According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, men’s hair grows at a faster rate than women’s hair does. This means that men are somehow accustomed to regular visits to the barber that it becomes an almost “ritual” experience. However, there are times when perhaps you find it impractical or impossible to continue this regular habit. You might have to find alternative ways on how to cut your own hair.
Many men are now adhering to DIY haircuts at home because they are much cheaper and more efficient. Check out below everything you need to know about trimming your hair to keep you looking fresh!
1. Get The Right Tools
You will need the proper hair cutting tools before you start. You can’t just grab any scissors out of your drawer and begin trimming your hair. The essential self hair cutting tools that you should have are clippers, scissors, and a mirror.
A pair of electric clippers are likely the most commonly used tool for cutting men’s hair, especially if you want to taper fade your sides. You should also get familiar with the sizes of your clipper. Most clippers generally have size numbers, ranging from 0 to 8. Each number from 1-8 represents hair lengths in increments of 1/8 inch and number 0 is for when you want a very close shave.
A good and sharp pair of scissors will help further shape your hair, especially on top. Scissors also come in a few numbers of different variations. The basic type is called barber shears, which are very sharp and efficient in cutting the hair. Gauge the length of your hair you want to cut using a straight comb or your fingers.
A regular mirror in your bathroom can work just fine for your DIY haircut. However, it’s also ideal to invest in a three-way mirror to ensure that you see every angle of your sides and back. Avoid holding the mirror while you cut your hair. Using a handheld mirror while cutting your hair makes things more difficult for beginners when you’re using just one hand to cut your hair.
2. Decide On What Hairstyle You Want
You should determine the ideal hairstyle you want to achieve before starting. Thankfully, there’s a lot of guides that you can check on Youtube for almost every hairstyle there is. Browse through a couple of those videos for inspiration and maybe do some visual practice in front of the mirror. Feel free to customize the recommended haircuts according to your own face shape, hair type, and preference.
Take into account how long your hair already is and how much you want to cut. Do you want to go from a long cut to a short cut? Or do you want to just trim off a little bit of the length? Once you have decided what you want to do with your hair, you can then research what hairstyles look best for your desired look. For some hairstyling inspiration, check out our articles on short, medium and long haircuts to try out.
3. Chose The Right Place To Do Your Hair Cut
Most men prefer to do DIY haircuts in the bathroom because it’s easy to clean up after. Wherever you choose to cut your hair, make sure that there is enough space for you to maneuver and that the lighting is good enough for you to see every angle of your head. If your bathroom is too small, consider finding a more appropriate place in your house. The most ideal place is an open room with natural light that won’t obscure your view.
4. Have Your Tools Ready Before You Start
Now that you have your basic haircutting tools, have all of them ready in front of you before you start the haircut. You don’t want to have to stop halfway to look for your tools and lose track of your progress, which might result in you cutting off more hair than intended. Position yourself in a well-lit place and angle yourself so you can comfortably see where you’re cutting in the mirror.
5. Dampen Your Hair
Dampen your hair before you start cutting your hair; keep a spray bottle nearby to spritz your hair with water. You can also opt to go for a full wash beforehand. When your hair is damp, strands clump together which makes it easier for you to cut. Wetting your hair also straightens and flattens your hair so you can determine the actual length of your hair. However, if you only want to cut your split ends, keep your hair ends dry so you can see where the damaged hair is.
6. Section Your Hair
Divide your hair into sections so you can clearly mark out the longer and shorter parts of hair. Use the end of a tail comb to part your hair how you like it and comb it into place. Afterwhich, use your fingers to gather up sections of your hair and hold them in place with clips or hair ties, if your hair is long enough.
A recommended way to section your hair is to gather hair from your temples to the center bone at the back of your head; this is a good part to start your fades. However, if you’re going for a different style, feel free to divide and section your hair accordingly. If you’re not too sure of where to start, a good tip is to start with a lower section and if you find it looks good, you can re-divide your hair and work up from there.
7. Start With Your Sides
Set up the desired haircut number to your clipper and position it at the side of your head. Begin shaving from the bottom and move your clipper steadily upwards before working your way to the back. You will need to tilt slightly the clipper and keep it flush against your scalp, almost as if you’re “scooping” your hair. As you run the clippers, inspect from time to time and ensure that all the hairs are of the same length.
It may take a few passes of trimming to achieve a uniform length of your hair. Modern and more common styles feature shorter hair on the sides and on the back. To achieve this, you should use a smaller haircut number for your sides and back compared to the haircut number for your top. If you’re not into buzz cuts, use your clipper only to your sides and back. Your scissor will do the cutting on top instead of a clipper.
8. Apply Some Fades
This may be one of the hardest tips on how to cut your own hair. It requires a little skill and practice to do it well. However, if done right, fades give extra beauty and style to your hair, so it’s not recommended to skip this tip only because it’s a little challenging. A fade is a form of tapered haircut, which features gradually trimming the hair on your sides and back shorter as it gets closer to the neck to form a faded gradient effect.
First, you will have to identify where the fading will start on your head. Decide whether you opt for a low fade or high fade. A more classic appeal normally features a low fade while an edgy style features a high fade. The next step is to identify how short your faded sides are going to be. We recommend starting with a number 2 or number 3 on the clippers, increasing in number as you move upwards.
9. Clean Up Your Hairline
To keep your hairstyle look sharper and neat, clean up your hairline with a pair of trimming scissors. You can also use your clippers to trim around your hairline and neckline. The objective is to have the hairline curve nicely around your ear. Don’t press down too hard on the skin while shaving your hairline. You don’t want to cause irritation and redness to your skin. Do it gently and with precision so you can get that smooth, neat edge.
10. Don’t Forget Your Beard
Your beard impacts your overall appearance as much as your hairstyle does so don’t skip the beard. As important as hair cutting tools are, you should stock up on tools to maintain your beard as well. Decide if you opt to go for a clean shave or if you want to leave some hair left. Depending on your preference, your beard should complement your face shape and your desired hairstyle to create a cohesive look.
Of course, the best way is to get your hair professionally cut by a barber but when you’re in a pinch, it’s not an impossible task to accomplish. The idea can be intimidating at first but don’t let that fear prevent you from learning how to cut your own hair. It is a useful survival tip that might come in handy when you least expect it.
After all, your hair will go back to its original length anyway so don’t stress yourself out too much just because you aren’t able to achieve your desired style. Learning how to cut your own hair is a trial and error process; over time with more practice, you’ll be better equipped and more confident. It’s also a great chance for you to experiment with different styles; who knows, you might accidentally find a new style that you end up liking eventually!