Have you had a bad day at work? Feeling frumpy? Just don’t like what you see looking back at yourself in the mirror? Treating yourself to a haircut is one of the best ways to remedy these minor maladies – when you look better, you feel better. Here’s our top hair clipper pick for 2017…
There are only two downsides – you have to make an appointment and go somewhere to have it done – and the cost of a proper barbershop cut has skyrocketed – it’s simply not the easiest or most affordable option for everyone.
Fortunately, for the price of just a few haircuts, you can purchase a set of electric hair clippers and create your own style, at home. They will pay for themselves many times over, and you will feel the gratification that only comes with doing something yourself. Continue reading – In this guide you’re going to learn exactly how to choose and use the right hair clipper.
Our Quick Guide To Buying Hair Clippers
The term “hair clipper” can encompass a number of devices – though generally refers to a tool designed for cutting the hair on the head; trimmers feature smaller cutting heads and finer-toothed blades – as such, they are better suited to grooming beards, removing body hair and touching up necklines; and electric shavers are intended to remove a beard in its entirety – though some models feature trimmer modes which can cut a beard to a short length, much as a dedicated trimmer does.
Knowing what you’ll be using your hair clippers for is the first step in choosing an appropriate model. The next thing to consider is the type of hair you’ll be cutting. Is it soft, thin, fine or delicate – or coarse, dense, brittle and tough? In the case of the former, nearly any clipper will suffice – very fine hair requires little in the way of cutting power.
But coarse, dense hair may be too much for very cheap, underpowered hair clippers to tackle – in which case, look for a model which uses a large capacity rechargeable battery or mains-powered electric motor, to avoid having hair tugged at by the moving blades. In such cases, a variable speed control may also be helpful.
Choose the Best Features You Need
Cordless or Mains Wired
Start by considering how important portability is to you. If it is, you’re in luck – the majority of hair clippers are cordless and rechargeable. Thanks to innovations in lithium ion battery technology, a lot of long lasting power can be packed into a small device, and most such clippers provide at least 45 minutes of continuous runtime, charging quickly when not in use. In most cases, cordless clippers will suffice for general home use – only consider a mains-powered model if you’ll need hours of runtime or maximum power – such as use in a professional salon.
Stick With The Basics
Knowing what you expect your hair clippers to do will help guide your decision. Versatility is great – but if you don’t need a clipper to perform every grooming task under the sun, it’s best to opt for something that simply does one thing well. For example, if you intend only to cut hair, you may wish to choose a model solely designed for that – not one which also trims beards, removes body hair and shapes sideburns.
Look for hair clippers which come with useful accessories. For the aspiring home barber, a taper lever and wide range of switchable combs makes it easy to cut hair to different lengths, while brushes and scissors help you shape any hairstyle. Some clippers come with a hard or soft-shell storage case which holds accessories and allows for easy travel. Such clippers often include a simple power adapter which recharges the battery – while other models may feature a charging base which doubles as a storage space.
Hair and dead skin accumulate on the blade. In order to avoid a buildup of detritus, choose hair clippers which come with a small cleaning brush, as well as blade oil to keep the cutting teeth well lubricated and moving smoothly. Some models feature removable blades, allowing you to send a dull one out for sharpening and put a fresh blade in its place.
Get something you need at a great price is great, but choosing a set of low quality cheap hair clippers from an unknown brand could cause you real problems. Some of the very cheap models are fitted with low power motors that will struggle to cut through densely packed patches of hair. Furthermore, these cheap, low powered motors won’t last long before burning out.
The hair clippers you buy don’t have to be expensive. You can pick up a high performance set for well under £50. Always buy from a reputable manufacturer such as Panasonic, Philips, BaByliss or Wahl. Check customers reviews for the product you’re interested in buying to make sure there are plenty of people using the product without any problems.
How to Shave Your Own Hair At Home
So you’ve chosen the perfect pair of clippers and you want to cut your hair– or perhaps create a new look for a friend or family member – but don’t know how to get started. Fear not!
1. Choose a space to work in. Make sure the floor is free of other objects and can be easily swept clean of fallen hair. If a smooth floor isn’t available, lay down a sheet which can be shaken out afterward.
2. Have at least one mirror on hand – and if cutting your own hair, two are even better, with one placed in a fixed position in front of you, and the other mounted to the side (such as on a cupboard door), or a handheld mirror. This will allow you to see the sides and back of your head – crucial for even cutting.
3. Next, decide how long or short you wish the hair you’ll be cutting to be. If your clipper includes combs – sometimes called “guards” – the length to which they cut hair is usually printed on them. When in doubt, start with a longer guard – what sounds like a reasonable length can be surprisingly short, and can vary in appearance from one person to the next, dependent on hair colour, density and facial shape.
4. Make sure the hair you’ll be cutting is dry. Avoid cutting wet hair – it may catch in the clipper blade or make it difficult to gauge how much has been cut, as well as cause rust to form on the blade.
5. Place the clippers with the blade facing down, turn them on and work against the direction of hair growth – this allows more hair to be caught and cut. Move the clippers slowly and methodically. Rushing or pressing too hard may cause hair to catch or allow the blade to get too close to skin. The goal is cut all the hair in one pass, but sometime more will be required.
6. When you’ve achieved your desired look, remove the comb from the clippers, exposing the teeth of the blade. If the clippers use a taper lever, adjust it so the space between the moving and fixed part of the blade is as small as possible.
Turn the clippers over and carefully trim a clean, even line around the ears and back of the neck. If cutting the sideburns, compare sides to make sure they’re of even length. If you or the person whose hair is being cut has facial hair, put a comb back on the clippers or adjust the taper lever so a smooth transition between the beard and sideburns can be made.
7. Clean your clippers – unless specified as a “wet-dry” model by the manufacturer, never hold any part of hair clippers under running water. Always use a small brush, and if a bottle of blade oil was included, apply a drop or two to the moving blades or as per the instructions.
Using hair clippers on yourself or another person requires essentially the same process – but in the case of the former, note that what you see in the mirror is a reverse image, and move your hand accordingly. If you are uncertain, make a practice pass with the clippers turned off first!
2016’s best clippers are still worth a look…