Why would you want to learn how to cut your own hair?

· You are the master of your design

· You can touch it up on a weekly basis without worrying about money

· You will never have to pay for a haircut ever again

· You do not have to rely on your barber’s schedule

Whatever reasons you may have for wanting to cut your own hair, it’s a great skill to learn. Personally, I have saved hundreds of dollars every year after learning how. Some men pay upwards to $60 plus tip for a short men’s haircut. Assuming they only get their hair cut on a monthly basis, that’s more than $700 they spend on short male haircuts every year! Wouldn’t you like to save $700 every year? I know I would.

Besides, why limit yourself to keeping your haircut fresh every month? Why not feel fresh all the time? You can touch up your fades and sideburns whenever you notice them growing back. And the best part? It’s free.

You also get to design it exactly the way you want. Does your barber ever make suggestions on how you should look that you do not quite agree with? Does your haircut always end up looking the same in the end when you asked for something different? Now you can try out all the hairstyles you want, exactly the way you want.

An added benefit to cutting your own hair, besides saving money on haircuts, is being able to hone your skills in order to make a little extra money by cutting hair for your family and friends. By learning how to cut men’s hair, you will be your own walking advertisement on your services! The next time your family and friends ask where you got your haircut, you might be able to make a little pocket money.

The tools you will need

Before you begin, you will need the right tools. Purchasing all the necessary tools to cut your own hair will prove to be an investment and will generally not break the bank in the first place.

What you will need:

Electric hair clippers with guards and blades of different sizes
Hair styling scissors
A comb
A hand-held mirror (to see the back of your head)
Thinning scissors (if necessary)
A barber’s cape (optional)
Now that you all the right tools for the job, it’s time to cut to the chase.

Step 1: Wash and comb your hair

To get the best results, it’s a good idea to wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner before cutting it. It will make your job easier, especially if you still have hair products such as hair styling gel or wax left in your hair. Rinse your hair free of the shampoo and conditioner with water.

Use a comb to rid your hair of all tangles and knots before drying it off with a towel. For all my curly-headed friends, here are some tips:

· Never brush it dry

· Always use conditioner

· Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a fine-tooth comb

· Start at the tips and work your way up to the roots

Dry your hair off with a towel until it’s damp and comb it again to make sure your hair does not have any tangles or knots left. It will make it easier for you to cut your hair when it’s damp.

Step 2: Position yourself in front of a mirror

Tip: Place some newspaper on the floor of your working area for minimal clean-up.

This is where your barber’s cape will come in handy. It’s not necessary, but this will keep your hair from getting all over you while you cut. If you have one, put it on and get in position in front of a mirror. We recommend you do this in front of your bathroom mirror, but any mirror works.

You’ll want to use a big enough mirror to see what you’re doing while you work. To see the back of your head, just hold your hand-held mirror behind your head while it’s facing the one in front of you.

Next you’ll want to use a comb to separate your damp hair into parts. Find your hairline where your hair naturally separates and comb them in the opposite direction of each other. You can use hair clips to keep them separated so that they don’t get in the way.

Step 3: Grab your hair clippers

Choose the preferred guard setting for your clippers. Guards prevent your clippers from cutting shorter than the desired length which is perfect for cutting the back and sides of your head. Once you have your guard secured, plug your clipper into the electrical socket and you’re ready to start cutting.

Start with a higher guard setting first if you want to fade the sides and back of your head. Fade upwards, tilting it at an outer angle. Repeat this process with a lower guard setting and make sure you stop just below the line where you ended the fade with the higher setting. Keep repeating this process while lowering the guard setting until you reach the desired length of your fade.

You’re going to want to cut one side of your head at a time. This is why we separated your hair into parts. Place the clipper blade at the base of your sideburns and start trimming upwards against your hair’s grain while holding your clippers at an angle for a more even fade.

Now do the same thing on the other side then move on to the back of your head with the use of your hand-held mirror. You might find it easier to use your dominant hand to hold the mirror rather than to use the clipper. Remember to go over the same area with your clippers numerous times to ensure a clean fade.

Step 4: Grab your hair styling scissors

Use either your fingers or your comb to raise a section of your hair. Use your other hand to trim off any parts of that section where your hair is longer than the rest. Once the section is even, grab another section and do the same. Repeat the process until all sections of the top of your head is even.

A general rule is to cut conservatively at first and work your way down until you reach your desired length. If you have bangs, do the same process leaving it longer than the top or to your desired length.

For all my curly-headed friends, you may want to use thinning scissors in this area if you notice that your hair is very thick. Use the thinning scissors generously in all the thick parts of your hair.

Step 5: Touch up the loose ends

Using your mirror, make sure the sides of your head are symmetrical. Then, you will want to take off the guard on your clippers to clean up all the edges of your new cut. Go through this step slowly, taking off small amounts as you’ll have to be careful not to cut more than your desired length.

For your sideburns, you have a little more freedom to choose from. You can continue using your clippers or you can even use a safety razor. To determine where your sideburns should end, it’s entirely up to you, but most people prefer to have them between the bottom of your cheekbone to the bottom of your ears. Of course, you can just blend them in with your beard if you got one.

Lastly, it’s time to taper your neckline. Using your clippers, cut the hair in the opposite direction it grows for a closer, more even cut. Keep fading until it blends smoothly.

Step 6: Pat yourself on the head

Congratulations! You have just learned a valuable skill and your hair looks great. Make sure you wash out all those loose hairs on your head and check out some of our styling guides for your hair, beard, or mustache! Whether you decide to never pay for another haircut again or you use this just to touch up your hair once in a while, this will help you save tons of money in the end. It’s a perfect skill to have for men who suffer from male pattern baldness.

Author's Bio: 

Alison Lee is a freelance writer in Vancouver, Canada. She enjoys writing about finance, health and medicine, among other topics.