How to Give Home Haircuts in 8 Easy Steps
A recurring expense in many a budget: haircuts! Hair grows and unless you’re cultivating the Gandalf look, you’re gonna need to cut it. We save $40 a month ($480/year) on Mr. Frugalwoods by cutting his hair in-house (specifically in the bathtub). Disclaimer: some of my technique is based on the fact that Mr. Frugalwoods is 6’3″ and I’m 5’6,” so your approach may vary…
Have the right tools for the job. I use:
- Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit (henceforth referred to as “buzzer”)
- Wahl 9918-6171 Groomsman Beard and Mustache Trimmer (henceforth referred to as “trimmer”)
- A razor (henceforth referred to as “razor”)
Step 1: Start with subject standing in bathtub and shave neck hairs with razor.
- Lather neck with shaving cream (or conditioner) and commence the shave! Using the razor yields a much closer shave than the buzzer or trimmer for the neck.
- Don’t worry about getting a perfectly straight line at this point, we’ll work on that later.
- P.S. You want to be in the bathtub because…Hair. Gets. Everywhere.
Step 2: Have subject sit down and start buzzing with buzzer.
- We have a small plastic folding stool that Mr. Frugalwoods sits on inside the bathtub so that I can easily buzz from above.
- I use the #2 buzzer attachment, which is a pretty close buzz.
- Start at the bottom and work your way towards the top of the head. Then, buzz crown of the head and the front.
Step 3: Ears!
- Put the “ear guard” attachment on the buzzer and buzz around each ear starting from back to front. Don’t worry about getting every little hair at this stage, just get the general line around the ears.
Step 4: Polish the ears.
- Use the trimmer to more clearly outline the ears. Mr. Frugalwoods holds his ear in a downwards fold while I buzz buzz around. This helps get all the wispy hairs in that vicinity and creates a clean ear line.
Step 5: Around the world.
- Do one more buzzer buzz all over with the #2 attachment. I always miss a few tufts here and there and this ensures an even haircut.
Step 6: Conclude with your subject standing and clean-up that neckline.
- Now’s the time to even out that neckline. Use the trimmer to get a straight line across the neck. Bring the razor back in if needed.
- Don’t worry too much about perfection here, it’ll look fine, I promise.
Step 7: Shower.
- Your subject will definitely need to shower. Depending on your relationship, you can shower with them! I don’t know why, but hair flies everywhere.
Step 8: Rejoice, admire, and count your saved cash!
P.S. Mr. Frugalwoods also cuts my hair at home! Check out our tutorial here: Final Frontier Of Frugality: My Husband Gave Me A Haircut.
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I cut my boyfriends hair, but I only use scissors, as he doesn’t like a super close cut. I did a post on it about a year ago as well. It’s well worth the savings; the only bad part is the mess! I just need to learn how to cut my own hair now =).
It does make such a mess–hair everywhere! But, worth it for the savings. Thanks for reading!
When I cut my husband’s hair I found it easiest to do it outside. No mess to clean up!
I cut my husbands hair – No 1 all over as it’s easier. Who knew you could get earguards…..our Wahl doesn’t have them!
Love your site!
Earguards are the best! Looks like you can buy this set of Wahl attachments, although it’s $11.29 and the entire Wahl clipper set I use is only $17.99 (go figure…). Thanks for reading and haircut on!
Just followed your Thanksgiving link over here. Our Remington set from Walmart came with ear guards. I wish My Mr. would let me buzz him everywhere, it would be so much faster! Like E.M. he likes to have a little more hair on his head, so I’ve been cutting at least the top with scissors.
Also E.M. I cut my own hair too and it’s so much faster and easier than his is. One pony tail in a specific spot and a snip and I’m done. But, my hair is usually up and I’m not expected to look like a model as a stay at home mom, so home lady cuts might not work as well in the office. Lots of videos on Youtube.
The buzz cut is definitely the easiest man-cut! I’m grateful for that. The ears and the neckline can be a bit tricky (it’s really obvious if it’s wrong since the hair is so short), but otherwise, it’s super simple once you get the hang of it. I’m impressed that you cut your own hair yourself! I always need someone else to do it for me.
I have been doing my two boys hair for a while now. Eight haircuts at home now. I don’t just buzz them bald, I hate the skin head look. I use the attachments and give them a well groomed look, better than they got at the barbershop. In the Summer I set them on a lawn chair outside on the patio with a cape and neck towel. After the haircuts I brush them off, then leaf blow away the hair, while the boys run under the sprinkler. In the cold weather I set them up in the kitchen with a drop cloth underneath. After the haircuts, I vacuum them off, send them to the shower while I shake out the drop cloth outside. For my hair, my boyfriend sets me on a stool on the kitchen (deck in the summer) capes me and trims my hair. He sweeps up the trimmings and shakes out the cape outside. He uses a pro grade pair of sharp shears for my precious locks, pins it up so he can trim the bottom layers first and ensure it is even on both sides. The bath tub sounds easier for clean up, but more difficult to maneuver around to do a good looking haircut.
Sounds like you’ve got an awesome home haircutting system in place! I like the sprinkler addition :). The bath tub works OK for us–we’ve figured out that having Mr. FW sit on a stool in the tub is best since he’s so much taller than me. And, that’s great that your boyfriend cuts your hair too!
I am a DIY lady. I save over $800 a year with better results than going to the so called “pros”. It was a little nerve wracking at first, I admit it. But he helped me recover from from some near bad haircuts on the boys, he was patient. And once I learned he knew how to cut women’s hair after an ex-girlfriend hairdresser taught him to cut hers, there was no way I was going to the salon when I have a guy who not only knows how to cut hair but listens to me and does what I ask. Grat results that are FREE and convenient. Oh, and BTW he cooks for me.. Breakfast, luches, supper and large family gatherings… Family bring dishes to bring home leftovers. We qwork well in the kitchen together. Smart, funny and handy are SEXY 🙂
Woohoo–sounds like you’ve got yourself a winner! Mr. FW is the cook in our house too and I’m so thankful for his culinary prowess.
SO trying to convince my husband to let me do this! or at least try…part of our Uber Frugal Challenge 🙂
Yay! You should convince him! It really is pretty simple and, it saves so much money every single year! I’m so excited to hear you’re doing the Uber Frugal Challenge 🙂
My best friend and I are a pair of female university students with shorter hair (I’ve got a bob, she’s got a pixie cut), and in an effort to save money, we bought a clipper set to share among us. 2 months in, we’ve saved double what it cost us ($20), and we’ve started doing our dude friends’ hair too. It was so worth the savings!
That’s awesome!! I love that you’re sharing the clipper set–that’s extra frugal bonus points right there :). And hey, you could start charging people for haircuts too!
I’ve always grown my hair long since I got out of the Army. It is warmer in winter and about the same in summer, as long as it is tied back in a braid. Haircuts are a snap, tie back in a ponytail and snip a couple inches off the end every few months. I am also growing a beard again and it requires very little maintenance.
My husband uses a flow-bee. I get a yearly haircut – bobbed to the shoulders, then within a year it hasn’t gotten unmanageable 🙂
Mrs. Frugalwoods, what do you do about your hair? Do you DIY or do you go out for haircuts? I’d love to be able to save on cutting my own hair, but alas, no go and I do cut my hubby’s hair, but there’s no way he would/could cut mine for me.
Great question! Mr. Frugalwoods cuts my hair for me at home. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise :). Here’s my post on how we do it: Final Frontier Of Frugality: My Husband Gave Me A Haircut
A friend just shared your blog. We are DIY’ers, pretty extreme for all the reasons you share.
I’ve been cutting my own hair (Woman’s Page-style, shoulder length or shorter to the ears) for about 20 years, since my kid was a toddler. The very skilled precision cut lady I’d been going to for years and years got ill; we moved further away; and all the ones I tried out — even recommended by friends — botched my haircuts. I finally gave up when I came home in tears! Ok, maybe that was new mom hormones? But I have not looked back! I found an old book at the library. (Early internet days, that was.) Followed instructions. It had different styles and good clear pictorial instructions.
With my own kid, I just started out, cutting his in a little boy’s cut (also scissors) with straight across the forehead bangs which fits his hair. After several years of this, eventually my dh was desperate for a haircut when the salons were closed… so I ventured into a man’s classic scissors cut (not a buzz cut). With practice, I have to say I’m pretty good.
It takes me a little longer. But I can’t even begin to estimate how much we’ve saved. And I no longer come home in agony from having a botched haircut at a salon. When my dh and ds have paid for a cut, they’ll come home and I usually have to clean the cut up. (The training nowadays is NOT like it used to be for barbers. There seem to be many unskilled hair “stylists” out there.)
To get a Page style cut, Pin the top up and cut to establish the bottom length from ear to ear around the back. Then using vertical sections from ear to ear, pull the hair out at an angle from the head (sloping down to the shoulders but pulled out from the head a bit), and cut at a 20-45 degree angle from the shoulder. (The hair will layer naturally, because the top hairs are going to end up shorter than the lower hairs.) At the end, I layer the hair on top of my head even more to remove weight.
The challenge when cutting your own hair is to keep the same angles all the way around your own head.
To get a “boy cut” you can use your hand cupped against their scalp and cut on the outside of your fingers.
It helps to just observe some hair stylists. If you’ve visited salons over the years, observe their techniques. It’s not rocket science!
Some hints, passed on from the pro’s:
To get a “precision cut,” cut a section once, comb again, and snip along the cut line again. This really does make a diff.
To get straight hair that naturally curls under a bit, you need to undercut it just a bit. You can do this at the beginning or end of the haircut. Surely you’ve seen someone in a salon doing this: Pin up the rest of the hair above a thin line at the neckline, leaving just 1/8″ line of hair. Tilt the head away from the neckline at each point, comb the bottom most hairs out, and you’ll see the lowest hairs are showing a bit longer than the hairs above them because the head is tilted. Trim the lower hairs off — the ones that stick out from underneath. When the head returns to vertical, the upper line of hairs will hang very slightly longer than the hairs underneath at the neckline. Repeat this “tilt away; comb; trim what sticks out” all around the neckline.
Bangs are actually the opposite from a neckline, though you can undercut them, too, to help them curl. (Unless you WANT a dutch-boy straight edge, that is.) To get bangs that will layer beautifully on top, the top few hairs on a layer of bangs need to be just barely shorter/layered. Take each section of the bangs from the apex of the bangs down to the forehead line underneath, so that section of the hair makes a vertical fan. Comb it out vertically. Trim off just a bit of an angle at the very top, so the topmost hairs (just a very few hairs right at the top of each section) are layered, gradually ever so slightly shorter than the hairs under them. Just clip off a tiny corner at an angle at the top of each section. Repeat all across the line of bangs. When the bangs are laying back down, they’ll be thicker and lay better.
My husband cut my hair a few months ago, due to salons being closed for the Covid-19 pandemic. He did a good job, and now I want him to keep doing it! I am not one of those women who loves going to the salon (I don’t get manicures or pedicures, either); I just want my hair cut to shoulder-length about twice a year.
We have just started my husband and two little boys on home haircuts- I bought a Vidal sassoon clipper kit for $29AU which is about what is costs for both boys to get a barber shop cut! I’ve got some practising to do, but we’ll get there 😉
And you’re so right about the time- it can be a whole morning for all three of them to visit the barber- I can think of so many better ways to spend a morning!!
Loving the UFM, thank you ☺️
Hooray! Congrats on taking the home haircut plunge :)!