How to Use Hair Clippers on Long Hair: A Comprehensive Guide for Effortless Styling (2023)

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how to use hair clippers on long hair

Basic Steps to Prepare Long Hair for Clipping with Hair Clippers

Before using hair clippers on long hair, it is important to properly prepare the hair. This involves a few basic steps:

  1. Wash and dry the hair: Start by washing the hair with shampoo and conditioner to remove any dirt or product buildup. Dry the hair thoroughly before clipping.
  2. Detangle the hair: Use a wide-toothed comb or brush to gently detangle any knots or tangles in the hair. This will make it easier to clip and ensure a more even cut.
  3. Section the hair: Divide the hair into manageable sections using clips or hair ties. This will make it easier to work with and prevent any sections from being missed during clipping.


  • It is recommended to clip long hair when it is dry, as wet hair can appear longer and may result in an uneven cut when it dries.
  • If your long hair is prone to frizz or flyaways, consider applying a small amount of smoothing serum or oil before clipping to help control these issues.


If you are unsure about how short you want your long hair to be, start by using a longer guard length on your clippers. You can always go shorter if desired, but it is difficult to add length back once it has been clipped off.

Choosing the Right Hair Clipper Size or Guard Length for Long Hair

Understanding Clipper Sizes and Guard Lengths

When it comes to choosing the right hair clipper size or guard length for long hair, it’s important to understand the different options available. Clippers typically come with a range of guard lengths, which determine how much hair will be left on the head after cutting. The sizes usually range from 0.5mm to 25mm, with smaller numbers indicating shorter lengths. For long hair, it’s best to opt for larger guard lengths to ensure that you don’t cut off too much length.

Tips for Choosing the Right Guard Length

1. Assess your desired length: Determine how much length you want to maintain in your long hair. If you only need a slight trim, choose a larger guard length such as 12mm or 15mm.
2. Consider your hair type: Thick and coarse hair may require a slightly shorter guard length compared to fine and thin hair.
3. Experiment with different lengths: If you’re unsure about the ideal guard length for your long hair, start with a longer option and gradually work your way down until you achieve the desired result.

Remember, it’s always better to start with a longer guard length and make multiple passes than to cut off too much hair in one go.

Techniques and Tips for Sectioning Long Hair Before Using Clippers

The Importance of Proper Sectioning

Before using clippers on long hair, it’s crucial to section it properly. This helps ensure an even cut and prevents any missed spots or unevenness.

Step-by-Step Guide for Sectioning Long Hair

1. Start by dividing the hair into two sections horizontally at the crown of the head.
2. Secure each section with hair clips or elastics to keep them separate.
3. Take one section and divide it vertically from the center of the forehead to the nape of the neck.
4. Clip away one side of the section and work on the other side first.
5. Divide the remaining section horizontally into smaller subsections, depending on the thickness of your hair.
6. Clip away each subsection as you finish cutting it to avoid confusion.

By following these sectioning techniques, you can ensure that every part of your long hair receives equal attention during the clipping process.

(Note: The remaining subheadings will be expanded in a separate response.)

Recommended Cutting Technique When Using Clippers on Long Hair

Understanding the Basics of Clipper Cutting

When using clippers on long hair, it is important to have a clear understanding of the basic cutting technique. Start by sectioning the hair into manageable parts and combing it thoroughly to remove any tangles or knots. Begin cutting from the bottom, working your way up towards the top. Use a comb as a guide to create even and precise cuts. It is recommended to start with a longer guard attachment and gradually work towards shorter lengths for a more gradual and natural-looking result.

Utilizing Scissors for Finishing Touches

While clippers are great for bulk removal and creating an initial shape, scissors can be used to add texture and refine the haircut further. After using clippers, switch to scissors to trim any uneven ends or create layers for added dimension. This combination of clipper cutting and scissor work will ensure a polished and professional finish.

  • Section the hair into manageable parts
  • Use a comb as a guide for even cuts
  • Start with longer guard attachments and gradually go shorter
  • Incorporate scissors for refining the haircut
  • Create layers with scissors for added dimension

Tips for Ensuring an Even and Smooth Cut with Clippers on Long Hair

Selecting the Right Guard Attachment Length

Choosing the appropriate guard attachment length is crucial when aiming for an even cut on long hair. It is recommended to start with a longer guard attachment and adjust accordingly based on desired length. Remember that it’s always better to err on the side of caution by starting longer rather than going too short too quickly.

Maintaining Consistent Pressure and Speed

To achieve a smooth and consistent cut, it is important to maintain a steady pressure and speed while using the clippers. Applying too much pressure can result in uneven cuts or pulling on the hair, while moving too quickly may lead to missed spots or an inconsistent length. Practice maintaining a balanced pressure and controlled speed for optimal results.

  • Start with longer guard attachments and adjust as needed
  • Maintain consistent pressure while cutting
  • Control your speed to avoid missing spots
  • Practice for a balanced and even cut

Precautions and Considerations When Using Clippers on Long, Thick Hair

Tackling Tangles and Knots Before Cutting

Long, thick hair often comes with tangles and knots that can make the cutting process challenging. Prior to using clippers, it is essential to detangle the hair gently using a wide-toothed comb or brush. This will ensure smoother cutting without causing unnecessary discomfort or damage to the hair.

Regularly Cleaning the Clippers During Use

When working with long, thick hair, clippers can quickly accumulate hair debris, which may affect their performance. It is important to regularly clean the blades during use by brushing away any trapped hairs or using a small brush to remove buildup. This will help maintain optimal cutting efficiency throughout the entire process.

  • Gently detangle hair before using clippers
  • Clean blades regularly during use to prevent buildup
  • Use a wide-toothed comb or brush for detangling
  • Brush away trapped hairs from the blades

Please note that these are just examples of how you could expand on each subheading. Feel free to modify or add more information based on your specific needs and knowledge.

Maintaining Proper Blade Hygiene While Using Clippers on Long Hair

Proper blade hygiene is crucial when using clippers on long hair to ensure a clean and healthy cut. Firstly, it is important to regularly clean and oil the blades of your clippers. After each use, remove any hair or debris from the blades using a small brush or toothbrush. This will prevent buildup and maintain the sharpness of the blades. Additionally, applying a few drops of clipper oil to the blades before and after each use will help reduce friction and keep them running smoothly.

Another important aspect of blade hygiene is disinfection. Long hair can easily trap bacteria, so it is essential to sanitize your clippers between uses, especially if you are working on multiple clients. Use a disinfectant spray or wipe specifically designed for clippers, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help eliminate any potential pathogens and prevent cross-contamination.

Tips for Maintaining Blade Hygiene:

  • Regularly clean and oil the blades to prevent buildup and maintain sharpness.
  • Use a small brush or toothbrush to remove hair or debris from the blades after each use.
  • Apply clipper oil before and after each use to reduce friction and keep the blades running smoothly.
  • Sanitize your clippers between uses with a disinfectant spray or wipe designed for clippers.

Additional Tools or Accessories to Enhance Results When Clipping Long Hair with Clippers

When clipping long hair with clippers, there are several additional tools and accessories that can enhance your results. One useful tool is a comb attachment set. These attachments come in various lengths, allowing you to achieve different cutting lengths without changing the blade. They provide a convenient way to blend and transition between different lengths in long hair, creating a more seamless and professional look.

Another accessory that can enhance your clipping experience is a clipper cooling spray. Long haircuts often require extended periods of clipping, which can cause the blades to heat up. Using a cooling spray helps to dissipate the heat and prevents discomfort for both you and the client. It also prolongs the life of your clippers by reducing wear and tear caused by excessive heat.

Recommended Tools and Accessories:

  • Comb attachment set for achieving different cutting lengths without changing the blade.
  • Clipper cooling spray to dissipate heat during extended clipping sessions.

Handling Blending or Transitioning Between Different Lengths in Long Hair with Clippers

Blending or transitioning between different lengths in long hair requires careful technique and attention to detail. One effective method is using clipper-over-comb technique. This involves combing a section of hair away from the scalp and using the clippers over the comb to gradually remove length while maintaining a smooth transition. Start with a longer comb attachment or blade setting, then gradually switch to shorter attachments or settings as you move towards the desired length.

An alternative technique is scissor-over-comb, which involves using scissors instead of clippers to blend different lengths. This method gives you more control over precision blending, especially in areas where you want softer transitions, such as around the ears or neckline. Comb out small sections of hair perpendicular to its natural fall, then use scissors over the comb to trim away excess length while maintaining an even blend.

Tips for Blending or Transitioning Between Different Lengths:

  • Use clipper-over-comb technique to gradually remove length and maintain a smooth transition.
  • Start with longer comb attachments or blade settings, then switch to shorter ones as you move towards the desired length.
  • Consider using scissor-over-comb technique for more precise blending in areas that require softer transitions.
  • Comb out small sections of hair perpendicular to its natural fall, then use scissors over the comb to trim away excess length while maintaining an even blend.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Clippers on Long Hair and How to Prevent Them

Using clippers on long hair can be challenging, but avoiding common mistakes can help you achieve better results. One common mistake is using dull blades. Dull blades can cause uneven cutting and snagging, resulting in an unprofessional finish. To prevent this, make sure to regularly sharpen or replace your clipper blades. Additionally, avoid applying too much pressure when using clippers as it can lead to painful pulling or tugging of the hair. Let the clippers do the work and use gentle, controlled movements.

Another mistake is neglecting proper sectioning and combing of the hair. Failing to divide the hair into manageable sections can result in uneven cutting and missed spots. Take your time to section off the hair properly and comb it thoroughly before each pass of the clippers. This will ensure a more consistent and precise cut.

Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes:

  • Regularly sharpen or replace clipper blades to avoid using dull blades.
  • Avoid applying excessive pressure when using clippers; let them do the work with gentle, controlled movements.
  • Take time to properly section off the hair before clipping and comb it thoroughly before each pass.

In conclusion, with the right technique and proper maintenance, hair clippers can be effectively used on long hair to achieve desired results.

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