Flowbee Like A Pro

I’ve always been intrigued by the Flowbee, the hair cutting vacuum attachment heavily promoted on late 80’s late night infomercials, but I was never quite sure how it worked. Now a new, edited for maximum comedic impact, version of the original instructional video has surfaced and all my questions have been answered.

The key to getting a great Flowbee cut, as the video explains, is to bounce the clippers all over your head. Using this technique, you’re able to cut your hair all the same length, or “experiment” “like the kids these days” and have it very short on the sides and longer on the top. No matter what method you use, you’ll always come out looking 100% like a beautiful, radiant, Laurie Anderson.

[via BoingBoing]


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  1. LightningUsagi says:

    My dad used one of these when I was younger. I remember it making the whole house smell like burning hair. After he’d use it, one of the kids would be the designated spotter to check for any missed bits (there were always clumps) and trim them down. We finally got him a nice set of clippers for Father’s Day so he’d stop using it.

    • mauispiderweb says:

      He uses the clippers on himself? I’d be terrified to do that, though I’ve cut other people’s hair with clippers and it worked out pretty well.

      • LightningUsagi says:

        He’s ex-military. He wasn’t looking for a stylish cut, so much as a short uniform one.

      • MJDickPhoto says:

        why not cut your own hair? I’ve been cutting my hair for years. it’s the price of 1 haircut, and as I get bad haircut about every second or third. only problem is the back of my head, and my mother helps with that as the wife can’t get the knack of this.

        you do the math.
        haircut-$15 each month= $180year about 4 to 6 mess ups.
        clippers-$13 until it breaks=$13year and 1 to 4 mess ups.

        • Krazycalvin says:

          Wow… people out there get their haircut every month? I get maybe 3 haircuts a year and don’t look too shaggy.

      • Such an Interesting Monster says:

        As long as the plastic guide is firmly attached you really can’t make a major mistake.

  2. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    I’m still waiting for a veggie attachment for my vacuum.

  3. Diabolos needs more socks says:

    It sucks, and it cuts!

  4. ChuckECheese says:

    There’s a Russian barbershop in Phoenix I go to that uses Flowbees. They do a great job. And some of the barbers use the Flowbee more than others. They all do their detail work with scissors and trimmers, rather than the Flowbee.

  5. agent 47 says:

    I haven’t paid for a haircut in a decade now, all thanks to a $15 pair of clippers.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I do the same thing. My wife cuts my hair with a set of clippers. We just do it outside for an easier cleanup.

      • agent 47 says:

        Hmmm…outside eh? We always do it inside and it’s a pain. I might have to try that. Thanks for the tip!

      • KyBash says:

        Added benefit: if it’s been a while since your last trim, and it’s the right time of year, you’re helping the birds — many of them love human hair for building their nests.

    • Taed says:

      I’ve got that beat. I’ve paid for only one haircut in my 45-year life. When I was young, my mom cut my hair. I then did it myself when I got older with scissors. About 15 years ago, I moved to using a trimmer on most of the hair and then scissors on key parts. About 10 years ago, my wife nagged me into have a “real” haircut once, but it turned out crappy that she said I was free to continue doing it myself without her nagging.

      My 10-year-old son is continuing the tradition. I cut his hair until he was 6 or so. He then didn’t want me to do it, so we went to the barber once and he hated that haircut. So, he decided to grow it long and he sometimes cuts the bangs and so on.

    • greyfots says:

      im 5 years strong on cutting my own hair

  6. deathbecomesme says:

    I always wondered if they still made Flowbees

  7. lonestarbl says:

    My father still uses his to this day… (I am not joking)

  8. julianazor says:

    I was raised with the flowbee, and my mom still swears by it – when I had short hair, it’s the only thing that I would use! saved me a TON of money and always had a perfect hair cut.

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    I like the commercial when that guy was using it. He tried to smile while he was using it but he looked like he was in an enormous amount of pain from the hair being brutally ripped from his scalp.

    • OMG_BECKY says:

      LOL that reminds me of Nads. Remember that stuff? They’d never show the person’s face when they were TEARING their hair out of their limbs…and that’s no accident. If they’d have shown their faces you’d have seen the tears running down!!! That stuff KILLED.

  10. AllanG54 says:

    But….can you use it for a ‘mullet’ cut?

  11. mbz32190 says:

    I bought a Flowbee a year ago and have yet to use it. I thought it would be easier than using clippers, but it looks like it doesn’t really get your hair that short…maybe I should go for a long 80’s hair cut

  12. danc4498 says:

    What, no Wayne’s World reference?
    Suck Cut Salesman: The Suck Cut, It sucks, while it cuts!
    Wayne: It certainly does suck!

  13. intooblv says:


  14. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This device ruined my childhood. It wasn’t bad enough that kids knew I got my hair cut BY A VACUUM CLEANER but my mom lopped off my waist-long hair, and basically gave me a buzz cut with this thing (I’m a girl.) I had to endure “What would HE like to drink?” at restaurants for over a year. It was excruciating.

    • Herah says:

      I’m not the only one??? My mom cut off my long hair in the 4th grade with the flowbee. Kept going shorter and shorter trying to “get it even”. When I started crying because it was SO SHORT, she took me to a hairstylist. Who further traumatized me by perming the awfulness of my hair that was left.

      I was referred to as young man for 2 years.

  15. brinks says:

    “I pretty much have that trendy haircut.”


  16. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    Haw haw! Them people with Flowbee haircuts look like they should go to a barber/stylist for some corrective work, Them’s pretty bad haircuts! On the other hand, when I was a kid, my parent used to send to to the Royal Barber School foir 15-cent haircuts and I suspect they weren’t any better than a Flowbee Special.

  17. nealbscott says:

    I bought my Flowbee 2 years ago and can’t tell you the money I’ve saved, and the ease with which you run this thing. Mind you I’d never use this thing on girls.

  18. jnfranne says:

    My husband (42) has been using a Flowbee for years. I may poke fun at him for it, but his hair always looks good, so I can’t complain. I also recently found out that the spouse one of my coworkers uses one too. She said the same thing, he looks good so I don’t have a problem with it. He figures that it has saved him thousands over the years and worries what he will do if it ever breaks.

  19. Rob says:

    I have personally used the flowbee for over 17+ years. I’m on my second one and have purchased another just in case my current one breaks (My current one has been running for over 13+ years). I could not imagine ever going back to a barber shop. Saves time, money and most of all its convenient and easy to setup and break down. Even with my girlfriend’s sister offering free haircuts, she runs a salon. I prefer the ease of the folwbee. Not to mention when I told her that I cut my hair with the flowbee, should commented on how good of a job it did.