Most men with a short clipper cut visit their barber or stylist at least every four weeks.
During these unique times, it can be difficult to access comfortable, safe haircuts. It may seem intimidating to tackle an at-home haircut, but DIY men’s haircuts are easy to achieve when you have the right tools and approach!
Fundamentals of a basic men’s cut. How to avoid some of the most common men’s haircut mistakes.
Our team of hair professionals have been working as stylists and educators for over 30 years, and we can teach you some of the same techniques we learned in hair school. Allow us to translate complicated haircuts into easy steps for your next DIY masterpiece!
All basic men’s haircuts hinge upon the same foundation: short on the bottom, and long on the top!
Visually, where different short haircut styles diverge is determined by three factors:
- Whether the top is scissor-cut or clipper-cut
- How long the top is
- How short the bottom is
Today, we’re going to cover men’s cuts that are clipper-cut on top, as the added element of scissor-cutting is a bit more advanced. Anything left longer than 1.5 inches on the top will necessitate a scissor cut! Check back in the future for a blog on scissor-cutting men’s haircuts.
The Most Common Mistake
Fade, taper, and flat-top haircuts can all be achieved with just a clipper! The biggest mistake that people (barbers and DIY-ers alike!) make with any of these cuts is poor blending. If you ever notice lines, creases, or gaps in a haircut, they’re likely the result of poor blending.
Poor blending can be the result of a few different mistakes:
- Starting the haircut from the top or middle of the head
- Not going in the immediate sequential order of clipper attachments.
- Poor equipment (dull blades, slow clipper motor, etc)
How To Cut
To simplify haircutting techniques, we split the head into two parts: the flat of the head and the round of the head. This is pretty intuitive, though it will vary slightly from person to person. Where the top and the bottom of your head meet is the round of the head, it’s usually around two fingers above your ear. This is important to keep in mind as we continue to instruct you through the haircut.
At last, here are step by step instructions for achieving a short haircut:
- Decide how long you’ll be leaving the top of the head, and how short you’re taking the bottom. Note that the round of the head is where the top layer starts and where the hair should be left at its longest length.
- Begin the haircut working your way from the bottom up with the longest attachment. Stop at the mid of the head where the round begins, unless you intend to buzz the top of the head. Again, this is a clipper cut, so the longest you’ll leave a clipper second is ½ inch, or the length of the #4 attachment. Of course, you can start at a shorter attachment, too. Move up the head evenly.
Tip: Work in even strokes, rounding up toward the front of the body and arching toward the ear.
- Work sequentially backwards from the longest attachment, customizing the sequence of the fade to your liking.
- Blend any harsh edges using a thinning shear, scissor, or clipper over comb.