How to cut a basic men's haircut at home [Reviewed By A Master Barber] - Cyclops Brand

How to cut a basic men’s haircut at home [Reviewed By A Master Barber]

In this article, I will explain how to do a basic haircut at your house. Using only a few tools like; shears, clippers, clippers guards, and combs, I will show you a step-by-step guide on doing a standard man’s haircut. 

This haircut by no means is going to be highly professional, although, with the right amount of practice, it very well could. For now, it’s just enough to clean up around the edges to get through day-to-day activities to save you some money from going to the barbershop today.

Let’s dive in!

Find an area for cutting hair.

Find a good spot to set up a chair; most people use the back patio or in the kitchen. This should be a spot where you can sweep up the hair after it falls on the floor fairly quickly. 

haircutting tools laying on a table.

Before you begin, these are the products and tools that you need:

  • Haircutting clipper. Haircutting clippers are necessary to remove the majority of the bulk of the hair.
  • Set of clipper guards. Plastic guards that have measurements that only allow the clipper to cut at a certain length.
  • Haircutting trimmer. used for the details and polished look of the over all haircut.
  • Cutting shears. Shears are used for the top and sides of the head, making sure the hair is cut evenly around the crown.
  • Neck strips (optional). Small strip that goes around the client’s neck before daping the barber cape.
  • A neck duster (optional). Small handheld brush that removes unwanted hair off the client.
  • Water spray bottle. Small bottle that holds water and has a spray nozzle that sprays a mist of water to wet the hair.
  • Barbering Cape. (or a large towel) To dape the client to prevent hair from getting on them.
  • A flat-top comb. A flat-top: resembles a styling, although the bristles are wider; used to gather bulk.
  • Styling comb. Small comb that works with styling the hair, and cutting with the shears.
  • Hair product (optional). Hair products are used in the hair to secure a specific hairstyle. 

Keep a broom and a dustpan nearby to sweep up the hair quickly because the hair will get on the floor. 

How to cut a basic haircut step by step.

Before we begin, I want to encourage you to take your time and cut with confidence and accuracy. If this is your first time, some tools will feel strange to use at first; this is normal. After you practice enough, using them will become second nature to you. You got this!

Using the clipper.

To cut a standard gentleman’s haircut, you’re going to want to use the clipper and attach the number two-guard. From the back of the head, gently cut with the clipper from the bottom up to the occipital bone. Make sure to bring the clipper around the sides of the head at the same amount. 

At this point, the hair should look like a standard bowl haircut, but we’re not finished.

image of a man getting his haircut using a flat top comb and clippers.

Using the flat-top comb.

Next, gently scoop the over-hanging hair into the teeth of the flat top comb to gather the hair. Then angle it so you can remove the bulk by gently resting the clipper on the flat top comb and cutting horizontally using the flat top comb as a guide.

Be careful not to over-angle the flat top comb, and cut into the already cut hair made with the clipper.

This will be the trickiest part of doing this haircut because it involves a lot of free-styling to remove the bulk evenly. Make sure you take your time on this part. (try to envision shaping a sculpture.)

image of a man getting the top of his hair cut

Grabbing the hair using the styling comb.

After using the clipper with the number two guard and removing the bulk around the head, use your spray bottle to wet to hair. 

Put down your flat top comb and pick up a standard styling comb; these combs have smaller bristles so that you can pick up more of the hair when you’re cutting the hair with the shears.

At this point, ask your client how much they wish to have removed from the top. 

For this example, we will pretend that the client wants two inches removed from the top. Gently use the styling to brush up the front portion of the hair (The bangs). Use your right hand to catch the hair using the styling comb. Next, use your left hand to pinch the hair between your index and middle finger. Slide your fingers upward to where two inches of hair is sticking out over your fingers.

Using the shears to make your first cut.

Pick up the shears with your right hand and cut the hair caught between your index and middle finger using your dominant hand. Only cutting two inches of hair off the top. Great job!

After you’ve made the first cut, using your styling comb pick up the already cut hair and bring it back towards you a half an inch. Then pick up the hair that has not been cut yet along with the hair you cut two inches.

Doing this will create a traveling guide while picking up the new hair and the already cut hair. Pinch the hair between your middle and index fingers and hold the hair straight up from the scalp until you see a distinction between the two hair measurements.

the first measurement will be hair that’s shorter (because you just cut two inches using the shears)

The other measurement will be the hair that’s not cut yet. (both should be between your fingers at the same time.)

Use the shears and cut across the longer hair to match the previously cut hair. This will make them even.

Continue working back using this method until you get to the occipital bone. You can cross-check your work by using your styling comb from the left and right sides, cutting stray hairs, and creating balance.

Using the trimmers to clean up the haircut.

This is the home stretch to polish off the haircut. At this point, you can wipe the sweat from your forehead and adjust your back. The hardest part about using trimmers is a large amount of room for error. Trimmers (in this case) don’t have any attachments to prevent you from over-cutting the hair. This is because we want to remove the hair entirely with laser-like precision in the areas we’re about to jump into.

The good news is, most people don’t get this far, so give yourself some credit.

Deep breathe in, exhale, let’s finish this haircut!

image showing how to use the trimmers around the neckline.

How to cut the neckline.

Lastly, you’re going to want to use your trimmers to clean up the rest of the haircut. Starting from the back of the head, use your trimmers’ width to make a straight line on the back of the neckline.

When using the trimmers, follow the hair’s natural way, never cut too deep into the neckline. Make sure to stay on the outside parameter.

From there, using the width of your trimmer, go from the bottom left corner of the straight line you did for the back neckline, traveling up behind the ear in a diagonal direction. (do this for both sides)

image showing how to use the trimmers to cut around the ear.

How to cut around the ear.

To cut around the ear, angle the trimmer to where you’re using the right or left corner of the trimmer (whatever feels more comfortable to you). Slowly cut and rotate in a semi-circle around the ear.

image showing how to use the trimmers to cut a sideburn

How to trim the sideburns (evenly)

The only thing left to do is to trim the sideburns; cut one even horizontal line starting at the middle of the ear. Then bring the trimmers down, cutting the excess hair on the sides. To double-check to make sure the sideburns are evenly cut, stand before your client and have them face you as you check the sides.

Go back through the haircut and check your work using the correct tools. Make sure to remove hairs that were not cut straight, unevenly, or not cut at all. 


This was an easy step-by-step guide for doing a basic gentlemen’s haircut at your house. I genuinely hope it was written well to follow and save you a few dollars from going to the barbershop. Or at least hold you over from getting one done for the time being. Thank you, if you found this interesting, we have a lot of educational articles we post weekly to help families, men’s grooming questions, and barbers to expand in their careers. Have a great day!


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