Author Topic: Cut own hair for first time: success!  (Read 1717 times)

Unicorn

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Cut own hair for first time: success!
« on: September 23, 2017, 01:32:37 PM »

I find going to the barber to be a huge PITA... Takes time to get over there, wait, etc., costs ~ $250 per year, and "in between" visits the hair gets pretty unruly.

So, I decided to take the plunge and obtain a Wahl clipper. I figured this is not rocket science, and the worst that could happen is I don't like it, buzz it down evenly, and wait for it to grow back. I read the excellent instructions that came with the clipper -- essentially, use 3 different guard sizes in increasing length as you go from bottom to top, and then blend between sections using a rocking motion. It worked AMAZINGLY well. My daughter did not know it was not a professional cut, and my wife is also happy. I'm really shocked at how easy it was.

A few tips and observations:

-- I waited until a time when I did not have important lectures to give or family functions to attend; not a huge deal but I did not want to have a million conversations about why I chose buzz cut or bald (if it ended up that way)

-- I was able to do most of the cut myself, but I did need my wife's to help trim the line on the back. I had two mirrors but I think this would have been very difficult to manage on my own. Maybe I will get better at this.

-- I found the Wahl clippers irritating to the skin when used without the guard (outlining the back) -- I think I will use my beard trimmer without a guard for this next time.


sokoloff

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 01:55:00 PM »
I did mine the first time about 4.5 years ago. Checked it with a colleague with an apparent fashion sense and she gave it a passing (but unexceptional) grade.

On the back, I find that placing the index finger of my left hand as a guide line (sort of a Spock-pinch or a 180 out choking attempt) and using the clippers without any guide does a more than good enough job. I freehand around the ears, also without the guard and sometimes need to clean that up with a pair of hair scissors that we bought to cut the kids' hair anyway. I like 2 on the sides/back and 5 on the top, but my wife prefers for me to use 3 & 6, so I do that [my preference is not a strong one and I don't have to look at it, so...]

Now, I save a ton of time, money, and inconvenience every year. If I have a presentation at work and realize the night-before or morning-of that I could use a trim, I can knock it out in 5-8 minutes.

lexde

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 04:08:45 PM »
I cut my SO's hair because he hates going to the stylist and having to make small talk. I do a #4 guard on the bottom, #5 in the middle, and use scissors on top. Have gotten much better over the last 6 months or so (wasn't ever bad, but now a more stylish cut) and it was easy to learn. 10/10 would recommend not spending $20 to get it cut every 6 weeks.

ixtap

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 04:18:36 PM »
My husband's last professional haircut left a chunk near one of his temples. Luckily, she left a chunk, rather than taking out a chunk and he was able to go back and have another stylist fix it. We figured since the clippers were about the price of one haircut, the worst that could happen was that he had a buzz cut for awhile.

Well, he thought that it would be OK with just clippers, but was unhappy with how short even the 8 was. Plus, I removed his sideburns instead of trimming them... Somehow he let me try again.

Now he has a summer cut (3, 5 and hand trimmed) and a winter cut (4, 6 and hand trimmed).

Neither one of us has gotten up the nerve to cut my hair. I thought about chopping it off this summer, but he reminded me how much I HATE growing it out.

lexde

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 04:43:30 PM »
My husband's last professional haircut left a chunk near one of his temples. Luckily, she left a chunk, rather than taking out a chunk and he was able to go back and have another stylist fix it. We figured since the clippers were about the price of one haircut, the worst that could happen was that he had a buzz cut for awhile.

Well, he thought that it would be OK with just clippers, but was unhappy with how short even the 8 was. Plus, I removed his sideburns instead of trimming them... Somehow he let me try again.

Now he has a summer cut (3, 5 and hand trimmed) and a winter cut (4, 6 and hand trimmed).

Neither one of us has gotten up the nerve to cut my hair. I thought about chopping it off this summer, but he reminded me how much I HATE growing it out.
How long do you keep your hair? What kind of haircut do you have now? I was terrified too, but have a fairly straightforward cut with a slight taper that goes down right past my shoulders. When my hair is wet, I part it down the middle (usually wear side part), and comb it very straight. Tie it under my chin with a hair tie, comb the "ponytail/beard" straight again, and cut a straight line. Done in 1 minute.

lizzzi

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 06:02:54 PM »
I've had good luck cutting both my husband's and my two grandsons' hair using a 6-7-8 or a 4-5-6 and cleaning up around the ears with haircutting scissors. I was amazed at how easy it was to do. As the OP suggests, take your time, pick a day when you can relax and focus on the haircutting, and a day when there is no important occasion coming up. (So if you make any mistakes, it won't be disastrous--but really--it is easy.) I clean up their necklines with the clipper without any guards on it--works OK. I've had no luck with the trimmer device on the Wall clipper--I can't get it to do what I want. Maybe it's just me.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 11:08:48 PM »
How long do you keep your hair? What kind of haircut do you have now? I was terrified too, but have a fairly straightforward cut with a slight taper that goes down right past my shoulders. When my hair is wet, I part it down the middle (usually wear side part), and comb it very straight. Tie it under my chin with a hair tie, comb the "ponytail/beard" straight again, and cut a straight line. Done in 1 minute.
[/quote]

Ooh, I've been using the two-pigtail method but now you've got me intrigued!

lexde

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2017, 05:36:04 AM »
How long do you keep your hair? What kind of haircut do you have now? I was terrified too, but have a fairly straightforward cut with a slight taper that goes down right past my shoulders. When my hair is wet, I part it down the middle (usually wear side part), and comb it very straight. Tie it under my chin with a hair tie, comb the "ponytail/beard" straight again, and cut a straight line. Done in 1 minute.

Ooh, I've been using the two-pigtail method but now you've got me intrigued!
[/quote]
It's basically the same! Just in 1 section instead of two.

RethinkTheRatRace

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 07:48:11 AM »
My wife and I just bought some clippers off Amazon last night. It's been hard to rationalize it, because my haircuts aren't often, and they're only $10. But, I figure it'll pay for itself in no-time. Plus, we've been moving around a little and it's been hard to find a new barber, so the logical solution is to make my wife my barber since I can't get rid of her lol. Looking forward to giving this a try and I'll come back and update.
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BuffaloStache

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2017, 09:22:30 AM »
Following because this is something I plan on trying for the first time within the next ~month. What clippers do you guys use? Something like this?: https://www.amazon.com/Wahl-Elite-Performance-Haircut-79602/dp/B00UKVNSLC/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506352891&sr=8-1&keywords=wahl+hair+clippers+for+men

Also, besides reading the instructions that come with it, are there any other instructional videos/books/etc. any of you would recommend?
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ixtap

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2017, 09:34:31 AM »
Following because this is something I plan on trying for the first time within the next ~month. What clippers do you guys use? Something like this?: https://www.amazon.com/Wahl-Elite-Performance-Haircut-79602/dp/B00UKVNSLC/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506352891&sr=8-1&keywords=wahl+hair+clippers+for+men

Also, besides reading the instructions that come with it, are there any other instructional videos/books/etc. any of you would recommend?

I got whatever Wahl model was at Costco at the time and did fine with just the written instructions. The tapered ear pieces do nothing for me. I always end up doing around his ears with scissors or the trimming clippers.

ixtap

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2017, 11:21:06 PM »
Well, I did it. I tried out the pony beard method.

It is better than the last cut I paid for (had to go back to get it fixed because she would not accept that it was lopsided, even though it was more than two inches difference from one side to the other). I usually get layers, but I haven't been wearing my hair down hardly at all, so this might turn out to be better.

Total saved: err, about $25/yr. So, not so much frugal as hating salons.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2017, 11:25:34 PM »
I usually get layers, but I haven't been wearing my hair down hardly at all, so this might turn out to be better.

Total saved: err, about $25/yr. So, not so much frugal as hating salons.

Are you me? That's how much I pay, and I still refuse to drag myself in there. The whole experience frustrates the hell out of me.

ixtap

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2017, 11:37:40 PM »
I usually get layers, but I haven't been wearing my hair down hardly at all, so this might turn out to be better.

Total saved: err, about $25/yr. So, not so much frugal as hating salons.

Are you me? That's how much I pay, and I still refuse to drag myself in there. The whole experience frustrates the hell out of me.

Are you married to the guy who asked if I was his wife regarding in laws who think we are both insanely frugal and insanely naive about money?

I don't like chatting, they often ignore my specific requests and I don't like being touched by strangers unless they are good dancers. And even then they better keep their hands off when the music stops. Hair salons are basically torture chambers that I (used to) endure to get rid of split ends.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2017, 11:54:33 PM »
I usually get layers, but I haven't been wearing my hair down hardly at all, so this might turn out to be better.

Total saved: err, about $25/yr. So, not so much frugal as hating salons.

Are you me? That's how much I pay, and I still refuse to drag myself in there. The whole experience frustrates the hell out of me.

Are you married to the guy who asked if I was his wife regarding in laws who think we are both insanely frugal and insanely naive about money?

I don't know, is he cute?
 
I don't like chatting, they often ignore my specific requests and I don't like being touched by strangers unless they are good dancers. And even then they better keep their hands off when the music stops. Hair salons are basically torture chambers that I (used to) endure to get rid of split ends.

I don't like booking in with a hairdresser and being given someone else at the last minute. I don't like sitting for 15 minutes with damp hair while four different people walk past, run their hands through my hair and say, "And what are we having done today?" I don't like that when a hairdresser eventually shows up to take to me with scissors, she can't be bothered even telling me her name.

I was only getting it cut once or twice a year anyway, and on those visits I would sit there dripping impatiently, thinking, "My hair's not that bad. I could walk out now and leave it another month or two."

Finally taking the plunge and cutting it myself? Oh, hell yes.

My husband thinks it's barbaric but his mum raves about my hair and says it looks like Kate Middleton's* (I have the long, dark curl thing going on), so I think I'm getting away with it. At the very least, Marty hasn't refused to be seen in public with me... yet.


*That is where the similarities end!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 12:02:28 AM by mustachepungoeshere »

Sister C

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 08:31:33 AM »
Well, I did it. I tried out the pony beard method.

It is better than the last cut I paid for (had to go back to get it fixed because she would not accept that it was lopsided, even though it was more than two inches difference from one side to the other). I usually get layers, but I haven't been wearing my hair down hardly at all, so this might turn out to be better.

Total saved: err, about $25/yr. So, not so much frugal as hating salons.

Wow.  My mind is blown.  This is what I love about this forum!  So many new ideas for increasing independence, financial well-being and sanity.

I am totally trying the pony beard method the next time I decide my hair needs cutting.  I have never considered cutting my own hair but hearing that you two have had good experiences (with hair that's about my length and texture) has inspired me to give it a try.  I figure the worst that could happen is I put it up in a bun for a few days before I get it fixed, and the best outcome is I learn a new skill, save $135 a year, save 4 hours of my time and avoid the chit chat.

ixtap

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 08:39:52 AM »
Someone just posted results of cutting their hair from a forehead pony tail, rather than a beard. I pulled mine into that position and would clearly have differences results with that method. I would say that my U is more exaggerated.

Maybe you could find comparisons online? I was happy with my single braid yesterday. Perhaps I will try another style today.

ptobeast

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2017, 06:26:18 PM »
I'd be careful about forehead ponytail haircuts for anyone who has wavy-curly hair. I tried to give myself one awhile back only to have hair that I couldn't quite see go wavy on me, which led to some lop-sidedness, so I had to manually trim to even out afterwards. On the bright side, having curly hair also means no one can tell if it's a bit uneven. I did have success doing my own bangs, also using a ponytail style method (followed a youtube video to get it right).

Unfortunately, now my hair is short, and not so short I can just set a clipper and go, and my one attempt at cutting it myself was less than successful, so the $ I now save on hair product is just getting spent on more frequent hair visits (that is, until I get bored with short hair & grow it out again).

(I actually enjoy going to the hair salon, but my wallet really hates it!)


mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2017, 06:54:17 PM »
I did mine a couple of nights ago combining two methods.

First I did used this tutorial to trim my shorter layers: https://youtu.be/J3XV76uQaZ4?t=33s

(Note: I've time-stamped the video to start when she stops posing and starts cutting. Apparently there is a voiceover but I watched it muted.)

Then used the ponytail beard for the rest of the length. (Put all my hair in the ponytail but obviously only needed to cut the longest layer.)

Turned out great.

While we're on the topic, who is using what to cut their hair?

I have hairdressing scissors that came with our Wahl clippers but I don't think they're the best quality. Anyone have experience with better scissors? Worth buying?

ixtap

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2017, 07:02:27 PM »
I did mine a couple of nights ago combining two methods.

First I did used this tutorial to trim my shorter layers: https://youtu.be/J3XV76uQaZ4?t=33s

(Note: I've time-stamped the video to start when she stops posing and starts cutting. Apparently there is a voiceover but I watched it muted.)

Then used the ponytail beard for the rest of the length. (Put all my hair in the ponytail but obviously only needed to cut the longest layer.)

Turned out great.

While we're on the topic, who is using what to cut their hair?

I have hairdressing scissors that came with our Wahl clippers but I don't think they're the best quality. Anyone have experience with better scissors? Worth buying?

That is exactly what I am using, but I am happy with them.

Beardog

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2017, 03:30:12 PM »
Any women posting on this thread? 

I bought a Wahl clipper about 4 months ago and have been cutting my hair with it ever since.  I use scissors for the bangs and around my face using methods I've seen professionals use.  It's not the most flattering cut for me, but it's cheap, relatively easy to do, can be done at any time that suits me, and the cut is easy to care for.  I just use glycerin soap to wash it.  I love how quickly it dries.

Short hair is also good if you're biking and wearing a helmet.  I have much less 'helmet hair' with the shorter cut.

marty998

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 02:58:10 AM »
Any women posting on this thread? 

I would have thought all the talk of ponytails, layers and pigtails would have given the game away there. Hard to believe my friend MPGH is a guy with Cate Middleton curls...

Chesleygirl

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 04:58:07 PM »
I haven't paid for a haircut for almost a year now. I've cut my hair at home.  I also have a friend who is a beautician and talks endlessly about tips, complains when people don't tip enough (she feels she should get 30% or more in tip) and she told me a client tipped her $300 on a $200 hair service, "just because she did a great job". She seems to think everyone should tip like this. I understand because she's always worked in the service industry, waiting tables, etc. but I still think she has an exaggerated idea of what customers can and should do. Now I feel I just shouldn't go to hair salons anymore. I can't afford to tip 30%. So I cut and color my hair at home. I also cut my daughter's hair recently and thought it turned out great.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 04:59:59 PM »
Any women posting on this thread? 

I bought a Wahl clipper about 4 months ago and have been cutting my hair with it ever since.  I use scissors for the bangs and around my face using methods I've seen professionals use.  It's not the most flattering cut for me, but it's cheap, relatively easy to do, can be done at any time that suits me, and the cut is easy to care for.  I just use glycerin soap to wash it.  I love how quickly it dries.

Short hair is also good if you're biking and wearing a helmet.  I have much less 'helmet hair' with the shorter cut.

I have not heard of a Wahl clipper. Is it easy to use?

ElleFiji

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 07:40:01 PM »
I don't remember if I posted here... But I posted somewhere about cutting my hair. And yes, I'm a woman. But long hair not short

Beardog

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2017, 01:29:38 PM »
Any women posting on this thread? 

I bought a Wahl clipper about 4 months ago and have been cutting my hair with it ever since.  I use scissors for the bangs and around my face using methods I've seen professionals use.  It's not the most flattering cut for me, but it's cheap, relatively easy to do, can be done at any time that suits me, and the cut is easy to care for.  I just use glycerin soap to wash it.  I love how quickly it dries.

Short hair is also good if you're biking and wearing a helmet.  I have much less 'helmet hair' with the shorter cut.

I have not heard of a Wahl clipper. Is it easy to use?

Yes, it's pretty easy.  Some tips - cut a large piece from an old sheet, wrap it around you and secure it at your neck, the way a hair dresser would wrap you in a plastic apron.  Put a large piece of old sheet on the floor and a towel over the sink if you are cutting your hair in front of the bathroom sink as I do.  This makes clean up alot easier IMHO.  Even with all the sheets enough little pieces of hair are generated that I walk right into the shower after a cut.

With a 'guard' to set the length of the cut, you just move the cutter over your head from bottom to top.  You don't even have to be able to see what you're doing at the back of your head.  Look at some videos on the Wahl web site or Youtube first.  I'm new enough at it that I try to cut my hair on a day that I could go to a hair dresser for a repair job if need be - but so far I haven't needed to do that!

Good luck if you decide to go forward with trying it.




ExpatPat

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2017, 03:17:20 PM »
I watched the hairdresser do a guy's short cut with a fine comb and scissors; it clicked and I got that technique down. Been cutting his now too for 10yrs besides our daughter.
Started with her as a tot because it would have been torture getting her into a salon. 2 minute snip at home.

Once she really had a full head of hair, and opinions, I had to learn some fancy cuts.
1. Study heads of hair as a geometrical puzzle. Staring at strangers is fun.
2. work only on dry dirty hair. It will tell you where it wants to fall.
3. Take your time. Put on entertainment for your victim.
4. leave a bit imperfect instead of evening up until they're bald.
5. after a couple washes later, you can make adjustments.

I am loving using the scissors like a razor to get a Superman curl: think of curling xmas ribbons.
Also thinning is an easy technique to go from afro to looser curls.

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FireHiker

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2017, 10:52:36 AM »
Thank you so much for this thread!! I cut my own hair myself yesterday using the "ponytail beard" method described here. It isn't perfect, but it looks a ton better than the straggly "been almost two years because I hate going to get my hair cut" look that I had been sporting. Since I'm pretty infrequent about getting my hair cut I guess it isn't a huge money savings, but I love being able to in-source anything. And, I'm already ahead, since I think my scissors were $9 at Target. Thanks you guys!!

RidetheRain

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2017, 05:29:32 PM »
I cut my teeth trimming on my dog. He's got long hair and I learned how to use a trimmer on him. Poor thing had some bad hair days, but I got better! People are easier than dogs.
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Frank of Denmark

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2017, 07:55:42 AM »
I use a thick rubber band that slip around my neck and then i check the position with a handheld mirror. When i am sure that the line defined by the rubber band is straight and in position i use the small trimmer on my electric shaver to define the line. Start by trimming downwards and away from the rubber band and then go across and last trim against the direction of the hair. This work best if you have a buzz cut. I have been doing this for almost 5 years and it works like a charm.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2017, 04:38:16 PM »
I was thinking about this thread this morning.

They say the mark of a good hair cut is how well it grows out, and I'm really happy with my latest DIY cut.

So good to know that if I get sick of the mane coming into summer, I can trim it as needed.


lizzzi

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2017, 07:43:40 AM »
I'm still doing mine regularly every six or eight weeks with the Crea clip, Wahl clippers, and a pair of haircutting scissors. I find that I'm getting better over time, and that I like my short bob as well if not better than what I could get in a salon. It is partly the savings of money, but also the freedom and convenience that keeps me snipping away.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Cut own hair for first time: success!
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2017, 03:25:57 PM »
Well, I'm taking the plunge- my local Costco had a good sale on a "deluxe" Wahl clippers set (comes with 2 clippers, haircutting scissors, and some other stuff), so I'll be trying it out soon. I'll likely wait until after next weekend, since I have a wedding to go to then and don't want to have to worry about another cut if I screw mine up.
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