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#1
Old 09-07-2007, 08:00 PM
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How do I give myself a buzz cut?

I've recently taken to getting my hair cut really short. But it grows back so fast that I lose that nice "prickly" feeling in a matter of days. And I simply won't pay for a haircut every couple of weeks.

So I was thinking of buying a hair clipper with a #1 attachment thingy like the guy uses at the salon.

Would this be a bad thing to attempt on myself? Do I need multiple mirrors? Anyone else do this?
#2
Old 09-07-2007, 08:19 PM
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A long time ago I bought electric clippers and gave myself a buzz cut, and I just did it with a regular bathroom mirror. It was easy and it came out even though I did prefer the way a buzz cut looked when done professionally because my hair did look better when it was trimmed a bit shorter in the back than on the top even if only by a couple millimeters. Perhaps you may want to get a handheld mirro just to check the back and sides, but I was able to buzz it evenly without needing to look at the mirror much. Good luck.
#3
Old 09-07-2007, 08:24 PM
The Turtle Moves!
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Frickin' shave it, ya pussy! #1 cut is for sissies.
#4
Old 09-07-2007, 08:26 PM
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It's not hard, just make sure that you go over your whole head. And go over the same spot in multiple directions. A hand-held mirror to check the back will help.
#5
Old 09-07-2007, 08:33 PM
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I used to use a #1 but I found that when cutting ones own hair, it could get a bit uneven. I don't use a guard at all anymore, so I can just go to town without having to worry about evenness. Besides, your hair will be at #1 length within a couple of days anyway. I second the need for a handheld mirror so that you can get all the spots in the back taken care of. Of course you would be using said mirror in front of your bathroom mirror.

Do NOT buy a pair of cheap clippers! A friend did that once and had to go buy a new one with a half shaved head. He heard snickering everywhere he went in that Target looking for a genuine Wahl. I use the Wahl Home Pro, it has paid for itself 50 times over with what I save on haircuts.

Make sure the look fits you too. Some people can't pull of the freshly-shorn look, ask your friends for a brutally honest opinion on the matter.
#6
Old 09-07-2007, 08:33 PM
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just buy the buzz clippers and go over your head in multiple directions. Helps to have someone trim the hairs on the back of your neck but this is not critical.

I've been doing my own hair for 20+ years this way.
#7
Old 09-07-2007, 09:17 PM
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Nope. Just a mirror. I use the bathroom mirror, and lay newspaper down on the floor and over the sink to catch the hair clippings. And if you have someone to trim the back of your neck, that's fine, but not necessary unless you are really hairy, IMO.

Oh, and I would not recommend using a #1 attachment; that will pretty much make you look like a skinhead. I always use a #4.

Last edited by Sophistry and Illusion; 09-07-2007 at 09:18 PM. Reason: grammar
#8
Old 09-07-2007, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnooman
<snip>
Do NOT buy a pair of cheap clippers! <snip>
Let me repeat that, with feeling...

Do NOT buy a cheap pair of clippers!

You can get Wahls for $20 at Target or Kmart. I have the Color Pro, but the Home Pro dnooman mentioned is basically the same thing. Wahl makes the best product, IMHO, don't mess around with anything else.

If you're going for one length, you don't really need a mirror, because you'll probably want a friend to clean up your neck, anyway. Again, IMHO, a nice neckline is paramount to a professional looking home hair cut. After you cut your whole head, with passes in multiple directions (I usually go straight back, and 45 degrees offset), use your hand to feel for stragglers. Make sure and get your ears, also. This part's easy. Just put the blade's side against your head, and follow the natural curvature of your ear/hairline.

Finally, if you decide you want a blended look, it's not much more difficult. You will want a hand held mirror (you can score one for $5, I'm sure) for this. Simply snap on the guard you want your sides to be (I use #2 if I'm doing it myself, #1 if one of my buddies is doing it for me), and go straight up, starting at your side burns. If you go straight up all around, it will give you a flat top look. Then use a guard half way between the guard you're using on the sides, and the one you're using on the top, to blend in the "edge" that you just created. Simple as pie.

Another technique is to "rock" the clippers when you get to the fade line, but I haven't had as much success with this method. I've probably given 100 haircuts to my friends, and 100 to myself since I was 16 (I'm 25). I've paid for exactly two haircuts since then. Once before high school graduation, and once in Brazil before a wedding there.
#9
Old 09-07-2007, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnooman
Do NOT buy a pair of cheap clippers! A friend did that once and had to go buy a new one with a half shaved head.
What's "A cheap pair of clippers?" I've spent less than $20.00 and recieved 10 years of service from a Remington. Do they come cheaper?

I just use the clipper with no guard, whenever I start to feel hot all the time. Then I know it's time to get rid of all that hair.

No, I'm not Derek Jeter, why do you ask?

Joe

[edit]No, I'm not a skinhead. Bald is fairly common among 20-40s these days, at least where I live...[/edit]

Last edited by Yorikke; 09-07-2007 at 11:42 PM.
#10
Old 09-08-2007, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04
What's "A cheap pair of clippers?" I've spent less than $20.00 and recieved 10 years of service from a Remington. Do they come cheaper?
Cheap clippers. If you don't at least recognize the brand name, don't buy it. Great clippers are inexpensive, but not "cheap".

Also, the notion that every white guy with super short hair is a "skinhead", neo-nazi, or white supremacist died out a looong time ago. Now if you dress in all black and wear combat boots, some people might wonder. It's not a realistic concern, unless you live in an area with a high concentration of that type of person. A very, very short haircut is currently stylish amongst many balding men in movies, some even go all the way and just go for bald. That says nothing about them other than how they like to have their hair cut (or shaved off completely).
#11
Old 09-08-2007, 01:24 AM
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What? Nobody mentions the Flowbee?
#12
Old 09-08-2007, 01:39 AM
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Wahl is a very sturdy and well-built brand. Clippers, by their nature, need to be able to tolerate a lot of sustained vibration. The blue light special brands will fall apart very quickly.

Your hair will look more professional if you leave it a bit longer on the top. I use the #4 on top, the #2 on the sides and back, and the #3 to remove any obvious border between the two lengths. You might try the #1 on the sides and back and the #2 on top.
#13
Old 09-08-2007, 02:05 AM
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I buzz my hair off with a #1 every two weeks and keep a short, neat beard, shaving my cheeks and neck. The hardest part is making sure I get every spot on the top of the back of my head, so I feel around and make sure I can't pinch up any areas of longer hair after shaving the rest. Leveling off the back of my neck is almost impossible, even while holding a hand mirror, so I usually just leave it as is. Everyone likes the look on me except my parents, who have alternately told me I look like a Nazi or a concentration camp victim.
#14
Old 09-08-2007, 08:50 AM
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Get someone to give the back of your head a look over before you go out into public. And yeah, just go ahead and shave it without the guard. It's much much easier.

Oh and get used to wearing a hat during the summer. A sunburn on top of your head is a most unpleasant experience.
#15
Old 09-08-2007, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pithy Moniker
Oh and get used to wearing a hat during the summer. A sunburn on top of your head is a most unpleasant experience.
Oh yes. I was not known as 'the man with the panama hat' without good reason. I started off with a #4 cut then switched to a #2 cut. I currently use a #3 cut because the #2 attachment broke and I'm not earning at the moment.
#16
Old 09-08-2007, 04:13 PM
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If you can't find a Wahl in your local bigbox store, go to a beauty supply store.

Do not cut your hair with a gas-powered weed trimmer! Just don't. Trust me, don't.
#17
Old 09-08-2007, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pithy Moniker
Get someone to give the back of your head a look over before you go out into public. And yeah, just go ahead and shave it without the guard. It's much much easier.

Oh and get used to wearing a hat during the summer. A sunburn on top of your head is a most unpleasant experience.
Well, if you use a #4 guard you don't need to wear a hat, because you have enough hair to block the sun. Unless you just like the shaved-head aesthetic and think it's worth the inconvenience of having to wear a hat outdoors.
#18
Old 09-08-2007, 09:15 PM
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I'm glad that this question's been asked. I've got a set of clippers (UK brand "Babyliss") that cost 16 or something, and if I felt more confident I'd do it myself rather than relying on friends. I'm a sort of #2/#3 kind of guy with no sense of style or need to look "cool", just after convenience, really.

Is it easier if you go for the shorter cuts? For example, is a #1 easier to do (without looking an idiot afterwards) than, say, a #3?
#19
Old 09-08-2007, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrington
I'm glad that this question's been asked. I've got a set of clippers (UK brand "Babyliss") that cost 16 or something, and if I felt more confident I'd do it myself rather than relying on friends. I'm a sort of #2/#3 kind of guy with no sense of style or need to look "cool", just after convenience, really.

Is it easier if you go for the shorter cuts? For example, is a #1 easier to do (without looking an idiot afterwards) than, say, a #3?
:shrugs: I don't find it particularly difficult to use a #3 or #4. I just go over my whole head repeatedly to make sure I haven't missed any spots. It helps that I have a wife whom I can ask to point and laugh if I have any wayward tufts, but so far there haven't been any occaisions where that has happened, which makes me think the likelihood of failure is pretty low.
#20
Old 09-09-2007, 03:02 PM
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Another vote for Wahl clippers. I do my hair and beard with a #1 comb - short for the beard, longer for my hair. My wife checks it over at the end, and trims my neck.

I tell people she cuts my hair, though - to ensure that she checks it properly.

Si
#21
Old 09-12-2007, 09:31 PM
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OK, I've bought a Wahl clipper set. Also picked up a new hat in case things go awry...

Will let you know how things go after I make the first attempt a self-haircut later tonight.
#22
Old 09-12-2007, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyo Jim
What? Nobody mentions the Flowbee?
As you can see, sucks as it cuts!


Well it certainly does suck!

Last edited by wolf in second hand clothing; 09-12-2007 at 11:00 PM.
#23
Old 09-13-2007, 09:56 AM
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I used a #4 all the way around for my first attempt. Seemed to go OK, and the mess wasn't as bad as I expected.

Showered and went to bed. But when I got up again this morning it appears I have a tuft or two sticking up. Not sure if this is the consequence of poor buzzing or just morning hair. Maybe I'll try the #3 next and see what happens.
#24
Old 09-13-2007, 10:26 AM
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Sometimes when you cut your hair, there are spots that are laying down that don't get picked up as well. Next time, after the first dry run, wet your hair and do it again. That usually gets the stragglers.
#25
Old 09-13-2007, 10:36 AM
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I've been giving myself a buzzcut for a few years now. I usually cut it down to 1/4" (dunno what number that is), a few times I've used no guard but it's rough on my scalp and I didn't like it.

I've been using a Conair clipper, I haven't noticed any difference between it and the Wahl at my parents house.
#26
Old 09-13-2007, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophistry and Illusion
Well, if you use a #4 guard you don't need to wear a hat, because you have enough hair to block the sun. Unless you just like the shaved-head aesthetic and think it's worth the inconvenience of having to wear a hat outdoors.
If I had enough hair to cover the complete scalp, I wouldn't have shaved my head in the first place.
#27
Old 09-13-2007, 12:13 PM
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I like the look of a cut that my barber calls "as short as you can go while still leaving enough to comb". I'd estimate the hairs on top are about an inch-and-a-quarter to and inch-and-a-half long. The back and sides are shorter. My hair still has an identifiable part in it.

Can I get this kind of cut myself with Wahl clippers? Or is that a little too long for clippers? I don't really want it to be identified as a "buzz cut". The look I'm going for is more like a super-short conventional cut. I hope I'm explaining this well enough.
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