Cipper Set Guide AttachmentsQ: What are the “right” and “left” ear taper guides for? How do you use them?
A: These guide attachments are designed for use with your clippers to help create evenly blended tapering in a short, clipper-cut haircut. Most clipper sets come with “left” and “right” taper guides in which the “short to long” teeth run in opposite directions.
This is so that the appropriate attachment can be placed on the clippers and the clippers can be placed against the side of the head and drawn along the side of the head over the ear, creating a tapered gradient in the hair.
Using the tapering guides effectively requires practice in order to learn how to work with differing hair textures. With fine textured or thin hair, it will likely be necessary to draw the clippers against the direction of hair growth.
This means that if the hair grows in a backward direction from the face along the sides, you may need to use whatever guard will allow you to maintain the “longer at the top, shorter at the bottom” taper while drawing the clippers from back to front against the direction of the hair growth.
The key to using clippers well really does amount to practice. Use your clippers carefully while you get a feel for how they perform with a given texture of hair. As you become more comfortable with them you will see that cutting the hair using the clippers and attachments becomes easier.
Clipper cutting techniques for men's and boys' standard haircuts
The numbers used for clipper length guards
How to cut hair with clippers
Are there any certain clippers, guards, or scissors to use when tapering a man's hair?