Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Top 10 (or so) Tips On How To Cut Your Own Hair

Note: To get right to cutting, check out the earlier post on How to Cut a Taper Cut
Ok, so here we are with the clippers, the scissors and a lot of good intention. Where do you go from there, just start chopping away? NO, not unless you want a REALLY crappy haircut. Here are 10 tips for cutting your hair at home.
  1. Get some help. Seriously, you don't have to do it all by yourself. Like babysitting, you can trade services with a spouse or interested friend. The best way to cut your own hair, is to have help. I am serious that cutting the hair on the back and top of your hair is nearly impossible with mirrors. It can be done, but it is really really hard to do well. Get some help. Offer to cut their hair before they cut yours if you like. My wife and I trade cuts, and we have both learned a great deal about hair cutting by doing so, and it saves endless aggravation. If you choose not to get help, then be VERY careful (especially of your knuckles) and move slowly.
  2. Have SHARP scissors and a good kit. This is a pretty big deal. If you buy a hair cutting kit from Costco or Sams club or somewhere, they will come with OK shears, these will be fine to start but will most likely dull more quickly than professional shears. You can make do with these for now however. If you haven't bought a hair cutting kit, I would encourage it. They are usually pretty cost effective, in the $20-$30 range, cheaper than most stylists charge per visit, and will come with shears, electric clippers, guards, combs, brush for the clippers, cape, and lots more. Some even come with ok instructions and videos on how to cut hair.

    P.S. By the way, we got our Conair kit at Costco about a year ago and I don't know if they are still offering, but I was able to find one on Amazon with the same things in it, including the pretty good DVD that shows you some of the tips I am talking about here. You can find it here: tools of the trade.
  3. Work your way UP ^. What am I talking about here? Well, pretty much every technique I have seen requires you to cut from bottom to top.
  4. Wash your hair before you start. Pretty much self explanatory. Hair cuts better when it isn't sticking to itself.
  5. Cut your hair in the kitchen or bathroom. And don't cut your hair over a heater vent, really, trust me on this one.
  6. Wear a dirty t-shirt and socks, no shoes. This is ideal, because if you wear nothing hair gets in weird places, and don't kid yourself that the cape will actually keep the hair all off of you. Hair is weird, it goes everywhere. I think it has to do with quarks :)
  7. Keep combing while clipping or cutting. If you keep combing your hair while cutting, you will get less strays.
  8. Did I mention that you should get some help? This is the biggie to me, so I will say it twice, get someone else to help you or you will look like Shaggy.
  9. Plan to pay for it to get fixed the first time. Nobody ever did anything perfect the first time. You fell off your bike the first time you rode it, and you had trouble completing Zelda the first time you played it. This won't be different, so plan on at least one more trip to the barber/stylist. Then, while you are there, pay really close attention to them, learn from what they do right to your hair, and pay attention to what you think they do wrong as well, and don't do that yourself :)
  10. Get a good set of directions. This blog shows you basics and gives tips, but it doesn't hurt to actually read the manual :)
  11. (Bonus) Practice, practice, practice. You won't get better at this if you don't try it. If you can, practice on somebody else, and just try to take your time and be careful. The video that comes with those clippers up there has demonstrations for several styles, and I will include instructions for a couple more before too long, but this should be good to get you stylin' :)

Well, there you go folks. If you like, look at my earlier post on how to do a Taper cut, which will teach you how to cut your own hair at home. Go ahead, it is actually pretty fun, and the results, when you get used to doing it, are usually better than an overworked hair cutter would give you for $20!



joe said...

The title of the post is opposite to the first and 8th rule. People are searching for this kind of posts so they can do things by themselves. So, if you can put an accent on this, do it!

By the way, I can't see the video from youtube.

Buffalo said...

The video you use is marked "private"

sharon baker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reset20 said...

It would be awesome if your rules didn't contradict the concept of a DIY haircut, and if the video you embedded could actually be viewed by your readers.

Patrick said...

Yes, I call it cutting your _own_ hair at home, yet I am advocating getting help. Yes, this part would require another person, so it's not entirely DIY, however my goal in this blog has never been entirely about trying to live a solitary lifestyle, it's been about not going somewhere and spending a bunch of money to cut your hair every time.

If you don't want to get help, as I said the first time, just go very slowly, so you can overcome the disconnect that happens when you try to do things backwards in the mirror.

Yes, the video has gone away, it was no longer public, oh well!