Welcome to Dad’s Barbershop

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Added up, trips to Great Clips or Supercuts can cost upwards of $150 per year per kid. Developing the basic skills to trim your kid’s hair can save money and create family fun…if done right. No doubt, the potential for botching exists, but a few simple hacks can make dad-barbering a viable option for most dads. I started cutting my friend’s hair in college—and have been cutting my boys’ hair for years. I’ve not yet earned the right to try my hand with my daughter’s hair, but I continue to campaign for the chance.

Here are the keys:

1 — Get your gear

You’ll need basic hair clippers (ours), a good pair of scissors, and a spray bottle full of water (reuse one of those household cleaner bottles!). You can add a cape, a straight blade, and more—but these are all at the barber’s discretion and not necessary to get started.

2 — Set the scene

I place a barstool in our bathtub (pictured; yes, we rotate the whole format halfway through to get the other side of the head). This makes for easy cleanup–of both the trimmings and the children.

3 — Make it fun

At my barbershop, we watch great television. Right now, we’re into Planet Earth II and deeply engrossed. A jaguar slaying a caiman while your kids get their ears lowered? YES.

4 — Start simple

Buzz cuts require little instruction. Use a larger clipper guard on top… and a smaller guard on the bottom. Blend in-between. The very best instruction is practicing it yourself. The worst thing that could happen? You buzz off all your errors.

5 — Dabble with greatness

Longer cuts require more skill, no doubt. But again, practice is your friend. I started attempting longer cuts with the help of this Howcast video and I’m getting more confident with each attempt. Last time, I didn’t even open the video.

Start-to-finish for my two oldest sons, dad barbershop is a 60-minute endeavor. We all love it and I like that we could end up saving more than $8,000 (3 boys x $150/year x 18 years).  

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Once you’ve mastered the dad barbershop, the dad culinary school is next on the menu.

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