You Have to be Pretty Cheap to Cut Your Own Hair

You Have to be Pretty Cheap to Cut Your Own Hair

In order for the Simple Cheap Faamily to live on half of a single income, we’ve in sourced many services that we might have paid money for in the past.  

In the Simple Cheap Household, we cut our hair at home.  I cut Simple Cheap Dad’s with the clippers and the scissors.  I cut my own hair using this ponytail method.  I cut the Little Miss’s hair however she’ll let me. 

Simple Cheap Dad was looking a little shaggy around the ears and my ukulele night at a friends was pushed back, so I offered to clean him up a little.

The Standard Simple Cheap Dad Haircut

It would be easy if Simple Cheap Dad would let me use the clippers to give him an easy haircut, like a #2.  But, Simple Cheap Dad likes his hair longer and likes me to do the top “fancy” with scissors.  (I just try to make it look like it would with the clippers.)

The usual routine is a #8 (the longest setting) around the back and sides, line his neck with a trimmer, then cut the top 1.5″-2″ long with the scissors.

I’m no professional, but he likes the look enough and has even got some compliments at work.

Plus, now that he doesn’t have to actually get himself to the hairdressers, he gets his hair cut more often and more the way he likes.  He’s picky remember.

A Question of Length when You Wear a Toque

Now Simple Cheap Dad likes his hair on the longer side.  He also commutes by bus to work and wears a toque each day.  So he gets hat head.  Every day.

I’ve been out of the office environment for a while, but I believe that head isn’t a part of office appropriate attire.  So, I’d suggested that he go a little shorter on top until summer.

I teased him that I was going to shave his head with a #8.  He looked a little worried when I picked up the clippers with a mischievous twinkle in my eye.

Simple Cheap Dad’s Latest Hair Cut

I picked out the 8 guard to put on the clipper and started trying to shimmy Simple Cheap Dad closer to the outlet so I could plug in the clippers.  He wowed me with the reminder that our new Christmas clippers were cordless, so I could cut his hair anywhere I wanted!  Jazzed, I got to work with my new freedom clippers.

I got him to bend his hair forward, made another quip about buzzing his hair off, then got to work.  As I start cutting, I noticed something felt different.  I was trying to put my finger on what was different with these new clippers when I realized that what was different was that my hand was filling up with hair.

I had totally forgotten to clip that guard on and I had shaved a straight line up the back of his head.  I skunked him!  We were both in shock.

Can You Fix a Haircut After You Mess it Up?

The only solution that we could both come up with was to shave his head completely.  But, I couldn’t do it.  He didn’t want me to do it.

To give myself time to process what had happened, I decide to run some experiments.  If we were going to end up shaving it off, I might as well try out some of my ideas.

I convinced Simple Cheap Dad to let me use a #8 all over (my longest clipper guards, they’re about 1″).  We both agreed that the length up top was good and that I can probably just use the clippers up there from now on.  So that was a small win.

I took my first desperate stab at the racing stripe to see if I could blend it in by using a #6 on either side.  Epic fail.  It was still a bare line with fluffy hair on either side to frame it so that you couldn’t look away.  Not really sure how I expected that to work, but I was hoping for a miracle.

So I regrouped again and I tried a #4 around the back and sides.  Turns out we both like that length on the sides too.  So another small win.  But the back was still awful.

I had run out of experiments, so it was time to steel myself and work on the back of his head.

I took a #2 to the bottom half of the bottom of his head to see if it would disappear if I went with a tapered look.  The tapering was ok, but the stripe still jumped out at you.

It was time to make some serious decisions, I couldn’t deny I had royally screwed up.  So I used the #2 all the way up the back of his head.  But, I couldn’t get rid of the bare strip.

A lot of hair had been taken off at this point.  I was getting pretty worried that we were going to end up cutting all off.

I switched to the smallest guard, the #1, and I shaved off the back of his head.  I was a bit traumatized, but the line was starting to disappear.  We decided that was as good as it was going to get.  So I evened things out as best I could and we called it a night.

I think he looks normal from the front, even better from the side, and from the back, well… I feel terrible every time I see him walk away!

We kept the length on top and in a couple of weeks I’ll probably be able to even things out a little better and make the back look better.

I bet you want to see a photo, huh?

I hadn’t thought that this would be a story Simple Cheap Dad would want to share, so I didn’t take any photos during the “event”.  But it turns out he doesn’t have a problem with sharing the story or a photo.  So, here it goes.  I can’t believe this is going up on the internet.  We decided to just do a shot of the back.  That’s what you all want to see after all, isn’t it?

Oh, and it’s actually worse in the photo than in real life.  We got lucky with the dim lighting I guess. 


Wait for it….

He was considerate and put on a hoodie so I didn’t have to see what I had done.

Did I mention that he has two important meetings tomorrow

How to Recover from a Hair Disaster?

I cut open and poured out an apple/grape juice box we had bought for play group and poured in a shot of vodka.

He hooked his new video game up to the big screen to plug in for the night.

There wasn’t much left to do.  We just sat together on the couch trying to give each other support.


We do a lot of challenges in this house in the name of being cheap and reaching our goals.  Sometimes things go terribly wrong!

We try not to take on something that could do any real sort of damage.  Usually, the worst case scenario is actually paying a professional to do a job after we’ve given it a shot ourselves.

Simple Cheap Dad’s hair will grow.

I’ll grow back my pride.

One day we’ll laugh about this.  A happy laugh.  Not a nervous laugh like we’re using tonight…

What About You?

Do you have any haircut horror stories?

What is the appropriate length of hair for business casual when you wear a toque?
Do you have any “taking cheap too far” stories?


I wrote this post on Monday after “the event”.  He’s actually gotten a lot of compliments on the new look at work.  Either they’re all sweeter than we knew, or they hadn’t seen the back.  Only one woman commented that things weren’t even.  He turned his head pointed out the racing stripe to a co-worker and the guy thought it was pretty hilarious.

I still feel terrible.  He hasn’t made me cry.  So we’re doing good.

Tonight (Wednesday, two days later) I used the #1 again on the back and did more cleaning up.  We plan to do a similar session Friday to get rid of the line for good and try to cement some sort of style while we transition to the growing out stage.

Here’s the latest shot of the back of his head, enjoy!

The skunk has already started to fade after 2 days.

I guess I want this to be an example of a guy who got to keep some hair after having his cut completely messed up.  If you get skunked, you don’t need to shave it all off!

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