Clippers
October 23, 2004 9:19 AM   Subscribe

How hard is it to use clippers on your own hair and make it look good?
posted by smackfu to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total)
 
not hard at all. I've cut my own hair this way for years, and I'm clumsy and really super hot! the only tricky part is the back of the neck. you may need a friend's help for that.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:25 AM on October 23, 2004


unless you're going for the Buddhist monk look, very. have a friend who knows what he/she is doing help you out.
posted by matteo at 9:27 AM on October 23, 2004


if you're just shaving it all one length, it's super easy unless you're a spaz like matteo.
posted by keswick at 9:43 AM on October 23, 2004


More info: the ultimate goal is a #4 all over without paying $15 every 4-6 weeks.
posted by smackfu at 9:54 AM on October 23, 2004


You'll want someone to help you trim around your ears and your neck. Otherwise you develop these annoying stragglers over your ears, and fur halfway down the back of your neck. The rest you can do yourself.
posted by kindall at 10:01 AM on October 23, 2004


cow-lick. gets me every time opation requires wife/helper...
posted by daver at 10:04 AM on October 23, 2004


Back of the neck can be a problem, and there's always the possibility that you'll leave a bit, but a bit of practice, and you'll be zipping it off in no time. The great thing is that even if you hash it up, a week of growth will even it all out.
posted by seanyboy at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2004


Yep. I don't have any trouble trimming my own hair every month or so. Not difficult at all with a little practice, provided you're going for the same length all over.
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:01 AM on October 23, 2004


Those three-panel mirrors with hinges can really help. I do my hair this way more often than not, and it usually turns out OK.
posted by weston at 11:14 AM on October 23, 2004


I do same length all around (3/8") except I use the angled combs that came with my clipper for over my ears, which works pretty well. After a lot of practice I'm able to do the back of my neck with the 1/4" comb and two mirrors (the reverse image makes navigation difficult), although it's better to have a partner do the back. And you'll need help if you want a more complex or polished-looking do.

I cut my hair every other week. It's easier when I don't take off so much hair at one time. The result is at least as good as the average Supercuts flunky's work and it's much faster, easier, and cheaper. It costs me about $6 a year when I factor in the cost of clipper and replacement blades.
posted by TimeFactor at 11:47 AM on October 23, 2004


#4 on the sides, #6 on the top. easy.
posted by Hackworth at 12:12 PM on October 23, 2004


I tried once and fucked it up good.
posted by muckster at 12:22 PM on October 23, 2004


if you're just shaving it all one length, it's super easy unless you're a spaz like matteo.
posted by keswick at 9:43 AM PST on October 23

posted by matteo at 12:24 PM on October 23, 2004


See also here.
posted by teg at 2:48 PM on October 23, 2004


I don't get it.
posted by keswick at 2:52 PM on October 23, 2004


i do it myself; pauli tidies up the back. i'm not sure it looks particularly good, but it's quick, easy, tidy, inoffensive, dries quick, doesn't get messy. what more could a man ask for?

however, last time, after i'd nicely tidied everything up with a #2, i took off the comb to switch to a #1 for my beard, noticed a stray hair, and swiped the machine across the top of my head. with no comb. which gave me a bald stripe that looked kinda stupid.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:20 PM on October 23, 2004


Oh, that reminds me. A fundamental rule of using clippers on yourself. If they break, they will break in the middle of a haircut. So either keep another set of clippers or baseball cap nearby, or be ready to head down to the store looking like you have mange. Luckily, I had a baseball cap.
posted by keswick at 5:12 PM on October 23, 2004 [1 favorite]


What you don't want to do is go from attachment to attachment up the side of your head as you'll have ledges from each time you jack up the mower.
1]I start my haircut by cutting the hair on top. I just comb my fingers through my hair and run the bare clipper over my fingers. This way the hair on top is longer than my attachments could do, 1 inch to 1.5, slightly longer in the front, and not so uniform as to be hedgelike.
2]I use the taper combs around my ears, which helps as a reference point for the next step.
3]I put on a middle sized comb and fade the sides up to the top taking a little off on each pass and trying to match both sides. Once the sides are done to the edge of your vision, it's not as hard as you'd think to fade the small part left on the back of your head in the mirror. Starting with a med comb for the fade leaves a ledge from the taper, but allows some safety from gouging a chunk or going too far.
4]So after I have the medium fade I match the largest part of the taper combs to the same size straight comb and fade the ledge up into the medium fade.

For trimming the neck, grab a belt that is straight. Hold belt ends in one hand and loop around your neck, lining up the lower edge of the belt with the bottom of your haircut. Double check to make sure it is straight across, and just trim all the hair off below the belt guide. Look in mirror to make sure the cut turned out horizontal, realign if neccesary.
posted by roboto at 5:46 PM on October 23, 2004


If they break, they will break in the middle of a haircut. So either keep another set of clippers or baseball cap nearby, or be ready to head down to the store looking like you have mange.

Yep. Been there.
posted by mortisimo at 1:10 AM on October 24, 2004


Get good clippers by Wahl at a beauty supply shop in the $50+ range and it will be much easier.
posted by mecran01 at 8:29 AM on October 24, 2004


I've been cutting my own hair for years now. 1/8" trim all around. The hardest part is the back of the neck (which i trim by feel with my shaving razor and should I screw up, so what, I'm not looking at it) and the squirrelly hairs near the front of the ear/head interface.

That belt idea is a good one though. Thanks roboto.
posted by Tacodog at 8:29 AM on October 24, 2004


Be prepared for a very messy sink. The clean-up can be a bitch.
posted by picea at 9:30 AM on October 24, 2004


I just cut my hair outside. I realize this may not be an option for you urban dwellers.
posted by keswick at 11:26 AM on October 24, 2004


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