I have electric hair clippers that are pretty much like this:

enter image description here

It seems to cut the hair of everyone else, but when I try it, I notice it tears and rips each hair follicle/strand out one by one and hurts very bad; it also won't glide/smooth across my hair/beard without getting caught up and causes mostly just pain. I was wondering what explanations could circumvent this or help me. I wish my hair regularly and all of that, but my hair is typically grown out.

Even right after washing my hair, the machine gets stuck/rips hairs out and hurts. My hair is not greasy or anything after I clean it/wash it and I've tried many different shampoos/herbal products/conditioners.

I don't want to use a razor/sharp blade on my head because I'm not trying to shave my head hairless.

Any "life hacks" for this solution? I'm sure there are better places to ask this, but at least give me some advice since it's not 100% off-topic and I expended 5 minutes of effort to write all of this.

  • 2
    Maybe you have a defective model. Did you try other machines of the same kind? Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 21:41
  • 2
    This typically happens when hairs get stuck in the blades. If it happens from the start, either your hairs are too long and would require a first cut with scissors. It's also worth mentioning it works better with dry hairs than wet ones.
    – Laurent S.
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 12:24
  • 1
    How does your barber cut your hair? Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 23:02
  • How you hold the clippers also plays a major part in its performance (the way you run it through your hair)
    – Just Do It
    Commented Jan 11, 2016 at 17:49
  • Pull the lever back on the clippers so it doesn't grab as much hair per stroke. Start with a larger guard and work down. Make sure to wash your hair first and cut it damp. Commented Sep 30, 2019 at 0:03

6 Answers 6


You could try burning your hair instead of cutting. It's a real thing; not trying to be funny.

  • 2
    Finally an answer that addresses the question which specifically asks for a solution other than clippers.
    – jqning
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 13:06
  • Even though interesting, this does not answer the OP question on cutting the hair (at least not a length usually associated with a hair trimmer).
    – holroy
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 7:34
  • @holroy There was no mention of length
    – James
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 16:56
  • This needs better references to back up the fact that burning your hair is safe and healthier than cutting your hair. I've never found Daily Mail to be a reliable source. Could you please find another source that shows that burning your hair is safe and healthy for your hair?
    – michaelpri
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 20:35
  • I wonder if it would be possible to use a red hot nichrome wire for that. Electrically heated, like in pyrography burners: put a straight piece of wire on top of the clippers blade (or a heat resistant hair-comb), connect power (maybe even from an actual burner), wait till it's glowing red, then move the clippers through your hair like you normally would, but without turning on the blades. Would stink with burning hair like in a slaughterhouse, but may solve the length problem.
    – Headcrab
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 5:52

Make sure you've oiled the blades with clipper oil and that you've adjusted the cut height correctly (usually a little arm on the side or a screw to do this). I personally find that my clippers work better before I've washed my hair.

It may be that you need the blades sharpened. There are service centres which will offer this service.


Not sure if the OP found a solution, but it USUALLY has NOTHING to do with the hair. All the advices of changing clippers, adjusting blades, and lubricating the blades are well meant I'm sure, but are obviously from folks who never had this problem.

I cut my own hair and the hair of my two sons on a regular basis. One son keeps getting his hair caught while my other son and myself are completely fine.

I have tried changing clippers on multiple occasions. It doesn't solve the problem. Tried lubricating the blade before/during, but that doesn't solve the problem. I tried adjusting the blade, but that doesn't help either.

The real issue is the type of hair and the angle at which it grows. My son (the one who is ok) and I both have slightly wavy hair and I am able to use the clipper in any direction with any guard w/o any problems. My other son (who always gets his hair caught and pulled) has very straight and stiff type hair.

The solution is to change the angle of the clipper. Rather than going upward like you see most people do, go sideways or even downward. I usually do sideways and diagonally upward/downward to help blend in and make sure no stray hair is left uncut.

This raises a secondary issue that the hair cut then is left a bit longer than the actual guard size because you're going more with the grain of the hair growth. So to counter this, I just use one size shorter guard and comes out pretty much the same as my other son.

And no more tears or drama sessions in the bathroom. :)

Hope this helps.


From cutting my son's hair, I have found that it really depends on the clipper. I don't think there is anything wrong with your hair, but if the blades are not sharp and well-oiled, it might be ineffective or even hurt a little.

If you cut your own hair, it might be a good idea to invest in proper clippers and to do some maintenance on your clippers.


If your hair clipper works on rechargeable battery then you may like to try changing the battery to a slightly higher voltage like from 1.2V to 1.5V.It is effective and whenever I had tried with the one I have,I found it to work as per my expectations.The only problem I can find is its compatibility with the circuit.Even after that you can make it compatible keeping in view the type if clipper you have got.

  • The other thing I can advice for the hair clipper that works on A.C as source is that you can with the help and advice of and electrician change a transformer or something like that depending on your clipper to get a little high voltage.
    – Sikander
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 11:10

Use the plastic combs that usually come with an electric clipper to help you gauge the length. They come numbered from 1 (shortest) to 4 (longest).

When you first experiment, a #4 comb will probably be a good choice so that you can then select shorter as you continue to find your own "best."

Start by combing your hair in your desired style. Then, I found that going in the direction (grain) your hair grows to be a good way to avoid snags, kinks, and errors.

Good Luck.

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