how to cut your own hair with scissors
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How to Cut Your Own Hair

To cut or not to cut― that is the ultimate question.

If you’re like me then you’ve experimented on your hair with a pair of scissors once or twice. This might sound like a nightmare for hairstylists, but we do have the right to cut our own hair. Plus, we’re living in an age where DIY is the norm. So why shouldn’t you cut your own hair?

Not only is this a cheap way to get out of salon appointment, but it’s a lifesaving skill when your go-to-stylist is booked during the holiday season.

So how did my experiments go?

It took me a few attempts to master the art of cutting my own hair, but I have finally got it. So if you’re interested in some personal hair maintenance then this is the post for you. I am going to teach you some tips and tricks to cut your hair.

How can you cut your own hair? Beginners can get a nice trim with the ponytail method. You need to tie your hair in a ponytail and then pull it upward. Then calculate the length you wish to chop off, take a deep breath and start snipping!

Is that all? Kind of!

To give you an insight into the DIY haircutting world, I’ve listed my personal tips to ensure that your first DIY haircut is flawless.

So here’s everything you need to know about cutting your own hair:

The Technique: How to Cut Your Own Hair?

As a first-timer, you should opt for the ponytail technique. It allows you to do a basic trim without loose strands coming in the way.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to do:

  1. Comb/brush your hair thoroughly to make sure that there aren’t any tangles.
  2. Part your hair from the middle. Then make a low ponytail that lies at the nape of your neck.
  3. Make sure that there aren’t any stray strands or bumps in your hair before tying another hair tie. (You should secure your loose strands with bobby pins if required)
  4. The second hair tie should be tied at the bottom of your ponytail. Place it above the section you wish to cut.
  5. Gently pull the ponytail above your head.
  6. Then start snipping off the excess hair (below the second ponytail).
  7. Make sure that the end of the ponytail is even and you don’t go above the second ponytail holder.
  8. Once done, you can remove both hair ties and then shake your hair.
  9. Examine your hair by parting your hair again and bringing to forward. Then measure the lengths of both sides.
  10. Fix the uneven bits by trimming the excess off.

Voila! You’ve successfully trimmed your hair!

How to Cut Short Hair?

What if your hair can’t be tied into a long ponytail? What if you want a shorter hairstyle? In that case, drop the pony and stick to combs and clips.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get a short haircut:

  1. Brush your hair thoroughly to avoid tangles and knots.
  2. Divide your hair into three sections.
  3. Leave the middle section as it is, and secure the other sections with alligator clips (this makes the cutting process manageable).
  4. Start cutting off the middles section horizontally (1/2 inch at a time) or ½ inch longer than you intend to keep it.
  5. Once done, trim this section by positioning the scissors upwards. The vertical cuts will help you remove uneven ends.
  6. Secure this section in a ponytail.
  7. Repeat this process for the other two sections, using the newly cut hair as your guide length. This is to ensure that the hair length doesn’t vary.

That’s it! Once you’re done you can comb your hair and admire the new look.

Pro tip: Remember to give your hair a once over to trim off uneven edges.

How to Trim Your Bangs?

If you wish to freshen up your bangs then a slight trim will work wonders.

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Use a spray to dampen your bangs.
  2. Take a fine-tooth comb to section off the bangs in three parts.
  3. Then lift off one section of your bangs, bringing it forward with the help of a comb.
  4. Trim the ends of that section in a vertical motion also known as point cutting.
  5. Use the first section that you trim as the guiding length and follow the same steps for the rest of the bangs.

Pro tip: Do this in front of a mirror for better results.

How to Cut Your Split Ends?

Split ends are a common hair problem with a simple solution. I have tried and tested various split-end-removing tactics, and the twist method is my favorite. You don’t have to dampen your hair for this technique, which makes it easier to do.

Here’s a rundown of the basic steps:

  • Detangle your hair and then separate approximately an inch of hair.
  • Pull that section forward and then twist it tightly from top to bottom.
  • You’ll start to notice some stray strands coming out of the twist.
  • Snip those split ends off with a small scissor.
  • Re-twist that section once you’re to remove the remaining split ends.
  • Repeat this process until you’ve dealt with all the split ends on your head.

I admit that this might take some time, but the effort will be totally worth it!

The Plan: What Tools Do I Need?

Word of advice, never ever cut your hair without the right tools. Skipping this guideline could lead to disastrous results.

Here’s what you need:

  • Professional Shears: Getting the right shears is super important. The scissors that we have at home will do the job, but they won’t give you a polished look. That’s why you need to invest in high-quality shears.
  • Cutting Comb: Unlike ordinary combs, these have a fine-tooth area and a wide-tooth area. This makes it convenient to use depending on the situation.
  • Clips: Get lots of clips, preferably alligator clips to hold your hair. The clips allow you to divide your hair into sections to make the haircutting session run smoothly. Otherwise, you’ll be spending half the time getting the hair off your face when you attempt to cut a specific section.
  • Spray Bottle: Have a spray bottle at arm’s length if you plan to do a wet haircut.
  • Apron/Cape: Wear an apron or cape if you don’t want your clothes to get messy. I also cover my floor with newspaper to make cleaning easier.

That’s kind of it. You can also get brushes, bobby pins and hair ties to make the situation more manageable.

Once you’ve gathered the tools, you’re all set to let the shear work their magic!

The Prep: How to Prep Your Hair Before Cutting It Yourself?

I usually wash my hair before I hit the salon. The same strategy applies when you’re cutting your hair at home because nobody wants to deal with clumpy and matted hair.

Am I right?

So if you plan to cut your hair while they’re wet, then shampoo and condition them before the cut. Next, wrap a towel around your head to dry it out a bit. Make sure to wring out any excess water. Then brush/comb your damp hair to untangle the strand. Once they are straightened out, you can start cutting them according to your needs.

What if you want a dry haircut? Then blow-dry your hair after you’ve washed it or take a shower a day prior.

Pro tip: Don’t use any products in your hair when you want to cut your hair. The chemicals and residue may cause unnecessary build-up. It’ll damage your hair and make it impossible to get a clear idea of how much has to be cut.

The Reasons: When Should You Attempt to Cut Your Own Hair?

Anytime you want. That’s the beauty of going the DIY-route; you can cut your hair whenever and wherever you want. A hairstylist won’t agree to this though and will start telling you horror stories to change your mind ASAP.

To be fair, some of these stories are true!

So when is it okay to cut your own hair? The obvious answer is when you have no other option like you’re on a tight budget or a long trip with no legitimate salons in sight. For that too, if you’re a first-timer then opt for basic trims that give your hairstyle a touch-up. Or if you’re in dire need a trim because of the unsightly split ends.

When should you avoid cutting your own hair?

Treated hair, colored hair, and damaged hair are off-limits. These types of hair need experts to handle them because they are often weak. You risk ruining your hair volume and damaging the hair further if you do something wrong.

Apart from this blunt bangs and some snazzy new style is best left to the experts. Even with tutorials, you could end up with a not-so-appealing look.

The Rules: Dos and Don’ts of Haircutting

Rule 1: Research And Choose The Right Technique

Wet or dry Cut?

Wet hair makes the strands stick together. So you find it the hair manageable as opposed to cutting them when they’re dry. The only problem is that wet hair can be deceiving, especially when you’ve got curly hair. You might not cut the right length because the natural pattern isn’t visible when your hair is wet.

This is why you must choose a technique that matches your hair type and the style you’re going for. A wet cut would work for a trim but dry hair will be better for a proper cut.

Rule 2: Take Your Time

The biggest mistake you can make is to chop off more hair than you intended too. One way to avoid this is by dividing your hair into small sections and then snipping a few inches at a time. Then once you’ve worked your way around, you can check the length and decide whether you want to trim more or not.

Rule 3: Get a Second Opinion

The internet of things may have the answer to many questions, but it can’t pass judgment on your hair. It’s why we’ve got stylists and girlfriends who always have our back. You can use their advice to know which hairstyle will suit you.

You can also ask them to assess the final look. Doing so will give you a sense of security, and they might even give you a few pointers on how to improve the hairstyle.

Rule 4: Don’t Experiment

Haircutting is a delicate business. One slip and you end up having a month-long bad hair day. That’s why it’s better to stick to basic trimming and bangs at first. You can try experimenting in the coming years when you become more confident.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Cut My Hair with Nail Scissors?

The verdict is still out on this one. Some people say that nail scissors and clippers are not the right tools for cutting hair. They might cause more split ends or give you a rough cut.

Despite this, many people will vouch for these miniature scissors. According to them, nail scissors are easier to control when compared to professional scissors. So if you want to use nail scissors then go for it, but do it cautiously to avoid any messy mistakes.

Should You Wash Your Hair After the Haircut?

Rule of the thumb, don’t overwash! So if you’ve washed your hair before the haircut then you don’t have to wash it immediately.

The best strategy is to let the new hairstyle set for a day or two before you wash it. You can always wear a shower cap if you want to take a bath right after the cut.

How Often Should You Cut Your Hair?

Twelve weeks is the longest amount of time that you should go without a haircut. This timeframe is suitable if you’re interested in growing your hair. The duration is shorter (6-8 weeks) if you want to maintain a hairstyle.

Remember, this doesn’t mean that you don’t trim the split ends between these intervals. Now that you know how to cut your hair, you can snip off the split end once every few weeks.

It’s a Wrap

On the whole, cutting your own hair isn’t that hard. There are certain rules and guidelines that you must follow, but it’s definitely an inexpensive hair solution. You need to get a hang of it first so try cutting simple hairstyles before doing something adventurous.
Best of luck!

So are you ready to cut your own hair? Share your DIY haircut results on my social media page!

About The Author

Carrie
My name is Carrie and I have always had a hard time finding a great blow dryer. My hair always ended up damp like a Florida swamp or crispy like the Arizona desert. This led me and a loyal group of friends to test every hair dryer that we could get our hands on. This site is the result of that journey. Let me know what you think!
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