With the right supplies and expert advice, you can turn your bathroom into a temporary salon.

By Jennifer Aldrich
April 27, 2020
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Now that salons have been closed for several weeks, many of us could use some primping. (I've already removed my dip manicure and purchased cover-up spray to cover my roots.) If you have short hair, a trim is probably at the top of your to-do list, although you might be a little bit nervous about picking up the shears yourself or letting someone else go to town on your hair. (Especially when there are plenty of photos and videos of hair cuts gone wrong circulating on the internet.) To help you (or a partner) get it right, we reached out to Kate Bryan, a professional hairstylist in Raleigh, North Carolina, who also runs The Small Things Blog, where she regularly posts tutorials on hair, makeup, and skincare. Although it may seem intimidating, Bryan says anyone can learn how to cut men's hair correctly. Follow her step-by-step tutorial to get it right.

Supplies You'll Need for a Hair Cut

First things, first. You're going to need proper supplies. (And no, that doesn't include your craft scissors, kitchen knives, or garden shears.) Bryan recommends a good pair of hair shears, which you can buy on Etsy for just $21.99. You'll also need clippers with a few different guard sizes, such as the Conair Barber Shop Full Size Clipper, $33.99, Target. The other must-have item to buy is a comb, for $2.76 at Ulta. Ideally, Bryan also says you should get a hair cape to avoid a big mess, which you can get for $30 on Etsy.


How to Cut Men's Hair

Now it's time to show off your skills. "The haircut I do for my boys and husband is just a classic men’s haircut," Bryan says. "I use clippers on just about anything from below the temples, and blend the length with scissor cutting on top." Whether your stylist starts dry or wet hair at the salon, Bryan says to start with dry hair at home. "It’s easier to cut dry hair because you can see the true length that the hair will be, versus cutting wet hair that will shrink up a bit when it’s dry," she explains.

Step 1: Use Your Clippers

To begin, take your clippers and run it along the nape and the back of the neck. "Usually, a 3 or 4 guard is a good length, and you can always go shorter if you need to," Bryan says. "Use the clippers going vertically, on an angle, and horizontally on the hair to make sure you cut everything below the temples," she explains.

Step 2: Trim with Your Scissors

After that, take your scissors and pull the hair on top of the head from the root, and trim the ends. "Always pull the hair straight up instead of on an angle to ensure you are getting even cuts all around," Bryan notes. Cut one section, then add a bit more hair, and use your first cut as a guide so everything comes out even. Keep doing this until you like how the hair above the temples and on top of the head looks, Bryan says.

Step 3: Smooth It Out

To finish, you'll need to blend it all together. "Hold the comb flat against the head, pull the hair out a bit, and trim the invisible 'stair-step' lengths of hair that are longer than the clipper cut hair," she says.

If this is your first time attempting to cut hair, take it slow and only take off a little bit at a time, Bryan says. If you do make a mistake, she recommends accessing it from all angles to see where you should trim more hair to fix it. With these tools and tips, you'll be able to complete a successful cut.


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