An idiot’s guide to clipper hair cuts

-Written by Steph

About two months ago, Cel got sick of shelling out for haircuts and picked up a set of hair clippers at the drugstore across the street. That day I got to cut hair for the first time! Here’s what I’ve learned since.

1. Use a cape. The first time I just wrapped a towel around his shoulders, and it sucked. He got covered in hair unsurprisingly, and it was overall unpleasant. Being a frugal ninja, I couldn’t justify paying for one, and instead sewed one out some silky material that hair won’t stick to, and some pink lace trim I had kicking around. I threw a zipper in the back for fun, and we were good to go for the next haircut!



2. Cut opposite the direction of hair growth. For Cel, that means straight up on the sides and back, and front to back on top. My hairdresser explained this to me, but I don’t remember why you do it like this, just that you do. I’ve been using guards that give a shorter length for the back and sides, and switching to ones that give a longer length for the top. since that seems to work best for Cel’s head shape. You could also do one length all over.

3. After doing all that, take the guards off and trim around the ears and the neck, just to tidy it up. Comb any loose hairs out and make sure everything is even. You’re done!

4. Maintain your clippers according to the instructions you get when you buy them, with regards to washing, oiling, etc and they’ll last forever.

5. YouTube is a great resource for this. You can find videos of pretty much any style under the sun.

This can be a great way to save money, and also learn a new badass DIY skill. I won’t be doing my own hair like this anytime soon, but Cel for one will never have to pay for a cut again.



  1. I’m finding cutting hair naked and then showering is the way to go. Saves all that itching, cape-cleaning, bla bla.
    (PS It’s the hair-cuttee who should be naked, not the barber… although that might help, too.)

  2. Clippers are fine for him, but invest in a good quality, sharp pair of hair shears when he cuts yours. Paper scissors do not cut well 😦
    And yes, using a cape is a must, use a paper towel (or toilet paper) around the neck to keep the loose hairs from getting down his back. Outside haircuts reduce the clean up, weather peritting of course.

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