The basics: what you need to know
Choosing between corded or cordless hair clippers comes down to preference. You might feel more comfortable having the freedom of using a cordless clipper. Alternatively, using a corded hair clipper means you don’t have the pressure of running out of battery power to finish your haircut.
A hair clipper will come with a set of guide combs. Each comb has a number on it to represent the length of hair that will be left on the head after the clipper has passed over it. These guide combs range from No.0.5 (3mm) to No.8 (25mm), with additional left and right ear taper combs for navigating around the ears evenly. You’ll also notice that some clippers have a taper lever, which allows you to be more precise with your cutting lengths.
As with any tools, hair clippers require a small bit of maintenance to keep them running smoothly. ‘Always remove the hair that builds up in the blades by brushing them regularly. Keep your blades oiled by applying before and after a haircut,’ says Wahl’s Global Artistic Director, Simon Shaw.
How to trim hair between haircuts
Clippers can be used to keep your hair tidy between trips to the barbers or hairdressers. How often you need to do this will vary depending on your hair type. Straight hair tends to grow out at the sides, while curlier hair can be maintained by tidying up your neckline and sideburns between haircuts. A lightweight, cordless clipper is ideal for maintenance.
Touching up the sides
- Move the clipper up the side of the head in a flicking motion, flicking it away from the head as you go. Repeat this process round the rest of the head, ensuring an even look.
Tidying up hairlines
- Using a trimmer or clipper, with the flat part of the blade against the skin, run it in an upward direction along the back of the neck to eliminate the growth. Use a mirror, or feel it as you go, to make sure no patches have been left behind.
- Using your trimmer or clipper in an inverted position, cut in a downward direction to neaten your sideburns and hairlines.
Pro tip: Always start with a higher number guide comb than you want. You can always take more off, but you can’t stick hair back on!
Wahl Cordless Chrome Pro Clipper Kit and Wahl Cord/Cordless Clipper
How to maintain a shaved head
A shaved head is one of the easiest styles to maintain yourself. Make sure you pull the skin tight as you’re shaving and use confident strokes – this will ensure you don’t miss a hair. A lightweight cordless clipper will make it easier to manoeuvre around your head easily and speedily.
- Start at the back of the head and using an upward, rocking motion, work your way towards the crown. Repeat this process on the sides, working up to the top.
- Now focus on the top of the head, running the clipper in smooth strokes from the front to the crown. Run the clipper over several times to capture every hair.
- For tight or bumpy sections, work the corner of the clipper blade in at different angles to get every hair.
- Once you have finished, use a mirror to check for any missed spots.
Wahl Cordless Colour Pro Hair Clipper and Wahl Clip and Rinse Rechargeable Hair Clipper with Personal Trimmer
How to fade your own hair
The fade is a popular haircut which can vary in length and style. It is a technical haircut, so you’ll need a clipper with a range of guide combs, and preferably one with a taper lever to allow you to fade the hair evenly.
- Decide where you want your fade line to start – there are high, mid and low fades.
- You should also decide how close you want to go to the skin. For a close fade, often referred to as a ‘skin-fade’, you will need the shorter guide combs.
- Starting with the sides of your hair, move the clipper, with the longest comb attachment you plan to use, in an upwards motion towards the line that you want to fade from.
- Gradually fade by using shorter guards as you move down. But by starting with the larger guard size you can easily get an even fade.
- Once you have gone over the back and sides with the #3 for example, you then move on to #2, but only from mid-lengths downwards.
- Repeat this process on the back and sides until you have an even, gradual fade.
- After you’ve taken care of the back and sides, you’ll want to blend to the top. Use a longer guide comb and flick the clipper away from the head. Repeat this process around the rest of the head, ensuring you follow a line above your fade.
- Lastly, focus on the top of the head. For a simple look, run the longest guide comb through the head and up to the point where you flicked the clipper away from the head in step 7.
Pro tip: Start with a longer guide comb and gradually take the fade shorter, slowly moving down the head as you descend through the comb numbers.
Wahl Power Clipper and Wahl Elite Pro Hair Clipper
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