Sounds like a simple enough task right? Surely all you need are a pair of scissors and a spirit level, right? Your Mom used to regularly cut your hair as a kid, so surely it can’t be that difficult? Maybe you now have kids of your own and have decided to take a leaf out of your Mom’s book, or maybe money is just a little too tight to mention right now, and you just can’t justify another $50.00 on a trim?
Perhaps you’re even a little nervous of going back to the hairdressers after “I’ll just trim the ends and take about an inch off,” in fact, turned into a bob rather than a lob? Anyway, what we are getting at is, what if you decide you want to take matters into your own not so expert hands? Let’s take a look today at how to cut your own hair to ensure a successful outcome!
Getting yourself prepared
First up you are going to need the right professional tools to do the job. Your kitchen scissors and the gardening shears are absolutely NOT the way to go. Just head into your local drugstore or check out an online beauty supply store and order yourself a pair of small scissors with a short blade that you can easily manage. We recommend no longer than 3 inches.
Have you already decided what style you want?
Don’t get too adventurous if this is the first time that you’re experimenting with cutting your own hair. You may well love the look of that multi-layered feathery bob, but one wrong snip and you could be left regretting the decision to cut your own hair. Do your research, browse through hairstyle magazines, create a Pinterest board or follow some relevant Instagram hashtags, and decide what style you are going to recreate. Make sure it’s something that will suit your face, and it’s not too radical. If you really do want a dramatic makeover that might be best left in the hands of a professional until you have perfected your scissor skills.
Are you going for a wet or a dry cut?
It’s an important question and will have an impact on the final outcome of your cut. As you all know, wet hair is longer and is so much easier to control. Once your hair dries, you have all kinds of issues to deal with that are unique to you – like curls, cowlicks and other kinks and quirks.
Remember also that your hair will bounce back and shrink when it dries. In most instances, it could appear shorter by up to a staggering 4 inches. So that little snip you thought you were going for, might end up being a lot shorter than you had envisaged. Just think about it for a minute. How often have you had your hair cut dry at a professional salon? Chances are you will have enjoyed a shampoo and condition and maybe even a hydrating treatment and a relaxing head and scalp massage before you even sit in the stylist’s chair.
While we are talking shampoo and condition
Prep your own hair at home first the same way you would if you were heading into a Salon. Towel dry to remove any excess water and comb through your conditioned hair so that it is ready to cut and style.
What methods do we recommend to cut your own hair?
Here’s where it can get more complicated, and there are lots of different methods you can choose to adopt, so it really is down to the one you feel the most confident with really. We’ll run through a few of the more popular ones here that are easier to execute if you are going it alone with those hair scissors for the first time.
The Low Ponytail Technique
Great if you want to achieve a straight hairstyle that has a slightly rounded, soft finish rather than something too blunt or defined. Start with damp hair, either freshly washed and towel dried or spritz thoroughly with clean water if you’ve just recently washed your hair. Next, you will need to part your hair down the middle and comb through straight, preferably with one of those fine-toothed combs so that you get an even finish.
Scrape back your hair and put it into a very low ponytail at the nape of your neck, securing it with a thin band. Be sure to check that you have placed the ponytail evenly before you commit to cutting. Grab yourself a second hair band and roughly place that above the line where you are going to be cutting your hair. That will be determined by how significant a chop you are going for.
You are now going to gently pull the ponytail you’ve created upwards and away from your neck and simply snip off the excess hair below the marker you made for yourself with the lower band. Don’t be tempted to lop the whole thing off at once. Easy does it, so gently snip away to achieve the overall best result. Pretty simple right? All you need to do now is remove your hair bands, dry off your hair and admire your handiwork. If it’s not quite the length and execution you were hoping for, you can repeat the whole process again until you have the desired cut you were looking to achieve.
Trying out the popular Twisting Method
This is another one that should be relatively easy to execute while achieving a good result for a novice at cutting their own hair. As before, ensure your hair is prepared first. Only this time you are going to secure it on the very top of your head by twisting it tightly
A word of caution. Using this method, you will remove more length from your hair, and this style of cutting is better suited to something like an inverted bob which is a really sophisticated and classic look. It’s not great for hair that is too fine either due to the amount of weight that will be removed, so be sure you have a good, thick head of hair before attempting the twisting method or you may very well live to regret it.
Holding your hair out firmly above your head, grab those scissors and start to cut. You should achieve a nice layered, graduated effect. Reverse the twisting action and cut again so that both sides have been done. Comb through and assess the overall finish and if you do have any annoying little straggly bits that you missed, just give them a gentle tidy up with a little extra delicate snip here and there.
Let’s look next at how you can achieve a shorter pixie style cut at home
If you already have shorter hair, or if you are keen on trying out a longer style pixie fringe, then this is an excellent method to adopt. You are going to want to first section off a section of the front of your hair to create those bangs. You can go for a wispier effect or something a lot blunter, depending upon the overall pixie look you are hoping to achieve. It’s a cute and flattering style that really does suit so many different face shapes and ladies, it saves on the cost of Botox, too, as bangs really do make you look instantly that bit more youthful. Bonus!
Once you’re happy with the front section of your bangs, comb through the rest of your hair and twist it lightly over the top of your head as we explained in the previous method. Using your own fingers as a guideline, crop and cut above that marker then comb out to assess the overall result. You can then clean up this look by taking the front section and slicing into it with precise vertical cuts up and down to create more or less of an overall wispy effect.
Just continue to take parallel sections and repeat this process using the last section you cut as your guide. When you are done, just delicately refine and trim any edges you missed to create a balanced finish.
Utilizing the high ponytail method to cut your own hair
If you already have long hair and you are looking to achieve a densely layered look, then this is an excellent method that you can try out at home. You’re definitely going to want to ensure that your hair is wet before you try doing this method but there’s no need to clean your hair if you’ve recently just washed it.
Bend over with your head pointed downwards as though you were going to touch your toes! Actually, while you are in this position why don’t you test out your flexibility just for a bit of fun! See if you can still touch your toes after all these years. Next, you are going to need to grab your hair and comb it into a high ponytail on the very top of your head. It’s essential that you get this stage perfectly correct, so go ahead and grab a mirror just to double check that you don’t have a wonky ponytail. Perish at the thought, right!
As we taught you in the nape of the neck method, grab a second hair band and put that securely in your hair directly above where you intend to make the cut. Now all you need to do next is merely cut your hair just above the second band, holding on firmly to the bottom of your hair to keep it taut and straight. As previously, suppress the burning desire to savagely chop off your ponytail at this point ladies!
Gently and delicately does it, please. Small snips are all that is required to achieve an even and satisfactory result. Release your hair, shake it, dry it, style it and then just double check that you have the result you are looking for. Any stray stragglers can be trimmed at this point, although this is a pretty fail-safe method so hopefully you really shouldn’t have too many.
Let’s take a look at one final method you can use at home to cut your own hair
We call this one the pigtail method so again, your hair will need to be of a long enough length to be separated into two separate bunches. In this particular method, it’s actually easier to start out with clean, dry, straight hair. Again, sorry for the thinner haired among you, but this really is a better method for cutting thick hair, especially if you are looking to remove some of that excess volume.
Firstly, part your hair directly down the middle using a fine-toothed comb and take care to ensure that both sides are even. Tie your hair into two low pigtails on either side, below your ears and close to your neckline. Tighten the hair and secure the pigtails in place with an elastic band, then carefully pull the band down to the level where you want to make the cut. Once you have reached that optimum level stop and snip!
Remember that conversely, if you try and cut a dead straight line, it will actually deliver a choppy effect because your hair is inside bunches, so we recommend that you actually cut on a 45-degree angle in an upwards and inwards motion. Be as daring as you want with the length. This is a pretty accurate and fail-safe way of going for a pretty long chop, so it really is down to you. You should end up with quite a nice V shape using this method. All you need to do next is perfect and polish that look by snipping away any stray, straggly ends.
So there you have it: tried, tested, and straightforward ways to cut your own hair.
All you need to do now is purchase those scissors, grab some inspiration for a new style from your favorite magazines or the internet, and set a quiet evening aside for yourself so you can play at being a hairdresser!