How to Cut Men’s Hair Top: Step by Step Guide for Perfect Results (2023)

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how to cut the top of guys hair

1. Essential Tools for Cutting the Top of a Guy’s Hair

When it comes to cutting the top of a guy’s hair, having the right tools is essential for achieving a professional-looking result. Here are some must-have tools:

Clipper or Scissors:

The choice between clippers and scissors depends on the desired hairstyle. Clippers are ideal for shorter styles like buzz cuts or fades, while scissors are better suited for longer lengths and more textured looks.


A good quality comb is crucial for sectioning and parting the hair accurately. Look for one with fine teeth for precise styling.

Haircutting Cape or Apron:

To protect both the client’s clothing and the surrounding area from hair clippings, a haircutting cape or apron is necessary. It should be waterproof and easy to clean.


A mirror is essential to show the client their haircut from different angles, ensuring their satisfaction with the final result.

List of essential tools:

  • Clipper or scissors
  • Comb
  • Haircutting cape or apron
  • Mirror

2. Preparing the Guy’s Hair Before Cutting the Top

Before starting to cut the top of a guy’s hair, it is important to properly prepare it. This involves several steps to ensure an even and manageable result.

Cleanse and Condition:

Begin by shampooing and conditioning the hair to remove any dirt, oil, or product buildup that could affect how it lays when cut. This will also make it easier to work with and style.

Dry the Hair:

Ensure that the hair is completely dry before cutting. Wet hair can appear longer, so cutting it when wet may result in a shorter length than intended. Use a blow dryer or allow the hair to air dry naturally.

Comb and Detangle:

Use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle any knots or snarls in the hair. This will make it easier to section and cut evenly.

List of steps for preparing the guy’s hair:

  1. Cleanse and condition
  2. Dry the hair
  3. Comb and detangle

3. Popular Men’s Hairstyles Requiring Top Haircutting


The undercut is a popular men’s hairstyle that requires precise top haircutting. This style involves keeping the sides and back of the hair short while leaving the top longer. The length on top can vary, allowing for versatility in styling. To achieve this look, the hairdresser must carefully blend the shorter sides with the longer top to create a seamless transition. This can be achieved using techniques such as scissor over comb or clipper blending.


Another trendy men’s hairstyle that requires attention to cutting the top is the pompadour. This classic style features short sides and a voluminous, swept-back top. Achieving the perfect pompadour requires careful layering and texturizing of the top hair to create height and volume. Styling products like pomade or wax are often used to hold the shape in place.

Tips for Cutting Top Hair in Popular Men’s Hairstyles:

– Use point cutting technique to add texture and movement to the top hair.
– Gradually increase length towards the front for a more natural look.
– Take into consideration the client’s face shape and hair type when determining how much length to leave on top.

4. Determining the Appropriate Length for Cutting the Top of a Guy’s Hair

Determining the appropriate length for cutting the top of a guy’s hair is crucial in achieving their desired hairstyle. Factors such as face shape, hair texture, and personal style preferences should be taken into account when deciding on length.

Face Shape Considerations

Different face shapes suit different lengths on top. For example:
– Oval faces: Can pull off various lengths, but shorter styles tend to complement their balanced proportions.
– Round faces: Benefit from longer top hair to create the illusion of length and slimness.
– Square faces: Look great with medium-length hairstyles that soften the angles of the face.

Hair Texture Considerations

Hair texture also plays a role in determining the appropriate length for cutting the top. For instance:
– Straight hair: Can handle longer lengths without much added volume.
– Wavy hair: Benefits from shorter to medium lengths to enhance natural texture.
– Curly hair: May require more careful consideration, as shrinkage can affect perceived length.

Tips for Determining Length:

– Consult with the client to understand their desired style and preferences.
– Consider their lifestyle and maintenance routine when deciding on a length that suits their needs.
– Use visual aids such as hairstyle magazines or online references to help guide discussions about length options.

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5. Techniques for Achieving an Even Cut on the Top of a Guy’s Hair

Clipper Over Comb Method

The clipper over comb method is a popular technique used by barbers to achieve an even cut on the top of a guy’s hair. This method involves using a clipper with a comb attachment to gradually cut the hair to the desired length. The barber holds the comb at an angle and runs the clipper over it, creating a smooth and even cut. This technique allows for precise control and helps to create a uniform look.

Scissor Over Fingers Technique

The scissor over fingers technique is another effective method for achieving an even cut on the top of a guy’s hair. This technique involves using scissors and your fingers as a guide to trim the hair evenly. The barber holds sections of hair between their fingers and trims off any excess length using sharp scissors. By visually assessing each section and cutting with precision, this technique ensures that the top of the hair is evenly trimmed.

6. Step-by-Step Instructions for Sectioning and Dividing Hair Before Cutting the Top

Step 1: Wetting and Combing

Start by wetting the hair thoroughly to make it more manageable. Use a wide-toothed comb to remove any tangles or knots, ensuring that the hair is smooth and easy to work with.

Step 2: Creating Sections

To ensure an organized approach, divide the top portion of the hair into sections using clips or hair ties. Start by parting the hair down the middle from front to back, then create additional sections on each side, securing them in place.


  • Use sectioning clips or hair ties that are easy to remove without causing any discomfort to the client.
  • Make sure the sections are evenly sized to maintain balance and symmetry throughout the haircut.

7. Ensuring Symmetry When Cutting the Top of a Guy’s Hair

Symmetry is crucial when cutting the top of a guy’s hair to achieve a balanced and professional look. To ensure symmetry, follow these steps:

Step 1: Use Visual Guides

Start by using visual guides such as the client’s natural hairline, facial features, and head shape to determine where to make cuts. This will help you maintain balance and proportion throughout the haircut.

Step 2: Cross-Check Regularly

To double-check for symmetry, cross-check your work regularly by comparing both sides of the head. Use a comb or your fingers to visually assess if any adjustments need to be made.


  • Take frequent breaks during cutting to step back and evaluate overall symmetry from different angles.
  • Communicate with the client throughout the process to ensure their satisfaction with the final result.

8. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting the Top of a Guy’s Hair

Cutting the top of a guy’s hair requires precision and attention to detail. Avoid these common mistakes for a successful haircut:

Mistake 1: Uneven Sections

Avoid creating uneven sections on top of the head, as this can lead to an imbalanced haircut. Take your time when dividing and sectioning the hair, ensuring each section is equal in size and properly aligned.

Mistake 2: Overcutting

Overcutting the top of a guy’s hair can result in a shorter length than desired. Be cautious and trim small amounts at a time, gradually working towards the desired length. Remember, it’s easier to remove more hair later if needed, but impossible to put it back once it’s cut too short.


  • Regularly comb through the hair to check for any unevenness or mistakes before proceeding further.
  • Take your time and work patiently to avoid rushing and making unnecessary errors.

9. Styling Products and Techniques to Enhance the Look After Cutting the Top

Product Recommendation: Texturizing Pomade

A texturizing pomade is an excellent choice for enhancing the look of a guy’s hair after cutting the top. This product adds texture, definition, and hold without weighing down the hair. Apply a small amount evenly throughout the top section using your fingertips or a comb for a polished finish.

Technique: Blow Drying with Volume

To add volume and style to the top of a guy’s hair, use a blow dryer with a round brush. Start by lifting sections of damp hair from the roots while blow drying them in an upward motion. This technique creates lift and volume, giving the haircut more dimension and style.

10. Tips and Advice for Learning How to Cut the Top of a Guy’s Hair

Cutting the top of a guy’s hair can be challenging but with practice and these tips, you’ll improve your skills:


  • Invest in quality tools, such as sharp scissors and reliable clippers, to ensure clean and precise cuts.
  • Practice on mannequin heads or willing friends and family members to gain confidence and refine your technique.
  • Seek guidance from experienced barbers or hairstylists who can provide valuable insights and feedback.


Remember that cutting hair is an art form that requires patience, attention to detail, and continuous learning. Embrace the process of improvement and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. With dedication and practice, you’ll become proficient in cutting the top of a guy’s hair.

In conclusion, learning how to cut the top of guys’ hair can be achieved by following a few simple steps and techniques. With practice and attention to detail, anyone can master this skill and achieve professional-looking results.

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