Work. Kids. Pets. Laundry. Gym. Store. Dinner. Traffic.
Day in, day out, every week...it feels like you’re always on the move!
Until one day, you wake up...catch a glimpse in the mirror...and think:
“WOW...I REALLY NEED A HAIRCUT!”
“Your hair may not be quite this long...but that doesn’t mean you’re not due for a cut!”
The truth is, even if you wear your hair long, you still need an occasional date with the scissors.
A regular haircut is necessary to freshen your tips, and eliminate those unsightly split ends.
It’s also essential for smoothing and resculpting a style that may have grown out of its shape.
So, you grab your phone to book an appointment at your favorite salon.
But you remember:
Work. Kids. Pets. Laundry. Gym. Store. Dinner. Traffic!
How are you ever going to fit in even an hour at the salon for a haircut?
And then, a new and exciting thought hits you:
WHY DON’T YOU CUT IT YOURSELF?
After all, cutting your own hair at home would certainly save you time...not to mention money.
Plus, you’ve watched stylists cut your hair for years. And they make it look so easy!
But that’s the thing:
Pro stylists have so much training and expertise...they make any styling technique look simple.
And their effortless skill hides the fact that...just like with many “simple” beauty procedures… there’s a right and a wrong way to cut your hair!
So, if you’re looking to try the time-saving practice of home haircutting, heed the advice of these salon pros, who we asked:
“What are some do’s and don’ts for giving yourself a haircut?”
Their tips will save you from still having to call the salon...to schedule a hair rescue!
DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL
Got a job interview coming up? An exciting first date? A fancy formal evening out?
If so...it is not the time you want to be cutting your own hair.
That’s a tip from Donna Williams, a stylist at the Tomahawk Salon in Brooklyn, NY.
She says cutting your own hair should be for one purpose: maintenance of an existing style.
“With the right technique, you can refresh your own favorite hairstyle right at home!”
“Don’t try to re-do a haircut,” Williams advises...and it’s also not the moment to begin experimenting with anything “really specialized.”
For example, Williams says, “You don’t ever want to take on layers yourself.” She also believes you should not use a home haircut to try out a blunt style like a pageboy.
But, if your main goal is to freshen frazzled tresses, or give your go-to style a quick polish, home haircutting is a fine way to achieve those styling goals.
Still, Michael Angelo, founder of the Wonderland Beauty Parlor in New York’s West Village, says it’s important to stay realistic about what a home haircut can do for your style.
“People can cut their own hair,” Angelo says, “as long as the end goal isn’t a perfect, crisp, polished look.”1
In short, feel free to keep those scissors handy when you need a quick styling touch-up.
But when your hair needs a serious length-and-shape overhaul...it’s time to call a pro stylist!
THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Just like with any styling practice, you’ll get the best results from a home haircut with tools that are up to the task.
Translation: Just grabbing any pair of scissors at the big box store won’t cut it...literally!
“Typical household scissors aren’t sharp enough” to precisely cut hair, says Nicole Hitchcock, owner of the NH2 Salon in Novato, CA.
In fact, Hitchcock says, the rounder edges of regular scissors “will create split ends.”2
So, if you’re after a truly attractive home cut, it’s well worth investing in a pair of pro-quality shears, which you can find any place fine hair care products are sold.
Actually, since most of your home haircutting will involve a light trim, or evening out bangs, you might want to consider a blade that’s designed for close, precision cutting.
“Cutting your bangs can be a breeze...as long as you’ve got scissors that can get the job done!”
“Eyelash or nail scissors are great,” says Matt Fugate of New York’s Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon.
That’s because, according to Fugate, “The smaller the scissor, the less chance of a mistake.”3
In addition to the right scissors, Andrea Claire, an international stylist whose resume includes the hit reality show Canadian Idol, recommends making sure you also have4:
- QUALITY COMBS: Fine teeth work better for the close-edged work you’ll be doing
- HAIR CLIPS: “This is for sectioning...so you’re not constantly batting hair around.”
- ...AND A SPRAY BOTTLE: This is just for water to dampen your locks while you cut…“Any spray bottle will do”5
IT’S NOT JUST “SNIP, SNIP, DONE”
Now that you’re ready to start your home cut, it’s important to remind yourself:
Pro stylists only MAKE this look easy!
In fact, there are a number of subtle yet powerful methods you can use for a sublime home trim.
For example, AnnaRose, a styling consultant for the blog A Beautiful Mess, is not a fan of what might seem like the obvious way to trim your bangs.
“Always cut into your bangs vertically, never horizontally,” says AnnaRose.
She warns that horizontal cutting “is the fastest way to end up with super short, crooked bangs.”
Instead, AnnaRose suggests, “You want to take little bites with the scissors and work your way across.”6
Or, if it’s split ends you’re looking to lose, Gareth Williams, an artistic ambassador for the Headmasters salon chain, has a hack that doesn’t involve hacking!
“There’s a quick way to trim split ends, and you can easily do it yourself...a knockout time saver!”
“Simply take a two-centimeter section of hair,” says Williams, “and twist the hair really tight.”
If you’ve got it tight enough, Williams says, “You will start to see little pieces of hair stick out.”
Those stray strands are your split ends, and you can trim those flyaways for a neat-and-clean look.7
Finally, Amy Batlowski, the owner of Studio A salon in Newport Beach, CA, has a critical tip for avoiding home hair disaster.
No matter how easy cutting your own hair feels, says Batlowski, “Do. Not. Get. Cocky. STAY NERVOUS.”
This will ensure that you keep your perspective regarding your haircutting skills…
...and ensure any trims you do will make your hair look fresh, sleek, and revitalized!8
MAKE IT WORTH THE RISK
Your home haircut is only going to be a time and money-saver if you do it right!
That’s why we hope our pro stylist suggestions put you on track to standout home style.
And that will leave all the time you save for the things that really matter.
Things like work. Kids. Pets…you know the rest!
- McClear, Sheila. “If You're Tempted to Cut Your Own Hair, Be Sure to Follow Our Experts' Tips - NY Daily News.” Nydailynews.com, New York Daily News, 13 July 2014, www.nydailynews.com/life-style/fashion/expert-tips-cutting-hair-article-1.1860778.
- Hochwald, Lambeth. “4 Things You Need To Know Before You Cut Your Own Hair.” Prevention, Prevention, 25 May 2018, www.prevention.com/beauty/a20508314/4-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-cut-your-own-hair/.
- Jacques, Renee. “The Right Way to Trim Your Own Bangs (When You Absolutely Can't Get a Salon Appointment).” Allure, Allure Magazine, 25 May 2017, www.allure.com/story/cut-your-own-bangs.
- “Hairstylist and Makeup Artist.” Andrea Claire, aclairebeauty.com/.
- Grant, Vanessa. “How to Cut Your Own Hair without Screwing It Up.” The Loop, 15 Mar. 2015, www.theloop.ca/how-to-cut-your-own-hair-without-screwing-it-up/.
- “Tips for Cutting Your Own Bangs (at Home!).” A Beautiful Mess, 23 Mar. 2017, abeautifulmess.com/2014/08/tips-for-cutting-your-own-bangs-at-home.html.
- Cox, Rebecca. “The Only 2 Haircuts You Can Do at Home.” Byrdie, Byrdie, 29 Mar. 2017, www.byrdie.com/how-to-cut-your-own-hair.
- Nahman, Haley. “A Hairdresser's Guide to Cutting Your Own Hair.” Man Repeller, Man Repeller, 8 Aug. 2016, www.manrepeller.com/2016/08/how-to-cut-your-own-hair.html.