If you’re between cuts, chances are you’ve had the fleeting thought to trim your hair on your own. Booking in a session with your barber should always be top priority, but if you simply don’t have time to make an appointment then you can at least tidy things up with the help of some hair clippers. We ask the experts everything you need to know before getting stuck in, and which hair clippers are the best to invest in.
What Are Hair Clippers?
‘Hair clippers are professional tools used to cut hair with different size guards, creating a sharp and even hair surface,’ says Hiro Kawano, senior stylist at Neville Hair & Beauty. ‘They’re worth having if you want to maintain a well-groomed hairstyle at home. However, not many people own hair clippers for their hair; they are often used for facial hair (aka beard trimmers).’
‘Clippers are effectively motored cutting tools,’ adds men’s grooming expert and celebrity stylist Luke Benson. ‘They reduce bulk and hair length quickly to give an even grade finish or a blended finish if different length cutting guards are used.’
Are There Different Types Of Hair Clippers?
Corded vs Cordless
The two main types of hair clippers to keep in mind are corded and cordless. The former, which only works when plugged into an outlet, is usually a bit more powerful and can be used for longer than cordless clippers, which do eventually run out of battery after long-term use.
There’s also the blades to consider, says Hiro: ‘While clipper blades can vary slightly depending on the brand, different blades may be designed for specific purposes or hair types.’ Generally speaking, ceramic blades are considered the best on the market (as they last the longest), followed by titanium and various steels.
Beard Trimmer vs Hair Clipper
As Hiro mentioned, most men only have a beard trimmer to hand at home. While some can get away with using a trimmer on the rest of their head, Hiro warns that it won’t be the most effective tool. ‘You can use a beard trimmer for a short trim, but it won’t deliver the same results as a hair clipper – especially for longer hair. Hair clippers are designed for more substantial cutting, so they’ll be more useful in the long run.’
How To Look After Hair Clippers
Like any tool that remains in regular use, hair clippers need to be cleaned and stored properly to avoid dirt build-up and damage. ‘Clean and brush them after each use to remove any hair cuttings,’ advises Luke.
‘It’s crucial to clean your clippers after each use and use a disinfectant spray,’ agrees Hiro. ‘You should also apply blade oil to keep the blades lubricated and in good condition.’
Tips For Those Cutting Their Own Hair
‘I personally don’t recommend cutting your own hair with clippers unless you have some experience,’ warns Hiro. ‘But if you want to try cutting your own hair, start with clippers and a larger guard to get used to how they cut and then work up from there.’
Luke is in agreement that it’s best to seek out a salon before trying anything yourself. ‘But if you’re insistent on doing it at home, then always know you can cut more hair off but not stick it back on,’ he says. ‘So start longer and use the right guards to give the desired length. Remember, a grade 1 is 3mm of length, and the grades go up in threes.’
Which Hair Clippers Do Barbers Use?
‘Barbers often use professional-grade clippers from brands like Wahl, Andis, or Oster, as these are designed to handle the demands of a barbershop,’ says Hiro. Note that these clippers are used by industry professionals cutting multiple heads of hair a day, so they might not be the best choice for home use.
Which Hair Clippers Should We Use At Home?
The top pick? ‘I would recommend the Panasonic GP series cordless clippers for at-home use,’ recommends Hiro. ‘They are easy to handle and suitable for both hair and beard grooming.’
And where to get them? ‘Don’t get cheap consumer clippers, get professional ones from a hair supplies store, or buy from a salon.’
The Best Hair Clippers
Featured image: Agustin Fernandez, Unsplash