Can You Use Clippers on Wet Hair? (The Wet Hair Dilemma)

When hair is wet and we need a cut, sometimes we just want to go for it, but Is it right? 

Can You Use Clippers on Wet Hair? Does it rust our clippers?

In this article, I’ll reveal all you need to know about cutting wet hair with clippers (and some useful tips)

So with that said, take a look at the table of contents and let’s get into it.

Can You Use Clippers on Wet Hair?

Avoid cutting wet hair with clippers. Cutting wet hair would be better suited with scissors. 

You can certainly cut your hair with clippers, but it’s highly recommended you don’t.

Compared to wet hair, when you dry hair, you can better determine the length and texture of hair. 

Also, cutting wet hair is more difficult because it’s thicker than dry hair and it also leaves more mess which can stay in your clippers and clog them up

While you should keep your hair dry before cutting. there are times when wet hair has its perks and I will cover this later on in this article. 

But what makes both types of hair so different when cutting hair? 

We go through that next. 

Wet or dry hair

cutting wet or dry hair…

It’s just hair, right? Well, not exactly. 

When your hair is wet, it has absorbed a lot of water and it’s stored within your hair. This does one of two things: 

  • It makes the hair bloated.
  • Makes hair smoother and silkier

Now, while this may make your hair great to look at after the shower or a salon wash, for clippers it’s the worst possible combination. 

When your hair is filled with water it becomes thicker. 

This means your clippers will come to have a harder time cutting through it. To add to this, the grip your hair has against your clipper blades decreases.

That makes it very hair for your clippers to actually ‘cut’ hair (especially the smaller finer hair).

In fact, some hairs just evade the blade as your whole. 

You will come to notice: 

 This is quite annoying and the more you go over the same hair, the more damage is to your hair and skin. 

Also, there are more major problems. 

Hair clipper on wet hair is a mess,  not just for you but for your clippers. 

Normally with dry hair, as you cut with clippers, it cuts cleanly and any loose hair drops to the flow or hangs around the blade edge and is easily brushed off. 

However, with wet hair, it doesn’t just leave your clippers, it sticks to both your stays there.

Oftentimes, it even slides into your clippers, and because water is on the hair, as it stays in your clipper, over a period of time, your clipper blades begin to rust.

Overall, wet hair with clippers isn’t the best combination especially if you’re looking to take care of your clippers.

Can Clippers Be Used On Wet Hair

The machine does not matter. 

Whether it’s trimmers or shaver clippers. 

The look you see when you cut your hair is wet compared to when it’s dry can be completely different. 

As I mentioned earlier, when your hair is wet it becomes bloated. 

So, when you run over your hair with your clippers, you may think it looks right, but as soon as your hair dries and balances out, the look you thought was right may be completely wrong.

Dry hair shrinks. so you may find that you have cut more hair than to would’ve hoped for. 

So, if you are very specific about your hair length or look, cut your hair dry.

This is especially the case if you’re looking to fade your hair. 

Detail matters with this type of cut and so put yourself in the best position and that’s with dry hair. 

While I do champion dry hair over wet hair, there are times when wet hair has its perks. 

I go through this next. 

What’s best for wet hair?

Does wet hair have any perks at all? 

Yes, it does and it’s best in a barber shop or a hairdresser. 

Clippers aren’t great with wet hair but they aren’t the only thing you can use to cut your hair. 

You can use scissors on wet hair. 

Wet hair is thick and has more base to it, while this isn’t best built for clippers, scissors make it a better match, especially for very long hair that is getting trimmed.

Using scissors on wet hair allows you to cut hair straight and easier than your would with dry hair. 

Opt for scissors when just looking to cut hair lower (it also helps if your scissors are blunt). 


If you’re looking to just trim your hair, or target certain hairs like spit ends, cut your hair dry. 

This is with clippers or scissors

When your hair it’s wet hard to spot the finer detail in your hair. It basically all clogged up together so if you cut wet hair you lose detail from observation. 

Always do final touch-ups with dry hair.

So while you may start off cutting large parts of hair with scissors, as you get to details, let the hair dry and do touch it up with scissors, clippers, or trimmers.

If you’re someone who prefers to trim in the shower, a water-resistant one would be ideal.

Below are our top picks for the best water-resistant trimmers.

Best waterproof trimmers

Philips Norelco Multigroomer Best Overall

Enjoy best-in-class styling with our most advanced trimmer, the Philips Norelco Multigroom 7000. An all-in-one trimmer for ultimate precision with DualCut blades that delivers maximum precision for head-to-toe styling. 
Best waterproof trimmer

Wahl Aqua Blade Trimmer Best on power

The Wahl Aqua blade stubble and beard trimmer is the only trimmer you need with its ability to trim, shave, edge, clip, and detail. 
Can You Use Clippers on Wet Hair? (The Wet Hair Dilemma)

Hatterker Trimmers Best Full Body water Resistance

Maximum precision, amazingly simple. The Beard Trimmer gives you exact length, precise contours, and an even trim.

You can read more in our article on the best waterproof trimmers.


In this article we asked the question, Can You Use Clippers on Wet Hair

Simply put, avoid cutting your hair with wet hair clippers. 

  • You loose detail 
  • It’s harder for your clipper to cut 
  • It leaves a large mess as he sticks to clippers 
  • The water left of blades on the blade can rust your clippers blades 

Keep hair dry just to cover all bases and it would be the best move. 

Can electric trimmers be used on wet hair?

No, it is not recommended to use an electric trimmer on wet hair. Electric trimmers are not designed to be used on wet hair, and using them can damage the trimmer or cause it to malfunction. It’s best to wait until the hair is dry before using an electric trimmer.

Is it better to cut hair wet or dry?

If you want to look after your clippers, cutting hair dry would be the better option but if you want more control as you cut with scissors, cutting your hair wet may be beneficial.

Patrick Boulang

Patrick Boulang

Patrick is the Primary editor for Clipphub. He has sales background however has always had a passion in barbering and personal self grooming. He now he spends most of his time giving information to hair clipper users to get them comfortable with personal grooming and improve their work on clients as he believes anyone can become skills with their blades.