A Stylist's Tips for Cutting Men's Hair at Home Like a Pro
Many salons are open, though we're still in a pandemic, so it's still smart to stay home. If you're someone who dabbled in quarantine haircuts, you might have found it easier than you thought, not to mention much more affordable than going to a salon every few weeks. For an even trim that looks like you know what you're doing, you should be taking advice from an expert, like Kate Bryan, a professional hairstylist in Raleigh, North Carolina, who also runs The Small Things Blog. Bryan posts plenty of easy-to-follow tutorials on her social media pages, including a video of her cutting her husband's hair. Bryan says though it can be intimidating at first, anyone can learn the technique by following her step-by-step directions.
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 ($15, Etsy.) You'll also need clippers with a few different guard sizes, such as the Conair Barber Shop Full Size Clipper ($31, Target.) The other must-have item to buy is a comb ($3, Ulta.) Ideally, Bryan also says you should get a hair cape (from $30, Etsy) to avoid a big mess.
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 them 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.