5 Pro Tips For Cutting Your Own Hair

How to properly cut your hair while quarantined at home.

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With barber shops closed for the coronavirus crisis, many of us are embracing a shaggier, grown-out look along with quarantine beards, or at least hiding our hair under hats during Zoom business calls. But for those who want to cut their own hair, Patrick Butler of Floyd’s 99 Barbershop in Minneapolis is here to help. The men’s barbering expert has outlined five foolproof tips for successfully pulling off an at-home haircut while quarantined. After getting the necessary tools—Butler recommends this nine-piece scissor set and these clippers as quality options—check out his guide to cutting your own hair below: 

Know Your Clippers

“Before diving in, make sure you know how to properly use your clippers. Read the instructions on the package. You’ll need to learn how to adjust the blade and use the accessories to do the job properly. Your clippers will come with several guards that attach to the blade. The guards determine the length of the hair being cut. Typically, they are numbered zero to six, zero being the shortest length and six being the longest. Start with a higher-numbered guard toward the crown of your head and use a lower-numbered guard as you get closer to your neckline.”

Start With the Sides

“Beginning with the sides of your head, work in two-inch sections. Using a higher number guard on the clippers, cut your hair against the direction of the growth, gliding up from your hairline toward your temple. Move toward the back of your head, staying at the same level used on your temples while using the same guard and upward motion. Do a few passes to make sure all the hair in this area is evenly cut.”

Use a Mirror for the Back

“Next, move to the back of your head. Using a mirror and a slightly lower numbered guard on the clippers, work slowly by starting at the nape of your neck, moving the clippers upwards, angling them out as you get closer to the crown of the head. This will help the shorter hair align with the longer hair on top of your head. Use the mirror to make sure the length of the hair connects evenly with the sides.”

Use Scissors on Top

“After you’re done using the clippers on the bottom half of your hair, switch to the top and pick up the scissors. Practice opening and closing them in front of the mirror while holding the hair that you’ll cut, and get used to the motion. Once you’re comfortable, use a comb to part hair into thin sections that follow the shape of your old haircut. Start by trimming a quarter of an inch from each section. Ensure the sections are similar in length by continually pulling the hair up to compare the length with the section that was previously trimmed.”

Tidy Up Afterwards

“Clean up the hairline, sideburns and facial hair using a hair trimmer or clippers. Holding the trimmer upside down, carefully trip around the hairline to clean any stray hairs. Spots to clean include over the ears and around the neckline.”   

Bonus Snip Tip: “Don’t be overly aggressive or try to switch up styles too much,” Butler advises. “The goal is to clean up your current cut until you can get back into an expert barber’s chair.”