How To: Cut Hair at Home

Mar 31. 2020 by Wahl Team

Taking on home hair cutting for the first time can be daunting, but there's a good chance in the next few weeks you will need to give it a go. From little touch-ups to full haircuts, our guide will take you through step-by-step.


UPKEEP

You might just be considering a way to keep your hair tidy during this challenging time. How much you need to do this will vary depending on your hair type. Straight hair tends to grow out on the sides, you may notice that the shape of your haircut starts to look round. Usually, this is around two weeks after your haircut. To tackle this, use a clipper with the same number attachment comb as your original haircut. If you have curlier hair, you can usually get away with just tidying up your neckline and sideburns between haircuts.

When grooming hair, it is best to use a clipper as it can do larger areas in a shorter amount of time, keeping your cutting consistent. Trimmers are best used for the sections where you need precision, such as the neck, ears, sideburns and beard.

The Neckline

1. Use your Wahl trimmer or clipper with taper lever in the ‘closed’ position where the blades are close together and you will be cutting closest to the skin as possible.

2. Using the trimmer or the clipper in the normal, upright position, run it in an upward direction on the back of the neck to eliminate the growth. Use a mirror or your touch to make sure no patches have been left behind.

Sideburns

1. It’s easiest to trim the sideburns if they’re damp.

2. Comb your sideburns in the direction of growth.

3. Using your trimmer or clipper with the blades in the closed position, use an inverted position and gently apply to sideburn. Cut in a downward direction to reach desired shape of sideburn tips.

Ear Arch

1. Use your trimmer or the inverted clipper technique to tidy up the area above and behind the ear.

2. When working over the ears, it’s often easier to bend down the ear so it’s out of the way for quick trimming.

3. Shape the hairline with a steady, single-direction motion.

We recommend trying the Wahl Stainless Steel Trimmer and the Wahl Colour Pro Chrome Cordless.

FULL HAIRCUT

You may find it easier to start by doing your own touch-ups on your hair and then ease into a full haircut as this will build up your confidence in using hair clippers.

The following three styles are recommended if you’re just getting started with home haircutting and want something that’s easy to achieve. When it comes to cutting your own hair, you need to persevere as the more practice you have the better you will get!

How you need to cut your hair will vary depending on your hair length and texture. For example, having either long and straight or short and curly will determine where you start the haircut. For all hair types, start by washing your hair.

Your chosen clipper will usually come with guide combs. These will be numbered #1, #2, #3 and so on, the lower the number, the shorter the hair it will leave. These guides will also have a second number on it in ‘mm’ which indicates the length of hair it will leave on your head. For example, the #1 Guide Comb will show ‘3mm’ on it, meaning when you cut you hair, you will be left with a length of 3mm on your head. Choose the guide comb based on the length you want to cut to.

Shaved Head

This will require regular upkeep to maintain, however it’s the easiest style to achieve yourself. When choosing a clipper, make sure you get one that will cut closest, like the Wahl Lithium Ion Clipper.

You will be looking to leave hair no longer than 0.5mm. You could use either a cordless or corded clipper for this.

1. Use your clipper with the taper level at its closed position. Using an upward, rocking motion, cut the sides and back of the head, rotating the clipper head as you change sides. Use careful, fluent strokes and a mirror as your guide.

2. Now focus on the top of the head, running the clipper in smooth, straight strokes from front to back. Run the clipper over the same spots, if necessary.

3. Finally, use your shaver to completely shave the head. Use a mirror to check for missed spots.

4. Repeat the process every few days

Watch a complete demonstration here. 

Buzz Cut

An easy low-maintenance choice for many, especially those that lead an active lifestyle.

1. Using your clipper, select a guide comb for the desired length you’d like to achieve. The higher the number, the longer the cut. Using an upward motion and start cutting the sides and back of the head. Check out the Wahl V7000 Clipper. 

2. Once the back and sides are done, move on to the top of the head. From front to back, run the clipper in smooth, straight strokes across the top. If you see unwanted cut lines, go back and blend with an upward motion.

3. To touch up the sides, take your time and use concise strokes. You can always use the ear trim guides to build your confidence around your ears.

4. Using your Wahl trimmer or the inverted clipper technique, clean up the neckline with careful, concise strokes for tight, straight lines.

Watch a complete demonstration here. 

Brush Cut

1. Wash the hair and comb it out.

2. Select your clipper’s appropriate guide comb for the desired length. Start in front of the right ear and cut the hair in sections 1, 2 and 3. Be sure to cut the hair at the nape of the neck.

3. Blend the hair from section 3 to section 4 by moving the clipper straight up.

4. To cut the hair in section 4, hold the hair straight up and use the technique that you are most comfortable with, such as clipper-over-fingers to shorten the hair. Cut the top of the head from front to back.

5. To complete the look, trim the sideburns, around the ears and neckline using the inverted clipper technique or with a Wahl trimmer. Try the Wahl Li-Ion Pack Hair Clipper. 

Watch a complete demonstration here. 

CHILDREN'S HAIRCUTS

Home hair cutting can be for the whole family. Follow our easy Step-by-step guides for cutting your child’s hair:

Watch our Classic Side Parting demonstration 

Watch our Hard Side Parting demonstration 

PRO TIP: Don’t forget lighting is essential, so when you’re picking the best environment to cut your hair, make sure you consider this. You’ll also benefit from having a mirror which allows you to see various angles of your head.

Maintenance

Wahl blades are designed to stay sharper for longer, but to ensure you get a fresh cut every time, a small bit of maintenance is required. Oiling the blades before the first use, then brushing excess hair off the blades and oiling after every use will keep them lubricated which is essential to preventing rust and extending the life of the clipper. 

Learn more here. 

Adjustable Taper Lever

The taper lever allows you to change the closeness of your cut between guide comb lengths. Moving the lever up (closed) for a closer cut, and down (open) for a longer cut. This is particularly useful for fading and blending as you can be more precise with your cutting lengths.

Guide Combs

Every hair clipper comes with a set of guide combs. Each comb has a number on it to represent the length of hair that will be left on the head after the clipper has passed over it. These guide combs range from No. 0.5 (3mm) to No. 8 (25mm) with additional left & right ear taper combs for navigating around the ears evenly.


Did you know that Wahl created the current clipper guide comb numbering system? These are:

0.511.52345678
1.5mm3mm4.5mm6mm10mm13mm16mm19mm22mm25mm

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