How to Cut Boys' Hair So They Don't Look like Dumb and Dumber

Updated on December 27, 2012
J.R. asks from Culver City, CA
18 answers

Augghhh! I hate getting my son's hair cut. Sometimes, he comes back from the barber looking great. But too often they just do this thing where they cut his hair straight across his forehead, and it makes him look like Jim Carrey from Dumb and Dumber or Moe from the Three Stooges if he doesn't have a bunch of product in it. His dad is supposed to guard against this before he pays, but I guess they kind of tricked him by gelling up our son's hair right away. He's 5, and I'm not messing with mousse or gel in his hair every day.

Anyway, I'm wondering if any of you mamas have any tricks about how I can fix this myself. I see hair stylists in the salons doing this thing where they kind of layer (is that the term on a boy??) the front so that it looks more raggedy/natural than a blunt cut straight across, but I'm not confident enough that I would do a good job on my son. Anyone have any online videos they could point me to? I have no idea what search terms I'd even use. Anything I type in regarding boys hair cuts usually give results that involve the clippers. My son has too much forehead to be able to pull off a buzz cut. I'm looking for how to finish off the front part of his hair (the "bangs," for lack of a better term) with scissors.

Thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?

Thanks, everyone!

I used Victoria W's method, and it worked great. We like going to barbers because they are way cheaper than a salon or even Super Cuts (Super Cuts charges about $17 for boys haircuts here). We normally only pay $7 plus tip for our son's haircuts. At that price every two months, it is definitely worth it to me to not have to do it myself. But it can be a crap shoot with the bangs especially, even if we use our "tried and true" barbers. (We stopped going to the gal who argued with my husband - "That's the way we cut boys' hair here.") The guy who cut his hair yesterday had done a great job the time before, but I guess yesterday he didn't feel like taking the time. I'm glad that I finally know how to fix it myself if I have to. Thanks again!

Featured Answers


answers from Jacksonville on

Someone who "does" hair once told me that to avoid that "straight across" look, to comb the hair out/up and use a pair of good hair scissors to cut vertically into the hair. Not across the hair... like you are pointing the sharp part of the scissors into the hair (parallel with the strands). Do that and just sort of make random small snips into the edges of the hair.

My daughter has very long mostly straight hair, no bangs, so I can cut her hair at home. But she has a wave across the back (and it runs on the diagonal about halfway down her back, lol). I was told to use that technique on the ends of her hair, after I get it as even as I can and the length I want.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I cut my boys hair until they were teenagers. I just watched the hairdressers cut other peoples' hair when even I was in the shop.
The method Victoria W discribed should help.
or you can comb the hair straight up, hold it between you fiinger and snip from the shortest part making it all the same length and repeat all over the head.

More Answers


answers from Houston on

I am a hairstylist. The method Victoria is describing is a form of texturizing called point/notch cutting to avoid those harsh, blunt lines. Basically, cutting v shapes into the hair. It is also the method I use, just don't go too close to the scalp. Cut as you pull the scissors away, not as you go in, to avoid cutting fingers. A good video here:

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yep! Learn the "names" for the cuts.

Ex) George Cluney usually does a "caesar" cut.

There are "little boy cuts" (dumb and dumber, D&D is also "bowl cut", but LBCs and Bowl Cuts are slightly different from each other), crew cuts, faux hawks, buzz cuts, fades, caesar cuts, business, ivy league, high and tight, surfer, shag, bowl, burr, layered, tapered nape/blocked nape....

Then ask specifically for that type of cut. It depends on the skill of the stylist/barber how well they'll do it (some are only capable of 1 or 2 types of cuts, no matter what you ask for, others always take too much off the ears, etc.), but you'll have MUCH better luck if you know from the beginning.

For bangs... if you specifically want them but NOT in a straight line... ask to "texture" them. Which creates the multiple points, and is done by using thinning shears. OR texture and layer. But the layer is usually accomplished but cutting the hair vertically (like in a caesar cut or faux hawk... my son's 2 favs, so I know them best), so when it lays down it's layers and THEN texturizing on top of the layering.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

They have to layer it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

you know many boys just go to hair salons now. I'd take him to whoever does your hair. Let them fix what they can. No more barber.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I just always told the barber/stylist to layer it, all around, nothing blunt, no mullet, and no buzz cut for my boy either!
I don't think my husband EVER took my son for a haircut, God knows what he would have come home with, lol!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have the same darn problem. I don't understand why they do that. They're supposed to be professionals. After our last haircut at the kids place by the best stylist there I realized I just have to be VERY specific each and every time we go and give directions for every little detail.


answers from Williamsport on

Not the bowl bangs! :-0! I used to hand chop my son's hair to avoid the blunt bang scenario. You just take all four of your fingers and rake the bangs straight up toward the ceiling, holding the hair firm in long rows between your fingers and "chop" (don't be precious or careful about it) it all down to the length of the very front hairs (which are now much shorter than the hair going backward as it sticks up to the ceiling). When you let it fall back down, the length of bangs will be the same, but the top layers will be chopped up so it wont' look so heavy and bowl like. This isn't a "clean, precision" effect, though, you need to go somewhere if you want it to look "neat". I used to chop all around my son's whole head like this, going very short in the back and a bit longer on top and front, and it just looked like a short, casual shag.

But now (and I recommend this for future) we keep him the heck out of "salons" and "chains" and found an awesome old school barber (he's 85 and has his own shop still, all the old townies hang out their, gossip, and get their buzz cuts). $6. All clippers. My son's hair ROCKS! I have him leave the front clipper layers long, and sheer it really short around sides and back. When it's laying down, he has longish, layered, messy bangs on his forehead, and if we mouse it, he looks like a Teddy Boy straight out of the 50's who just needs a cigarette pack rolled into his sleeve. Do the old school barber and clippers and have them leave the front as long as you say.



answers from Dallas on

I have taken my son to SuperCuts since he was 2 and they do a great job. They do the razor on the back from the neck up to about ear height, and then scissor cut the rest. It looks great every time. And you can't beat the price at under $10. I don't know if they have SuperCuts in your area, or another chain like it, but give it a try,



answers from Honolulu on

Okay, if that is how his hair is looking like... you are taking him to a BAD barber who doesn't know how to cut, kids' hair.

Or you take him instead of your Husband, since your Husband does not know he can tell the barber, how to cut his bangs.

My son's hair, has NEVER gotten cut like Mo or Curly. Even by me when I used to do it.
OMG, I would cringe if the Barber did that to his hair!
Even my Husband, will tell the barber... to layer it and not make it all 'blunt' looking like a "bowl" on his head.
So since my Husband does say that, HE takes my son to get his hair cut at the Barber. It always comes out nice... but, that is also because the woman that cuts his hair, doesn't do "bowl" cuts on boys.
Nor does she just buzz it, short with clippers. Which we don't want or like nor my son.

I say, go to another.... Barber or hair salon to cut your son's hair.
Our Barber, uses scissors.


answers from Orlando on

My son has had a Mohawk for the better part of his life. Right now it's kept short just because he doesn't want me to put gel in it before school.
Added I cut his hair myself, always have and will until he decided he wants a different hair style.


answers from Seattle on

As a mother of a 6 year old boy as well...
It really doesn't take that much time to gel the boy up. My son's hair is straight across in the front as well, but when we gel him he has a fo-hawk. It's super cute and takes all of 1 minute.
You can also gel it and just have it kind of stand up in the front. I don't really know how to describe it, but it just is kind of spikey. :)
At the barber your husband, or you, really need to pay attention to the person that is cutting his hair. Is it the same guy/gal? My son's barber shop has 7 different people that cut hair and I only let 2 of them cut my kids hair because I don't really like how the other people do it. So, if there's more than one person cutting, remember who he was. maybe even take a picture of your kids hair when you like it so that you can bring it the next time he goes to the barber and show them..."like this!"



answers from Raleigh on

I think what you are looking for is a "Caesar" haircut. This makes it high and tight in the sides and back, and longer on the top. A good stylist will know what this means, and you shouldn't have to explain further.



answers from New York on

I gave my girls very short boys haircuts. I do not care if my girls do not love their very short boys haircuts


answers from Kansas City on

i am pretty picky about my son's hair due to his gorgeous curls. i had his pictures done a couple times and his hair was "perfect" those times, so i pull those pictures out when i go. it's amazing how different stylists interpret what you say i have found a picture is safest. we go to supercuts and they do pretty good. sometimes it varies a little but not too bad. also helps if it's not too long in between cuts. saying you want just a trim can help...but i have still walked out with a completely different kid so that's not failsafe either. i recommend a picture. or if you don't have one of him, go online and find one. i carry a picture around of gwyneth paltrow in my phone just for this purpose (for my own hair). good luck! :)


answers from Wichita on

Follow the fade, a never fail in my books.



answers from Chicago on

on my 7 yr old son, i specifically tell them right a way not to make him look like jim carey in dumb & they just make it wispy instead of straight across....they will just take the scissors to it

if he ever comes home looking like that, i would just take him back & ask them to fix it

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