How to Cut Men’s Short Hair: A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

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how to cut men’s short hair

Essential Tools for Cutting Men’s Short Hair

When it comes to cutting men’s short hair, having the right tools is essential for achieving a clean and professional-looking result. Here are some of the key tools you’ll need:

  • Clippers: Invest in a good quality pair of clippers with various guard sizes. This will allow you to easily adjust the length of the hair.
  • Scissors: A sharp pair of scissors is necessary for trimming and blending the hair.
  • Comb: A fine-toothed comb is useful for sectioning and guiding the hair during cutting.
  • Mirror: Make sure you have a mirror or two positioned strategically so that you can see all angles of the haircut as you work.
  • Cape or towel: To protect your client’s clothing from loose hair, use a cape or drape a towel around their shoulders.
  • Spray bottle: Fill a spray bottle with water to dampen the hair before cutting. This makes it easier to control and cut evenly.

Choosing the Right Clippers

When selecting clippers, look for ones that are specifically designed for cutting men’s hair. They should have adjustable blades and come with different guard sizes. It’s also important to choose clippers that are comfortable to hold and operate, as you’ll be using them for extended periods of time.

Maintaining Your Tools

To ensure your tools last longer and perform optimally, it’s important to maintain them properly. Regularly clean your clippers by brushing off any hair debris and oiling the blades. Keep your scissors sharp by periodically sharpening them or having them professionally sharpened if needed. Store your tools in a clean and dry place to prevent rusting.

Determining the Ideal Length for a Man’s Short Haircut

Factors to Consider

When determining the ideal length for a man’s short haircut, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the shape of the face plays a significant role in determining which length will be most flattering. For example, men with round faces may benefit from slightly longer hair on top to create the illusion of length, while those with square faces may opt for a shorter length to accentuate their strong jawline.

Another factor to consider is personal style and preference. Some men may prefer a more conservative and traditional look, while others may want something edgier and more modern. It’s important to take into account individual style when deciding on the ideal length for a short haircut.

Consultation with a Professional Stylist

To ensure that you achieve the ideal length for your short haircut, it is highly recommended to consult with a professional stylist. They have the expertise and knowledge to assess your hair type, face shape, and personal style in order to recommend the most suitable length for you.

A professional stylist can also provide valuable advice on how different lengths will affect your overall look and offer suggestions based on current trends and popular styles. They can guide you through the decision-making process and help you achieve the desired result.

Popular Styles for Men’s Short Haircuts

Crew Cut

The crew cut is one of the most popular styles for men’s short haircuts. It involves cutting the hair very short on the sides and back while leaving slightly more length on top. This style is versatile and low-maintenance, making it suitable for various face shapes and hair types.

Fade Haircut

The fade haircut is another popular choice for men’s short haircuts. It involves gradually tapering the hair from shorter lengths at the sides and back to longer lengths on top. This creates a seamless transition and a clean, polished look. The fade can be customized to different lengths and styles, such as high fade, low fade, or skin fade.

Buzz Cut

The buzz cut is a classic and timeless style for men’s short haircuts. It involves cutting the hair very short all over the head using clippers. This style requires minimal maintenance and is perfect for those who prefer a no-fuss look.

These are just a few examples of popular styles for men’s short haircuts. There are many other options available, so it’s important to explore different styles and consult with a professional stylist to find the one that suits you best.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Achieving a Basic Men’s Short Haircut

Gathering the necessary tools

To achieve a basic men’s short haircut, you will need a few essential tools. Start by gathering a pair of sharp hair cutting scissors, a comb, and hair clippers with different guard sizes. Additionally, having a spray bottle filled with water can help keep the hair damp during the cutting process.

Preparing the hair

Before starting the haircut, it is important to prepare the hair properly. Begin by washing and drying the hair thoroughly. This will ensure that there are no product residues or oils that could interfere with the cutting process. Once dry, comb through the hair to remove any tangles or knots.

Cutting technique

When cutting men’s short hair, it is best to start with small sections and gradually work your way around the head. Begin by using clippers with an appropriate guard size to trim the sides and back of the head. Move against the direction of hair growth for a cleaner cut. For blending purposes, use different guard sizes as you move towards the top section.

Next, focus on trimming the top section of the hair using scissors. Take small sections between your fingers and cut vertically to create texture and remove excess length. Be cautious not to cut too much at once to avoid any mistakes.

Finally, use scissors or clippers without a guard size to clean up any stray hairs around the ears and neckline for a polished finish.

Tips for achieving a professional-looking cut:

– Take your time and be patient throughout each step of the haircut.
– Use mirrors or ask for assistance to ensure an even cut from all angles.
– Regularly comb through the hair while cutting to check for any unevenness.
– If unsure about certain techniques or styles, consult professional hairstylists or watch tutorials for guidance.

Recommended products:

– A high-quality pair of hair cutting scissors to ensure clean and precise cuts.
– Hair clippers with various guard sizes for versatility in achieving different lengths.
– A wide-toothed comb to help detangle the hair before and during the cutting process.
– A spray bottle filled with water to keep the hair damp and manageable while cutting.

Techniques and Tips for a Clean and Precise Cut on Men’s Short Hair

1. Using Clippers with Different Guard Lengths

When cutting men’s short hair, it is essential to have a set of clippers with various guard lengths. This allows you to achieve different lengths and textures throughout the haircut. Start with a longer guard length for the top section and gradually decrease the length as you move towards the sides and back. This technique helps create a seamless blend between different sections of the hair.

2. Point Cutting for Texture

To add texture and dimension to men’s short haircuts, consider using point cutting technique. Instead of cutting straight across, hold the scissors vertically and make small cuts into the hair at an angle. This creates softness and movement in the hairstyle, making it look more natural and effortless.


  • Always start with clean, dry hair to ensure accurate cutting.
  • Use a comb to section off the hair before cutting each section.
  • Take your time and make small, precise cuts rather than rushing through the process.

Blending the Sides and Back of a Man’s Short Haircut with the Top Section

Blending is crucial when it comes to achieving a seamless transition between different sections of a man’s short haircut. Here are some techniques to help you achieve that:

1. Graduation Technique

The graduation technique involves cutting shorter layers at the nape of the neck and gradually increasing the length as you move towards the top section. This creates a smooth blend between the shorter sides/back and longer top, resulting in a well-balanced haircut.

2. Scissor Over Comb Technique

Using a comb and scissors, this technique involves carefully blending the hair by cutting small sections at a time. Start with the longest guard length and gradually decrease it as you move towards the top section. This method allows for precise control over the blending process.


  • Regularly step back and assess the haircut from different angles to ensure even blending.
  • Use a mirror or have the client face away from you to check for any uneven areas.
  • Practice proper body positioning to maintain stability and control while cutting.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Men’s Short Hair

While cutting men’s short hair may seem straightforward, there are some common mistakes that should be avoided:

1. Uneven Lengths

Avoid cutting sections of hair unevenly, resulting in noticeable differences in length. Take your time and ensure each section is cut accurately using consistent techniques.

2. Over-Thinning

Thinning shears can be useful for removing bulk, but it’s important not to overdo it. Over-thinning can lead to an unnatural look and lack of volume in the hairstyle. Use thinning shears sparingly and strategically.


  • Frequently comb through the hair during the cutting process to identify any uneven areas.
  • Avoid rushing through the haircut; take your time to achieve precision.
  • If unsure about a certain technique or style, practice on mannequin heads or seek guidance from experienced hairstylists.

Recommended Products and Styling Techniques for Maintaining a Freshly Cut Men’s Short Hairstyle

After getting a fresh haircut, it’s important to maintain the style and keep it looking its best. Here are some recommended products and styling techniques:

1. Texturizing Spray or Pomade

Texturizing sprays or pomades can add volume, texture, and hold to men’s short hairstyles. Apply a small amount to damp hair and use your fingers to create desired texture and shape.

2. Blow Drying with a Round Brush

Using a round brush while blow drying can help add volume and shape to the hair. Start at the roots and work your way towards the ends, lifting the hair away from the scalp for added volume.


  • Choose products that are suitable for your hair type (e.g., matte pomade for a natural look or high-shine gel for a more polished finish).
  • Avoid using excessive amounts of product, as it can weigh down the hair.
  • Experiment with different styling techniques to find what works best for your desired hairstyle.

Maintaining Shape and Style: How Often Should a Man with Short Hair Get it Trimmed?

The frequency of trims for men with short hair depends on various factors such as hair growth rate, desired style, and personal preference. However, as a general guideline:

1. Regular Trims Every 4-6 Weeks

To maintain the shape and style of a short haircut, it is recommended to get regular trims every 4-6 weeks. This helps prevent excessive growth that may lead to an unkempt appearance.

2. Adjust Frequency Based on Hair Growth

If you notice your hair grows faster or slower than average, adjust the frequency of trims accordingly. Pay attention to how your hair looks and feels, and schedule trims as needed to keep it looking neat and well-maintained.


  • Communicate with your hairstylist about your desired style and maintenance routine to ensure they understand your expectations.
  • Regularly check for any split ends or damaged hair that may require additional trims between regular appointments.
  • Consider investing in quality hair care products to promote healthy hair growth between trims.

Additional Resources and Tutorials for Learning Advanced Techniques in Cutting Men’s Short Hair

If you’re interested in expanding your skills and learning advanced techniques in cutting men’s short hair, here are some additional resources and tutorials worth exploring:

1. Online Video Tutorials

Websites like YouTube offer a wide range of video tutorials by experienced hairstylists. Search for specific techniques or styles you want to learn, such as fading, undercutting, or texturizing.

2. Barbering Books and Guides

There are numerous books available that focus on barbering techniques and styles. Look for reputable publications written by industry professionals to gain valuable insights into advanced cutting methods.


  • Take notes while watching tutorials or reading guides to help retain information and refer back to it when needed.
  • Practice new techniques on mannequin heads or willing friends/family members before attempting them on clients.
  • Consider attending workshops or classes offered by experienced barbers to receive hands-on training and personalized guidance.

In conclusion, cutting men’s short hair requires the right tools, techniques, and attention to detail. By following the proper steps and considering individual preferences, anyone can achieve a stylish and well-groomed look at home or in a salon.

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