Don’t worry, it will grow back.
That’s my first word of advice to men when you are thinking of cutting your hair at home.
Remember that as you take that first hunk of your own hair off. It takes the pressure off that first time you are about to give yourself a trim, or even to give yourself a fade, which is more difficult.
There are a lot of reasons for men to trim your own hair, but for those that have already decided, you need somewhere to start.
In this article, I will go over some techniques to give yourself a professional looking men’s haircut at home.
With some videos added in, you absolutely can’t go wrong.
Well, sort of. You actually can go wrong! But, you can at least hedge your bets and give yourself the best chance to trim your own hair. Men’s haircuts may look easy, and they are, but one thing to remember is that you can see mistakes with short hair much easier than long.
Some Thoughts Before You Cut Your Hair Yourself for the First Time
Cutting your own hair requires the proper mindset to really ensure that you are successful.
Take it seriously from the start and plan it out beforehand and you are giving yourself a head start.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had to fix a home haircut because the guy didn’t have a plan or any idea what it takes to give yourself a haircut at home. The fact that you’ve read this far tells me that you’re halfway there!
Don’t make any plans
Before you trim your own hair for the first time, make sure you have the time to do it properly. You don’t want to rush this.
Depending on the type of men’s haircut, it could take an hour or two to figure it out and fix any potential mistakes.
The next thing is to not decide to cut your hair because you have a wedding to go to and procrastinated for too long. You are almost guaranteed to look like a fool at that wedding with a DIY haircut that was rushed and unplanned.
If you have an important event, make sure you go to a barber instead.
Make an appointment just in case
Going back to the first tip about clearing your schedule, plan to trim your own hair when you have plenty of time.
In other words, if you have the whole day off, plan to cut your hair in the morning, but have an appointment at the barber or stylist at some point later in the day.
Hopefully, it is a shop that lets you cancel an appointment without costing you any money.
This way, if all goes well and your home haircut is on point, then you can just cancel the appointment and go do something fun while looking dapper with your new cut.
Otherwise, if you get yourself into trouble and just can’t fix your cut, you can mosey right on over to your nearest barber and have him fix it.
Ask him for some pointers for next time. Even though you are asking him to tell you some tips that will lose him business, he will likely give you some guidance on what you could have done better.
Live with the mistakes
You have to be a bit of a risk taker when you trim your own hair. Men generally are more than women when it comes to cutting their own hair it seems.
With that in mind, be ready to have to walk around for a bit with some less than ideal looking locks.
It takes a bit to learn and you can learn more from your mistakes than you realize.
If you are the type that doesn’t mind looking funny for a while, either on your way to the shop to have your mistakes fixed, or until you master your own haircuts, then you will likely eventually succeed at doing some good looking DIY haircuts at home.
Get the Proper Tools
You don’t need to go all out and spend hundreds on professional tools for a home haircut.
The other side of the coin is that you shouldn’t go totally cheap and get tools that will not give you a good cut.
If you think you can use the scissors from your junk drawer that you use to cut paper, plastic or cardboard boxes, then you’re gonna have a bad time.
The best clippers for home haircuts should be the best you can get for your budget, while still making your DIY haircut economical.
A good pair of haircutting scissors is indispensable. Again, we have a handy guide to learn the best scissors for you to cut your hair at home here.
Though not 100% necessary, you should also think about some thinning shears. These are the scissors that have teeth on them. They are a great shortcut to blend in hair from where the clippers meet where you used the scissors. Even barbers use them to cut down the time it takes to do a haircut.
Then, you really need a good three way mirror, or at the very least a handheld to see behind your head when used with a bathroom wall mirror.
The three way is best because it frees up your hand. Cutting your own hair is hard enough without needing to do it one handed while trying to angle your handheld at the same time.
Not to say you can’t do it, but you’re making your life harder.
A nice to have item is also a barber cape to keep clean up to a minimum. If you don’t mind getting hair all over yourself when you trim your own hair, then you can easily skip this.
How Should You Cut Your Hair at Home?
Guys, my first tip is to not overthink this too much.
Make the type of haircut as easy as possible the first time and then later you can get into more complex styles once you know what you are doing.
Give yourself a buzzcut
Obviously, the easiest way to cut your own hair for men is to give yourself a buzzcut.
All you have to do is decide on the length you want to leave the hair and then use the appropriate clipper guard and go over your head.
Use some decent clippers that will cut evenly, quickly and won’t bend your hair.
Make a few passes to make sure you don’t have any stragglers, but that is all there is to it.
Then you just need to clean up the edges and neckline, but I will go over that in more detail further down the article.
How to give yourself a fade
If you want to fade your own hair, you’re going to need a lot of time and patience to get this right.
And, it is more important than ever to use the right clippers. Use some affordable professional clippers like a Wahl brand set. The best way to go is to use clippers with an adjustable blade.
Having the kind of precision an adjustable blade gives will make your life easier and the fade look professional.
As you can see, he used some good tools. From professional clippers to the three way mirror.
This made his job easier and was less likely to leave any lines or dark spots where the fade started.
Easy DIY Haircut | Men’s Regular Taper
The second easiest haircut to do at home after the buzz cut is the men’s regular haircut.
Again, with the right tools this is not that difficult.
The key to this DIY male haircut is to start out long and if you need to, go shorter.
Remember, you can take the hair off but can’t put it back on.
Use the longest clipper guard to get started on the sides and back, blend it into the top and then trim the top with scissors as needed.
Finish the haircut and take a look.
If you think it should be shorter, go a blade shorter on the sides and back and then blend it in again. You may need to trim the top a bit shorter to make sure the cut is all even.
Do this until you get the right length.
Here is a video on how to cut your hair with clippers to get you started.
How to cut your hair with scissors
This is a little more tricky than cutting your hair with clippers as it takes a bit of maneuvering.
If you are ambidextrous then, great, you can pretty much get the right angle no matter what.
For the other 99% of us, this takes some agility.
To prep your hair to get the best results, make sure your hair is damp.
If you are just out of the shower, then towel dry it but not completely. If you’re starting with dry hair, then spray it a bit with a water bottle.
Next, style your hair the way you intend to wear it.
To start cutting, you want to work methodically. Start at the edges and work your way up.
Pick up about a half centimeter of hair in between your fingers, with your fingers always being parallel to your face. When you are cutting the sides, then your fingers will be perpendicular to the ground. Cutting the top, they will be parallel to the ground.
Here is a video that kind of covers the technique, except he had already cut the sides. It should give you the basic idea, however.
The key to remember here is that your hair will shrink when it is dry. If you feel like you need it a bit shorter. Dry your hair with a hair dryer first before you start cutting again.
Wet hair expands roughly 30%, so if you want to leave your hair an inch long, make sure it is over an inch when it is wet.
You get a little more leeway when cutting with scissors if your hair is a bit long. Any mistakes will be covered up, especially if you’re going for the messy look.
If you are cutting your hair short, then any short or long spots will be visible immediately. In this case, I recommend going with the longest guard for the clippers you can get and using that rather than cutting with scissors.
How to trim your own neckline/back of your neck
When you cut your own hair for men, this part really screws guys up.
Whether it is after cutting your own hair, or because you are in between haircuts and can’t make it to the barber, a lot of guys end up screwing up the back of their neck.
Really the best way around this is to fade the neckline. Using clippers and a three way mirror this is not that hard.
Trying to make a square or rounded neckline is a lot more difficult to do yourself and not make it lopsided.
The best way is to use a neckline edger template like this one from Amazon.com.
That will ensure it is square and even.
Take a look at this video on how to clean up your neck hair and see how it can be done without the template.
Reasons You Should Cut Your Own Hair
Should I cut my own hair, you’re asking?
As I barber I want to say no!
Seriously, though, there are some great reasons to give yourself a haircut so to answer that question, let me outline a few reasons to give yourself a haircut.
Even living somewhere with a low cost of living, haircuts can cost you up to $40 per month if you go twice per month.
Factor in living in a major city with a high cost of living and I won’t be surprised that you spend at least that much getting your hair cut once per month.
If you end up cutting your own hair, you can cut your hair once a week and keep it looking fresh all the time and it won’t cost you anymore than what you spent on tools.
You worked late the day you really needed a haircut and the barber shop was closed. Or, you only had an hour because you made a last minute date with a lady, but when you got to the shop, there was a long wait.
If you already know how to cut your hair and have the right self haircut tools, then you can clean yourself up at home and not be on somebody else’s time.
Something that always bugged me about getting my hair cut (when I had hair!) was having hair down my back itching me all day.
Cut your own hair before you jump in the shower and you won’t be dealing with that at all.
You’re In Control
Ever been to the barber and thought you had given pretty specific instructions on how you wanted your hair done to find the exact opposite of what you asked for?
Or, your barber is goofing off with the other barbers or customers instead of focusing on your haircut. Needless to say, it wasn’t what you were looking for.
Even worse is when your barber is on the phone while he cuts your hair.
Even if you don’t end up cutting your hair, if any of these things happened to you, I would find a new barber anyway.
If you cut your own hair, then you can be sure that you are going to cut it the way you want. You might make a mistake early on when you are learning, but eventually you will get the perfect cut every time when you do it yourself.
You can also experiment with different styles without paying a lot only to find you don’t like it.
Learn a New Skill
It’s always good to learn something new to keep yourself independent. Whether we are talking about growing a garden, doing home improvement or learning to cut your own hair.
Nothing will beat the feeling of getting compliments on your haircut and when people ask where you went, you can say you did it yourself.
Beyond the self satisfaction you get when you look in the mirror and a sharp looking haircut is looking back at you, you keep your brain firing when you learn new skills.
Whatever your reason for cutting your hair yourself, I hope this guide has helped you.
Even if all it did was take some of the anxiety out of cutting your own hair.
Just remember that you can do it. With the right approach and some practice there is no reason you can’t give yourself a professional looking haircut.
Without the right tools, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.
You may be reluctant to pay for tools with the risk that you don’t like cutting your own hair and only do one cut. Remember, though, that you can always sell your tools to a friend, online or possibly even to your barber if things don’t work out.
Do you have any stories about cutting your hair yourself?
Any questions that I didn’t cover in the article?
Drop your comments in the box below and I will get back to you!