How To Cut Your Man’s Hair (Tips & Video)

Let’s talk about DIY haircuts, shall we? This is one of those posts I never thought I’d write (it’s definitely not very home related) but due to a surprising amount of requests, here it is. I guess anything that has to do with saving money and doing something yourself is fair game, right? I have no idea how I got into cutting people’s hair, but throughout high school and college I just played around, cutting off a guy’s mullet here and giving my BFF a super short pixie cut there (all at my “client’s” requests, of course). Why did they trust me? I have no idea. Maybe I just have a trustworthy face? I most certainly don’t have any formal training. I just sort of treat hair like I’d imagine I’d make a butter sculpture. You just remove the extra stuff so you’re left with the shape you want. Confidence inspiring, huh? But a bunch of people actually noticed my latest work of haircut art on John’s head in party pictures yesterday, so… score! Haha.

The funny thing is that we realized I’ve been cutting John’s hair for seven whole years! And I’ve probably dished out 50+ other haircuts to other friends and family members throughout the last ten years (why yes I have cut my brother in law’s hair in the backyard of John’s parents beach house). So take this post for what it is, one not-professional gal’s take on how she grooms her man. An above the neck manscaping lesson if you will.

But since it’s extremely impossible to tell you how I cut John’s hair and a lot more descriptive to just show you, we actually made a video, thanks to the help of our handy little tripod. Look at that shaggy hair John had going on in this “setting up for the video” shot:

It’s amazing what a little at-home clippage can do. How YOU doin’ hubby?

But on with the video! Let’s get up close and personal with those light brown locks, shall we? Oh yes, and I have primer/paint all over my hands from Clara’s birthday dollhouse (more on that tomorrow).

For anyone who can’t watch the video with the sound on (mehaps you’re at work?) it’s actually still pretty easy to understand on mute (since you just have to see what my hands are doing to get the gist). And I’ve included a few written tips in bullet form below, just to help anyone with a sucker on standby who’s ok with you experimenting on their head. I say that in the most kind and loving way, since all of my friends and family who have let me go to town on their hair are pretty darn awesome. I actually haven’t had an oopsie since college (I went a little shorter than I meant to on a gal in dorms, but she totally had the bone structure to work it). Although now that I’ve made that claim I feel like I should knock on wood. Or John should, since he’d be the most likely person to have to walk around with a potential hair snafu if it ever were to happen. Anyway, on with the tips:

  • I cut hair when it’s dry or very lightly misted with water because my experience when cutting wet hair has been that it “shrinks up” and is always shorter than I mean for it to be – which can lead to profuse apologies. Also hair that’s wet might not “lay” the way it does when it’s dry (ex: a cowlick might make itself known when hair’s dry and result in an uneven effect).
  • I cut John’s hair at night after Clara’s off to bed so we can get ‘er done without distractions (no toddler running through the hair pile on the floor- which Burger thankfully avoids like the plague).
  • I don’t use a buzzer and just shave John’s neck for him after the haircut with a regular shaving razor. That always makes things look nice and polished, and this way we don’t have to store a big hair buzzer (or pay for one).
  • I use hair-cutting scissors that I got for like $5 from CVS. They don’t even have a brand name on them to pass along. Sorry!

  • I use my fingers to keep things even. For example, when I cut John’s hair I cut it one-finger-length from his scalp, so it all stays that length. I go a little longer on top – maybe two finger lengths (see the video for more on this).
  • I always try to cut hair vertically (ex: parallel to John’s spine) – except for trimming the line around his neck – since it can look dorky and block-ish if you cut things horizontally (parallel to the shoulders). It’s really hard to explain in words, but the video makes this much more clear.
  • I’m not a pro, so this isn’t real hairdresser scoop. Haha. I’m just a crazy girl with a penchant for pickles and cutting hair – so this is just what works for me (and John, my sweet hair-model hubby).

Oh and here’s an after pic from the back, since that might help you guys visualize it from that angle.

Hope that helps any DIY-haircutting-hopefuls out there! Does anyone else host haircuts at their house? The craziest thing is that I just calculated that we have probably saved at least $700 in the past seven years just by me cutting John’s hair (not counting all the times that I cut my own hair or ask John to snip a straight line in the back when I need a little trim and can’t reach – which might be an additional $500 in savings over the years). That’s a lot of cheddar ceramic animals…


    • says

      Haha, believe it or not, I’ve never cut John (or anyone else I’ve cut hair for) but I usually cut myself. Just a little snip, like a paper cut. Haha. Seems to be part of the routine by now. Haha.


  1. says

    Speaking of haircuts. My hubby would never let me attempt one on him again. We just won’t go there. But I would love to see a DIY on how to cut a 2 year old child’s hair while sleeping. Better yet while doing anything. Jude has had 3 hair cuts maybe 4 in his life. Some easy, some not so easy. But now at 2 he will sit and wait until it’s his turn and then that’s it he goes into full fledge possessed demon mode. The last person I went to sat on the floor with Jude and I. She got one snip and then said I’m to scared I’m gonna cut him. So basically he can literally see out of one eye and his hair is beyond bad now. (my boys have tons of hair and it grows fast) Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Lesley

    • says

      Oh no, that’s rough! Is there an activity that he loves doing in his highchair? I would get him in there, all strapped in with the tray on, and give him whatever he loves (bubbles, play dough, you can even bring it outside and do it there). Then hopefully he’ll be so into what you’re giving him that he’ll let you do your thing. That’s my only idea!


    • Tonya says

      My son is the same way – we do popsicles! My hairstylist friend has until the end of the popsicle to complete the haircut!

    • Kate says

      When my baby brother was that age (I was a teenager), we always cut his hair while sleeping. We would usually get one side, and then put him down on the other cheek the next night to get the other side. Haha.

      Of course, that was when you still used drop side cribs, so it was much easier to reach.

    • Hayley says

      Lesley, if you ever figure it out, let me know! My 18m old has had 2 haircuts, one by me, and one by my husband. Both were terrible! The very first one, we were at my parents’ house and we fed him chocolate (my parents keep those hershey’s mineratures around all the time) and that did NOT work. When I tried it, I basically chased him around his sister’s room and got a snip in here and there. He sees the scissors and freaks. Then hubby said I cut the ears too short. And his hair is curly to boot. Not ringlets curly, but definitely does not lay down. :) Fun with boys, right!

      by the by, my 3 year old daughter has yet to get a haircut, though that is impending, I’m sure. It is a nightmare to brush her hair.

    • Jenni says

      My best friend’s mom, when I was a kid, used to run her fingers through her 2 year old’s hair asking him if she could cut it, and he would always say no. What he did not know is she was snipping those locks she was asking about as she touched his hair – it took about a week to cut his hair but he never noticed, and never had the meltdown a formal sit-down haircut would have caused.

    • alex says

      I know its not the best idea, but maybe before the hair cut commences, let him pick out a toy, special candy, new book so he knows its there and he physically sees it and explain that when he sits like a big boy through a hair cut he can have it..and if he doesn’t, he doesn’t get it but he still knows you have it…and he can either be rewarded or not. Toddlers like a choice…and its funny because they can either choose the fun happy path. Or the disappointing, no reward for bad behavior path.

    • says

      We always put on a movie for my 2-year-old (almost 3 now!) boy and strap him into a booster seat – and then I always have a 2nd person there to hold his head still in case he gets wiggly. I’ve also heard lollipops help? But I’m not sure why because my son will still move his head around even if he has a lollipop.

    • says

      Wow, thanks everyone for the tips. And thanks to you Sherri as well. Jude is a really big and strong two year old over 40lbs. He has long grown out of a high chair and giving him treats etc. forget it. He couldn’t care less. But the good news is I snuck up during nap time and took some snips at his bangs and at the very least he can see now. Beats getting charged for each individual time I keep attempting to go in and get his hair cut. We may have to try again soon when he gets older. Thanks again. Lesley

    • Natalie says

      We have a chain called Cool Cuts for Kids here. They have movies and video games for the kids to play while they get their haircut (and cute cars for the babies/toddlers to sit in). It is a little pricey for a kids haircut ($17 I think) but they have coupons regularly. I took all my boys there when they were little. We only had a few incidents of kids crying through haircuts and ended up holding them in a chair while the stylist quickly did her thing. All three sit nicely for haircuts now.

    • Maureen says

      My nephew was horrible with haircuts until a hairdresser suggested not using the word “cut”. Kids associate it with pain. He would sit quietly as long as he was getting his hair “trimmed” not “cut”

  2. Rebecca says

    When do we get a tutorial on you cutting your own hair? That’s what I need to see! I always manage to have a little bit too long in the back and have to ask my husband to trim off for me.

    • says

      That would be a comedy of errors. It’s me with wet hair from the shower brushing it all out and then begging John to cut it carefully straight across the back. Might have to see if I can catch that on film someday. Nothing fancy about it (no layers or anything). Haha.


  3. Kim says

    I’ve never been trained in doing hair or anything, but after my husband and I got married he asked for me to cut his hair. It took a few tries to get use to and get it just right, but now I’ve been doing them for 5 years. I can’t even imagine how much money we have saved over the years. Within the past few months my husband has wanted a different try of hair style that I’m still trying to perfect but now I’m thinking about starting to do my own hair. I’ve trimmed my own bangs for years and cut split ends when I’m bored in the office. So how hard can it be. I keep a pretty simple long hair style so maybe I won’t be so bad. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • says

      Aw, I love that you cut your man’s hair and trim your own bangs! Keep me posted how your own self-cut goes! Mine is pretty basic, so I hope yours is easy too!


  4. says

    Geez, is there nothing that $herdog can’t do? :) His hair looks great! I think it’s nice to show all sorts of things on here; I think people really look to you guys on how to simplify things in their lives and save money. I know I do.

    • says

      Aw thanks Maureen! There was definitely a learning curve! It used to take me soooo long to cut his hair (like an hour!) but over time I’ve gotten faster. Haha.


  5. April says

    Good for you guys! I totally cut my hubby’s hair too. A number one all around and then a clean up around the ears and neck with the guard off. I’ve only had an oops once…the day of my company’s Christmas party (of course). Poor guy looked like he was ready for basic training. For us it’s nice to save the moolah, but also the convenience factor rocks. We’ve got an 18 month old and this way my hubby is never over-due for a trim. Like you guys, we do our cuts after our little one is down for the night. I’ve cut his hair in the back yard at midnight in the winter since I’m such a clean freak and well, you gotta do what you gotta do when you’ve got a little person in your life. We splurged on a barber’s cape from Amazon since the hubby can’t stand getting hair down his neck. :)

  6. VickiP says

    Well, that is awesome. I have a husband and two sons, and that’s a lot of haircuts I’ve been wanting to tackle myself. I’ve experimented on my three year old, but it takes multiple cookies and episodes of Fraggle Rock to get him to cooperate. Your video was much easier to follow that what I’ve found on YouTube, so Thanks a Ton!

    • says

      Love the bang cuts! I just brush it all out in the back (all over my shoulders on my back) and beg John to try snipping a straight line (no layers or anything fancy) and sometimes troll youtube for a tutorial that might involve light layers (like pushing it over your shoulders and cutting it in front or while gathered in pigtails, etc). I only get brave like that when it’s really long and I know I can de-layer it if it’s too crazy by just going shorter and more blunt.


  7. heather says

    I’ve been trying to let my husband let me cut his hair for years but haha that won’t be happening (he won’t even let me buzz his neck, he must know my penchant for clumsiness). That said, I used to cut my friends hair in highschool, and then in college I did a few cuts, some highlights, buzzed the guys hair a bunch, cut my own bangs, etc. I wish the boy would let me cut his hair. Then again, he only pays like $15 to a barber and goes a while in between haha.

  8. Kate says

    “Above the neck manscaping lesson” !!! Oh Sherry, you kill me. I love when you guys get a bit saucy.

  9. Katie says

    My husband has the same talent! He actually cuts his own hair and that of his male family members, friends and friends’ kids. We’ve been known to go over to people’s houses so he can provide haircuts and they usually provide us dinner in exchange, haha. Just like you, it’s a talent he happened to discover—no formal training. I wish he would cut my hair too but I think he’s a little terrified since he’s only worked with the dudes, but if John can handle the straight-line-across-the-back trim, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal!

    • Alissa says

      When my hair was short I used to cut it regularly to save all those trips to the hairdresser, but I no longer have a bathroom where I can set up mirrors to see the back of my head. Living the long-and-pony-tailed lifestyle now.

      I have a friend who cuts his own hair, too, and without any mirrors to see the back! I was super impressed; he does such a great job!

    • Lisa says

      Katie: You should definitely talk your husband into cutting your hair. It must be much easier to cut long hair, so if he’s good with short, I’m sure he’ll do well. I recently went from long hair to short, in stages. I made my husband cut it, and he was literally shaking, but it looked fine even the first time (I was a little scared when I felt his hands and the scissors tremble against my back- but hey, it’s only hair!).
      Now I might make him watch this video, and then sort me out a nice pixie look (He just started a new job this week, so NOT the time for me to go trial-and-error on his hair…

  10. Amanda says

    I don’t know, guys, usually I am right there with you, but I like the before better. He needed a shape-up, but the before gives him a shaggy Brad Pitt kind of look.

    • says

      Haha, oh yeah, the long hair vs. short hair debate is one for the ages! Personally John likes it short and I think he’s a hottie when it’s freshly shorn. But to each his own!


    • Andrew says

      It’s funny that Amanda says John’s before picture reminds her of a shaggy Brad Pitt. I actually thought he just resembled Shaggy from Scooby Doo – and that’s NOT a bad thing, although the inner dialog in my head is now saying…”Raggy? Rooby Roo needs Rooby snacks!”.

    • Ashleigh says

      WAY different. I keep looking at the picture to determine if it was a magazine photo because it just does not look like John. :-)

    • says

      Haha- that’s so funny. I wonder if it’s just that you guys are used to seeing him straight on in pics on the ol’ blog? Our relatives and friends see us in 3D so we must look different than face-on blog pics, haha. So much that side ones look funny I guess!


  11. gia says

    I think his hair looks great, but have to be honest, I was getting sweaty palms just watching this video! I don’t think I would trust myself cutting someone else’s hair. I can’t even manage to trim my almost 2 year olds bangs. I just take her to my hairdresser for a bang trim every 2 months! haha

    • says

      Haha, you’re lucky you have a 2 year old with so much hair! Clara has yet to need anything other than the occasional mullet cut. Haha.


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