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Beginners Guide to Using Electric Hair Clippers at Home

Written by Advice Team on March 26, 2020

Hair clipping and cutting shouldn’t be a chore with our expert guide when using electric hair clippers at home. Whether corded or cordless, we’ve put together the dos, don’ts, how-tos and frequently asked questions on men’s hair cutting from home with products used by professional barbers.




Beginners Guide to Using Electric Hair Clippers at Home

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We’ve put together a quick and easy guide on how to cut your hair at home with electric hair clippers, the same way the professionals do. Become your own barber at home with a little bit of practice and the right tools to do the job.

Step one - familiarise yourself with your hair clippers

If it’s the first time you’ve used your hair cutters, then spend some time familiarising yourself with them first. Turn them on and off, feel the weight of them in your hand, find the most comfortable grip and charge the cutters if they’re cordless, too.

If your electric hair clippers come with a range of clip-on combs in various cutting lengths - find the one that’s right for you and attach it to your clippers - as well as choosing the speed you’re comfortable cutting at, if your hair cutters come with speed options.

Step two - prepare a space for cutting

Find an area at home that’s going to be easy to clean - either a bathroom, kitchen or a garden - if you’re cutting hair indoors, have a vacuum to hand or a sweeping brush to gather the hair after, so stray hairs aren’t walked through your home after.

Prepare everything you’ll be using (hair cutters, whether corded or cordless) a comb or brush, and a towel if you wish to cover your shoulders as you or the person helping you clips the hair.

Step three - wash and dry your hair

First off, wash your hair as you normally would, with either shampoo and conditioner or your preferred all over body wash. When hair is clean, it’s much easier to work with and for cutting blades to glide through at different lengths.

Hair that is unwashed can cause electric hair clippers to become clogged with grease and hairstyling products left in the hair. Don’t leave hair wet to cut it either - towel dry hair and then comb out if needed, to remove any tangles (if hair is longer or thicker).

Step four - where to start cutting your hair

Start at the sides

Start with the sides and cut your hair against the direction of the hair's growth, starting from the bottom and moving in an upward motion. If you need to, depending on the length of the comb, passover the same area to catch any hair that isn’t cut to the desired length.

Depending on the style you’re going for, some may prefer an all over cut, whilst others may wish to cut the lower area of the head with a shorter clipping comb, and the longer, thicker bulk of hair at the top of the head with a longer comb. This will blend the two lengths together if you wish to create a fade.

Move onto the back

Move along the back of your head in the same upward direction, going over the same area where necessary - check with your hand if you’re cutting hair by yourself - to see if there are any longer areas that still remain. If you have one then use a mirror to check the back and work slowly and steadily for a clean, even cut. Check that you’ve evenly matched the sides with the back of your head, too.

Cutting the top

If you haven’t gone for an all over cut at one length, then you may need to trim the top of your head. To do this, use a comb to brush the hair up in a straight line in small manageable sections, and then cut along the line of the comb’s teeth and your hair. As you move along, keep a length of the hair that’s already been cut within the comb, so that you can evenly trim hair to the same length. Finally, neaten up the hairline where needed and where it meets facial hair (if necessary).

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Choosing electric hair clippers

Hair clippers typically range anywhere between £20-£70 depending on the brand and the features that come with the clippers. You can also choose between mains-powered or cordless models, and whilst cordless does seem more convenient, generally speaking, mains-powered will always give full power compared to battery-charged units.

Cordless, however, are easier to manoeuvre if you’re cutting your own hair as opposed to a partner or friend doing it for you. It’s also important to consider the space in which you’ll be cutting your hair and whether you have the ability to plug a mains-powered electric hair cutter in.

Clipper grades and cutting length are interchangeable and simply mean the millimetre measurement of the comb length used on the clipper. Most hair clippers come with more than one comb attachment, to be able to cut the hair to the length that you desire.

We’d always recommend purchasing a clipper oil alongside your clipper. It keeps the blades lubricated and can be used with electric shavers and beard trimmers, too.

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