When I say be your own barber I more mean it in the cheapskate Tupperware bowl cut on the 5 gallon bucket in the garage kinda barber. As a 34 year old man I have to say I have cut a lot of hair over the years and I am not half bad. Like everything else though that means I am not half good either.
A little story to get this discussion started. My “Perfect hair” father whose side part was so well trained it would fold over perfectly with the snap of a finger always had his little comb tucked away neatly in his wallet to spruce up a bit. This part is as cleanly maintained as the red Sea when God parted it for the Israelites. That comb had sharp points that would dig in to your scalp as he would hold a death grip on your lower jaw while trying to tame the “cowlick”. Regardless of each of us 4 boys unique hair textures he was insistant on us rocking the “Part”. With that came haircuts that would enable him to work his magic with the help of some properly applied pomade. As we grew he had a strong desire to instill in us a good work ethic and the need to pay for our own haircuts. Our first self-paid hair cut came and we took it upon ourselves to get haircuts of our choice since we did pay for the thing. They were super short and super clean with no “part”. It was glorious. Dad was not so excited about this. After a long lecture about looking respectful and the insistence of his choice for our haircuts we decided it was time to move to plan B. You see, above my Dads desire to Rock the Part, he had much more frugal side to him. That was the part we decided we should see to manipulate. We pooled our money together and bought our own hair cutting machine. This would appeal to my dad’s ultimate frugality and at the same time reduced the barbers (Us) skill level so low that no hair cut could sustain a “Part”. This ultimately won out and we started cutting our own and each other’s hair from then on.
Today I am chief barber in my house and my 8 year old boy is a regular in the barber chair. Between myself, my son and even the wife I have used a lot of hair cutting machines and know what I like and what I don’t.
Being a Rosie/Chocolate family (Interracial) we have some variety in hair textures to deal with. From my experience, various machines handle some hair better than others.
My hair for example has always be thin and straight. It would blow over in a soft breeze and stand straight up in a lightning storm. I have been gifted with a receding hair line since I was about 16 so I have kept it extremely short or bald ever since.
My Son has very thick wavy hair that has a more coarse texture. It tends to snag in a cheap machine and can be very difficult if it gets too long.
Below are the brands I have used and I wanted to break down my opinion of each.
- I have used Wahl trimmers off and on for 20 years. Overall they do make a good product but I have had a few bad apples in the mix. I am currently using the one below and it does a fine job on my head but does not work very well if I need to shave my beard. It is horrible at this and most of the Wahl’s I have had were. If you have typical Caucasian hair and no need to shave a tough beard then I would completely recommend the Wahl’s from a quality standpoint.
- As far as Conair products go I would complete discourage anyone from them. They are cheap and don’t last long. They are terrible with thicker hair and just down right miserable.
- Andis trimmers can be really nice. I have never had one that did a bad job cutting hair. The cheaper end ones do not last very long but do a great job while they are working. The blade design lends to a super close cut and handle thicker hair without any trouble. It can even handle my Grizzly Adams beard with ease. The Unit below is what I will be moving to soon as the Wahl is doing ok but not great with our hair textures.
These are my opinions that I have formed from 20 years of cutting my own hair. Depending on the hair you are wanting to cut will dictate what brand to go with.
Good luck with your quest and God Bless
You are your own Barber