How to Cut Your Own Hair: Full Guidelines for Men

Cutting your own hair men tend to hate but is it really that complicated? Whether you’re thinking about cutting your own hair with clippers or cutting your own hair short with nothing but a pair of scissors, both are undoubtedly possible. However, no one can deny that it’s also a somewhat complicated and tricky process at first. What’s more, even if you’ve done it before, cutting your own hair should still be done with a lot of care as even the smallest mistake or distraction can have irreparable consequences.

So, if you’re wondering “Should I try cutting my own hair?” here’s a step-by-step guide for how to cut your own hair, specifically targeted toward men.

The preparation

Given how tricky the whole process is, the best thing you can do first is to make sure that you’ve got everything set and prepared.

  • Wash your hair. As with your beard, your hair is easiest to cut when it’s wet. So, the simplest and best thing to do is to just take an extensive full-body shower and make sure your hair is properly washed before you do anything else.
  • Comb your hair diligently. Your hair can easily get entangled, especially if it’s long enough to be in need of cutting. Washing will make it softer but it won’t necessarily remove such entanglements. So, after you get out of the shower, grab a nice comb and carefully comb your hair to make sure there are no entanglements whatsoever.
  • Dry your hair with a towel. Especially if you’re going to use clippers, it’s important to dry your hair. Don’t air dry it, however, but use a towel instead. Be careful not to ruin the effect of the combing – simply make sure that your hair isn’t too wet.
  • Prepare your “hair cutting station”. Last but not least, make sure that you’ve got everything you’re going to need right in front of you. You’ll need a large mirror, as well as a smaller second mirror for the back of your head. If you have a multi-sided mirror that can be of great help but you’ll still likely need a second mirror. You’ll also need clippers and/or scissors and a couple of combs. It’s also a good idea to spread something under you so that you can gather the cut hair more easily afterward.

How to perform a self haircut

So, here we get into the tricky bit. Depending on what hairstyle you’re going for, what length your hair is and is going to be, and how thick it is, the specifics of the cutting process will be different. Either way, you’ll need to be very careful, have a steady hand, and make sure that you’re not letting your eyes off the mirror. Still, here’s a good guide as well for where and how you should cut in what order:

  • Separate your hair into sections. To make the cutting safer and easier, first, separate your hair into sections using a comb. You’ll need to carefully separate the bangs from the top of your hair, as well as the two sides and the back from the front as well.
  • Use clippers to cut the sides of your hair, one side at a time. Once you’re certain that you’ll only be cutting the sides and not the top, use the clippers to slowly cut the hair there. Go one side at a time with the same cutting size on the clippers. Don’t try to make both sides exactly the same – you’ll be evening them out later. For now, just cut them to the desired length.
  • Use a second mirror to carefully cut the back of your hair. Either have someone to hold a second mirror behind you or find a way to set it securely in place. With it giving you a nice visual of the back of your head, cut your hair there as well. Don’t bother tapering your neckline yet, that can be done later as well. Just make sure you’ve cut the back of your hair as short as you want it to be and be careful not to make it uneven.
  • Cut the lower half of your hair with a shorter clipper setting. Once the sides and the back are properly shorted, use a shorter setting on the clippers to cut the lower half of your hair shorter. Again, this depends on the precise haircut you’re going for, but most men’s haircuts will have the lower sides of their hair be of a shorter length.
  • Use scissors to trim the top of your hair. Using your fingers or a comb, carefully trim the top of your hair with a pair of styling scissors. Do not use any type of scissors that aren’t used exclusively for hair cutting – you want them to be as sharp and as in as good of a condition as possible. Cut your hair one strand at a time and shorten it little by little until you’re sure it’s all of the desired length.
  • Trim your bangs next. If you want or need to, trim your bangs after you’ve trimmed the rest of your top hair. Not all haircuts require that, however.
  • Even the sides. Now that everything is more or less in order, you can do the little things, starting from evening your sides.
  • Cut you sideburns. Next, cut your sideburns to match the rest of your hairstyle or your beard if you have one.
  • Taper your neckline. Last is the next tricky bit – evening your neckline. Use the second mirror again, make sure that everything is well-positioned, and carefully taper your neckline. This is a big deal as if you cut it poorly now you make very well not find out about it until your nest self haircut.
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