Roundup: Self-haircut tools I recommend for Corona quarantine

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With the Coronavirus out there and us being quarantined at home, a lot of my friends turn to me for advice.

After all, I’ve been cutting my hair at home for years. Recently, I’ve actually been shaving everything off.

I’ve gone through all major brands. Wahl, Oster, Andis – you name it. To this day, my favorite for buzzcuts remains the Remington HC4250.

It was a key player in my first comprehensive home grooming setup:

Why did I like it so much?

Well, its wide blade gave me the freedom to do buzzcuts in 1/3 of the time I’d need with other clippers. In some 4-5 minutes I’d go and cut my hair effortlessly. Small, cordless, lightweight – the Remington HC4250 had it all.

For longer hair or more special cuts, though, it lacked power and versatility.. This is where I’d recommend you to look at Wahl clippers such as the Elite Pro kit.

By the way, here’s the type of buzzcut I nailed with my HC4250:

Wahl Super Taper (the white clipper next to the Remington) was nice, but the years haven’t been kind to it. The reason is that it still runs on the older V5000 motor.

If you’re a home haircut beginner, I recommend you either of these Wahl haircut kits:

  • Wahl Elite Pro (check it here) if you want a stronger motor for thicker hair. It comes with better combs too, covering all haircut sizes.
  • Wahl Color Pro (cordless) – this is a budget take on cordless home haircuts. Not as buzzcut-friendly as the Remington HC4250, but the battery is a bit better. Also, the color-coded hair clipper guides help with remembering everybody’s length.

Either of these three is PERFECT for #coronacut action, or any quarantine haircuts at home.

Wahl Elite Pro

My best recommendation for a home haircutting kit during the quarantine. Powerful motor, very durable and diverse combs too.

 

Wondering HOW exactly to cut your own hair at home or do your own fade? This video is a very good tutorial that will help you out:

If you want something more professional, consider V9000 motor clippers and powerful models like the Senior.

Here’s my current updated setup (well, most of it anyways).

The lineup has seen some expansion and drastic changes. It reflects me going from self-haircuts to self-head shaving territory:

So what do we have here?

First, I ditched the Philips beard trimmer for something better. That’s the Panasonic ER-GB80, which is both a hair clipper and a hair trimmer in one. It’s actually pretty darn good, surprisingly so.

I use it for basic home cuts for my friends, and with the other plastic comb I keep my beard intact. The blades do need more frequent oiling than the Wahl Detailer I use for light edging and shapeups/necklines.

The rotary Norelco shaver and the ever-classic Braun 5 are a must have for my routine. I’m balding in a few spots, so I prefer to do a clean shave all over. Neither a wet shave, nor a razor shave, though.

The Norelco’s gentle to my skin, but it does leave more stubble than desired. This is why I follow up with the Braun 5. Alternatively, I can use an Andis Profoil which is more powerful.

The fact I use these tools pretty often means that they get dirty. Obviously, I use the typical maintenance accessories like small tubes of oil or those gentle clipper brushes.

However, the real deal is this blue guy here:

That’s a little container full of the marvelous Extend-A-Life.

It’s an all-in-one blade lubricant, cleaning solution, and disinfectant. A must-have for any more serious home users and a barber’s best friend. I’ve actually recommended it to a buddy of mine and he loves it.

The only problem with it is it’s consistency. It can be a little gooey, and thus hard to remove from some hair-cutting tools. For example, I’d never use it on my rotary Norelco – it’ll be hard to rinse it off.

But in general cases, it works pretty great. The leftover hair falls down to the bottom, so you don’t even touch it when you dip the blade gently on the surface of the container.

My final must-have is witch hazel. Now, there are heaps of different brands producing this godly skincare sidekick of mine. However, the one I trust the most – and have been trusting over these years, is Thayer’s.

There are many different variations of Thayer’s witch hazels. I’ve tried all of them, and all of them keep my skin smooth, reduce irritation/razor burn after shaving, and minimize any razor bump risks. There are quite a few proven benefits about this skin toner, read up on them.

The best one for me is the Astringent lemon. I keep at least one or two bottles spare at home at all time:

So yeah, that’s what I currently use throughout the week. I have a few other clippers/trimmers but it would become a bit too crowded if I introduced everything at once. Next time, I’ll do another roundup. Who knows, by then I might have a new shiny grooming tool to play with!

10 thoughts on “Roundup: Self-haircut tools I recommend for Corona quarantine”

    1. Hi, Mason!

      It’s easier to work with, to be honest. More ergonomic and the cordless charge is around an hour. That’s enough to take care of a whole family worth of haircuts on one charge!

      But yeah, cordless + improved body design really makes a difference.

      The only drawback is that it doesn’t have the lever on the sides which opens or closes the blade. However, for simple DIY haircuts this isn’t a big drawback anyways.

      Cheers!
      Alex

  1. Alex, I have a very short high and tight bald fade with some length on top — just enough so the hair doesn’t stand straight up. I maintain this myself, trimming it once or twice a week and have been doing so for a couple of years. I’ve been using an Oster Fast Feed, but have been considering an Oster 76. Wondering what your thoughts are on purchasing the 76, based on the haircut I maintain? What are the pros and cons of the 76 vs. the Fast Feed, again based on my haircut? If you recommend the 76 for my needs, what blades would you suggest I purchase beyond the 000 and 1 blades included with the clippers? Appreciate any other thoughts or comments you may have. Enjoyed all the info you provided on Oster 76 blades. Thank you!

    1. Hi there, Nick!

      Hope you’re safe during these troubling times.

      If it’s about bald fading, can’t really go wrong with getting an additional #0000 blade. #00000, as you probably read, is as close to the skin as possible, but damn can it nick if you’re not careful. I think for DIY results the #0000 should be enough.

      To be honest, I think sticking to the Fast Feed is a good choice. Right now there’s a lot of clipper shortages due to COVID19, with clippers being out of stock or even worse – ridiculously overpriced.

      Getting a 76 + 1 or two additional blades can get to some 150+ bucks…If you’re satisfied with the Fast Feeds, why spend that much more?

      Detachable blades really hit better with the close shaves/fades, but the 76 can heat up something mighty. If you’re used to the lighter, cooler Feeds that’s going to be a bit of a burden. Also, don’t underestimate the convenience of the adjustable lever — you’re going to miss that with blades 🙂

      Cheers!
      Alex

      1. Hey Alex,

        Appreciate your response and perspective! I do really like my Fast Feed, but wish that when it’s in the closed position, both blades were closer. In the fully closed position, there’s 1/16″ space between the blades. Although 1/16″ doesn’t sound like much, it actually is when doing a bald fade, as I’m sure you know. When it’s in a fully open position, there’s 3/16″ between the blades. I’m okay with that, but in the fully open position, that leaves the hair between a #1 and #0A Oster 76 blade. As you pointed out, a #0000 blade would be sufficient for a bald fade by a DIY’er. This basically means my Fast Feed is two and a half blades away from that length. If I skip the idea of getting the 76, what about either an Andis Fade Master or a Wahl Senior? Thoughts?

  2. Oops…. just realized that in my response above in the sentence beginning with “I’m okay with that…”, I meant to say “closed”, not “open” position. My bad…

    1. Hi Nick,

      Both Andis Fade Master and Wahl Senior – as long as it’s the 5 Star, not the regular 8500 Senior, earn a thumbs up from me. Fade Masters are a little bit more versatile if you’re after very, very close skin fades, as their blade goes all the way down to #00000. 5 Star Seniors also have a special fade blade that goes to #0000 (the length I told you I consider optimal for typical home use).

      Fade Masters will be heavier, and might heat up a little bit more. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of the 5 Star Senior 🙂

      Just be careful with online merchants on Amazon, eBay etc. I’ve seen some sellers ship used clippers which is despicable. Always look for good seller reviews, or grab one from another site.

      Cheers!

  3. Hey Alex,

    Awesome and thank you for all the info you provided!! I know what you mean when you mentioned buying from Amazon and Ebay. I’ve read reviews and seen pics of people complaining that they received used clippers — very deceitful. My plan is to purchase from one of the barber supply stores I’ve purchased from in the past.

    One more question… which finishing/edge trimmer would you recommend? I’m considering the Andis T-Outliner, but would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

    Again, thank you Alex. Appreciate your time and advice.

    Nick

    1. You’re welcome, Nick! Happy to help my readers at any time, this site is my own island of peace among the COVID19 crazy times…

      I’ve actually owned a T-Outliner, as well as the Slimline Pro Li from Andis and Wahl Detailer. Can’t go wrong with any of these, but a few notes:

      – T Outliners have a wide T-Blade and a very powerful motor. This means they deal with necklines or dry shaving in zero time, with very close-cutting results. Cons? That electromagnetic motor heats up crazy if you use them for a longer time (>10 minutes).

      – Slimline Pro Li and the Detailers run on rotary motors. While not as powerful as the 7200 spm of the T Outliners, they stay cooler. Detailers definitely a bit noisier than Pro Li. I usually use the Professional Detailer (8290) which has a narrow blade, as it serves my needs perfectly, I do a lot of around-ear trims. The narrow blade helps. If you want to go wider, check the 8081 5 Star Detailer.

      Check some reviews on the Slimline Pro Li. 2 hours of battery life, decent blade for light touchups and very easy to work with.

      If you don’t plan on longer sessions and don’t mind corded, go for the T Outliners. The cordless ones are a bit too pricey right now imho.

      But in general, you can’t go wrong with any of these three. That’s what most barbers out there use 🙂

      Cheers and keep safe, hope everything’s good with you!
      Alex

      1. Thanks Alex and appreciate your quick response!

        I’ll weigh the pros and cons of the three you mentioned and check prices before making a decision. Never owned an edging tool and decided it’s about time. Plus I’m sure it will be more useful for maintaining my full beard as well.

        Again, appreciate your timely responses and ALL the info you provided me with, as well as your advice and recommendations. Very valuable!!

        Stay safe my friend during these crazy times.

        Nick

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