A set of an Oster men's hair clipper.

How the men’s hair clipper has evolved for dogs too

Hair clippers for men and hair clippers for dogs do actually serve the same purpose, to clip the hair of the male short or to clip the fur of the dog short. In fact, only when the men’s hair clipper as a product was finally good enough to clip thick men’s hair and rotary motors were developed, did then hair clippers for dogs evolve and be available to consumers, whether dog owners or veterinarians or dog stylists. However, in order to understand how generic hair clippers work, it is important to give you some basics of how the hair clipper has evolved and being used for men.

Hair clippers developed for the Civil War to buzz male soldiers’ hair

It was in the American Civil War that rudimentary men’s hair clippers were used and which consisted of manually operated (as opposed to motor operated) clippers. Men needed to have their hair trimmed fast so that their hair was short enough to not interrupt their fighting but long enough to allow for the hair to protect the soldier from the cold.

After the Civil War, the hair clipper was then used by town barbers and the barbershop business model evolved. However, hair clippers for men’s hair would continue to remain in their rudimentary form and no technological advances were made until the 1920s.

The hair clipper cuts men’s hair electrically and not manually anymore

It was in 1921 that American Matthew Andis, founder of the Andis hair clipper empire, worked on an electrical model for a hair clipper. Andis was a male barber and owned a barbershop, but realized that many times his barbershop would be flooded with men looking to get a haircut or hair clipper trims, and Andis wasn’t able to satisfy the demand for men’s haircuts with the rudimentary hair clipper of the time. So, Andis got a bank loan and developed the first men’s electrical clipper.

Andis’ first electric hair clipper models were of course rudimentary to today’s standards but the clippers were certainly sturdy and compact, albeit somewhat difficult to manipulate. Andis found that by having developed the electric hair clipper his barbershop business boomed as he could give in the order of 20 times more haircuts to men than his barbershop competitors! From there, it was later in the late 1920s that another male barber, John Oster, copied Matthew Andis’ electric hair clipper but also improved it, which then led to fierce competition between both barbers and their hair clipper companies all through to the 1940s and the Second World War, when, right after the war, other male hair clipper companies joined the market, producing cheaper clippers that were often times produced in other countries and then imported to the United States.

Black and white picture of barbershop haircut

The rise of men’s hairstyles and military haircuts among civilians

After the Second World War, conservative military haircuts such as regulation cuts and crew cuts became common among adults. According to the blog Manly Curls (www.manlycurls.com) and its author, men’s hair expert Rogelio Samson (also author of The Men’s Hair Book & The Curly Hair Book), the male youth of the 1950s and 1960s resorted to more advanced hairstyles such as pompadours and quiffs with undercuts, albeit these same men’s hairstyles required the same haircuts and precision trimming with hair clippers that the older American men who sported conservative male hairstyles did also require.

By the 1970s, the variety of men’s hairstyles that had evolved required several barbershops in just about every American town and, of course, this meant that Both the Andis hair clipper company and the Oster hair clipper company exploded with profits derived from the sale of hair clippers to barbershops in all corners of the United States.

The electric hair clipper becomes available for men in the 1980s

It was in the 1980s that hair clippers became smaller, more portable and cheaper, so they became available for men, particularly men who liked short haircuts and hairstyles such as black men who would do all kinds of fade haircuts.

A set of an Oster men's hair clipper.

The 1980s was also a decade of “big hair”, attributed to the popularity of rock among young men. Thus, hair clipper use among men (not just male barbers) didn’t really really take off until the following decade.

The hair clipper for men morphs into all sorts clipping forms

It was in the 1990s that hair clippers started to be used in animals at a large scale and by animal owners. Particularly to our case, the dog hair clipper market experienced a massive boom as the technology for clipping thick fur had advanced so much that it allowed for the prices of pet hair clippers to drop considerably.

At the same time, hair clippers for men dropped down in prices and became even lighter in weight and easier to use, which coupled with the decade’s emphasis on short and clean men’s haircuts led to the massive popularity of the hair clipper with men across all the social strata.

The hair clipper today

Throughout the 21st century, the hair clipper has spun off into all sort of niches, from dog grooming to trimmers for retouching the hair line of men to hair clippers for buzzing very long hair of women. More than ever, hair clippers of all kinds are powerful, light and can run on and on without overheating. Likewise, hair clippers are cheap and a good percentage of American men own a hair clipper whether for their own haircuts or the haircuts of their own pets.

A picture of a soldier getting a hair buzz.

Are dog hair clippers the same as men’s hair clippers? No, but they can be interchanged. While dog hair clippers are designed to clip the fur of all breeds (including the curly hair of certain dog breeds), these particular hair clippers are also too noisy for the average male or for getting a long haircut. On the other hand, men’s hair clippers are not as powerful as the former hair clippers but the latter are minimally noisy and so much easier to handle.