DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

What skills to learn, what tools to get
ChickenCoop
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Location: Australia

DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by ChickenCoop »

I have been doing my own clipper hair cuts for years, and have saved a lot of money by doing so. I thought I'd post my method incase its helpful to someone.

MY clippers are one of the better Whal models. Some of the cheaper Whal models don't have replaceable parts, so be wary of this. This one came in a kit with cutting combs through to number 8.

I start with damp hair and the number 8 attachment and go over the whole of my head, I then switch to number 2 or 3 and do around my ears and do the bottom couple of inches at the back and sides. I then just blend with the different numbers (3-6) between what ive done at the base and the top. I usually then call on the help of my DW to get a neat line at the back without the attachments.

I don't mind this cut as it keeps a little length at the top (about 1.5") and looks a lot less intimidating than number 2 all over!

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Sounds like it requires some skill. Setting it very low and using the same length everywhere is easier, though you are correct that it may look intimidating.

anesde
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:32 am

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by anesde »

I finally convinced my SO to start cutting my hair a couple of years ago after I convinced her it isn’t rocket science.

I too use the Wahl clippers, sounds like it’s the same set. She uses a #5 all around the sides and the back and cuts to about two fingers thick with scissors on top. The small wahl battery powered beard trimmer that comes with the set is used to clean up the neck.

To get more of a “clean shape up” look she also combs the hair on the sides of my head forward and trims the excess along the lines with scissors.

I’ve found the key is to not cut too much and just get regular (every 3-4 weeks) trims. That way she’s always doing the same thing regularly and doesn’t have to worry about it being different each time.

I honestly like it better than when I paid, and because it’s free I cut/trim my hair much more often which looks better. (I used to get it cut very short every 9-10 weeks in the past and just let it grow out until the next haircut).

Clean up is a beeeze - we do it in our bathroom and just vacuum up afterwards and the weekly bathroom cleaning just follows.

Haven’t tried doing it myself but I imagine it would be more time consuming with a risk of missing something. Easier to enlist the help of a friend or SO if possible.

7Wannabe5
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I used Wahl clippers on my DS30 and his father for many years. Unexpected long term consequence being that my son has pretty much not cut his hair at all since he went off to college, and he now resembles a cross between a Viking and "white Jesus."

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by vexed87 »

I had a go at doing DIY clipper cuts, IIRC I used a number 3 on the sides, 5 on top and blended the two with a number 4. It didn't look too dissimilar to the scissor cut I get at my (cheapish £6) barbers. However I had to recruit DW to tidy the hair line on my neck a couple times, but she did a terrible job of it the last time, the neck line was so uneven the next time I went to the barber they commented that I shouldn't go back to the other barber shop I used! :lol:

My hair started thinning a bit on top this year, I might have to start doing a number 2 all over rather than try hide it... as this involves much less skill than a scissor cut, I don't think I can justify a trip to the barber for that. I'll be dusting off my clippers soon I think.

Fish
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Fish »

Can also DIY this using a postcard (and scissors if you want rounded corners).

anesde
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by anesde »

The key to straight neck hair is to get it done right the first time and keep up with it before it gets unruly. If it’s a big issue head out “one last time” to the barber for a paid professional cut and have someone trim it often (2x a month). It’s much easier to follow a line then create one. Keeps you looking fresh and your wallet full.

Peanut
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Peanut »

Thanks for the thread. I need to start doing this for my kids. Trying to stretch out the haircuts hasn't worked.
Anyone ever use those scissors that are feathered? Like, staggered blades so if it's not perfectly straight it's hidden in the layers.

SustainableHappiness
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by SustainableHappiness »

Thanks for the posts and advice. I have been doing DIY (with help from DW) for about 10 years and usually go either #1 or sometimes 0 all over + shaving my beard down to the fresh face. I do this about 3 times a year and in between let everything get hairy with neck shaves a couple times during the week to make the beard look tidy. It's purely time efficiency driven because I don't enjoy facial and hair maintenance but need to look well-maintained for work.

It has the side effect of being fun to hear people's reactions when I shave everything. I get everything from, "You look older" to "You look younger" to "A shaved head makes you look like you're a cop" to "your new hair cut makes you look buffer" to "you look like a cancer patient" to "you look like a skinhead".

The last two only if I use a #0.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Kriegsspiel »

I just go over it all with a #1.5 (4.5mm). It works for me because I have an exquisitely shaped noggin.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Kriegsspiel »

The 1.5 is cool too because it's the only guard in the set that's not black, so you can't grab the wrong one when you're buzzed (heh). Also, you can do this when you're buzzed.

anesde
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by anesde »

I never really understood why my haircuts took so long at a barber/hairdresser. It used to be anywhere from 20-25 min for what was essentially a super simple cut. Now it takes about 5-10 min for my SO to do it.

I suppose they did some additional stuff like shave the back of my neck with a straight razor, or cut the top with different types of scissors. Never found any of that to make any difference to me though. Mostly it was time spent chatting which always irked me - I don’t particularly like gossip or mindless conversation.

jacob
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by jacob »

anesde wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:30 am
I never really understood why my haircuts took so long at a barber/hairdresser. It used to be anywhere from 20-25 min for what was essentially a super simple cut. Now it takes about 5-10 min for my SO to do it.
Customers might not take kindly to being charged $15 for a 5 minute job. Best make it appear that it's harder than it looks/takes longer than it does. Same reason why a bike shop might ask you to come back an hour later for your flat tire which is otherwise a 2 minute job.

white belt
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by white belt »

@bigato

I'm not sure what officially counts as a "military cut" but it's definitely possible to do your own haircut that will meet US Army regulations. I've been cutting my own hair for ~5 years. I used to rock a butch cut but have recently switched over to something more along the lines of a crew cut.

I use the following tools:

-Oster Fast Feed (with numerous guards)
-Andis T Outliner
-handheld mirror

Those clippers are professional quality and will likely last your entire lifetime with minimal maintenance. Fast Feed is for cutting hair and tapering, T Outliner is for getting a clean outline around the ears and on the back of the neck. The mirror is for seeing the back of your head and getting a side view of your ears (used in combination with a wall mirror).

The method requiring the least skill is to to do a buzzcut that is equal length over the entire head.

However, if you want a traditional tapered military cut look, the most important part of the haircut is the fade on the sides and back. Technically there is a difference between a taper and a fade, but since they are used so imprecisely I will just say they're interchangeable. Youtube provides many great reference videos and as long as you have clippers with multiple length guards you should be able to cut a decent fade on the sides and back your first time through. The key is to find a video of someone who is cutting the same type of hair you have and just follow along one step at a time (if your hair is curly, don't try to do a cut that's for a person with straight hair). Additionally, the greater the difference between the length of hair around your ears compared to the top of your head, the more difficult it will be to fade.

I only cut the hair on top of my head probably every 2 months or so since military haircuts are most strict with length around the ears. For the top of your head, you can use scissors or clippers and it's more straightforward than fading the sides. Cutting the top gets trickier if you're trying to keep the hair in the front longer (like a crew cut).

vexed87
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by vexed87 »

I had mine done with a 1.5 grade. I'm not a huge fan, it took too much colour out of my hair. Maybe I should have eased into it with a slightly longer cut. DW wasn't impressed either. :lol: I might stick with a 2 or 3 in future, but let's see how it looks longer. :shock: :roll:

On the plus side, the cheap £6 cut was cheaper still with clippers at £4/trim.

slsdly
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:04 am

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by slsdly »

I go for a long comb over + fade hair style. I saw a guy on the street a few years back, and thought I could pull that off in the bathroom. Super easy, #2 clippers up the sides and back, and scissors to trim the long comb over to taste (I go mostly straight front to back, although it is angled). On the side where the comb over starts, I bring the clippers right up to its roots, so there is only a short line pointing that way. I also use a baseball cap to shape the trimming in the back / on my neck. Doesn't require much skill, but looks pretty decent and modern. The only time in my life I received compliments on my hair :lol:.

Something like https://www.menshairstylestoday.com/wp- ... or-Men.jpg although I prefer it to not be so long in the front.

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fiby41
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by fiby41 »

I use a rubber band to get the back neck line cut.

m741
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by m741 »

Inspired by this thread I finally bought a clipper set (Wahl Clipper Elite), $44. Did my first haircut today and was pretty happy with it. I can't believe how quickly you come out ahead with this. In most places I spend $20 on haircut+tip, in Seattle it seems like the going rate would probably be $28-30 with tip. So in 2 or 2.5 haircuts I'd make my money back. Plus frankly I waited too long between cuts before (6 weeks), whereas I'll use the trimmer every ~2 weeks, so I'll probably look better than before, on average. As an additional bonus the longer guide levels are perfect for growing and maintaining a longer beard - most beard trimmers were a little short for me. I basically did an intuitive haircut (cautiously) but did something similar to ChickenCoop. So - thanks everyone for starting the thread and all the suggestions.

pa_girl
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by pa_girl »

I've also been cutting my own hair for years. I use cheap clippers that cost less than $20, and I think I've only had to replace them once in the past 13 years that I've been using them. Definitely saves a lot of money.

prognastat
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by prognastat »

I'd feel more comfortable doing this if my hairstyle could be achieved with a electric trimmer/clipper. Not quite as comfortable using scissors and safety razor on my own hair. Given that I get a haircut maybe once a year, usually starting at a little shorter than shoulder length and ending with it down past my collarbones, the savings would also take a little longer to recoup.

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