Barber Tool Tips – The Andis MVP

In this ongoing series of blogs we will be reviewing and educating the consumer on all different types of  barber tools based on our three generations of experience and hundreds of thousands of haircuts provided.  We will be covering what we feel are the best tools and why, what they are best suited for, and how to take care of them properly.

Barber Tool Tips – The Andis MVP
The Andis MVP Clipper

In our personal opinion when it comes to rotary motor clippers the Andis MVP is the leader in the market hands down. Before we explain why we would like to give you a quick review on what a rotary motor driven clipper actually means. Rotary motors have the most power and can cut through we or dry hair. They produce and equal amount of power and blade speed providing for a smooth cut.

What we like best about the MVP:  Of all of the detachable blade rotary motor driven clippers the MVP is the lightest and most quiet without sacrificing power. This allows for a smooth transition for hairstyles with short sides and longer tops. The clipper keeps cutting as you slowly arc the blade away from the head which will leave less if any line of demarcation to be further blended out.

How To Maintain Your MVP:  There is not a lot of maintenance required. We suggest using clipper spray and oil in between each haircut to extend the life of your blades and put less strain on the motor. If you have any issues you can send your clipper to an Andis authorized service station for repairs. As with any tool we always suggest having a backup in case anything should happen during the work day so you do not lose time and money.

James Bond Haircut

For anyone who has young children you know what a big deal it is to go on a dinner and movie date with your spouse. This past weekend my wife and I went to see the new James Bond movie Skyfall strarring Daniel Craig. As usual I can never turn off my mind from thinking about barbering and haircuts. As soon as the movie started I noticed the new James Bond Haircut. It is a classic Princeton haircut which is a throwback to the 1950’s. I have my mother’s highschool yearbook from that time period and all of the guys have this haircut or a flattop. Check out the tips below for giving this exact haircut. 

James Bond Haircut Guide:

1. Taper up the sides and back with the 1/2″ attachment on your clipper. Clipper just past the round of the head.

2. Taper up the sides and back with the 3/8″ attachment. Taper away from the head just below the round of the head.

3. Taper a 1 finger width area around the perimeter of the haircut with the 1/8″ attachment.

4.Repeat step 3 with the adjustable clipper with the blade in the open position. Use a scooping motion to leave a natural hairline

5. Line of the sideburns and clean around the ear and the back of the neck with a trimmer.

6. Blend the tapered sides into the top of the haircut. Use the clipper over comb technique with your comb slightly angled away from the front fo the head to leave the bangs longer. This is a contoured shape haircut so follow the shape of the head while cutting the top.

7. Finish with a light, dry paste or wax. This will give the hair a light hold while leaving a natural finish.



How To Cut Men’s Hair – Clipper Over Comb

When learning how to cut men’s hair, clipper over comb is one of the most basic and fundamental techniques necessary for consistently blended men’s haircuts. The clipper over comb technique is excellent for removing large amounts of thick hair. You will also be able to achieve a different finish on the hair depending on what size blade and/or clipper you use. It is also easier on your hands on days when you will be doing 15 or more haircuts. The length of hair and area of the head you are working on will determine which clipper and comb to use.

How To Cut Men’s Hair – Clipper Over Comb Guide:

  1. A large clipper comb or flat top comb should be used for the top and the sides and back sections. It is excellent for controlling large amounts of thick hair. It moves through the hair with ease because the teeth are wide and these clipper combs are thicker and heavier than most others. This comb should  be used in combination with a large detachable blade clipper. The most powerful of clippers is needed for removing large amounts of thick hair.
  2. A smaller clipper comb can also be used for  in the top area when blending in a short haircut where the crown is cut off such as a princeton or a flat top. This comb is excellent for blending because the teeth are closer together and it is thinner which allows for picking up the hair closer to the scalp. This comb can be used with the detachable blade clipper for blending fades to the top section and for fine hair worn in a short to medium length. It can also be used with the adjustable clipper in the semi-finish area.
  3. A finishing comb shoud only be used for the semi-finish and  finish areas of a man’s haircut. This comb is excellent for the finishing steps because the comb itself is flat without any grooves which allows for the clipper to move across very smoothly. It is also flexible unlike the larger combs which allows for it to bend easier around the ears. This comb can be used with the adjustable clipper for the semi-finish area.
  4. A trimmer should never be used with the clipper over comb techniques. It is not powerful enough and will shorten the life of your clipper. Also, the blade has a very close cut which will result in clipper marks. The object of clipper cutting is to leave a soft blended finish on a man’s haircut.

For multiple video demonstrations on clipper over comb haircuts visit and select any of the men’s haiructting videos.

How To Cut A Low Fade – Low Taper

This haircut is one of the most difficult and popular hairstyles you will come across. Learning how to cut a low fade or low taper requires the ability to blend from a skin length to a professional length on the top without a leaving a line of demarcation. The fade or taper must be kept low so there is enough weight left in the corners for the hair to be combed into place. The client that generally gets this haircut is a young professional that is extremely meticulous. If one hair is out of place they will notice it.

Step by step instructions to for cutting a low fade- low taper:

1.        Start on the top area and using the scissor over comb technique. Pull the bangs up at a 90 degree angle and work your way back to the crown. Move the comb slowly so you can always see your previous guide in the comb.

2.        Take 1-2 sections to the right and left of the center guide. Keep using the scissor over comb technique and be sure to keep the comb parallel to floor to insure a square shape (leaving weight in the corners).

3.        Cut the round of the head section. For this step you can either start in the back or either side depending on if you are right or left handed. Use a scissor and comb technique holding the comb parallel to the sides and back area of the head and blend to the top area guide.

4.        For the sides and back section use the 3 ½ (3/8”) blade on the detachable blade clipper and the blade on skin technique. You will start to bevel the blade out slightly just below the temple area.

5.        Repeat step 4 with the 2 (1/4”) blade and then the 1 ½ (1/8”) blade. Make sure each time you drop down a blade size you start beveling the clipper about 1/2 inch below your previous guide (where you left off with your previous blade).

6.        Use the clipper over comb technique with the detachable blade clipper and the 1 ½ blade to finish the blend into the round of the head section.

7.        Cut the semi-finish area. Use the adjustable clipper with a 1/16” attachment. Set the lever to an open position to allow for a longer length. Next close the clipper blade for the next shortest length and repeat.

8.        Use the adjustable clipper without an attachment and repeat the previous step 3 times. First with the lever all the way open, next with the lever closed half way, and last with the lever closed all the way.

9.        Move on to the finish with the trimmer using the blade on skin technique. Stretch the skin around the finish area using a scooping motion to complete the fade.

10.      If further blending is needed in the fade area, use the scissor over comb technique with the finishing comb and the 40-44 thinning shears.

11.      Optional: The final step of the finishing area is the straight razor shave on sideburns, around the ears, and back of the neck. Apply shaving cream on the areas to be shaved. When finished with the shave wipe off excess shaving cream with a clean towel and apply aftershave.

Step by step video instructions are available with a premium membership at

How To Cut Men’s Hair With Clippers

One of the most important things to consider when you are learning how to cut men’s hair with clippers is how high or how low you are going to cut the fade. There are a lot of things to consider as you think about this question. Some of them include cowlicks, hair thickness, hair color, head shape, surface of the scalp (lumps, bumps, and/or dents), moles, scars, customer’s age, customer’s job, desired hairstyle, and the customer’s preference.

A very important note to keep in mind is that no matter how good you are at cutting men’s hair with clippers, if the fade is too high or too low your customer will not think it is a good haircut. If the haircut is 100% technically correct but it is not exactly what the customer wants they won’t be happy. This is especially true with the fade haircut customer. It doesn’t matter if they are a young kid or older suit and tie professional. These are the most particular and hardest customers to please.

The topic of this blog is how to deal with scars when cutting men’s hair with clippers. When you are asking the customer how high they like their fade make sure to ask them if they have any scars. If you are uncomfortable asking the customer that question, just spend an extra few seconds combing through the hair in an upward motion so when the hair is lifted up you will see if they have any scars. You will most likely find scars in 2 areas. In the temple region and/or on the occipital area which is just above the nape of the neck. If the scars are any lower than that there is not a lot that can be done. They are most likely going to show no matter what. Just make sure the customer is aware of that before you cut their fade.

If you find scars in the higher areas leave the hair thicker or darker in those areas and fade the hair low. When  cutting the fade start arching the blade or floating the blade away from the scalp about ½ inch below the scars so you have room to fade the hair just below the them. If you go any higher you will run into the scars and they will show.