At-Home Haircuts?
September 10, 2004 3:14 PM   Subscribe

In an effort to be thriftier, I'm thinking of learning to cut my own hair. I checked online and info is sparse, or mostly aimed at women who trim their own bangs.

Suggestions on books or any other tips/tricks would be appreciated.

A little extra info: the style I have is short on the sides (buzzed, in fact) and short with a bit of a rough cut on top. Definitely low-maintenance.
posted by O9scar to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
I cut my own hair with a Wahl trimmer, but I do not have a style persay, so much as a very short buzz cut. I'm doing it for the same reasons as you, just more half-assed. What I can tell you is that the trimmer I bought came with instructions on how to do all the basic hair-styles, so yours would probably be in there too.

My biggest tip is to get someone else to do it for you, like a lady friend or a very nice room mate who isn't creeped out by the idea. Everything is 10 times harder when you try to do it in the mirror.
posted by Hildago at 4:46 PM on September 10, 2004

I know someone with a similar hairstyle who uses the Flowbee. I have not seen it in action, but it seems to do a good job for him.
posted by lasm at 5:08 PM on September 10, 2004

Response by poster: I do have a spouse who I'm sure would be willing to assist - especially with the annoying back-of-the-head stuff.
posted by O9scar at 5:18 PM on September 10, 2004

Haircutting kit is a great idea. I had a female friend in college who bought one for ~ $30, then gave haircuts to all the guys on her floor in the dorms. One thing, tho: It's pretty hard to get bangs right in the front unless you know what you're doing. Try Haircutting for Dummies, perhaps? [Note: I have not read/endorsed this book :-)]
posted by Happydaz at 5:21 PM on September 10, 2004


[Seriously, you sound like a perfect candidate for that, if you want to be totally self-sufficient (and feel like a living infomercial). If your spouse is willing to chip in, go for the Wahl. Really solid little machine.]
posted by LairBob at 6:13 PM on September 10, 2004

the only essential thing to remember when cutting hair alone?

easy on the back, fella.

really -- I can't tell you how many times I've decided to "touch up" the back and ended up looking like a complete jackass. It's better to have it be a little unkempt than shaved up to your earline.

here's a tip though -- if you *must* mess with the back, shave *DOWNWARDS* with the clippers -- *with* the hair. It's harder to cut it too short this way. You can always take more off, but sadly, you can't put it back on.
posted by fishfucker at 6:31 PM on September 10, 2004

i vouch for the wahl as well. Even the cheap models you can get at walgreen's do a good job. As long as it plugs into an outlet, you're good to go. Never ever ever try to cut your hair with a beard trimmer -- or even worse, a disposable razor (an implement I was stupid enough to use when I shaved my hair into a mohawk in Jr. High. I still remember the cries ringing out in the hallways : "IT'S MR. T!").
posted by fishfucker at 6:40 PM on September 10, 2004

I've cut my own hair for 30+- years.
Up until recently I've used a good pair of haircutting scissors.
I've always had issues with the back and since I cut it REALLY short this time, I used a sister's Flowbee to even it out.

I'll still use the scissors, but the Flowbee is just so good for that final touch-up!
posted by kamylyon at 8:52 PM on September 10, 2004

I just cut my hair yesterday, and got several compliments today, despite it being kind of a rush job with some messy bits. My sister usually fixes those little details for me after I've done majority of the hair cut. I use clippers for the most part and only use scissors to trim around the ears or the occasional obvious missed hair.

The back is always the trickiest. I go mostly by feel, with just periodic checks in the mirror. It takes a little practice to be able to get the back balanced and get a smooth taper. I recommend you get clippers with many different guards, so you can take it down an eighth of an inch at a time. Use the clippers with a rocking motion to get a smooth transition between lengths on the back and sides. And it helps if you're OK with a brushcut if things don't go well.

Also, I find kneeling on the floor makes for less mess than standing or sitting.
posted by teg at 10:59 PM on September 10, 2004

Response by poster: Thank you all - many excellent suggestions here. I'll definitely get some clippers and take it from there.
posted by O9scar at 11:09 PM on September 10, 2004

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