With the public health crisis still ongoing, it looks like barbershops aren’t going to open anytime soon. And with the new norm of video calls, regularly seeing yourself with unkempt hair could be quite frustrating. If you’ve found your way here, we’re sure that you’ve thought about giving yourself a haircut.
In today’s guide, we’re going to show you how to cut men’s hair at home during this pandemic. A word of caution, though, unless you’re a professional hairstylist or barber, please read the tips first before proceeding with the haircut. Before we proceed with this DIY haircut guide, make sure to check out our other guides in Survival Habit.
Let someone else do it
If you’re lucky enough to be quarantined at home with others – family, friends, or a significant other – convince them to be your hairstylist for the day. Cutting a short haircut is already challenging enough, and doing it yourself will be difficult. Your substitute barber can see the angles of your hair better.
Plan your cut ahead
Before starting the haircut, make sure that you’re settled with the hairstyle that you want. Unless you’re working with someone who already has some experience, you have to plan it out with them.
This way, you and your substitute barber could do some research about the haircut you want. If you’ve been observing your barber, different hairstyles require different approaches. For example, buzzcuts usually require a uniform hair length, while fades require a gradient. There’s a lot of resources on the Internet that could guide you on different hairstyles.
Clippers over scissors
Most barbers use hair clippers to do the majority of the work for a man’s haircut. This excellent tool usually comes with several numbered guards that determine the length of the cut. The lower the number, the shorter the length. In using clippers, it’s always advisable to work with the guards with bigger numbers, especially if it’s your first time.
Trim with scissors
While some barbers only work with clippers throughout the haircut, scissors play a secondary role to them. You can trim the top front part of the hair with scissors. Hold the hair tightly and position the scissors at an angle. This way, you will get a more natural and textured look with your hair. It also gives you some room for error compared to cutting in a straight line.
Brush off hair regularly
When you’re clipping off chunks of hair, it’s important to brush off your clippers regularly. A build-up of hair might cause the clippers to be clogged in the middle of the haircut. Aside from that, it’s also helpful to brush off hair from the head so you could see your progress.
It’s always a good idea to cut longer rather than going in shorter immediately. This gives you some room for error, letting you adjust as you go along. Plus, it’s harder to salvage a shorter cut rather than working your way towards the hair length that you want.
Buzzcuts have become one of the top choices among men’s hairstyles during this pandemic. It’s a timeless haircut for men, and it’s the easiest to do yourself. This is because the length of hair remains the same in all directions. With some clippers and practice, you can give yourself a quality buzz cut at home.
For this hairstyle, you’ll need hair clippers and a mirror. Barbers follow a golden 3-2-1 rule for buzz cuts. This means use a #3 guard on top, #2 on the sides, and a #1 to trim the edges of your hair.
- Check your scalp for any strange lumps and bumps by running your fingers over it. If your buzz cut is too short, it will expose these abnormalities.
- Clean your hair with shampoo and water to remove oils and grease from your hair. Let your hair fully dry before you start cutting.
- Start the haircut on top of your head. Work the clippers with the #3 guard through the hair from front to back. Let the clippers glide along the scalp.
- Now cut the top from side to side to remove any stray hairs.
- After clipping off the hairs at the top, you can now start in on the sides. Move from bottom to top. Remember to cut against the direction that the hair grows in.
- After clipping off hairs at the side, run the clippers on the back of your head. Do this by running it from the back of your neck up toward the top of the head.
- Switch to a #2 guard to trim down the sides. Move the clippers from bottom to top.
- Switch to a #1 guard to trim the edges, which are your sideburns and the back of your neck. To trim your sideburns, place the clippers on just below your sideburns. Slowly slide the clippers up until the top edge is at your desired height for the sideburns. Slowly pull the clippers straight through the hair and away from the face.
- To trim the back of your neck, carefully trim a straight line across it. Once you’ve established the line, round the corners on each side to finish it.
The fade cut is a popular choice among men because it goes with any hairstyle. The cut is essentially blending of hair on the sides and the back. They start very short near the neckline and the ears and gradually get longer towards the top of your head.
Learning how to fade your hair is an essential skill. For this cut, you’ll need clippers and scissors. We highly suggest someone else do it for you to make sure that your hair is evened out nicely.
- Decide where you would want the fade line to begin. When cutting the fade, everything under that line is trimmed down to the skin to get a bald fade. You can choose a low, medium, or high fade.
- Choose if you want a short or long fade. From there, you can choose the appropriate guard size on your clippers. It’s always a good idea to work with a #3 or #4 guard first to give you some room for error.
- Balance the hair on top of your head to balance the fade. Do this with the use of scissors. Don’t cut it too short unless you’re going for a shorter fade.
- Move the clippers up the sides and the back of your head to trim your hair. Always begin from the bottom and work your way up with short strokes.
- Fade and blend your hair by changing the guards of the clippers.
- Work your way up the head. You can stop around the temples.
- Blend the fade into the top hair by running your clippers across a comb. This exposes the right hair length.
- Clean up the hair and neckline with trimmers. Finish it off with safety razors to get a cleaner look.
Another classic haircut for men is the crew cut or Ivy League haircut. This cut has become popular with businesspeople and teenagers because it gives a fantastic combination of youthfulness and a serious vibe. The main feature of this haircut is short faded hair on the back and the sides, with a longer length on top.
If you’re going for shorter hair but don’t want the basic buzz cut, then you should go with this one. This cut works well with any head shape and hair type, but it’s highly recommended for those with thicker hair. For this haircut, you’ll need some clippers, a comb, and scissors.
- Cut the sides and back to a short uniform length with your clippers. A #2 or #4 will do the job, but if this is your first time, go with the longer cut first. This will give you room for error. Work from the bottom up by starting on one side of your head. After this, do the other side, and then cut the back. Remember to clip in the opposite direction of the hair growth pattern.
- Shorten the hair on top of your head. You can do this with scissors or clippers. If you’re planning to use this with clippers, make sure that you have larger guards on hand.
- Create a smooth fade to get a nice gradient from the bottom to the top of your head. Do this by using the mid-number guard size (the one in between the top used on the top and the one you used on the sides). Don’t rush because this is the hardest part of the cut. Do the same process that you did in Step 1 to make sure you have a uniform cut.
- After you’re done with the sides and the back of your head, create the top fade. Decide how long you want this to be. Gradually start cutting horizontal strands of hair with various guard sizes and make sure that the transition is smooth. You can also use scissors for the trim and final touch-up.
The undercut is another popular hairstyle for men. This modern hairstyle combines parts with long hair with parts with very short ones. What’s great about the undercut style is you can choose different lengths, do it only on one side, or combine it with the crew cut.
Compared to the mohawk, this style leaves a wider strand of hair. For this hairstyle, you’ll need some clippers and a comb.
- Before you proceed with the haircut, identify the upper temple area. To do this, locate the hairline and trace it to the outer edges on the left and right sides. When you notice the hairline angle up and out, you have now located the upper temple.
- Visualize the disconnect from the undercut. This is usually found at the upper temple level. To help you visualize while cutting, you can use clips or styling products to part the hair.
- Run the clipper through your hair beneath the disconnect line. Start from one side of the head, then proceed to the back and then the other side.
- Fade the hair to make a smooth blend between the hair below and above the disconnect line. You can use a comb and scissors for this part.
- Make readjustments to the hair above the disconnect line with the comb and clippers.
- If the hair above the disconnect line remains longer than 4-6 inches, cut it short enough to keep it hanging over the back of your head.
- If you want a part on your hair, decide which side you want to do it in. It’s a good idea to keep the hair longer on the side where you want to part it. This allows the hair to lay flat when parted.
- Clean up the sideburns and other edges of the hair using the clippers. The zero clippers can help you achieve straighter edges. You may also use straight razors to help you get cleaner edges.
Compared to a woman’s haircut, men wear their hair shorter. Because of this, doing the cut yourself becomes a lot more complicated. It requires attention to detail to make sure that everything’s evened out nicely. But before we proceed with showing you how to do different hairstyles, you have to remember the tips that we’ve listed down.
Knowing how to cut your hair is an essential skill that you can use even beyond this public health crisis. It’s still important to look clean and sharp even when you’re at home. As long as you have access to good clippers and sharp scissors, you can try the hairstyles that we’ve listed above. Most of them are low maintenance, and you’ll only need to touch them up once in a while.
What do you think about the hairstyles we’ve listed above? Let us know in the comments section below.