Your First Buzz Cut

Whether you're cutting your friend's hair or your own, your first cut will be unlike any other. Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary materials:

  1. Working clippers made specifically for head hair (see our clippers section for recommendations)
  2. Clipper lubricating oil (Olive Oil also works well)
  3. Small brush or old toothbrush for clearing clipper blades of cut hair
  4. Clipper blade guards for desired cutting length
Gather the materials together on a large surface, maybe a bathroom vanity or kitchen counter. To prepare the clippers, first remove any hair guards attached so the clippers blades are exposed. Using a small brush or toothbrush, brush away any visible hair clippings that remain on the blades from prior use. You may have to poke and brush from several directions to remove all hair. Using an eye-dropper or Q-tip, lubricate the blades by dropping small amounts of oil across the blade, letting the oil slide down into the clippers. Wipe off any excess oil that remains. Now plug in the clippers and turn them on. You should hear and smooth humming sound and visually see the blades moving back and forth smoothly. If you see or hear obstructions, unplug the clippers and remove any loose hair with the brush. In some cases after heavy use, you may need to remove the screws and disassemble the unit in order to extract hair that has fallen inside the unit itself.

Now that the materials are ready, it's time to prepare for shaving. For longer hair, comb or brush hair to remove any tangles. It may also help to dampen the hair and then blow dry before trimming. Select the blade guard for desired length of hair, and attach securely to the clippers. (Make sure the guard is not lose, as loose guards are known to fall off and cause embarassing stories).

Begin cutting with the hair close to the ear, moving the clippers up towards the top of the head. As you cut, pay attention to the sound the clippers make when hair is being cut, as this will be helpful if you ever need to cut blind. You will notice a distinct sound when hair is cutting, and a distinct sound when cut hair has jammed the clippers and should be brushed out. Depending on the thickness of the hair, cutting may go rather quickly. Some folks can cut large swipes at a time (4-6 inches), while others will need to cut with shorter strokes.

While cutting, remember to use the small brush to remove hair from the blade. You may need to remove the guard in order to brush hair out adequately. Also, depending on the quality and age of the clippers, it may help to re-lubricate the blades during the shave.

Once all of the long hair is gone and the cut looks even and nice, take a shower to wash out all the loose hairs left. After showering you will be able to look again for any long hairs or uneven spots and take care of them easily. You can finish up with a razor or beard trimmer to cut around the ears and the neck line.

If everything looks good, congratulations! There's no feeling like a fresh buzz. But before running out to show your friends, take just a moment to take care of your equipment. Brush out the clippers real good and re-lubricate before storing. This will help the blades stay sharp and will make preparation easier next time.