Taking care of your hair is something that almost every man must do unless you’re one of the bald ones.
For men with hair to worry about, you’ve probably spent quite a bit of money over the years at the barbershop or hairdressers and wondered if it was really worth what you paid them.
Is it possible for men to cut their own hair and how hard is it?
Although it might look easy when you sit in the barber’s chair, cutting men’s hair is a skill that must be learned if it’s going to be done right.
Men can learn how to cut their own hair but it takes practice and requires the right tools for it to look professional, so you have to put in the effort.
If you’ve ever considered saving some money with DIY men’s haircuts, you’re not alone.
That’s why we’ve created this simple guide to cutting your own hair at home, the tools you’ll need to do it, and some steps to achieving the most popular hairstyles that men request from their barber.
Can You Cut Your Own Hair?
Haircuts used to be something that people left to their barber to do, or even their mother when they were younger, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet and the sharing of life skills, you can learn how to cut your own hair at home.
Of course, like any skill, you need to practice, and cutting hair is not something that can be easily practiced on a real-life model. Therefore, you’ll need to be patient with yourself while you learn the basics and be prepared to make some mistakes.
For those who want to take it seriously, you can also purchase a synthetic hair model like professional hairdressers do their training on, but it’s expensive and probably not necessary.
You can learn the basics on your own hair but you have to be prepared to shave it all off if everything goes wrong, and start all over again when it grows out.
What You Need to Cut Your Own Hair
To cut your own at home, you only need a few things, but they should be good quality tools that can give you the same result as a professional hair salon. For men, get your hair cutting kit in order with the following:
- Professional hair clippers with a range of attachments for different cuts;
- Hair cutting scissors (not regular scissors);
- Hand-held mirror to view all angles;
- Spray bottle filled with water;
- Optional: cape, styling products, blow dryer;
What to Do Before You Cut Your Hair
Before you go gun’s blazing into your first home haircut, there are some things to do first.
Haircutting isn’t a job that you want to do without being prepared and since you’re cutting your own hair, you’ll be the one paying the price if it goes wrong.
Once you start doing the job regularly, this will become second nature, but while you’re still learning the ropes you should treat it carefully.
Firstly, think about the style of haircut you’re trying to achieve. Don’t just wing it and cut pieces of hair without having a plan in place and knowing how to achieve it.
Understand that you’ll have to take regular breaks to step back and look at your hair from all angles to assess how it’s going.
Have a picture for reference that you can refer to, and make sure you choose a style that’s going to be easy to maintain and manage daily.
Secondly, you need your tools assembled with a good understanding of how they work. This isn’t the time to be testing out your new hair clippers without knowing what any of the attachments do and what effect they have on hair.
Make sure you’re aware of the tools and how to use them before you apply that to your own head of hair. Have everything laid out in front of you in an easy to reach space and get your tools set up in front of a mirror.
Finally, take a shower and wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner, making sure to remove any product still in it.
Hair is easier to cut while wet if you’re using scissors, but if you’re using an electric razor or trimmer, it’s better done dry but still freshly washed. If you need some moisture, that’s what your spray water bottle is for, because it only needs to be slightly damp.
Step by Step Guides for Easy Hairstyles
There’s never been a better time to attempt a DIY haircut thanks to the internet, and there are plenty of great resources out there to help you achieve your dream style.
We’ve assembled some of the most popular hairstyles for men, and the easiest to do for yourself, so you won’t have to step foot in the barbershop ever again.
High and Tight
The popular high and tight haircut consists of a fuller top with shaved sides, fading into each other for a seamless look. It should be maintained every few weeks for the best look, only need a little trim each time after the initial styling.
- Once hair is damp, comb it down so it’s completely straight.
- Using your clippers and the #2 attachment, buzz the sides of your hair in an upward motion starting from the bottom. Aim for about four inches of hair at this length, or halfway up the head.
- Switch to a #6 guard and then buzz the top part of the hair and follow down for around four inches so that it meets the first part you trimmed.
- Blend the two newly cut pieces with the #2 guard, taking care to smooth them so they connect seamlessly.
- Attach the inverted clippers and tidy up the areas around the back of the neck and the ears so no stray hairs are found.
The textured cut can be used by men of all ages and is ideal for all hair types. Men with thin hair will appreciate the fullness it gives to their hair and men with thick hair will like how it reduces the volume.
It requires some additional styling to perfect, so it’s better suited to men who don’t mind spending a few minutes styling their hair.
- Comb the hair straight down once damp, and attach the #3 attachment to your clippers.
- Start at the front of the ears and work your way up to the top of the head, moving in rocking motions from side to side.
- Slowly move your way from the side of the head to the back, meeting the cuts from either side at the back and blending them.
- Pull up the top strands of hair and use the clipper-over-finger technique to cut hair at different lengths. This creates texture with layers.
- Work on the bangs last, only trimming them a small amount at first until you reach the length you desire.
- Use a #5 attachment and a comb to blend the top and bottom sections.
- Clean up the back of the neck and ears with the inverted clipper attachment.
A good pair of clippers and willingness for a clean-shaven head are all you need to perform the close cut. This is incredibly easy to do, takes minimal work to maintain, and is a style that suits all types of men.
- Set your electric clippers to the closest position to your head.
- Start at the bottom of your hair and work your way upwards in a rocking motion, cutting the sides and back of the head first.
- As you move your way around, rotate the head of the clipper so it stays in the same position as it changes sides. Use only small strokes and keep careful watch in the mirror.
- Once finished with the sides, start at the front, top of the head and move all the way back in straight strokes. Go back over the top of the head a few times until it’s completely smooth.
- For an even closer cut, you can use a shaver to shave the head. Repeat every few days or as needed to keep the length you desire.
The side part offers something a little different that can be styled up for formal occasions or left loose for when you’re relaxing at home.
It features a clean cut on the sides with the bangs left long and styled back, and it’s ideal for those with a little bit of hair cutting skills to boast about.
- Spray your hair with water and then comb it into its natural part, preferably slightly to one side.
- Attach a #4 guard to your clipper and start at the front of the ear, going around the head in upward strokes. Aim for around three inches of hair upwards at this point.
- Move up to a longer attachment guard and then do the next three inches upward. Use a rocking motion that helps to blend these two bottom sections together.
- Keep this attachment and cut the top of your hair with the clipper-over-finger technique to give a textured finish.
- Cut your bangs last, a little at a time, and then use a long attachment to blend the parts together.
- Use the inverted clipper attachment to clean the back of the neck and ears. Style as desired by brushing the hair over to one side and setting there.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘faux-hawk’ the peaked cut is a great way to bring your look into the 21st century.
This hairstyle needs to be styled for the full effect but you can easily leave it loose when you want a casual look. It features a high peak at the front and shorter sides and back.
- Leave the hair dry to start and use an attachment #3 on your clippers. Starting at the front of your hair, make your way past the ears by pushing them down, and then move to the back of the neck. Only cut up to two inches to start with.
- Select a #2 attachment and then do the next two inches the same, being sure to blend them together when you’re done.
- Cut the left and right sides of the next two inches up without touching the center of your head.
- Cut the hair at the nape of the neck at the same length without cutting the hair on top, as this needs to be left for the faux-hawk.
- Blend these three parts together using rocking motion and moving upwards.
- Push the top part of the hair up and away from the hair and perform some light textured cuts with your scissors.
- Apply some styling products to make the hair stand up, and perform extra trims on damp hair if needed.
Healthy Hair Habits for Men
Just as important as knowing how to cut your own hair is knowing how to take care of it. Good hair care isn’t something only women need to know about, as hair is also one of men’s most important assets. Try some of these tips and tricks to keep your hair as healthy as possible, making it even easier to cut.
Lower your shower temperature
Aim for a lukewarm shower to keep your hair in the best condition. Hot showers can do a lot of damage to hair and a cold shower should be kept for the very end if you’re hoping to add some last-minute shine to it.
Check your hair product ingredients for sulfate and avoid them where you can. Sulfates create a whole lot of foam when washing your hair, so it might seem like it’s doing a good job cleaning it, when in fact it’s stripping all of the good stuff from it as well.
Shampoo twice a week
Unless you really need it, the average man should be shampooing his hair twice a week. Anything more than this, and you’ll be stripping your hair of its natural oils.
This leads to dry, damaged hair that ends up producing excess oil of its own, making your scalp feel greasy.
Apply a treatment
Sure, it might feel like the least manly thing you can do, but your hair will thank you for it. Aim for a deep conditioning treatment once a month to restore its shine and moisture, and keep it your little secret if you have to.
Dry with care
We can be reckless when we step out of the shower and dry our hair off with the towel, but we shouldn’t be.
Rubbing your hair with a towel can do damage, so the best approach is to squeeze the moisture out into a towel and pat it dry. It might take a little longer but it’s worth it.
Hair Care Done at Home
For the modern man, there are so many benefits to learning how to cut your own hair at home. You get total control over how it looks, you’ll save a whole lot of money, and it’s a neat skill you can pass onto others, or save all for yourself.
With just a few of the right tools and products and a little bit of patience, you’ll save awkward trips to the barber where you leave unhappy and will be able to take your style into your own hands.
Our hair is one of our most important features and one that will be noticed most, so whatever we can do to keep it looking its best is essential.
Cutting your own hair might be a daunting task at first, but once you get a handle on the tools and how your hair reacts to them, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
To make matters easier, we’ve answered some common questions about DIY hair cutting and styling that can help you out.
How Do You Hide Thinning Hair?
Some haircuts hide thinning hair better than others, including textured and layered styles.
Try not to overbrush the hair as it can make it more obvious and use a blow dryer to add volume. Most men’s hair products will be too heavy for thinning hair so only use a small amount if needed.
How Much Are Hair Clippers?
Investing in a good pair of hair clippers is an important part of cutting your own hair, and you can expect to spend from $100 upward for a set.
This usually includes the attachments and other accessories including a comb and styling tools. Choose a pair of clippers that have good warranty coverage and a reputable brand behind them.