There’s probably not a person on this earth who hasn’t at some point had a bad haircut. When you moved to a new city and found out the hard way the new stylist you’d selected wasn’t as good as your old one. Or even when you took it upon yourself to cut your own hair to save a few bucks on a trip to the salon.
Ah, yes. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? A quick touch-up to your bangs rendered them ridiculous or perhaps you got a little overzealous with the scissors when trying to get rid of the split ends. For all those horror stories and more, you may have avoided cutting your hair and just leaving it up to a trusted stylist, one that you found through oodles of recommendations. One who just so happens to be too booked up to squeeze you in.
Maybe it’s you that’s too busy to go in for a trim though. Or even try out a new cut. Though the former is a much easier and less risky fix going it alone than trying to chop off all your tresses. If you want a brand new hip style, better wait until you can get that salon appointment.
But if you want to refresh your hair to get rid of split ends or tidy it up, you can do it yourself. You just have to know what to do so you don’t wind up giving yourself another bad hair nightmare.
This guide will walk you through the whole process so that you can expertly cut your hair without having heaps of regrets. So keep reading to discover how to do it right this time!
First you need to be sure of your decision
Cutting your own hair is not something you should decide after having a few glasses of wine. Ok, you can DECIDE about it then, but don’t act on it until the next day, please. Doing so will only lead to that regret. We all like to think we have steady hands when we’re sipping wine. We don’t. It’s a fact.
Aside from that though, you need to think about how this cut will affect you. Do you want it significantly shorter? Is it going to be tough to keep up? There are many ways to go about this you know, and again, we can’t insist enough that you don’t do this on a whim while you pause your shows on Netflix to fix your hair with wine glass in-hand. Just don’t!
Take the time to think about how your hair will be when you make the cut. Here’s more to think about with your decision to cut your own hair.
Is the cut you’re opting for a game changer for you?
Assuming you want to do something more than just take a little bit off the ends, you need to think about how this haircut will affect you. For example, if it’s something that requires lots of styling each morning to look good, are you willing to get up even earlier for work every morning?
You’ll also need to think about what products you might need to get to keep up the style. Will you need new heat-styling tools to manage the look? How about managing the style itself? Will it cost more to upkeep?
So many questions, yes, but it’s better to think about these things rather than point to your favorite celebrity in a magazine and be like, “Yes! I want my hair like hers,” only to be sourly disappointed with the results. And even if you love the look, if it requires oodles of styling every day, you may seriously come to regret it, especially if you’re a night owl who loves every last second of sleep she can get before she absolutely must get out of bed and out the door.
You should consider gateway cuts if you’re going short all of a sudden
So you’re thinking of going shorter. Might we suggest easing into it? Stylists often recommend what they refer to as ‘gateway cuts.’ These are styles that progressively get shorter and shorter on your way to your final hair goals. So if you wanted a bob or even a pixie cut but you’ve always had long hair, it might be less shocking to go shorter gradually to see how you like it.
Remember, you can always cut more off if you want to. But you can get it back, at least not right away. If you cut your hair too short and you hate it, you’ll be miserable as it grows out. If you cut it progressively shorter though, it’s like wading into a pool rather than jumping in.
Yes, sometimes jumping in is the way to go, but when it comes to hair, especially when YOU are acting as your own stylist, it’s really best to take it slow and see how it goes.
There are ways to visualize a shorter cut too, thanks to technology. But you really should wait to work with your stylist on something like that before you cut too much and have a head full of regrets.
Things you need to do before cutting your hair
Again, leave the wine out of this procedure. Save it to celebrate your hair cutting success. Before you start, there are a few things you should have at the ready to make your own hair cutting adventures a success.
– Go pro with your scissors
Here’s where so many go so wrong. They take the blunt craft scissors from their junk drawer or from their kids’ rooms and start snipping. Professional hair scissors are a wise investment though. They’re inexpensive and will give you a proper finish. Blunt scissors are not cut out for the job, pardon the pun. You won’t get a crisp angle when you use any old scissors you’ve got sitting around your house.
– To dampen or not
Your stylist washes your hair first before cutting it, so why shouldn’t you? It’s not always as cut and dry though, pardon yet another pun. For most hair types, wetting your hair first is a good idea. It shouldn’t be soaking wet though when you go to cut it. Make sure you’ve dabbed up much of the water so it’s not streaming off your tresses.
Don’t rub your hair like crazy with the towel either or you’ll risk split ends. Just be gentle. Make sure you have a wide-tooth comb to comb it through with too.
If you have curly or textured hair though, it’s actually better to keep your hair dry for your cut. This helps you see how much you’re really taking off. When your curls are wet, your hair can smooth out to a much longer length. If you’re wearing it curly every day though and you lob off too much when you cut it wet, you might have a shorter, puffier ‘do staring back at you in the mirror. Seeing it dry when you cut it will help you determine if you’re at a comfortable length that you can live with.
– Hair ties and a good brush
Make sure you have hair ties to section your hair off. It makes it easier to work with. But please don’t get those dreadful ones with the metal bit in the center. That just snags your hair. Instead, you should get something like these thick cotton ones that are seamless, I got 20 of them on Amazon for just 7.99 plus they’re the highest rated ones out there. The right brush helps make short work of all of this too. Are you using the right brush for your hair type?
You may have a great brush, but there are different types of brushes that can be useful in different situations. Here are a few types to consider, depending on your needs.
– Detangling brush
This brush is ideal for smoothing both wet and dry hair without a breakage situation. In fact, this is perfect for replacing that wide-tooth comb. It’s not suitable for use with blow drying though as the heat can melt off the bristles.
– Round brush
Made with boar bristles, this is the brush for keeping long hair straight, sleek, and smooth. It helps add volume so if you have hair that hangs there, this one is useful in your beauty arsenal.
– Paddle brush
Just about every hair type benefits from a basic paddle brush. It’s great for blowouts and detangling too.
– Shine enhancing brush
If you want to detangle and add more shine to your dry hair, this is a great brush. Think of it as the finishing touch you can add once you’ve styled your hair. Even if you have curls, you can brush them out and gain more volume and shine.
– Smoothing brush
Ideal for styling, even unruly hair doesn’t stand a chance. If you like wearing your hair in sleek, up ‘dos, you will find this brush to be a master of smoothing out bumps and keeping your hair pristine.
And again, whatever the hair type, use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair or you’ll tear the shaft or get that detangling brush. Ready to cut your own hair? Keep reading to know how to do it the right way!
How to cut your own hair
So you’ve gathered all your supplies and you haven’t been drinking wine and you are ready to go. This is where everything can take a turn for the worse so make sure you read the rest of this article with extreme care to ensure you do it right.
If you’ve never cut your own hair before or you have a faint memory of when you attempted to do so in middle school only to look like a disaster, then the ponytail method is right up your alley. This is one of the easiest ways to keep from going wrong.
First, you’ll want to tie your hair up in a high ponytail. This requires you to brush it nice and straight so it’s as smooth as possible. You want everything even. It should be dampened too. Use the comb to keep from tearing your strands and then use your brush to make sure the ponytail is slick and smooth.
Next, take your ponytail and pull on the hair tie upwards so that it’s just an inch or two max away from your ends. Layered hair? You can use a few more hair ties along every few inches until you get at a unified point to keep it a clean cut.
Once all is in place, cut off the ends about half an inch to an inch, keeping it straight across. After that, point-cut your hair vertically. This will give you texture and keep it from looking blunt. Unless of course you want blunt. Then you can just stop right there.
After you’re done cutting, let your hair down and see what you think. If you put you hair way up high in that ponytail, the result should be a soft U-shape in the back. Want to frame your face more? Keep the ponytail as close to your hairline as you can (think unicorn horn!), which will result in a V-shape in the back.
How to get rid of split ends
Oh split ends! They will ruin your chances of maintaining healthy length. When the ends split, if you don’t get on them and chop them off, they will travel up the length of your hair. If you don’t have the time to get to your stylist and your ends are doing the splits, it’s best you tackle them now before more damage occurs.
Your best line of defense is to target just the individual split ends. You can give your hair a healthy trim as well, but if you still have splits in there, you’ll need to go after each of them before they destroy your hair.
If the split ends are at the ends of your hair, that’s easy. What if they’re in the middle and you’re not willing to sacrifice your length to chop them off? Simply twist your hair and then rub your hand up the length of twisted hair to get the ends to stand out. Then, snip away all the split ends you see. This will tackle those mid-length splits. Make sure you’re using those professional scissors though!
How to trim your bangs
Bangs definitely need a trim once they start hanging in your face, making it hard to see anything. You can refresh your bangs on your own without heading to the salon though, as long as it’s just a trim you’re after.
The thing about bangs is that most people make a crucial mistake when they attend to them. Bangs should always be trimmed when they are dry. Also, they should be styled as you normally wear them before you wield those professional scissors their way. When you follow these little tips for bangs, you won’t have anymore cringe-worthy moments.
Another thing…use a point cut on your bangs instead of going for a straight line. You don’t want that blunt finish there!
Cutting your own hair doesn’t have to be complicated or result in a disaster. By following this guide, you’ll be able to take care of a few simple things to update your hair until you can get to the stylist.
Now that you know some expert tips on cutting your own hair, you’ve got this. Avoid any major changes and simply make your own trims and touchups to keep hair looking fresh and light until it’s time for your hair appointment.
Getting a trim at the stylist can be pricey which is why doing it yourself is a better option. Save that money for a new haircut or color, or even for that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.