norelco multi-groom Series 7000 kit comes with 23 pieces and detailed instructions, making trimming your hair at home a breeze.

You also may want to consider this RevoHair haircut tool, which provides a multi-curve and straight-edge guide, so you can shape and style your hairline and neckline with ease.

If your hair is a bit longer, you’ll also want to grab this HairFin Haircut Tool Kit, which helps guide you in cutting hair longer than clipper combs allow. This kit includes 2-inch, 3-inch, and 4-inch haircut guides for men, women, and children’s haircuts, and it’s less than $16 but gives you the precision of a barbershop cut.

Do your homework

There are tons of YouTube tutorials that will walk you through exactly how to cut your hair, which is ideal if you are a visual learner. Make sure you watch several so you feel confident if this is the first time you’re attempting to cut your own hair — and especially if you’ve volunteered to cut someone else’s hair!

Hair grooming giant Wahl has a detailed guide on their website that gives many different options for men’s cuts like a fade, textured cut, and a peaked cut, so you can see what you like before committing to one certain look.

man clipping hair
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Time to begin

Once you have all the items you need, make sure you wash and dry your hair before you begin. You can cut your hair wet (and many people prefer it this way), but keep in mind that your hair will be shorter once it’s dry. You also want to know what kind of haircut you want. There are plenty of guides online that show options that work best based on your facial shape.

Start with the sides, affixing the correct-sized guards onto your clippers. It’s best to cut your hair against the direction your hair grows, starting from the bottom and moving upward in a smooth line. You’ll likely need to do a few passes to make sure you’ve gotten all the hairs.

For the back, use a handheld mirror so you can see what you’re doing and work slowly, cutting the hair by moving the clippers upward. For the top, you can select a higher clipper guard so the hair is longer, or cut with scissors.

man gel hair
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Finishing up

Once you’ve got the main parts done, you can use a trimmer and work your way along your hairline, cleaning up the edges and sideburns. These can also be used to trim your neck hair if you have any. The last thing is to clean up your work from the bathroom floor or tub because no one wants to walk over tiny hair particles in the bathroom.

You can also use a smoothing gel or hairspray to finish your style off, depending on how much hair is left. As long as you’re not being too aggressive or trying to rush the process, you should end up with a haircut you can be proud of. Don’t cut too much, too fast, or too high up!

The good news is it’s only hair — and it will grow back. If you do mess a section up, don’t worry too much. If you are cutting someone’s hair or having someone cut yours, just make sure to communicate exactly what you are doing or looking for ahead of time so there aren’t any surprises.

Also, give yourself a little grace. It will take time to learn how to cut your hair at home, assuming this isn’t your job professionally. Have patience and understand that things may happen. Just work at your own pace, and over time, you may find you enjoy cutting your own hair at home — and like the results even more than you have coming out of a salon.

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