Growing up my mom always cut my hair. When I turned 19, since I didn’t like to be touched, I figured out how to cut my own hair and have ever since. As a result, I have never had a professional haircut, which may be obvious when you see me. Since I already knew how to sort of cut hair, and since haircuts can be kind of expensive, especially when you have 10 kids, I have always cut the kids hair.
Over the years, I’ve got the hair cuts down to a science. I just finished cutting 8 boys’ hair in 18 minutes, or just over 2 minutes per haircut. The boys don’t really like getting haircuts, and I don’t really like giving them, so finishing them all in just over a quarter of an hour makes it nice.
Having now given hundreds of boys’ haircuts and also having no real skill, here are the suggestions I have for low skill at home barbers.
- Clippers Only – My mom was much better at cutting hair than I was, and as such used scissors. Although, only using clippers makes it easier, more even for us amateurs, and less likely to cut off part of one of the boys’ ears.
- Vacuum attached clippers – A few years ago, I found some Wahl clippers that attach to a vacuum. I’ve had to modify the hose that goes to it since, but it has significantly reduced the pain of giving and receiving haircuts. This is why you must have vacuum assisted cutting:
- No hair in mouths and eyes – Before the vacuum attachment, many of the haircutting experiences involved lots of crying because, despite my dire warnings, kids would get hair into their mouths and 10 minutes of screaming would ensue.
- No clean up afterward – While sweeping or vacuuming hair from the ground is no big deal, inevitably before that could be done, at least one of our kids would track hair all over the house.
- No baths – Generally kids hate haircuts and baths, and to put them together is some type of strange torture for parents. Since the hair is all vacuumed up as it is being cut, the kids don’t need a bath afterward.
- Assembly Line – Giving haircuts in a quick assembly line fashion means you don’t have to get everything out more than once, and you only need to corral the kids once as well. Just set the precedent that the kids will all get their hair cut at the same time every time.
- Clean up the supplies afterward – I have spent way too much time over the years looking for a clipper guard because I didn’t put the haircutting supplies away when I should, and one of the kids carried off one of my favorite sizes.
- The Same Haircut – Having only one haircut makes things much simpler, plus, I probably couldn’t give them a different style anyway.
My process for giving boy haircuts is very simple.
- Use a #4 on the top, making sure the front gets trimmed all the way, it is easy to miss some strands in the front.
- Use a #2 on the sides and back. I cut straight up on the sides at a 90-degree angle which usually blends it well enough. On the back I curve around the head to about a 45-degree angle to get the cowlick area cut short.
- Take off the guards and trim the back, the sideburns and around the ear.
- Lastly, have Cassanda look at the new haircut to make sure I haven’t missed anything.
Overall, the haircuts are really easy and look just fine, and the boys don’t really care that much anyway. It keeps them from being too ratty and also from being too stylish.
Over the years I have also given Cassanda several haircuts. The first one was almost a disaster, but I was able to convince Cassanda to let me keep trying and it turned out great. I’m not sure how long Lily will let me cut her hair before she demands a professional, but so far all I’ve done is a little trimming.
We figure we’ve now saved thousands of dollars by giving home haircuts, and it is much less of a hassle this way anyway.