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How to Shave the Sides of Your Head With Clippers or Razor Full Guide of 2024

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how to shave sides of headYou’re ready to take control and master a bold new look. Don’t be intimidated – with the proper tools and technique, shaving the sides of your head is easier than you think.

Start by deciding how close you want the shave. The guard on your clippers determines length, so remove it completely for the closest cut.

Begin at your sideburns and move the clippers up towards the crown in smooth, overlapping passes.

When shaving the top, go slowly from forehead to crown.

Rinse and moisturize afterwards to avoid irritation.

With practice, you’ll soon be styling an edgy, empowering new do.

The time is now to unleash your inner rebel.

Key Takeaways

  • Wet your hair and apply shaving cream before shaving to provide lubrication and soften the hair.
  • Use clippers with guards to achieve a safe, even shave in sections. Start with the shortest guard setting.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth, using a fresh razor blade for each shave.
  • After shaving, moisturize and apply sun protection to the exposed scalp area to prevent irritation and dryness.

Getting Started

Getting Started
Shaving the sides of your head can seem daunting at first, but with careful preparation, it can be done safely at home. Begin by thoroughly wetting your hair and sides with warm water to soften the strands.

Then, apply a moisturizing shave gel or cream to protect the skin and allow the razor to glide smoothly. Shave in sections, stretching the skin taut with your free hand while gently sliding the razor downward in the direction of hair growth.

Deciding on Clippers Vs Razor

You’d find a razor gives you the closest shave on the sides of your head, but clippers are easier and safer for beginners. With clippers, you simply select a guard length matching your desired cut. As a novice, start with a longer guard length and work shorter as your skills improve.

Maintain razor blades properly and hydrate skin adequately. Though razors give the closest shave, they require more dexterity to avoid nicks. Shaving with the grain minimizes irritation. Weigh the convenience of clippers versus the close shave of razors when deciding between the two for shaving your sides.

Laying Down Newspaper

  • Spread newspapers on the floor and chair to collect cut hair.
  • Lay down plastic for quick cleanup.
  • Wear an old shirt and clear the area of items that could get dirty.
  • Newspaper or plastic contain hair, keeping your DIY barber area mess-free.

Pre-Shave Shower

Take a soothing warm shower first to soften the hair and open pores for a smoother shave. The steamy water hydrates the skin and softens hair follicles, allowing razors to glide effortlessly. Conditioner coats strands, reducing friction. Exfoliate with a scrub to slough off dead skin cells, preventing ingrown hairs.

Massaging cleansing gel stimulates circulation, lifts hairs, and clears pores. Rinsing hair with cool water before stepping out constricts follicles for a closer cut.

Shaving With Clippers

Shaving With Clippers
When it’s time to shave the sides of your head, you’ll want to start by using clippers with the shortest guard to define the lower edge of hair growth. Then work upwards with progressively longer guards, blending evenly into the longer hair on top for a smooth, natural-looking fade.

Varying your clipper guard lengths as you move upwards creates a gradual, seamless transition between the short sides and longer top. Take care to blend evenly into the hair on top, so there is no distinct line visible.

Starting at the Sides

Allow the cold steel to glide downward as you shave the sides. Focus on sideburn styles and stylish undercuts when starting on the sides. Creative shaving inspires hidden designs and inspiration for shaved sides. Master the initial fade line along the hairline for a smooth blend into longer hair on top.

Liberate your look with precise clipper control to achieve the chic shaved sides haircut you desire.

Moving Front to Back

Slide the clippers gently from your forehead towards the back of your crown, lifting slightly at the crown’s peak.

  • Gently glide the clippers in long, smooth strokes.
  • Keep the clippers flat against your scalp.
  • Slightly lift at the crown to avoid uneven cuts.

Perfecting this front to back motion ensures an even shave and avoids uneven cuts as you master the at-home haircut process.

Finishing the Back

When finishing up the back, shimmy upwards from bottom to top. Stay focused and check your progress frequently with a hand mirror. Use short, efficient strokes and gentle pressure to achieve smoothness. Stretch the skin taut to prevent irritation.

Rinse often to avoid razor burn. For a clean shave, re-lather any missed patches. With practice, you’ll master efficient neck and nape shaving. Experiment with shaved nape or neck designs.

Shaving With a Razor

Shaving With a Razor
When shaving your head with a razor, start by using a new blade every time to minimize irritation. Apply shaving cream before you begin to ease the razor’s glide, and shave in the direction of hair growth.

Using a New Blade

Listen closely as the steel tilts against skin and whiskers snap under a sharp, surgical slice. With each pass, the keen edge yields a smooth, bare surface, but its sharpness fades rapidly, so use a fresh blade for flawless glide and comfort.

Discard old blades safely and opt for quality multi-blades, rinsing after just a few strokes. Take care around ears and skin folds. Let the blade work for you by applying minimal pressure for an irritation-free shave.

Applying Shaving Cream

Massage shaving cream onto your scalp to smooth the razor’s glide. Lather it thoroughly before each pass. Choose menthol or aloe-based creams to prevent irritation. Water-soluble foams rinse cleanly. Thick creams provide extra lubrication for sensitive skin. Always apply after wetting your head to lock in moisture.

Let the foam sit briefly before dragging the razor gently against the grain. Finish with aftershave containing tea tree oil, witch hazel or aloe to calm and nourish newly exposed skin.

Shaving Direction

Unwind tension from your shoulders as you gently guide the razor with the grain.

  • Shave in the direction your hair grows to avoid irritation.
  • Pull skin taut and use short, light strokes for a smooth shave.
  • Rinse the blade frequently between strokes.
  • Focus on using a steady, relaxed hand and proper technique.
  • Check for missed spots by running your hand over shaved areas.

By shaving properly with the grain and using proper technique, you can achieve a close, smooth shave and avoid razor burns or ingrown hairs when maintaining your shaved hairstyle. Proper prep and quality tools also prevent irritation, so invest in a high-quality razor.

Mastering your shaving technique takes patience but allows you to maintain your edgy style.


After you finish shaving the sides of your head, it’s important to properly care for your scalp. Rinse your head thoroughly with cool water and pat dry with a clean towel, then apply a moisturizing aftershave lotion to soothe any irritation.

Do not forget to moisturize your scalp at least twice daily to keep it smooth and prevent dryness.

Rinsing and Drying

After shaving your head with a razor, rinse your scalp thoroughly with warm water to remove any loose hair and leftover shaving cream.

Drying Techniques
Soft towel Gently pat dry
Cotton pad Dab missed spots

Proper rinsing and drying keeps your scalp healthy. Choose a soft towel and pat dry gently after shaving. Use a cotton pad to dab any missed spots. Good post-shave care maintains smooth hair texture.

Applying Aftershave

Pat your freshly shorn scalp dry, then gently apply some soothing aftershave.

  1. Soothes irritation and prevents razor burn.
  2. Disinfects nicks and cuts.
  3. Moisturizes skin.

Aftershave is essential aftercare following any head shave. Choose an alcohol-free, hydrating formula to calm and restore skin post-shave. Apply a thin layer and let it dry before styling. Proper aftercare ensures a smooth shave and healthy scalp.


Your scalp will be grateful for the moisture’s soothing relief. Moisturizing your newly exposed scalp is crucial for keeping it hydrated and healthy. Apply aloe vera gel or an unscented moisturizer at least twice daily to prevent dryness, irritation, and flaking.

For added sun protection, choose products containing SPF. Maintaining proper moisture balance minimizes scaling and keeps your head smooth. Varying your moisturizing routine and using different products can also help maintain a healthy scalp by targeting various skin issues.

Massaging the moisturizer gently into your scalp will boost circulation and allow for better absorption. Be consistent and patient, as it may take some time for your scalp to adjust to the lack of hair and learn to retain moisture again.

With diligent moisturizing care, your bare scalp will stay supple and comfortable.

Maintaining Your Shaved Cut

Maintaining Your Shaved Cut
Keeping your shaved head feeling clean, moisturized, and protected is key to maintaining a flawless look. Remember to use a gentle shampoo when washing daily, apply moisturizer at least twice per day, protect your scalp from sun damage, and shave again when regrowth becomes noticeable but not too frequently.

Washing and Moisturizing

You must cleanse and hydrate your scalp daily for optimal health. Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser when washing your shaved head. Gently massage with fingertips to remove buildup without over-drying. After cleansing, pat dry then apply moisturizer.

Look for hydrating formulas with ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Massage in moisturizer using small circular motions. Moisturize at least twice daily, including skin protectant ingredients like SPF. Developing a simple, gentle washing and moisturizing routine is the key to keeping your scalp healthy when wearing a shaved style.

Sun Protection

After buzzing your head, don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly to protect that bald dome. Exposed scalps are sensitive to UV rays, so lather up with a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen. Reapply every 2 hours. Wear a hat for extra coverage when outdoors – consider a baseball cap, bucket hat, or wide-brimmed style.

Seek shade under trees or umbrellas during peak sunlight hours. Don’t take chances with sun safety after getting your fade cut, having your back or sides shaved, or any barbershop style leaving your head exposed.

Frequency of Shaving

Re-shave your head when hair regrowth becomes visible to maintain a clean shaven look. Shaving intervals vary based on hair type and growth rate. Shave more frequently for very short styles. Allow some regrowth for military cuts before re-shaving again. Adjust intervals based on seasonal changes and your schedule.

Styles like fades require gradual re-shaving to maintain the transition between lengths. Be diligent about regrowth to achieve your desired look with time-saving, regular upkeep.


Shaving the sides of your head can seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a smooth, close shave. Remember that over 70% of men will experience some hair loss in their lifetime, so learning to cut and shave your own hair is an invaluable skill.

Approach shaving the sides with patience. Use sharp new blades, shave in the direction of growth, and properly prep and moisturize the skin.

Maintain your freshly shaved sides by gently washing daily, applying sunscreen, and shaving again when hair grows back noticeably.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.