If you’d like to skip the barbershop experience, learning to cut your own hair is not only a great way to save a bit of money, but it gives you a chance to learn how your hair works. With the advent of YouTube as your info hub for demos, there’s no reason you can’t cut your hair at home.

To get you prepped to do a self haircut, here are a few basic do’s and don’ts.

  • Don’t try to cut your hair the first time right before a special event.
  • Do plan your hair cutting “appointment” with yourself in advance. You can get a men’s fashion magazine to flip through styles for inspiration or view some informative articles and videos like those posted below.
  • Don’t cut your hair too short the first time. It’s easier to fix a longer cut by trimming than having to disguise a bad short haircut.
  • Do make a back-up appointment with a barber in case your home haircut just doesn’t make it.
  • Do consider the rule of thumb that the thinner your hair is, the shorter your haircut should be.

It is also helpful to look at Pinterest and search for the most stylish haircuts for men. Make your own board with the styles that appeal to you. You will find categories to describe different types of hairstyles, such as:

  • Medium-length
  • Low maintenance
  • Short
  • Casual
  • Classy
  • Trendy
  • Fashionable
  • Popular
  • Masculine
  • Men’s simple

If you don’t have Pinterest, you can view many photos of modern haircut styles for men on different blogs.

Like picking a pair of glasses, it’s recommended that you match your hairstyle to the shape of your face and the type of hair you have. For example, your face may be oblong, square, heart-shaped, oval, etc.

You may be sporting a beard of some sort that will work best with certain hairstyles. Gone are the days when every self-respecting man had to be clean-shaven. Today the desired look is to have a 5 o’clock shadow all day long.

Your hair may be thinning, curly, or have a lot of volume. These factors should guide your hairstyle choice. Here are a few styles currently in vogue:

  • Side-parted
  • Pushed back
  • Fade
  • Quiff
  • Pompadour
  • French crop
  • Crew (aka buzz cut)

Here are a few of these styles defined:

Fade

The fade got its start in ethnic barbershops. The term now is popular for a wide variety of styles with hair that at the sides and back is cut with clippers to shade into a tight taper.

Quiff

A quiff is a cut that features hair that’s short on the sides and in the back with longer hair on top that can be swept up and back for a variety of looks. It’s a style that’s sexy and versatile. It’s currently very trendy.

Pompadour

Pompadours are like quiffs as they also sweep the hair up, but they tend to be shinier and quite precise.

French Crop

Another style that speaks to a modern style is the French crop. The French crop is a clean-looking style that usually involves a tapered fade with shorter hair on the top that’s combed forward or to the side.

Ready to apply your new knowledge of styles to your own hair? Here are tips to make your home haircut a success.

Home Hair Cutting 101

Plan to trim your own hair when you have plenty of time. It’s advisable that the first time you cut your hair to do it before it gets too long. If you liked the style, you can follow it by just trimming rather than seriously lopping off a lot of hair. You can also alternate between barber cuts and home clean-ups if you’re happy with the style.

You’ll want to have the following hair-cutting tools at the ready:

  • Hair clippers
  • Hair scissors
  • A hand-held mirror as well as a larger bathroom mirror
  • Optional: hair-thinning scissors
  • Hair products (gel, mousse, Morrocan oil, etc.) that you have used before and have worked for you.
  1. Read the clippers’ instructions in advance. Once you’ve done your research as to the style you’re going after and how to use your clippers, set aside a good hour or two when you won’t feel rushed. Next, wash and condition your hair, leaving it towel-dried and a bit damp.
  2. Attach your selected sized guards onto your clippers. Moving against the direction of hair growth, start from the bottom and move your clippers upwards. Run the clippers upwards for a few passes to make sure you catch all the hairs and work alternating sides of your face to keep it even.
  3. Next, move to the back of your head, using your hand-held mirror to watch how much you’re taking off and generally see what you’re doing. Working slowly, cut the hair by moving clippers upwards, with the lower part of your hair slightly shorter than the top. For all cuts except buzz cuts, your goal is to have the hair on the lower parts of your head shorter than the top.
  4. Haircuts with substantially longer hair on top require a good pair of hair scissors and damp hair. Working in sections that you part off, cut each section in a straight line. Cut one section to the desired length and then move onto the next, making sure each section lines up with the prior one.
  5. Your last step is to clean up your hairline and your facial hair. Using clippers or a hair trimmer, turn the tool upside down and carefully clean up your hairline. Make sure you don’t cut too much around your ears.

Cutting your own hair requires a bit of initial commitment to master the learning curve of how to make your best cut. But there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to give yourself a haircut at home. Google “how to cut your own hair men” and select the styles you like and find some videos specific to that style. You can also watch a total men’s grooming video or two that shows you about trimming beard and body hair, taming eyebrows, as well as tips on a haircut.

Each time you cut your hair, you will get better, as it’s a skill that gets better with practice. And you will never have to explain how you want your hair cut again.