Hair Clippers

Clippers often come with multiple accessories to make the perfect style.
Clippers often come with multiple accessories to make the perfect style.

Hair clippers are an essential tool for many hair cuts. Before purchasing the first set of clippers on the store shelf, however, it is important to know what different features to look for as well as how to use the clippers effectively.

Types of Hair Clippers

While the basic design of most clippers hasn't changed in years, there are some variations between different models. The most popular brand names include Conair, Vidal Sassoon, Wahl, Andis, Remington, and Norelco, and prices generally range from $10-50 depending on what types of features and accessories are included. Before choosing a model, consider the types of styles you hope to create with clippers and how functional they will be for your different hair cutting needs, and select the type of clippers that can work well with your style visions.

Features

Every type of hair clippers has minor modifications, but the basic features and accessories to consider when shopping for your own clippers and hair care kit include:

  • Cordless or corded design for convenience.
  • Whether the base acts as a recharger or if other outlets are necessary.
  • Ergonomic grips for comfort and easy use.
  • Vacuum accessories to reduce stray bits of hair and overall mess.
  • Lubricating oil and cleaning brush to keep blades in good condition.
  • Type and length of hair guide combs, typically ranging from 1/16 to 1 inch with tapers for both left and right ears.
  • Attachments to trim moustache, nasal, and ear hair.
  • Adjustable blade levers to maximize versatility of each blade by letting it cut different lengths.
  • Snug-fitting cape to catch cut hair.
  • Water spray bottle, brushes, scissors, and combs to help create the best styles.

Not every kit includes every possible item, and it is best to choose a kit that meets your styling needs rather than one that has every bell and whistle imaginable.

Using Hair Clippers

Home hair cuts are far more economical than multiple trips to the salon, particularly for easy styles for men and boys. Even the simplest cut, however, can be a disaster if it is not done properly, but by knowing how to use clippers effectively it is possible to save significant amounts of money.

To properly cut with clippers:

  • Wet hair slightly to tame stray strands, but do not soak hair. A spray bottle works well to keep hair damp throughout the cut.
  • Comb the hair naturally and in the preferred style to provide a visual reference and guide for different sections.
  • Begin trimming in the back, gradually working around to the sides and top, finishing up with the nape of the neck and over the ears.
  • Work with small sections for greater control.
  • Position clippers to cut in the opposite direction of hair growth for maximum efficiency and an even result. Typically this is from the bottom of the head or neck toward the top.
  • Cut longer hair by holding small sections with fingers or a comb and running the clippers along that edge.
  • To prevent irritation, clean clippers periodically during the cut and be sure to brush off stray bits of hair after finishing.

Styles that Can be Cut with Clippers

Short styles can often be made with clippers.

It may seem like hair clippers can only work for a few limited styles, but in reality they can create a number of short styles. Buzz or crew cuts are the most common, but "mushroom" cuts are popular with young boys and teens: this is a look where the hair along the neck is extremely short, but the hair on top of the head is longer. A box cut is a style of buzz cut with a definitive shape rather than conforming to the shape of the head. Long hair and bangs can easily be trimmed with clippers, and many teens like having geometric shapes and lines incorporated into their styles with clippers.

Caring for Clippers

For clean, even cuts, it is important that hair clippers are cared for properly. Always clean clippers after use to prevent oil, dirt, and bits of hair from building up and clogging or damaging the blades, and lubricate the blades according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Be sure that cordless models are fully recharged before using, and always store clippers in the appropriate case out of the reach of children.


For anyone interested in learning to cut hair or saving money through home hair cuts, hair clippers are a necessity. By choosing the most appropriate model and using it effectively, it is possible to create fabulous styles for a fraction of the cost of salon visits.

Hair Clippers