What Is a Clipper Cut?

The barbering world can be tricky to first navigate into, whether you’re looking to cut your own hair, want to start cutting other peoples, or just want to know a little more for your next trip to the barber, you first need to know exactly what a clipper cut is as a foundation.

Clipper Cut Definition

Simply put, a clipper cut is a haircut done with a pair of hair clippers. Hair clippers are distinctly different from other hair cutting methods like scissors or razors. They work with two sets of small sharpened blades that vaguely resemble little comb teeth, that oscillate between each other cutting hair quickly and effectively.

The History

Originally hair clippers were manual and didn’t have any electrical component, but with the advent of cheap electric clippers in the last fifty years, barbers have moved to using electric clippers almost exclusively. (It’s hard to find good manual clippers nowadays.) Because of their ease and effectiveness at cutting, they became popular for cutting hair in institutional and difficult environments, like in prisons, and in the military.

A Thought on Maintenance

While clippers aren’t overly complex, keeping them in good condition requires some maintenance, namely keeping them lubricated, as the blades will dull and work ineffectively otherwise.

Clipper Blades

Blades are an area one should also consider carefully when first looking at clippers, the blade size controls how much hair is removed from the head. Choosing the right blades are very important for achieving the desired look. More can be found on that here. Blades are most commonly made of stainless-steel with some higher quality ones that are made from ceramic. All materials have their strengths and weaknesses, stainless steel corrodes and dulls more easily over time, while ceramic is more expensive and can be more easily broken. On the flip side, stainless steel is more affordable, while ceramic stays sharper, and doesn’t get anywhere near as hot with longer use.

Common Cuts

One of the most common kinds of clipper cuts is called a Fade Cut, and both looks sharp and is easy to maintain. The hair at the sides is generally kept short with longer hair on top that fades together neatly. Overall it’s a great and timeless cut that looks good on almost any man.

What’s the Difference Between Scissor and Clipper Cuts?

Why not use scissors, and what’s the big difference between them and clipper cuts you ask? Well, scissors generally work well for longer hair and allow for careful control over the length, whereas clipper cuts are tidier and easier. Ultimately though, it comes down to what you want out of your cut. Clippers and scissors can both work well. I hope that answers your question with a good bit of detail. It may feel silly to ask what a clipper cut is, but as I’m sure you’ll now agree, there’s a good bit to learn and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Got more questions? Leave them in the comments below or reach out to me via the contact form. I’d love to hear from you.