Cutting Boys Hair At Home

Guess what I am getting ready to do?

Tools for a home haircut

Okay, what I already did (three times)  and didn’t get around to blogging about yet.

B after I cut his hair

I cut my kid’s hair. And I think I did a pretty decent job of it. I have been cutting my husband’s hair for years, but his is a simple clipper cut.  He keeps asking if he can just take the clippers to B’s hair, but the kid has pretty crazy hair – curly in spots, virtually no hair growing on the front half of his head – so I was really hesitant to just buzz it, even if it was with a really long blade comb.

B after a haircut - from the back. I have no idea why he is holding his ears.

 I knew I needed a scissor cut. I had been taking him to this kid’s haircut place in town, but the haircut is $18.95. Which seems really outrageous for something I think I can do myself.

Man, was I nervous though. I checked out four books from the library to try to figure out how to do it. I found that as a tactile learner,  I can’t read about how to give someone a haircut and have it make any sense. Here is how I prepared.

The book I found most useful is Cutting Your Family’s Hair, by Gloria Handel. There are lots of close up, full color pictures to use.

I watched videos on YouTube. This video was the one I found most useful. Yeah, it’s twelve minutes long, but it really is helpful to see what she is doing.

 I looked at other people’s blog posts about how to cut boys hair. Heavenly Homemakers has a very useful diagram about how to hold the hair at the correct angle. I printed it out to refer to the first couple of times I cut B’s hair.

I learned that you should always hold your scissors vertically on the sides, and horizontally on the top.

Somewhere (I didn’t bookmark it!) I found a great tip to cut the width of three fingers on the top third of the head, the width of two fingers on the middle third of the head, and the width of one finger on the bottom third of the head. For me, this made way more sense than trying to cut a guide and follow it by combing sections of the cut hair into the next uncut section.

So, here in a nutshell is how I do it.

Step 1. Visit your local beauty supply and shell out cash for the stuff you need: scissors, a comb, a spray bottle and a cape. You may already have a comb with graduated teeth that will work.  Shell out cash for a mini pair of clippers if you like, for shaving the neck and trimming by the ears. This set me back about $60, which I have actually recouped now that I have cut B’s hair three times. The bulk of the expense was for the clippers.

Step 2. Plant your kid in front of the TV, and turn on something he loves to watch. We use a small chair that is his size, and I get down on my knees to cut. The chair goes on top of a drop cloth – actually some old drapes that we also use for painting. I bought a kid size cape, so I put that on him.

Yes, that car is on its side. Apparently it isn't running and B was fixing it.

Step 3 – Wet his hair down. I do recommend buying the bottle  from the beauty supply store that is specifically for this. I love this thing because it produces a fine mist. I use it all the time for styling my hair too.

Step 4 – Comb his hair out, and then begin to cut a guide. Always remember that haircutting scissors are VERY SHARP. Use a great deal of care and attention to not cut yourself (on the hand) or your wiggly little man.  I start in the back, at the nape of his neck, and I cut a line across to mark where I want the hair to be. Then I move around to the sides of his head. Be really careful around the ears, fold them down to cut behind. The last thing you need is to cut his ear. Then move to the front. I also cut a straight line across in the front, keeping in mind that dry hair will “shrink” a bit, so don’t go too short. Curly hair (which my son has right in front) can shrink up to two inches.

Step 5 – From here, I depart from what others do ( using the guide you just cut to cut the other sections of hair) because it makes marginal sense to me, and I just can’t get my two hands to work together to do it that way. Instead, this is where I start cutting the top 1/3 of his head at three finger widths. The hair is being held between your pointer and middle finger, and the middle finger, ring finger, and pinkie finger are all stacked underneath with the hair pulled taut and the pinkie finger resting on the scalp. Work with small sections of hair, and use the angles in the diagram from the post from Heavenly Homemakers. Keep your fingers horizontal when cutting on the top of the head, and vertical  when cutting on the sides. Like this:

Three finger widths – my middle, ring and pinkie fingers are stacked, and I only cut the hair above my middle finger – which you can’t see from this camera angle.

As I move down his head to the middle third, I switch to two finger widths – only my middle and ring finger are stacked up. I move my pinkie out of the way, and the ring finger rests on his scalp. As I move to the back of his head I start holding my hand vertically instead of horizontally. 

Step 6  – Continue cutting using finger widths as guides, working from the front of his head to the back and then switching from side to side (from one ear across the top of the head over to the other ear).

Step 7 – Use the clippers to save his neck below the bottom of his hair ( the line you cut across) – you are just getting rid of wispies and tidying up. Also tidy up the line around his ear.

You’re done! Pat yourself on the back for saving a boatload of money.


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