Learning how to cut men’s hair takes care and a little bit of patience…especially for the shorter styles. Shorter does not have to mean boring though. There are a lot of really great men’s styles and a lot of variation when it comes to technique. The first thing to consider is whether to cut the hair wet or dry. For cuts that are going to use clippers, the hair needs to be dry. If the hair is going to be scissor cut, then it is best if the hair is clean and wet.
For longer styles, the techniques and tools are much the same as those used for women’s haircuts. If you just want to trim the hair to extend the time between haircuts, then you will need some hair clips and a good pair of sharp hair scissors. After washing and conditioning the hair, shake it out to see the existing cut. Then clip up hair, leaving a section out, and cut following the previous lines. Make sure to only cut about a quarter inch to maintain the same look and feel as the existing style.
If you want to know how to cut men’s hair for shorter styles, it is best to start with a clear picture of the kind of style that is wanted. You’ll also need to take into consideration the texture of the hair, face shape and neck type. The texture of the hair and face shape is important because they need to go with the desired hair style. Use your judgment to decide if the style will work. Next, decide if you will block or fade the haircut along the neck.
For a slender neck, you might want to block the neckline to give the neck a thicker, wider appearance. Blocking is when you use the clippers to create a square edge to the end of the hairline. The hair outside of this square is shaved to the skin so that the lines are clean. It is best to create the block as far down and to the sides of the natural hairline along the neck as possible. It is important to do this as it will minimize the messy effect that is created when the hair begins to grow back in outside the blocked lines.
For a thicker neck, fading is best as it elongates the neck. This is also easier to maintain as the hair grows back in. Use the clippers closest to the skin at the bottom and outside edges of the natural hairline and sweep out and up toward the crown of the head. When using clippers, you may want to start with the plastic comb attachment to avoid any nicks in the skin. Begin with whole flat surface of the clipper blade touching the head (on either the sides or back etc.). As you move upward, pivot your clippers so that only the back (or heel) of the clipper blade is touching. From there you can move the clipper up and out of the hair as smoothly as possible. Repeat this on sections of the hair where you are using the clippers.
Knowing how to cut men’s hair like this takes some time and practice. Making sure that it is blended well is very important to have a nice, clean cut. You do not want to leave any clear or visible lines from one section of the hair to another. You might want to finish off a short cut by using the clipper-over-comb method to blend. Use a detachable blade clipper with a #1 ½ or higher and a regular fine tooth comb. As you run the comb through the hair, stop and run the clipper over the length of the comb to clip the ends that are showing through. Do not use a trimmer or short blade to do this as the blade will not give the proper feathered effect to the tips of the hair.
For more expert tips on how to master the art of men’s grooming, check out the Ultimate Guide to Male Grooming for 101 free tips!