How to Cut Boys’ Hair Like a Pro

Remember how I promised to show you how I give my boys’ haircuts…and then just at the moment I had my long-haired boys all lined up for haircuts and pictures…my camera batteries died?  While we’re waiting for my boys’ hair to grow back for the photo op, Cheryl from Moms in Need of Mercy offered to guest post on this subject for us!  And she got her PROFESSIONAL cosmetologist to help us out!   
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When thinking about giving your son a haircut, do you:
a) shudder at the thought of what it might look like if you did it yourself,
b) reach for your scissors with a glint in your eye,
c) reach for your phone to make an appointment for him,
d) wish you knew more of what you were doing, so you weren’t just “winging” it (come to think of it, he kind of looks like he has wings when you’re done)

Haircuts, even for boys, are expensive. As often as their hair grows, this adds up to some serious cash. But if you know how to cut your son’s hair at home, and you know how to do it right, both of you will be pleased. He’ll be pleased at the result, and you’ll be pleased with how much you’re saving by doing it yourself.

If you’ve ever wanted professional lessons on how to cut his hair by yourself, my friend Liz–a licensed cosmetologist–agreed to show me (and you) the tricks of the trade.  Normally, these lessons would cost you a partial cosmetology school tuition, but we are bringing them to you free! Now go pour yourself an ice water on me, and let’s get to work!

As you can see from the above picture, cutting hair successfully is all about the angles. To begin, you may want to start with the neckline. (Liz thought that beginners may want to start at the top. This way, you can set the top length as your guide and blend down from it, rather than having to cut everything again if it doesn’t blend properly when you get to the top last).

But let’s say you start at the neckline. Working on the back of the head, starting from the area of the top of the ear down, use your water bottle ($1 at the Dollar Store/Walmart/Target) to spray the hair down and cut at a 45-degree angle, slanting toward the neckline. You will hold the hair according to this angle and cut along your fingers, as you can see in these pictures.

Once you have worked your way across the back of the head, you can use your scissors to carefully go straight across to form the base of the neckline. As you can see Liz demonstrating, you want to make sure to hold the hair down firmly so you cut it evenly.
Liz says if you are right or left-eye dominant, it could make your haircut slant. So when you finish the neckline, get eye level with it and check that it does not slant. If it does, correct it!

Once the back area is finished, you can move up to the sides. You will continue with the 45-degree angle.

 

Do you notice all the different lengths in this closeup? You don’t want that. When you are making a cut, you will want to have a few hairs from the last cut you made included in the section you are currently cutting. These hairs will serve as your guide, and you will cut the hair to match the length of the previous cut (which should be the shortest hairs).
When you come to the ear, you will tuck the ear by folding it down gently, and then cut around the ear as if you were tracing the pattern of the ear.
Once you have completed the sides and worked back around the head in that section, you can move up toward the top. You will now pull the hair out at a 90-degree angle (the mathematicians among us may argue that this is actually 180-degrees) and cut it straight off of the head.

Just as your child’s patience has about reached its limit, you will reach the top. Reassure him that you’re almost done and you’ll give him a reward for sitting so nicely (or not so nicely!) when you’re finished. Take the hair from the center of the top of the head, lift it up, and cut it straight across. If the very front of the forehead looks too choppy when you’re done, you can point-cut it. This is where you will use the point of your scissors to cut small points in the hairline (you don’t want it to look like candy-corn) :)

                                

If your son has cowlicks at the top of their head (mine do), you can leave the hair longer here to compensate. The extra weight will help prevent it from sticking straight up. To accomplish this, you will want to angle the hair slightly toward the front.

Now you’re just about done! The only thing left is to check the cut to make sure it’s even. You should be able to run your fingers through the hair, pull up various sections, and have the lengths line up evenly (angling in places, but with no long hairs jutting out). It should be well blended. Correct any mistakes you find, and try again in another 3-4 weeks, depending on how quickly your son’s hair grows!

Click here to see how to give a clipper cut as well as how to properly use clippers to help take out some of the bulk in a standard haircut.
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Comments

  1. Hilary says

    As a licensed (and good if I dare say so) hairstylist for the last 12 years (and Kindergarten teacher by day for the last 6 years). I would say the majority of stylists have no problem with people cutting hair at home. We make plenty of money off of correcting home cuts, that its really a non-issue. And if it saves you some money, that’s awesome! However, it saddens me to see how little people think of stylists and the training and time and commitment many of us make to being able to give a good product. As evidenced by many posts on here many parents think hair cutting is a brainless skill that needs no instruction and that’s ridiculous. As evidences by the posts of frustration over a bad hair cut, I would think many would recognize the very skill hair cutting in fact requires. With that being said, some natural talent or a lot of practice to learn how – many a person can cut hair into basic cuts at home with decent to good results and you don’t need to go to a salon necessarily for a basic hair cut.

    My goal in making this post – sorry it took so long to get to it – is to give you some tips to finding/recognizing someone that is good with children’s hair because I recognize many mom’s don’t WANT to cut their child’s hair – they feel it a necessity for many reasons.

    1. Ask your friends who cuts their children’s hair. A referral is the perfect place to start!

    2. If you go to a no-appointment salon which I think most parents do for their children – watch which stylists talk to the children like human beings. Yes, there are many stylists that don’t like to cut kids’ hair – but that’s not all of them!! And don’t have that person do your child’s cut. There are many like myself that enjoy cutting your kids’ hair. (They make the best conversations!) If you’re at a no-appointment salon (I work for Great Clips – and I know many people have stories to share but that isn’t why I’m writing this) you can request a stylist to cut your hair and wait for that person to become available. Many GOOD STYLISTS work at no appointment places because they (believe it or not) don’t want to charge you an arm and a leg for a cut. ( Working somewhere like Great Clips provides insurance & other benefits). Out of 2500 GC salons nationwide & Canada – that’s over 10,000 stylists (And that’s only if a salon had 4 employees which most have 7 or more). There is bound to be at least one person that you could request to cut your child’s hair. And a bad experience with 1 person at 1 location really isn’t a true measure of the company or employees. Regardless of where you go I find this to be a true statement.

    3. Help your child feel comfortable as much as possible. (I also teach Kinder and this is the same advice I give on the first day of school) Yes a stranger can unnerve a small child – but you as a parent stressing out about them getting a hair cut makes it worse. It really helps the child to see you calm and happy that they are there. When you are tense about the cut (because you know what’s coming) your children pick up on that and it comes out. Making a hair cut fun can help the entire situation and make your child want to come back.

    4.) Another way to help your child feel comfortable is to bring 2 suckers (or carrots or whatever treat your child likes) with you. One for during the hair cut (just keep it in their mouth) and one for after. I know – bribery comes to mind. But – compare it to your job. You do your job you get paid. Your child’s job at the moment is to get a hair cut. That’s it. They’re a kid. If they do a good job, shouldn’t they earn a paycheck? My particular salon goes through MANY suckers because the kiddos know if they do a good job, they will be rewarded.

    5. Try to remember that because your child’s head is smaller than an adult does not mean that less skill, time or talent is involved in cutting it. In fact, a good children’t cut requires more talent, skill and patience than an adult! Blending hair on head that has moved 20 times in the last 20 seconds is not easy – as I’m sure you’ve learned from home cutting. So to say your child’s cut should cost less than adult really isn’t fair. So try to be patient with stylists and give them some understanding for working with your child for less money.

    On a side note: If you choose to do a home hair cut, I would recommend you invest in the cheaper scissors that were referenced in the posts above. Walmart and even Sally’s Beauty Supply sells them at a decent price. This will help you achieve better results at home. Just so you can know – stylists spend $100 – $1000 or more (in my opinion because they’re crazy!) because the shears do affect the outcome.

    Good luck wether its at a salon or at home.

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    Amanda Reply:

    I also work for Great Clips, and I might add that I am one of the best stylists there. This is very well spoken and a great representation of our company. I do, however, not agree with parents cutting hair at home. Ninety nine percent of the time, it ends in disaster. Parents may think that they are saving money, but in the end, I have to shave your little boy’s head because it was cut so terribly at home. I do agree that there are stylists that don’t like children, but I can’t speak for all. I love to cut children and have learned to work with them. Parents, I strongly suggest that you do not cut your children’s hair at home. It makes for high anxiety for you, and supports a very tough time for stylists to fix the mistake.

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    Carrie Reply:

    To Amanda–when you have 3 boys and a husband, all of which have super thick hair that grows by the second, and you are on a limited budget, home cutting is quite necessary.

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    keesha Reply:

    boy do I agree, my husband and son have super thick hair and we were going to smart style at walmart because its the only place that was ever open on sundays when we could get their after church and they cannot even keep stylist, so we went and bought a nice clipper set and my husband and I use that and it looks nice especially when you don’t have the money to go to the hair salon or can find one open .

    Debbie Reply:

    Amanda,

    I have to tell you that I looked up this article because the guy who cut my son’s hair for years retiretired and I have taken him for two cuts that were terrible, and I am being nice. I have found that no one listens to what you want. They just want to finish as fast as possible. I will not subject my child to this any longer. I guess I am going to have to learn to cut hair!

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    michele Reply:

    If you are blessed to live in Michigan , try Grondins-in Washington-
    All the gals there are awesome & love my 9,8,&2 year old children.

    M Reply:

    Amanda, By recommending that people don’t cut hair at home, all I see is you protecting your bottom line. The reason for this post was so that parents who cut hair at home can do a better job on the cut and avoid going to the salon to have their child’s hair fixed.
    There’s no problem with parents taking some of the expense out of their budget. You don’t see farmers complaining that home gardens lowers their profits or target complaining that people are making their own drapes/clothes/etc. I have cut my husband’s hair at home for years and now I cut my son’s as well. I’d do my own if I had more mirrors and the patience. Unfortunately, I can’t trust my husband with a pair of scissors near my hair, so I get it cut every couple of years or so, when it is long enough to donate to pantene pro-lengths or locks of love, and then, I go to a salon wwho does the cut for free with a hair donation. Some of us just don’t have $90 or more in our budgets to get everyone’s hair cut and trimmed on a monthly basis.

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    Cherie Reply:

    Amanda,
    It’s not always about the money. I am a teacher and make very little, but the main reason I have to do my son’s hair is because he has ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Are YOU willing or even able to cut a child’s hair who is screaming and thrashing around? No. Guess what? He doesn’t even want ME to do it. So I have to do it when he sleeps. Yep. And it looks ok sometimes, sometimes not. But it’s posts like this one that help me try to make it as best as I can.

    Think about that.

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    Marilyna Reply:

    I agree! It gets so old taking my son and having impatient stylists get on to him because he can’t be still. I have to explain that he has autism and he can’t help it. By that time, I’m highly upset and furious!

    Jennifer Reply:

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

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    c0wbunny Reply:

    Did all stylists never make mistakes while learning to cut hair? Keep in mind that all the parents reading this article and others based on the same topic are doing so because we want to educate ourselves as much as possible before trying it out. We’re reading this to pick up some knowledge and have an idea of what we’re doing, not just picking up some scissors to randomly chop their hair down. If stylists have to fix the bad home made cuts they should be happy about the business they’re getting.

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    Understanding Parent Reply:

    We understand your situation and hard work, but do you all consider how much it will cost us to give you our hair? Does not compute when a person struggles to maintain children in good health, school, and the life necessities and give up those 20 to 50 dollars a person can apply to needs for our children. Hence a haircut can be fixed or grow out in time so to me it’s worth not spending the money. If it was less than 20 I might consider it. Lately those bargains are very hard to find.

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    sergeharoche12 Reply:

    20 to 50 dollars how long time it will take to cut the hair like this

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  2. Casey T says

    Thanks for posting this! I also like to save money, and my hairdresser the hassle, of cutting my 2-year-old’s hair! Mothers have been cutting the hair of their children for centuries and somehow they all grow up just fine. I prefer to use the money I save going to my hairstylist and getting my hair professionally done! Nothing wrong with that! …thanks for posting this. Very helpful to us moms!
    Also, a true hairdresser is understanding when one decides to cut or play with their hair, not condescending. I would never return to a hairdresser that was as condescending as some of the hairdressers in this column!

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  3. Kristina says

    I don’t believe either stylist was condescending. They were honest from a professional’s stand point. I am an at home colorist and stylist that is not trained or licensed but I have taken the time of the years to ask many questions and self educate. I get more compliments on my own hair when I do it myself and have numerous salon owners ask me to go to school so they can hire me. I have cut friends and family and their kids hair for years. It is something that takes A LOT of skill and training. Every person’s head and hair is different. Clusters of cowlicks are fun to work with. I have made many mistakes but I get better each time until I am able to go to school for it. It takes natural talent as well. For one to just assume they can do hair at home has resulted in numerous crying friends calling me to fix their crazy mistakes. At times I can fix it, at other times I refuse if its out of my comfort zone. There’s a huge difference in using clippers (which I advise for boys cuts for an at home mom cut) shears and razors on a male’s hair versus a female. Depending on the cut. To get it even, if not too long I will generally use clippers first. The longest first on top, then adjust to shorter as you go down, blending as you go. This is a safe way to cut and blend. Then I add the fun stuff with shears and a razor to break up the clipper cut. Plus it’s qui Ker for impatient little boys. I suggest a good set of Wahl clippers. It’s what my professional Barber friend suggested :)

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  4. Kristina says

    And amazing post by the way! I was,looking for some additional tips on cutting my friends husbands hair while maintaining the shaggy look. The pictures and tips on angle degrees was,exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!!!!

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  5. Elizabeth says

    I was fortunate enough to have my hair cut by my mom as a child. But she was a skilled and licensed hairdresser. I have seen so many horrible haircuts by parents. Not saying every parent does a horrible job. I plan on doing my child’s hair, however I have the knowledge passed down to me and the experience with clippers and scissors though I am not a stylist. the hairstylists who work at Great Clips mentioned, it’s a great place to get an inexpensive haircut for your child and not stress over doing a messy job on your child’s hair if you don’t know how to do a nice cut! Even going to a Hair School will give you a heavy discount or even free. Remember children nowadays in school are mean and will pick on kids over everything.
    The hairstylists in this column were not condescending whatsoever! They are just trying to point out that not everyone is suited to cut their child’s hair themselves.

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  6. Laura N says

    I keep wondering where all of you see so many children with bad haircuts by their parents! I’ve known so many moms who cut their kids’ hair and have ALWAYS been impressed. The first time I did something different with one of my boys it was a little scarey but he understood he might have to wear a hat or get buzzed and laughed about it. We homeschool so I guess we don’t have to worry about bullies. Other homeschooled friends don’t care if someone looks cool.

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    Haircutting mom Reply:

    Agreed. I’ve cut my children’s hair for over 15 years now. I do my husband on and off. He has had far worse haircuts from “professionals” than I’ve ever given him. Not that I’ve never made mistakes, but I’ve also corrected plenty of mistakes made by salon employees. But, he’s an impatient fellow and prefers the speed that I can’t develop only cutting his hair every 4-5 weeks. My husband’s favorite saying is, “What’s the difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut? Two weeks.”

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  7. MG says

    Great article! We are a small family on a VERY tight budget, and my son doesn’t mind if I cut it or a professional does it… But to have someone advise me not to do it at home seems silly. Each is entitled to their own opinion, but that’s like a chef telling us all to eat at a restaurant because cooking is a fine skill on mastered by few… Or a chauffeur driving me to work everyday because I don’t drive professionally for a living?

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    Laura Reply:

    Exactly!

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    c0wbunny Reply:

    I was just about to make that point!! Its like saying we need to hire a chef or eat out everyday because we can’t cook at home! And I know the vast majority of women worldwide can cook- so we can all learn to do something new.

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  8. says

    Lol, I would never cut my kids hair if I wasn’t a well trained hairstylist. One thing I put in consideration before having children, is that there are nessasary monthly cost, and a good haircut is part of that expense. Coupons, barder, Ect… There are several things you can do to fit haircuts into your budget. I could see a ”
    At home haircut” from a mile away. Yikes!!!

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    Bad hair cuts by pros Reply:

    I can spot a bad hair cut by a professional from a mile away too!!! I’m sorry, but I have had so many BAD cuts from “professionals” that it’s not even funny. I’ve paid $20. I’ve paid $200. It doesn’t matter the price, salon, or whatever. If you can’t cut hair, you can’t cut hair. Period. Professional or not. I’d surely rather save the expense of paying a “professional” to cut my child’s hair and try it for myself. What’s the worst that could happen? I screw it up royally and have to shave it for FREE, or pay a “professional” to cut it disastrously, and then shave it for whatever the cut plus tip? Hmmm…I’ll choose FREE thank you. Also, I’ve yet to meet a parent who said “Let’s figure out all the monthly costs of having a child before we do!” That’s just nuts. Hair cuts aren’t a necessity, they are a luxury. Health care, food, clothing…those are necessary monthly costs!!

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    Laura (also Laura N) Reply:

    You said everything I forgot to say!

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    Abigail Reply:

    No need to put Professional in quotations marks. I went to college for 2100 hours and had to test to receive a state license just like every other professional.

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    Self-Taught Stylist Reply:

    Professional was put in quotations, I believe, because a “professional” should cut decent hair. Botched jobs are, by definition, unprofessional. I’ve been coloring and cutting my own hair for years and my boys have had so many TERRIBLE haircuts done by “professionals” that I have had to teach myself to cut their hair. One has curly, one straight, and by careful attention to detail, my results are FAR better than the majority of those done in a salon. I’m not saying they’ve never had good salon cuts, but those true Professionals are more time and money (and gamble) than I am prepared to spend. Remember, ladies, it grows back! As long as you err on the side of cutting less, and pay close attention, you can either do a great job, or stop before you get into the danger zone where a true stylist can’t finish the job. Its only hair, and once you get good at it, you can save loads of money. GOOD LUCK, and don’t be intimidated. It’s not surgery.

  9. Laura says

    We all have our priorities! Lol! Almost sounds like you’re implying we shouldn’t have children if we can’t afford professional haircuts for all of them. That’s hilarious. The only terrible haircut anyone in the family has ever had was at Sport Clips, not by me. I have called my awesome brother (hairdresser) for tips a few times though. He recently visited and said “who’s cutting their hair? They look great!” He is NOT one to just flatter people. I’m not sure why the hairdressers commenting seem so rude and defensive. Yes, it takes skill but blogs like this help those of us who would rather spend money on other things. We’re not trying to offend anyone.

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  10. Veronica says

    Great post. After 8 years of paying $20 for someone to practice cutting my sons hair and having bad results I decided to give it a try myself and it was great. My son was so happy that I was able to cut his hair how he likes it and he also is happy about the savings. I did practice on a friend first ;) it was my first time ever cutting anyones hair, his turned out good too.
    Really I do understand where hairstylist are coming from needing to make a living and there are several wonderful hairstylist out there and the ones that are just getting started need the experience. The flip side for us parents especially with big families is that it’s frustrating to work so hard for your family and spend that money to possibly get a bad cut. I would just say don’t knock a mom for trying and be thankful for those messed up haircuts because if it was a success that mom would continue to do her own kids hair. I also hate knowing I’m paying for someone else to get practice on my kids hair when I could be getting the practice and saving money. It’s like if someone doesn’t know how to cook do you tell them not to try and just eat out all the time and to consider the schooling chefs went through and how they need to make a living…………

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  11. sally says

    hi ive never been to collage or even been taught how to cut hair but i am very good a cutting hair i can do anything with a pair of scissors, im always being asked where do i go to have his hair cut, ive now told all the mums at the school that i do his hair, now they are all saving lots of money by sending their kids to me. i think that everyone should at least give it ago once n c how they go, you can always go to the hairdressers if it goes wrong.

    [Reply]

    Self-Taught Stylist Reply:

    Sally! How much do you charge the moms at your son’s school? Dollars or pounds, I’m curious, because my friends have started asking me to do their kid’s hair as well.

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  12. Karen says

    Interesting debate. LOL! Isn’t it a blessing that for now we still live in a country where we can choose to cut our family members hair at home or go to a professional? I am awful at cutting hair. Couldn’t cut straight to save my life. But I can make good use of a pair of clippers for a nice short cut on my husband and son. And I just found a very simplistic cut for long straight hair like my daughters and mine that even I didn’t mess up! Going to the salon is a 30 mile trip for us so it involves a significant amount of time, fuel, and stress not to mention the cost. My husband doesn’t like other women cutting his hair and the last time I took the kids to Great Clips, the stylists proceeded to tell me all about the many many kids that come in there with lice! Not a good conversation to have with clients. I haven’t been back.

    Anyway, I was searching online on how to scissor cut boy’s hair and ended up on your site again! Thank you, thank you for your website and all you do. I visit almost daily and make your recipes regularly. My family loves them and loves me for feeding them so well. Simplicity is perfection. Save time, save money and be the loving caregiver that cuts your familily’s hair, if you so choose to. :)

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  13. selena says

    I have no choice but to do my 2 yr old hair at home! I took him to tiny tots hair place to have the lady butcher his hair as he was moving an crying I told her to stop till he calms down she continued till I noticed his mouth full of hair! I literally had to grab her hand and grab my son an run out! My other boy was good at the hairdressers but my 2 yr old will never go back she scared him from going ( I also told her not to use the shaver an she puts it on to see if he was actually scared of the noise an that’s when he started screaming half way thru). So I had to correct it at home! My daughters hair is sooo long I asked them to cut an inch they took off 4 inches an cut her bangs starting from her ears she cried for 2 weeks every time she did her hair and that was at first choice. Not saying all is bad but *professionals* I think this mom did an amazing job an it helped me with my boys so glad I had help to do it at home. Thank you so much!

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  14. Super Cuts and Great Clips regular customer says

    Hi Laura,
    Thank you for this post. I am a regular customer of Great Clips / Super Cuts for the past 8 years since I moved to USA. But I am sad to say that almost 80% of the times I had a disappointed experience. 3 to 4 times I went back there to have a correction after the first cut. I have a busy schedule and it is costly for me to go there again for the correction and I generally suck up whatever it is or do my own correction at home.

    I see the stylist’s comments that they spend many hours training to do this. This can be true but practically you don’t see those stylists in these shops 99% of the time. Most of them doesn’t understand that men can also have a little bit long hair. The happy people might be the ones who does the military cut(Anybody can do that).

    For me each trip to Super Cuts or Great Clips is a nightmare.

    I am going to do my hair style next time by myself and I damn sure that I will do a better job than 90% of these stylists with the help of my wife.

    Of Course, you can go wrong in couple of attempts. But I am sure that I can be a master in no time. I have already started doing my kids hairs now and all of my friends are praising for that.

    Again I am not bothered about my money. Its about spending 15 USD for the cut and 2-3 USD as tip for a headache for next couple of weeks (until it grow back so that you can do some correction). Really … more than 80% of the time I had a bad hair cut.

    Appreciate your post and I will search more. Guys if you not in a show business and want regular hair cut, you would be able to do that with your partner if you know the basics of how to hold a scissor and cut properly.

    good luck!

    [Reply]

    Brandi Reply:

    Just to let you know skin fades are the hardest male haircut to properly achieve
    A true military haircut is a skin fade, wether it is a low, medium or high regulation or even a high and tight. This is why all military will only go to barber shops specalizing in military cuts. I know not being from the US or working in tge industry you wouldn’t know this but be more informed. And if you can go from skin to 3+ in of hair on top with no lines (including weight lines that make them look like they have a bowl on their head, complete kudos to you. I have yet to meet someone or even talk to one of my military guys that has been able to get a home haircut that looks half as decent as going to a barber trained with military.

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    Christina Reply:

    I’m sorry, but will have to disagree with your statement that “This is why all military will only go to barber shops specializing in military cuts.” My husband is military and EVERY military member that I have met with the topic of hair coming up, they all stay away from the barbers that “specialize” in the “military cut” because they butcher it every time.

    [Reply]

    Dee Reply:

    My Marine husband drives the 40 minutes to base on the weekends just to go to a military barber. He tried so many places out in town to save time, and every time they claim they can do a military haricut, he comes out dissapointed. One girl in a Walmart messed it up so bad that after 45 minutes in the chair she finally had to just shave his entire head.

  15. Mom to six says

    I am a mom to six, five being boys. I learned how to cut my boys hair early on because most hair stylist wouldn’t or didn’t feel comfortable cutting their hair. We had to take them at a very young age because they were born with so much hair. As much as I appreciate all the hard work each stylist does, I have to admit that about 80% of the time my boys will come to me to get their hair cut or to have it fixed because the stylist didn’t do a good job on their hair. My 16 year old went to have his hair cut over the weekend and has asked me once again to fix what the stylist messed up. I feel it is unfair for you to get upset because we don’t want to spend our money to pay a stylist it feels like a total waste when I have to go back and fixed it.
    Thanks so much Laura for sharing with others on how to cut a little boys hair.

    [Reply]

  16. says

    Hey there, Miss Thang!! Thank you sooo much for this awesome AWESOME explanation. My son thanks you too!! I FINALLY figured out how to link your photo and your blog back to you. Please check it out at oldramblingroad.wordpress.com. Let me know if I missed anything… I’m struggling trying to figure out WordPress! It seems to be a little more complex to link and add photos, but I think I got it this time! =)

    [Reply]

  17. says

    I came across your post on pinterest and was very excited. I’ve read a lot of the conversation and know the pluses and minuses of giving an at home haircut. My son is only 2 and a half. He also has autism and sensory processing disorder, which makes it very hard for him to know how to react when strangers touch him. Our previous visits to the hair salon have been very difficult for him and the stylists (we’ve only tried child-centered hair salons). They have not turned out well, mostly because the stylist was trying to finish as quickly as possible.
    I’m sure one day he’ll care about his haircut and I’m willing to spend the $$ on a stylist. But, for now, your post is just what I needed.
    Thank you!!

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  18. Leslie says

    LOL….I didn’t realize a professional cut for each member of my family was a necessity (like shelter and food and basic clothing). I understand hair dressers need to make a living and that some are very skilled and good at what they do, that’s why I take my head to them and shell out the money for my hair, but I am not spending the $20-$40 a month for my son, daughter (yet), or my husband. I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for almost ten years now and not only is he tickled that he doesn’t have to spend his money on a professional every time (and sometimes he does still go because I may not always have the time and energy at the end of the day) but he prefers the way I cut it to the way some of these other ladies cut it because I know how he likes his hair to look. I have trimmed my two year old daughter’s hair a few times and have gotten compliments on it and I regularly cut my son’s hair. I went searching for some other tips on scissor cutting his hair only because he is wanting to wear it a different way now. I do think it takes a certain natural skill with your hands and eyes to cut successfully at home, but if you have a tight budget it’s a good skill to hone. I consider the mark of a very financially savvy parent to try and figure out what they might be able to do for themselves in order to save money.

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    Leslie Reply:

    By the way; I am also a trained massage therapist and totally understand the idea that any trained monkey can do this that or the other. I also know that massages can be a necessity for the over-all wellness of a person, but the cost for regular care can be imposing. I do not begrudge someone the ability to learn to massage their loved ones at home to cut some cost. I have even helped people learn some better technique for home/self massage and you know what….they still come to me for massages on occasion because they acknowledge my skill in this practice and they appreciate my willingness to work with them and help them learn.

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  19. says

    Wow, who would’a thought a sweet,and easy to follow by the way, post on a simple boys haircut would turn out to be so uhmmm…polarizing. If you have the extra cash, good for you use as you may, if you don’t and you cut cost to provide food and others needs, good for you. Thanks for the post gotta go cut my sons hair now!

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  20. says

    My friend is a licensed beautician so she has always cut my kids’ hair for us for a reasonable price. Last year while she was on vacation my son started getting hives on his face (whole other story) so I decided to take him somewhere and have his shaggy hair chopped to keep him a little cooler. Took him to a salon and told the lady to be very careful, at this point he was get and off his face. iI told her to be careful as he was getting hives from the slightest touch on his face. Needles to say, she scratched him several times with the comb and scissors so his face was swollen and hivey, it was also the worst haircut I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s like she cut everything to an inch and left the hair around his ears three inches, picture Jewish curls but straight. The rest of his hair was very uneven. When I took him to my friend the next week she was shocked to see what I paid $25 for and said I could have done better. She also managed to cut his hair without a single scratch or hive. I don’t know how some people have jobs when they do such shoddy work. Tonight I’m trimming my son’s hair until I can get to Marcy next week. I’m much more confident doing it myself than paying for a poor job from someone who shouldn’t even be employed in the business.

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    Self-Taught Stylist Reply:

    THAT’S what I’m talking about!! Going to SuperCuts or any other price-reduced salon makes my beautiful boy look ridiculous and un-loved! Why should I pay money for someone to make it hard to look at him? The answer is I shouldn’t and neither should any of you.

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  21. Eric says

    Thank you for posting this. While I have no doubt that a professional would do a much better job, my son’s hair grows unbelievably fast and it would cost me a fortune to get it done professionally every two weeks.

    Prior to reading this, I’ve been giving him short clipper cuts. Thanks to the clipper guards, at least it’s even and looks good. But his hair is growing out with a beautiful curly texture, so I don’t want to clip it so short anymore. I’m intimidated by cutting it while it’s longer, but I’m willing to try. If I fail, there’s always the clipper and two more weeks until it grows out again!

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  22. Brandi says

    As a stylist of 8 years doing only men’s haircuts there are some cuts easily done at home. If you are buzzing your hair invest in a good pair of clippers ($20 walmart ones are not good ones they will leave lines and miss hairs that a professional would notice) and go for it! I told my guys to come in once a month to let me line them up or taper the back sp they kept it clean all the way around. I had a handful that that’s all I did for them, because a clean taper without the proper tools, lighting, and knowledge will look like a hackjob..maybe not at home but go out kn the natural light and I guarantee you see lines. Scissor cuts I don’t recommend doing at home unless its just a light cleanup to get you through the next week. There is a lot more that goes into it than angles of the hair #1 being how your holding your hand and fingers. #2 cut someone’s hair without good shears and it might look good for the time being but its not a good haircut. Thats what people that aren’t in the industry don’t understand, you can hack away till it looks good but then when you do go in for a professional cut you’re expecting us to work miracles on hair that isn’t symetrical whatsoever. My best advice from what I’ve experienced and know.

    1. If your kid is a screamer and will not sit still, do it at home. We can’t give perfect haircuts to a kid that’s throwing a tantrum, it’s a horrible experience for him and everyone else that is in the shop. Get him used to it with you, so its not so much new being thrown and your not mad at us for not being able to perfectly cut a child’s hair that is flailing or moving their head constantly.

    2. There are good and bad stylist at every shop wether its a chain or individually owned establishment some people can’t do certain things but won’t turn down a service. When you tell the barber/stylist what you want pay attention to their face, if it has a slight “oh shit” look, confused or annoyed look politely ask for someone else.

    3.There is a difference (and I can’t stress that word enough) between a barber and a stylist. A barber was trained with clippers and razors with a little scissor cut. Stylist in most states get trained with scissors and shown what clippers look like. I have yet to meet a cosmetologist yet that had legitimate training with clippers. This being said cosmetologist can still go to classes and learn proper cutting techniques qith clippers and vise versa but I advise a barber for clipper cuts(especially skin fades or low fades) and stylist for the skater looks.

    4. If your going to be picky about the cut you need to be specific during consultation. You aren’t going to get what you want if you say oh just clean it up. I don’t know about other barbers but if I do what you askedwhen you sit down and have to do a whole different haircut you’re paying for 1 1/2. My guys know and respect that and it keeps the flow going. Plus it’s annoying putting time into something to be told at the end actually lets do this instead. If your not sure how short start with a little and check it. A good point of refrence is most hair grows between 1/4- 1/2 in in a month. Most guys can go 3-4 weeks between haircuts.

    5. For everyone saying mine or my child’s hair grows way to fast, technically speaking to keep the exact same style you would need a haircut ATLEAST every 9 days (over half my clients are military and there is a reason they are required a haircut every week). Going 3-4 weeks between haircuts is pushing you into a different style. So best advice to those trying to cut down on haircuts is taking it 1/4in shorter the first time cutting it, in 7-9 days it’ll be about where you want it. Which will make it last possibly 5 weeks.

    6. Find a barber and stay with them, we have a tendency to move and that’s out of your control but I always recommend my guys to someone I know can cut their hair type correctly. The more someone gets to know your hair and all its kinks the better your haircut will get. I’m not saying if you get an awful cut let them keep trying.

    7. All guys salons or all kids does not mean those cute little girls knknow what they are doing, and to be honest 85% just got out of school and are trying to find an actual salon job or test out the waters. These girls aren’t barbers don’t ask them for a haircut your barber will do. #1 they don’t have the right equipment #2 they don’t have the right training.

    The best way to keep from getting a bad haircut is to be informed and make sure whoever is cutting your hair knows what you want and is confortable doing it.

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  23. Jenn R. says

    Just wanted to add a different perspective to the discussion.

    I have a special needs son. He has great difficulty with his head being touched, as in, he can barely tolerate it. He allows me to because he trusts me, and I am more in tune with what sets him off (don’t spray him with water, don’t touch his ears, continually brush the hair off, etc.). Add in the noise and visual distractions of a salon, and we lost the battle before he even sits in the chair.

    As someone who has had her share of fantastic and down right awful haircuts, I certainly can appreciate those who put the time and effort into their trade. Sometimes however, choices are limited and you just have to make do. This tutorial is helpful to me, and I’m grateful for it.

    [Reply]

    kate g. Reply:

    I have a boy w/ autism. We have tried salons to no avail, he was
    traumatized at 3 by a lady who insisted on using clippers on him even
    after I specifically asked for a scissor cut.

    In any event, I give horrible haircuts at home. And that is the way it
    will be until I can learn from articles like this how to cut my boys hair
    better.

    If you see a bad haircut, there may
    be more to the story than what meets the eye.

    Just remember most of us do the best we can with what we are given.

    Laura, thank you for posting this article.

    [Reply]

  24. Shell says

    Thanks for all the advice. I am here because it is the cricket season and my son gives up his haircut for his sport, so I am managing it until September! Usually use clippers, but we are trying scissors today. I did do a 12 week course years ago, so came here to check I know what I am doing (ish)!

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  25. Sara says

    I too am amazed by the controversy this post caused. What’s the big deal if some mothers want to cut their little boys’ hair? The stylists don’t like doing it anyway!! To the people who think only a pro can do it: Should I also not attempt to mow my own grass because I’m not a professional landscaper?? LOL Yikes.
    I for one am beyond thrilled to find articles like this. My child is growing like a weed, as is his hair, and we can’t afford $20 a pop to get his hair cut every month. We do have it shaped up once or twice a year… same with my husband’s hair. My husband doesn’t notice a difference between when I do his hair and when he goes to a pro, so why should we pay $30 a month for him as well? To some people, $20 here and $30 there may be pocket change, but to others those little bits add up.
    Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!!!

    [Reply]

    Cori Reply:

    What a great analogy to the landscaping! Sometimes it isn’t always about money… it’s also about time when you have other kids. I don’t have the extra time to take my son to get his hair cut every 3 weeks when juggling my other children, husband, cooking, cleaning, etc. This article was very helpful and people should learn to relax!

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  26. Jon says

    As a Marine, I get my hair cut every week, and over the past 9 years it has never looked the same. In Northern California, I was able to find ONE professional hairstylist that did a wonderful job cutting hair, but unfortunately she moved out of state shortly later. I’ve been to many different businesses, from the bigger names to the no names, and it’s made me ask myself whether hairstylists do their job out of pride or simply to make money. Consider the teachers of the world, who make little money, and you can appreciate those that don’t care about the money and do it out of pride of their profession.
    Anyways, I’ve worked with my wife to learn how to cut my hair every week to save us $50 a month, and even work on our children to save additional money. I will say that the stylist that cuts my kids’ hair is a wonderful guy who owns his own small place and he does better than any newer shop in town. When we took our child to a more well-known place we were told that our child wasn’t cooperating well and not behaving, which simply wasn’t the case, my 2 year old was quiet and curious about what was going on, simply looking back to see the clippers and scissors.
    Why should parents desire to waste time searching dozens of places and getting bad results, when they can utilize the World Wide Web and learn to do it themselves? Where’s the pride, perfectionism, and professionalism in the stylist community?

    [Reply]

  27. Billie says

    Prays God for you thank you so much for the clear picture im feeling confident so my little guys getting in the shower then im going to give a hair cut. thanks again great job.

    [Reply]

  28. Noelle says

    Hi! :) I’m a sixteen-year-old girl who’s always wanted to have very short hair. My family can’t afford to take me to a salon to get it done often, as is needed for maintaining a short cut, so I knew I’d need to find a way for my mom to be able to do it at home. I was on the verge of letting her use the clippers she uses for my four brothers on me, and just cutting my hair supershort, but then I found this post. I’m so excited! This is the kind of haircut I want, and I’ll be trying this out with my mom in a few short hours. I’m going from a cheekbone length cut to this, and I’ll let you know how it goes!

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  29. Amy says

    I am a professional trained cosmetologist and a barber. I have a great passion for what I do and have spent a lot of time and money to get where I am in my career. I have been in the industry for 13 years and am a manager at a salon for 10 years. I get it. Haircuts cost money and it takes a lot of time with someone with a lot of kids. I have taught my sisters how to cut their kids hair because of those reasons. As a manager I also have seen many stylists who are just not cut out for the business. I have seen a lot of “at home” haircuts that look awful and some that are pretty darn good. People need to do what they need to do and when money is tight other things become more important than paying for a haircut. What makes me sad about these comments is for those stylists (like me) who have put their whole life into their career and have had great success, stylist who have invested so much time, money and tears to get where they are and there are people out there who think they can do and know better than us. This blog it very useful and fairly accurate on how to cut hair. But, what it doesn’t show is that a hairdresser is so much more than a pair of scissors. As a hairdresser my clients have become family to me, we laugh and cry and celebrate together. We go to weddings, funerals, birthday parties and other celebrations for our clients. We make people feel beautiful and confident and we listen to their struggles and their triumphs. We work late nights, holidays and weekends sacrificing time with our families to take care of our clients. Sure, there are some hairdressers out there who will not get too far because they don’t get it. But please, don’t forget about us, the ones that do! We know times are hard and you need to save money, we support you in that. But, there is nothing that can replace a hairdresser of the kind I have described. Sometimes it is so much more than a pair of scissors in our hands.

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  30. Laura says

    Well said, Amy. There are def. some very talented hairdressers. My brother is one of them and I don’t think people overpay when they pay him $65(?) for a haircut. He is an artist! My step-mom says my hair has never looked the same since he quit cutting it (he lives faaaar away). Nice, huh? Well maybe that’s because I pull my hair up in a ponytail on top of my head to cut layers! Ha Ha! It actually looks pretty good, though. So do my hubby and 8 kids, whose hair I cut. For us pro haircuts are obviously not a priority, especially when the $15 ones are not as good as my own. Not all hairdressers are as dedicated as you are. You sound awesome!

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  31. Teri says

    People who cut hair at home have no idea what they’re doing.
    Straight hair like that little boy’s needs to be cut w/ a razor; not scissors, so the ends of the hair are tapered and not blunt. With hair like that, you can see the cut blunt ends if you do it w/ scissors.
    Razoring that type of hair will make it lay better, style better, and grow out better.
    Every time I do a haircut w/ a razor on a little boy, their mother comes back to me for his haircuts. Why? Because she sees the difference, and doesn’t want to make the same mistake of taking her family to an inexperienced hair stylist. And I’m fairly certain she doesn’t want to attempt any type of haircutting at home.
    Having a haircut that you’re pleased with, in a flattering style by an experienced stylist is worth the money.
    While ur saving money cutting hair at home, why don’t you squeeze lemon juice in your hair to lighten it? Sooooo much money can be saved not going to a salon for highlights, huh??!! :/

    [Reply]

  32. Laura (also Laura N) says

    Thanks for the tip, Teri. I have a son with extremely straight hair. I’ll start using my razor on him AT HOME. Hope that doesn’t offend you that my priorities are different from yours.

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  33. marissa says

    Thank you so muh for sharing these tips! My oldest son is on the autism spectrum and has always had a meltdown when taken for a haircut. It was always such a problem, even at locations with stylists specifically trained in working with kids with autism. The result is usually ok but the process was horrible for everyone, the stylist included, but more importantly, my boy, who hust couldn’t process why this was happening to him. I followed these instructions and cut his hair at home and the results were great! I’m sure the above commenter Teri has a point about using the right tools, etc. but stylists have always used shears and not razors on both my boys’ hair, so I guess it isn’t widely known. A lot of the stylists who have commented have said home haircuts are a disaster, but my experience was wonderful. Everyone who saw my son said how handsome he looked and asked where we went for his haircut :)

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  34. Carmen says

    I was looking for tips to doing a basic short haircut with a trimmer. I have a 4 year old and I usually just let his hair grow, he has had about 7 haircuts in his lifetime, and it’s usually just shaving his head. He did have a haircut with someone who knows what he is doing a few years ago, but at his house, not in a salon.

    I just bought my first trimmer so I can give him haircuts at home, but I messed up. It doesn’t look that bad, but the area around the ears is too tall. Looks weird there. Any tips for his next haircut?

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  35. Carmen says

    Oh and about the controversy, if I could afford it he would get his hair cut proffesionally everytime, but being a single mother and all, I really can’t.

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  36. Kerri says

    I visited this site for some tips. My mom always took me to the salon when I was young and I received far too many bad. Haircuts from the “so called” professionals.
    Last year my new boyfriend told me he could save me the trip to the salon (and money) as he had a girlfriend who was a hairdresser that taught him how to cut her hair as she hated getting her hair cut by coworkers who never did what she asked. I said ok, as I thought he was joking, but realized he wasn’t when he came out with his shears, comb, clips and a towel. I got a little nervous when he started cutting, but when he was finished, I ran to the bathroom mirror to inspect his handiwork. I was impressed, it was the best haircut I had ever gotten, period. And frankly the thought of going to the salon and getting a bad haircut I paid for makes me cringe. So basically I need to get a better idea about how to properly cut hair because I would like to return the favor and cut his. I guess the above self described profession stylists are worried for good reason. Getting your hair cut at home by someone who knows what they are doing can give great results and save you money as well as prevent the horror of getting a terrible haircut because the stylist decided to do what they want, not what you asked of them. As the manager of a salon stated above, a lot of stylists really don’t belong cutting hair, and I have received compliments on my hair, and a couple women have asked me if they think my boyfriend would be willing to cut theirs. So I think learning to properly cut hair at home is not foolish, but can be a very smart move.

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  37. Jana says

    Thank you for this great tutorial. I cut my 22 month old son’s hair tonight. It turned out great, at least I think so. He has wavy hair which is rather forgiving. If he was old enough to go school, I’d consider taking him to a professional for a cut. For now the at home cuts are just fine.

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  38. sammy dabamster says

    I’m tired of “professionals” talking about how we lay people can’t do this and that. I am a wonderful baker and I bake better bread than you can find anywhere, i am a lawyer and am a programmer for over 20 years. i can tell you firsthand that lay people can do anything if they are willing to put some time into it and they will do BETTER than professionals because they have more time and more focus.

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  39. Kashi says

    Good lord, why all the negativity towards poor Amanda?.. Im a stay at home mom. I cut my family’s hair. I think Amanda is right. Why? Because most people don’t want to do it, and because most people do a crappy job that might need to be fixed. Yes- even you. I’m sorry, but I’ve seen some horrendous home haircuts (and you can usually tell.) I choose styles that are naturally layered and messy so it doesn’t matter to me, but if I wanted a precision cut, I’d got to a professional.

    [Reply]

    Carolyn Reply:

    Kasha the negativity was due to Amanda’s attitude. She was belittling people who assess their financial situation and experiences and make an informed choice not to go to the salon and pay alot of money for a haircut they cannot afford or pay for substandard service. Simple as that. My boyfriend changes the oil in my car, can replace a faucet, ceiling fans, builds decks, installs wood flooring, built my computer and is my computer repair geek. He loves musicals, classical music, is a great shot with both a pistol and a rifle, is in awesome shape and women hit on him in front of me. He is very up on nutrition and fitness, he even knows how to cook better than me and most women I know. He also gives me great haircuts. Better than I ever got in the salon for FREE. No, he doesn’t use kitchen shears. He uses pro grade shears, puts a cape on me and uses the wide hair clips to section and pin up my hair. Like they would in a salon if the stylist would take the time to do it as taught. But they get in a hurry, want to rush through each haircut to get the next customer in the chair to get the sale. I think if you do the research, read books and watch tutorials before you try to cut hair, you are more prepared. What do the beauty schools do? Give instructions, watch videos, observe and then do hands on training. And if I do it at home for my family I am somehow less qualified? I am not pushing through dozens of people a day to make my day’s pay. I can take my time on each one and make it right. send them to the shower and check afterwards. I have to do it right. These are my family, I give them my best. I am not chatting on the cell phone or gossipping while cutting their hair. I am focused, I have a four year degree and advanced training in my job. Beauty school is a votech school. I am certainly not less intelligent than the stylist with a high school diploma. You never know the background of your customer or their experience. The stylists that think we are not as smart as the customer, will lose business. If you do not provide an added value the customer cannot get elsewhere for the price, you lose business. My time is extremely valuable and I want it used wisely. Not wait 45 minutes after my appointment before the stylist gets to me and then be treated like I am a piece of furniture. If the pros spends thousands to get their state license, I think they should spend a couple hours in business ethics and treating customers as busines assets, not trash to be tossed out. Some are very decent people and get it, others will move on and take exciting careers in Walmart or a fast food place as a cashier.

    [Reply]

  40. Melissa Waldrup says

    I have been a pet stylist for for 20 years and have done clipper cuts for the men in my life just about that long. Grooming a dog and grooming a head of hair, while some aspects are the same, are so very different! This tutorial for hand scissoring (or as we call it in our industry “barber rolling”) has been spot on great for me! I never understood how to get those edges right and while my son is wanting longer hair now, I can’t just run an attachment over it all and call it a day! Thank you so much for the great explanation and pics!

    [Reply]

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