Ben Durham

How to cut your own hair tutorial for men (with video)

a rediculous photo of two bens, one before and one after having his hair cut but one of them is holding each of their heads

The perfect opportunity

Obviously, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to show you how I cut my hair. It’ll never regrow again, clearly. So, I whipped my camera out and made a quick video and blog post. Oh, and if you were wondering about the image at all, I just had a jolt of silly and wanted to make something a little crazy.

This quick and hairy guide on how to cut your own hair starts with my “why” I do it in the first place…

First thing’s first, why don’t I just go to a hairdresser?


Honestly, I’ve never really liked going to the hairdresser – except for the hair wash. That’s almost worth the price of admission. Other than than, the whole trip is an errand that just soaks up a bunch of time from my day. Doing my own hair takes a maximum of 30 minutes from taking the kit out to putting it back.


This is probably the top reason why most people look up how to cut your own hair. Here’s the thing though, you do save a bit. It’s relative though. It could be a lot, could be a little to you. Actually, $120 to $160 per year (for a cut every 1.5 months at anywhere from $15 to $20 per men’s cut)! For $30, you can get a cheap haircutting kit that will last you years. My personal one is a $40 my parents handed off to me when they upgraded.


Do you know that feeling you get when your hairdresser isn’t in? And they get someone else to do your hair? And it ends up not being as good as “YOUR” hairdresser? I don’t (anymore)!

I get the same cut. Every. Single. Time. I have a style that I like and that I’m able to do myself, without fail, every single time. Maybe I’ll eventually change it, but it’s my thing right now.

Does it “really” matter if you mess up?

Consider this: as much as it’s terrifying to do your own hair the first few times, eventually you figure out how to cut your own hair. I started when I was younger and it didn’t really matter if I made a mistake. I say that, but it doesn’t really matter now, either! I suppose its part of my wacky personality, but either people don’t care or I don’t care if they do.

Worst case, if I make a mistake, it’s a funny conversation starter for a few days until the hair’s regrown. Mess-ups rarely happen though. OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE I’M AWESOME! Just kidding, I just take my time.

And lock the door in case someone barges in and bumps you!

How to cut your own hair

This isn’t horribly complicated but let me walk you through what I do.

The setup

The first thing that you need to know is that this becomes a VERY HAIRY SITUATION if it gets out of control. My recommendation is to have a dry sink and to put the plug in (or activate it). Not matter if you’re in a rental or your own home, you don’t want to plug your washroom sink up. I wouldn’t recommend doing it in the shower either because you’ll want a mirror and the sink is the easiest thing to clean. This is what it looks like by the time you’re done!

Sides of the head

I start on the sides of my head, where I know that my number 3 blade THINGY will be an almost perfect length. As I said before, I already know that I’d normally use a number 2 but I don’t have that. So later on, I actually do it free-hand which is sketchy!

While I’m doing the sides, I try to do “the blend” between the sides and the top. I lengthen the blade cover for this part just slightly. But because of the low power of the motor, this shaver is pretty forgiving and it’s hard to mess up horribly.

Clean blades every few strokes

Because the motor is so weak though, I have to clean this part of the blades out every few strokes. Meh. It works for me!

Focus on paring down the amount of hair, all around

In this haircut session, I kinda just peck away all around my head so that I get the most quantity of hair off of my head before getting too perfectionist. Once I start doing the top of my hair, I know that I’m around halfway done. I just try to thin it out a little bit at a time, just like with the rest of my hair.

Back of the head

Next up is the back of my head… which is definitely the hardest part of doing your own hair. It doesn’t help that I have TWO cowlicks at the back of my head which makes my hair fight itself and pop up like a rooster tail when it gets too long! The bottom is still done using the number 3 protector.

Because of my two cowlicks, my hair goes in ALL of the directions… and so does my shaver. I do this because the blade cover pushes the majority of the hair down if you go “with the hair”, so you have to go “against the hair” when using the shaver that I have.

You’ll see in the freeze frames below that it literally almost looks like I have a bald spot on the top of my head here. I don’t, even though it’s REALLY CONVINCING! Ya didn’t think you’d find something like this in a “how to cut your own hair” guide, did you! Just consider it a “DON’T DO THIS” note! Just kidding, it’s because of the angle and shortness of my hair there. I was a little worried that something weird had happened but I know that the number 3 is the right length for the back half of the top of my head.

The back of my head takes a while to get right… and we’re not even close to the detailing part!


Before I begin one of the free-hand sessions, I keep the number 3 on and move on to the “front half of the top section”.

This is the most important part for me. It’s partially stylistic but also very, very practical! You see, if my “fohawk” gets too long, it droops down and brushes my forehead, like this:

Within a few hours of that happening, I start getting acne! Now, if it’s too short, it doesn’t look quite right on me. So I’ve figured out, over the years, just the right length for my hair. I just eyeball it. Call it Art, if you will!


At this point, I move on to around my ears. I pull my ear down to get it out of the way but the number 3 just isn’t short enough for this. So… Now for the free-handing!

I use both hands for this. Obviously, one holds the shaver, but the other is equally important as it stabilizes my main hand and prevents it from shaking!

I said I’d get to this later… and now we’re here. I like the sides of my head to be straight, not rounded. The number 2 does this perfectly… but again, I don’t have that, so I eyeball it. This is where big mistakes can happen! I’m fine on this side, but on the next, I think I cut a bit too far in. But it’s barely noticeable. It’s fiiiiiine!

Neck edging details

Okay, we’re at the final cutting step! The neck! Actually, because I just got this external camera monitor, I’m going to cheat and use it.

Normally I just have to guess. And it’s still REALLY hard to coordinate your hand with the screen! ESPECIALLY the angle! Ignore all the extra small hairs.

To be honest, without the monitor, I’d try using a mirror. Or get someone else to help you with that part. I used to get my dad to help out and then it was my girlfriend. But she’s in London right now and couldn’t help. It’s the only part that I struggle with suggestions on how to do it.

Tidy up

Because I now had the monitor, I saw that the top back part of my head had some more hair that needed to be lobbed off, so this is me doing that.

Shake off the hair!

Then you shake! Get all the small hairs off of you that you can and get ready to do a bit of cleaning.

A vacuum cleaner is great for this, but I’d recommend glomming as much hair together as you can and toss it right in the trash.

My sink wasn’t entirely dry and my vacuum isn’t made for sink-sucking… so I got rid of the most hair I could before unplugging the sink and washing the small bits down the drain.

Jump in the shower!

At this point, I’d just jump in the shower because no matter how much you clean, you’ll just be dropping more hair everywhere! Shower for a bit and get all the hair off of you!

Dry off, clean up

Once you’re out, don’t touch the hairy clothes and don’t step anywhere that’s hairy either!

Dry off and then do your final clean sweep with a broom or vacuum and then get a wet cloth to get the last bits. Throw every single piece of fabric that has hair on it in the laundry and you’re 100% done! Now you know how to cut your own hair!


Here’s a before and after!

There ya go, how to cut your own hair! It’s fast, cheap, and convenient. I suggest you check out the video if you haven’t already. Otherwise, I hope you learned a thing or two! Yes, this was a random post. Isn’t that the norm, though?

Anyway, subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already and follow my blog posts for more random entertainment! Christmas specials coming up soon! Cheers!

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Ben Durham

Professional storyteller

Just an average person on a bike who’s focused on getting more people out of their cars and on to bicycles or electric last-mile micro-mobility solutions!

That, and rooting for active transportation infrastructure upgrades in North America (we need to catch up)!

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