DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

What skills to learn, what tools to get
m741
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Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

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
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:55 pm

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.

benrickert
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Location: Oslo

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by benrickert »

It sounds like the clipper tool doesn’t matter much? Or does it? Any clippers to avoid?

jacob
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by jacob »

It matters. Get a pro tool that plugs into the wall and drives through hair, wet or dry regardless, like a boss. Avoid battery models and plastic gimmicks. We started with the latter for $30 at WMT in 2004. While it lasted another 15 years to the constant annoyance of the clipper and the clipee, we eventually inherited the good stuff from FIL. Meanwhile, I was continually looking at a $120+ Oster 76 solution. In retrospect, it would have been worth it.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I've been using what I think is the Wahl chrome pro for at least 10 years with no problems. If I remember correctly it was about $40 when I bought it but it looks like the current model is $80 on Amazon, maybe due to increased demand due to covid. Before that I had a very cheap clippers that only lasted a few years.

The ad copy for the chrome pro says they don't need to be sharpened but I have slid them around a whetstone every few years. I don't know if it was really needed or not.

sky
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by sky »

My method for cutting hair with a Wahl clipper is to start with the angled combs and cut a circle around the ear, with the comb directly following the curve of the ear. There are two angled combs, one will work from front to back on one ear, and from back to front on the other ear, so I do both ears, then switch to the other angled comb and go over the ears again in reverse direction. Then I use the 1/2" comb up the sides and back and as I come around the curve at the crown of the skull, I lift the clipper straight up without changing the angle to create a fade of sorts. I do this around the head, several times over each area. Then I use a 3/4" comb on the top of the head, front to back, back to front, angled, side to side, etc. To shave the back of the neck, I take off the comb and trim up from the neck to a curve where the skull meets the neck. I do this by feeling, although I like the idea of using a rubber band or cap to establish the trim limit and may try this in the future.

To trim my beard, I use the 1/2" comb and trim both up and down, with the direction of the beard hair and against, several times in each area. I follow up with a trim by scissors over the next few days as the hair relaxes and moves into place.

Lucky C
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Lucky C »

A few of my Wahl plastic attachments broke over the years, and even though I only needed a couple sizes I bought a new pack of all the sizes. They must have changed the design in the past few years because the new ones seem much less likely to snap than the old design. Wanted to mention this in case anyone has had the same problem with their old Wahl clipper attachments - it was well worth replacing.

I also got a size 10 and a size 12 (the pack that came with the clippers only went up to size 8) and the longer sizes come in handy. You just have to be a little more careful with them since they can bend - don't put too much pressure and go slower with them.

benrickert
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:34 am
Location: Oslo

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by benrickert »

Thanks for the advice. Will go for higher quality.
Looks like stores are mostly sold out for high quality clippers (due to corona as suggested previously?) Will just let it grow until they’ve restocked and I can find a sale then. Till over the summer? :roll:

ertyu
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by ertyu »

don't discount looking for very high quality but second hand. my grandfather had an old, metal set made in the USSR in the mid-60s and used it for 50+ years. There were no external attachments (or the external attachments were lost to time) but the blades were in overlapping sets and you could retract one set with a lever to achieve a less close cut. 2 options only, but that thing was immortal. Over time, he'd learned how to get it to do what he wanted it to do.

I'm sure capitalism has come up with a suitable equivalent.

sky
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by sky »

Has anyone tried the hand powered clippers?

Chris
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Chris »

sky wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:53 am
Has anyone tried the hand powered clippers?
Why? Like if you need a haircut while camping? :lol:

I mean, it's cool that they exist, but I've gotta imagine the electric ones allow the user to be more precise, as the action of squeezing the hand will cause position drift.

Alphaville
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Alphaville »

sky wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:53 am
Has anyone tried the hand powered clippers?
i looked for them online after seeing the rob greenfield video about the 44 possessions in a backpack or whatever, but all i could find were pricey and unreliable “vintage” decorations with no accessories and no guarantee they’d work. east german collectible type stuff.

i used to have electric ones but they sucked and i gave them away years ago.

i’m currently using barber’s scissors in what is more of an ongoing pruning operation than an actual cutting session. this also prevents significant disasters (unless i cut my ear off or something).

bigato
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Location: Brazil

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by bigato »

I'm currently letting hair, beard and mustache grow free since the pandemic started as a gauge of sorts of how long it lasted. They are slow to grow in my case, but beard and mustache already can be dealt with using scissors. They are not too thick either. Hair still not long enough to be convenient (such that I could just tie a ponytail). But since I work from home and don't go out much these days for anything, I'm just using a cap. Maybe in a couple more months it will be long enough to be more convenient and easier to deal with. That would allow me to depend a little less on electricity and technology.

horsewoman
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by horsewoman »

DH has a buzzcut / short hair style - I used to maintain it with a electric clipper, but thankfully our teenage daughter has now relieved me of that duty :)

I think we must do something wrong with handling the clippers. After the second cheap one (around 20 euros) died on us, we bought a pro-tool (the one my SIL uses in her hairdresser shop!), but this did not last long than 2 years either, coincidentally it broke just as the warranty was over...
so either all three of us handle the thing in a damaging manner, my husbands hair is made of wire or we're unlucky in picking out clippers. Very frustrating!

guitarplayer
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by guitarplayer »

So now I can say that I have officially managed to replicate Rob Greenfield's effort and cut my hair with a manual hair trimmer. Contrary to what he says in one of his videos, it is possible to purchase a manual hair clipper from China on ebay, but one has to wait over a month for it to arrive. For example:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Retro-Vintag ... SwHk9eqAic

The nut here is plastic and not metal and in my case broke. Possible to replace with a 3mm nut (ideally butterfly wing, but I had a regular one and worked as well).

I used a 9mm clip and a 6mm just above the ears and hairline at the back. DW tells me I look good, I think so too!

Benefits:
* free exercise for the forearms
* stretching (to cut the hair at the back)
* free haircut
* no electricity needed
* cheaper
* can be done anywhere with a free standing+hand mirror

It works for bread brilliantly as well.

guitarplayer
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by guitarplayer »

I must say that in order to get the clips fit onto the trimmer, I had to file/cut the back of the lower blade part (the rounded bit on the photo if you click the link). Where I live there is a great workshop so I was able to do it on an electric grinder in 10min.

bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by bigato »

I ended up putting the hair clipper to work again. What a relief. It is so much trouble to let the hair grow until it is big enough. That transition period sucks. I used the clipper without a comb just because it is simpler to do on my own and be uniform.

ZAFCorrection
Posts: 366
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by ZAFCorrection »

I cleaned and oiled my electric clippers for the first time in six years. Apparently that is how long it takes for them to lose lubrication and get jammed up with bits of hair. Probably should do it more frequently. But $15 for six years of haircuts and beard maintenance is pretty alright.

5ts
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:43 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by 5ts »

Wahl evangelist and Super Taper II owner.

** GET A MADE IN USA MODEL **

Even if secondhand, USA made. Keep it clean, keep it oiled, and adjust the blades. It will last decades.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw4lYMbWE28

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