How to Cut Your Kid's Hair

Want to save time and money on your kid's haircuts? You don't have to go to the salon, especially if all your child needs is a trim. Instead, follow our easy step-by-step haircut how-to instructions for all lengths of boys' and girls' hair, including bangs.

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    How to Cut Medium to Long Hair

    To section the hair:

    Use a wide-tooth comb to divide hair into top and back sections as follows:

    Part hair from back of one ear, over top of head, to back of the other ear. Hair in front is top section.

    Divide remaining bottom section, from ear to ear, into additional 1-inch-thick horizontal sections. Clip all but bottom section up.

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    Cut the Back: Medium to Long Hair

    Run a fine-tooth comb through bottom section to make sure all the hair is going in the same direction and divide into a left and a right section.

    Cut right section first. Hold hair, with slight tension, between index finger and middle finger of noncutting hand and trim half of desired length (remember: 1/2 inch = 1 inch) in right-to-left motion.

    To cut left side, pull over a small section of already-trimmed hair from right side as a guide for length, then cut so both sections are even.

    Let down next section above, run a fine-tooth comb through both layers, then cut length of this section to match length of bottom section, dividing it again into a right and a left section first. Repeat for all horizontal sections.

    Stylist's Tip: Curly hair can be inches longer when straight and wet, says Cozy Friedman, founder and CEO of Cozy's Cuts for Kids, in New York City. If you want to remove an inch from hair when it's dry, cut no more than ¼ inch from wet hair, using little to no tension.

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    Cut the Top: Medium to Long Hair

    Release top section. Part to create side sections. Each should start about 1 inch above ear and include all hair below that point from temple to back. Clip the rest of the hair up and leave side sections down.

    Cut right side section first. Using already-cut hair from back sections as a guide, cut from right to left. Repeat for left side section. Look at length of side sections from front to see if they're even and adjust accordingly.

    Release hair from top in 1/2-inch sections and cut to match length of first side sections, as you did with back.

  • How to Cut Short Hair

    To section the hair:

    Use a wide-tooth comb to divide hair, then clip it into sections. Create a top section by combing a rectangle from temples straight back to crown, leaving a section above ear on either side.

    Part back of hair into a 4-section grid.

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    Cut the Top: Short Hair

    Let top section down and take a very thin section from left side and comb it straight up with a fine-tooth comb.

    Cut 1/4 inch off. Moving left to right and back to front, repeat, cutting to within 1/2 inch of front hairline.

    Stylist's Tip: When trimming short hair, cut only 1/4 inch all over. Hair might look longer in some places, but it's due to the curvature of the head, explains J. Elaine Spear, author of Haircutting for Dummies. This technique will help you lift weight from the hair and extend time between cuts at the salon.

  • Cut the Back: Short Hair

    Take down top left back section and use part of already cut top section as guide for length to cut. Work right to left, with sections no more than 1/4-inch thick.

    Repeat for bottom left, top right, and bottom right sections.

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    Cut the Sides: Short Hair

    Continue by dividing left side section of hair into smaller horizontal sections. Working right to left, cut 1-1/4 inches off. Repeat for right side section.

    Finish by combing front hairline section forward and trimming to desired length.

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    How to Use a Clipper to Cut One Length

    Choose a guard length (such as No. 3) and attach to clipper. Start at the back, working your way up to the crown, and finish with the sides. Choose guard No. 2 for a shorter haircut.

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    How to Use a Clipper to Cut a Fade

    Attach a short guard (such as No. 2) and move hand from nape of neck to bottom of crown, bringing buzzer toward you in an arc to blend layers

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    How to Use a Clipper to Clean Hairlines

    Cut across bottom of neckline and create straight lines from neckline to ear. Take note of where sideburns land at ears to trim evenly.

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    How to Cut Bangs

    Comb wet hair with a wide-tooth comb and cut across so bangs are even with middle of eyes.

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    How to Cut Triangular-Shape Bangs

    Comb from your chosen starting point on top of head to outside of each eyebrow. (Tip: Start narrow; you can always make bangs wider.) Once this hair is sectioned, clip rest of hair back.

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    How to Cut Bangs Straight Across

    Part hair horizontally, 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches back from forehead (depending on how thick you want them) ending at outside corner of each eye; clip rest of hair back.

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