3 Easy Ways to Cut Your Own Hair at Home Without Regretting It
No bad hair days here.
We all have a bad hair story. Maybe it’s accidentally giving yourself a set of baby bangs that were supposed to be Bardot-worthy fringe, or perhaps it's going too scissor-happy when picking off stray split ends and ending up with a lopsided bob. That’s why it’s always best to leave these things to the professionals, at least 99% of the time.
But if you’re too busy to make it to the salon this month or simply want to refresh your strands between appointments, a DIY haircut is technically an option. But, make no mistake, it’s a proceed-with-caution situation, and we’re here to help you avoid any split-decision, Chardonnay-fueled hair disasters. Follow along as we take you through how to trim your bangs, how to get rid of split ends, and how to cut your own hair.
Here are a few tips to get us started:
1. First, invest in a pair of professional hair scissors. Those blunt craft scissors aren’t going to cut it, sister. If you’ll be trimming your own hair a few times a year, just go ahead and buy a pair your stylist would approve of.
2. Second, decide whether or not to dampen your strands. Typically, you’ll want to dampen your hair before cutting to ensure precision. But for curly or textured hair, it’s a bit trickier. A dry cut is more difficult for amateur cutters, but helps you see how your curls are reacting to the cut. Plus, taking off an inch of curly hair when it is wet is not the same thing as when it is dry, trust us on that.
3. Lastly, have a few hair ties on hand and a hard-working brush.
How to trim your bangs
Because once that fringe gets into our vision, it’s over. Time to trim. There’s nothing dangerous about giving your bangs a refresh in between salon visits, but keep a few things in mind. (Hint: No water, please.)
“Always trim your bangs dry and styled as you wear them. If you like to round brush your bangs so they have a little lift, round brush them before you trim them. This will help to prevent them from getting too short,” Texas-based stylist Chris Jones told us.
As far as the actual cutting goes, Jones recommends to “point cut into the bang rather than cutting a straight line.” This will avoid a super blunt finish and give you more control as you trim the ends.
How to get rid of split ends
We can get on board with getting rid of split ends between salon visits. The sooner they’re gone, the less time they have to travel up the hair shaft, reeking havoc as they go. The trick here is to keep a level head. You’re going to want to go scissor-happy. Resist, resist! The goal is to remove just the individual split ends, not any length.
YouTuber—and hair guru—Kayley Melissa shows us a foolproof method of kicking those splits ends to the curb without accidentally cutting off too much hair. Check out her instructional video here. (At 3:45, she shows a hack for singling out mid-shaft split ends. Genius.)
How to cut your own hair
Ah, the coup de grace. Things can go very wrong here, so proceed with caution. If you’re looking to trim your hair, or even cut off a few inches of hair, there’s one method that streamlines the process enough for first-timers: The Ponytail Method.
1. To start, you’ll secure your hair into a high ponytail. (Remember, it should be dampened and brushed as straight and smoothly as you can.)
2. Take the ponytail and pull upwards on the hair tie until it’s only an inch or two away from the ends. If you have a lot of layering, you can secure extra elastics every few inches instead until you’ve reached that same point to keep things clean.
3. Now, cut just a half inch to an inch at the ends, straight across, and then point cut vertically to give texture and get rid of bluntness.
4. Take it down and assess your work.
Tip: If you start with a high ponytail, you’ll get a softer U-shape in the back. If you want to frame your face a little more, start with the ponytail as close to your hairline as possible. This will give a slightly more V-shaped look in the back. YouTuber Liz Liz calls this the “unicorn ponytail method,” and you can see her step-by-step video here.
WATCH: 6 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Cutting Your Hair Short
To all of our at-home haircutters: Go forth, and conquer. But also, schedule that salon appointment. You know, just in case.