How to Use Hair Clippers for Men – Beginners Guide

How to use hair clippers as a beginner is not as hard as you may think. Have you ever thought how much money you could save by cutting your own hair? If its a Clipper Cut or just a quick trim, hair clippers will get the job done.

In this beginner’s guide how to use hair clippers, we will give you an ultimate guide to get you cutting your own hair, and saving you money.

At the end of this blog you will know everything there is to know about how to cut your hair using our hair clipper guide sizes including the different clipper guard sizes.

We have also included a video of the top five mistakes to avoid when cutting your hair at home.

Cutting hair with clippers  and styling shouldn’t feel like a nightmare and you shouldn’t be afraid to grab the bull by the horns and do it yourself.

Whether you use a corded or wireless clipper, here are some tips and tricks to help you get that perfect clipper cut that you would’ve gotten at the barbershop.

With a little practice and patience, you will know how to clipper hair to a really good standard.


Check out Wahl Hair Clippers For Men at Amazon

Table of Contents

How to use Hair Clippers and Home Haircut Mistakes to Avoid

Before we get fully into how to use hair clippers to get the right haircut. Maybe, its worth checking out what mistakes to avoid before you start cut your hair at home , this will help you to get it right first time around.

What tools will I need to cut my own hair?

You will firstly need a mid range good quality pair of hair clippers. It’s no good buying the cheapest pair that will not last and will need replacing in six months time.

Buy a decent pair at the start from a top brand such as Wahl, Babyliss or Phillips and you won’t go far wrong.

Here’s our top three picks that we recommend based on our own research using ease of use, price and reviews.

We do receive affiliate earnings from any Amazon sales but this does help us to keep adding new posts. Each post has approximately 12 hours of research and writing to give you the best advice and top tips.

What is the difference between Hair Clippers and Hair Trimmers?

Hair Clippers are normally used to cut the bulk of the hair over larger areas. This is their main job and they don’t cut very close to the skin. Once you have cut the main bulk of your hair off, you would then use Hair Trimmers for edging, outlining, dry shaving and light shaping. The main areas you would trim would be the ears, back of the neck and sideburns to finish your hair cut.

Will I need scissors?

Having a good-quality pair of scissors will help you to get a more professional finish. However, if you are just starting out, get familiar with your clippers first.

Get the basics down first before moving onto scissors. Cutting hair with clippers will take practice, so be patient.

Is it best to use a Cape?

If you want to keep them cut hairs off your clothes, then wearing a cape is a great idea. This can be used if you are cutting your own hair, or decide to use your new barbering skills on a friend’s hair.

How to make a barbers cape at home

To try to keep your costs down, why not make a barber’s cape at home. Once it’s made, this will last you for years.

Check out this free guide on how to make a cape at home HERE

Comb/Hair Brush

Having a brush or a comb will definitely be needed. As you cut your hair, a comb is essential for running through your hair to move longer hair out of the way or to simply remove any cut hair.

How Much Are Hair Clippers?

Hair clippers are usually around £20-£70 depending on the features and brand. When purchasing a clipper, you will also get also some clipper oil that will keep the blades nice and lubricated.

This will help you to maintain your clippers to help you get the most use out of them. Check out our top picks above.

If you want a beard stubble trimmer that can also work well on your hair, check out our Beard Stubble Length Guide

Beginners Guide to using Hair Clippers- Best Hair Clippers

Phillips Series 500 Men’s Hair Clippers

Wahl Hair Clippers For Men

Babyliss for Men Power Blade

How to Prep Your Hair Clippers Before Use

If you just unboxed your hair clippers, take your time to read the manual, analyze the accessories that came with it, check how it works overall, and how comfortable the grip feels.

If you just bought a cordless one, make sure to charge it first as the battery is probably flat.

How to Check Hair Clippers Before Use

Most hair clippers come with some clip-on combs of various sizes. Think about the style of the haircut you want to go for and pick the right one for you.  The Clipper Cut is a great easy style to start with and there is a full guide to achieving this style here.

Don’t forget, it is best to start with small cuts and then go deeper. You can’t replace the hair once it’s gone, so use our simple hair clipper size guide below to help you decide.

Some hair clippers also have a speed option so make sure to pick whichever speed is comfortable for you.

Hair Clipper Guard Sizes

Most people will have heard of guys asking their barber for a number one haircut. This is based on the clipper guard size number 1 which is the shortest the clippers will cut your hair.

Below is a simple guide of the various sizes with 1 being the shortest hair length and 8 being the thickest.

Depending on your required haircut or style, you can use a mixture of the different guard sizes to get the desired fade or cut.

  • #1 – 3.4mm
  • #2 – 6.4mm
  • #3- 9.5mm
  • #4-12.7mm
  • #7-22.2mm
  • #8-25.4mm
how to use hair clippers
How to use hair clippers for men

Preparation before cutting your hair

When cutting your own hair, you have to do it in an area where it won’t be a pain to clean. The last thing we want is to be upsetting our mums, partner or wife!

Preferably in the bathroom, kitchen, or garden are the best places to cut your hair.

Find a table or chair where you can put your tools so they’re within your reach.

Have your hair clippers ready (cordless or not), a cape, a comb or a brush, and a towel if you want to put it on your back and shoulders (or on the person you are clipping the hair for).

Should you use hair clippers on wet or dry hair?

Preparing your hair before using your clippers is essential. Wash your hair as usual with shampoo and or conditioner and make sure to dry it completely or at the very least towel dry as wet hair is difficult to trim with the clippers.

The main reason for washing the hair before trimming is that the clippers may become clogged with grease and hair styling products left in the hair.

How to Use Wahl Hair Clippers

Choosing your Hair Cut – Clipper Cut, Buzz Cut or Fade

No matter what style you want to go for and the length of your current hair, keep in mind that “less is more”.

It’s always easier to cut little by little as needed than to cut a lot and ending up being too short. If you are looking for  short hairstyles inspiration, check out our best short hairstyles for men.

Can you cut your hair with just hair clippers?

If you want a buzzcut just grab the clippers and go ham with it. Clear it all and there you have it. Easy and simple and you don’t have to worry about messing up as it is impossible to ruin it.

If you want to go for a more modern vibe and pick a clipper cut or fade, you will need to follow a few simple tips.

Try to decide on a few gradients or length levels and starting from the lowest level, run the clippers from the bottom of the hairline on the sides to the ear level (don’t forget the sideburns).

Move towards the back in the same upward motion while checking with your hand to feel the length (if you are doing it by yourself). It’s easier if you use a mirror to constantly check if your trim is even.

Depending on the amount of hair you are cutting, shake your clippers often so it doesn’t get clogged.

Once you have the look your after, you can clean up your neckline, sideburns and ear arch.

If you want to get the right style after your haircut, why not check our MEN’S HAIR PRODUCT GUIDE

Clean up – Ready for the next Hair Cut

Once you have your desired trim, carefully remove the clipper’s blades and clean them gently with the brush that probably came with the product or you can do it with a toothbrush.

Don’t forget to give your clippers a very light oiling to keep those blades lubricated.

Go straight for a shower and you’re done.

If you have cordless clipper a good suggestion would be to put it to charge for next time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Hair Clipper’s Cut You?

On most modern hair clippers, the bottom blades are fixes, with just the top one that will be moving. It undoubtful that the blade will cut you, but it can cause some redness or even nip the skin.

Can I use Hair Clipper’s without the guard?

Yes, the hair clippers guard is used for cutting a precise length. Without the guard, most guys trim their neckline without using the guard, to get a closer cut.

Do Hair Clipper’s hurt?

Hair Clippers vibrate so in most cases they will not actually hurt you.


I hope that you have enjoyed our Beginners Guide to using hair clippers. Now you should have the resources and confidence to cut your own hair using hair clippers.

You now know how to clipper hair, how to check your clippers, how to use them, and how to avoid making mistakes when cutting your hair at home.

Do you have any top tips or hacks that you would like to share with our audience? If so, please leave them below and I will personally reply to every comment.

Meso would like to thank the following websites for help in our research to ensure this article is as factually and relevant as possible.



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