Hair cuts and salon trips can be expensive, especially if you need frequent trims. With bravery and practice, you can learn to give yourself simple trims and hair cuts at home. Because I have incredibly long hair, I found that learning to trim my ends meant more money in my pocket. Cut at your own risk, however, because trying to give yourself a dramatic cut at home can end in disaster. But if you’re looking for quick cuts and trims, follow my beauty expert guide to cutting your hair at home.
Practicing is key in getting a good cut. I recommend buying a mannequin head and a cheap wig from a beauty store or thrift shop to practice on. At the very least, grab an old doll and use her hair as a guinea pig. When I first began cutting my own hair at home, I bought some clearance wigs and gave them simple trims and cuts to make sure I knew what I was doing before I got started. If you have a friend, and they’re brave, see if you can talk them into letting you give them a simple trim.
I like to lay down several newspapers on my bathroom floor before I begin cutting my hair. Make sure you also have a good pair of sharp, hair cutting scissors. You can pick up hair cutting scissors at most big box stores, beauty suppliers and even drug stores. Be sure to use these and not craft or kitchen scissors which can cut unevenly. Make sure they are sharp with every cut for best results. I also recommend cutting your hair after a shower so you can wear just a towel or junky clothes while you cut. Also give yourself enough time to do the cut, and don’t rush through it or you will make mistakes.
Getting Your Hair Ready
Wash your hair per usual, but use a hair masque or thick conditioner to help make it easy to brush through. Tangles can mean uneven cuts, or sections you miss entirely. I find combing your hair gently with a wide tooth comb after showering, and making several passes on each section, makes sure they hair is tangle free. Don’t dry your hair, as wet hair is much easier to cut. Next part your hair at your natural part, or where you typically part your hair, and clip with alligator clips in one to two inch sections all around your head.
Starting the Cut
Once your hair is combed and sectioned, you’re ready to cut. If you have layered hair, I don’t recommend cutting at home, because you won’t get your layers even most of the time, and salon experts know how to get the best look from layers. Measure on your hair where you would like to cut, I don’t recommend cuts more than two inches at home. Keep in mind your hair will shrink once it’s dry, so make sure your cuts are a little longer than what you want your end result to be.
Starting at the ends, cut straight across for blunt ends or cut vertically into the hair for a softer look. Most people want a soft look, so doing small inward cuts is the best route to go with. I also prefer soft looks because they can be textured and curled easily. Do this slowly and cut only a small bit at a time so you don’t cut too much hair off. Once you finish a section, run your hands over it and the next section you wish to cut. When the hand with shorter hair stops moving, you know where to stop your other hand to make the trim even. Keep comparing sections until you have finished your cut.
Once your hair is dry, you can trim sections that you may have gotten uneven. A friend or family member can also help you check for evenness and trim up a section, if you trust them. Once your hair is dry, style per usual and enjoy your new trim. Keep the freshly cut ends healthy from damage by using a good conditioner and always using a heat protecting spray when you use hot tools. You’ll find that with a little practice, you can skip a few of your normal hair appointments and still have healthy looking hair. I know it has saved me a lot of money and time out of my day by cutting my hair on my own.