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 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:44 am

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 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:20 am

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.

Augustus
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Augustus » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:22 pm

This guy is a little goofy, but I followed his instructions and they work well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf9tC4L3dP4 I don't do his fancy haircut, just a simple mens one. scissors on top, 8 on the top sides, 4 on the bottom sides.

I trim the neck hair with a hand mirror and a comb, I put the comb on the line I want while looking in the hand mirror, then I put down the mirror and use the clippers to trim off everything below the comb. It's like cooking, you can always add more salt (cut more hair), but you can't add less (cut less). Wife approves, or at least doesn't tell me that I look like an idiot while sniggering when I'm not looking.

It's pretty easy to do, does not require any special skill. My first try took a while but it turned out okay, now I can cut it and shower after in a half hr or less. Quicker and more convenient than paying for it.

anesde
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by anesde » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:15 am

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 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:01 am

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 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:22 am

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.

Augustus
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Augustus » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:28 am

If you guys are really worried about the neck hair being trimmed straight, you can buy one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Amaping-Template ... B07KXFZNGB

The comb/mirror technique I mentioned above works pretty well though.

Fish
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Fish » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:40 pm

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

anesde
Posts: 88
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by anesde » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:20 pm

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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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Peanut » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:29 pm

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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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by SustainableHappiness » Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:14 am

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.

bigato
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by bigato » Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:23 am

I used shave the head, and that I could do myself without looking, only by touch. I had to be focused tough, otherwise I would make some cuts. I liked the result so much, but other people didn't. It seems that a shaved head looks good on black people but I'm awfully white. Same kind of comments and at some point I got tired of them. Nowadays since I'm not actively trying to retire, I don't care paying a guy to do a military style cut for me, twice a month. But I'm following the posts with interest, wondering if I'd be able to get a similar cut doing it myself, in case I decide I want to quit the job and live from investments.

Augustus
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Augustus » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:39 pm

bigato wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 11:23 am
I don't care paying a guy to do a military style cut for me, twice a month. But I'm following the posts with interest, wondering if I'd be able to get a similar cut doing it myself, in case I decide I want to quit the job and live from investments.
It's honestly more convenient/faster to do it at home. I timed myself yesterday, I did a haircut + neck trim in 10 minutes, and shower + shave in an additional 10. I was done with everything in 20. It's not very hard to do a simple mens haircut like this one:
Image

That's effectively what I'm doing at home in 10 minutes. Scissor cut the top, 8 on the top sides, 4-5 on the bottom sides. Very easy.

I'm assuming military cut is even simpler/faster.

This is the video I used while learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf9tC4L3dP4

Now I don't even bother with a lot of the steps like wetting or combing the lines I'm trying to achieve. I know where the lines are by instinct now and I just cut.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:19 pm

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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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:22 pm

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
Posts: 88
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by anesde » 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.

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.

bigato
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by bigato » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:58 pm

I took the bait and bought a cheap Wahl kit for less than I'd pay for 4 cuts at a cheap barbershop. Considering that I was going twice a month, it should pay itself in two months.

jacob
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Re: DIY Clipper Hair Cuts

Post by jacob » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:16 pm

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 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:49 pm

@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 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:38 am

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.

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