Chances are you have taken scissors to your own hair at least once in your life to some fairly disastrous conclusionss. You may have been six or thirty-six but we’re betting that you’ve done it. Many of us have attempted to give ourselves bangs or even just a trim and ended up in tears, making frantic phone calls to the nearest salon with the first opening. Often the lure of a free haircut, when you spend hundreds a year on cuts, style and colour, can just be too tempting. How hard can it be to snip off those split ends, right?
“It has been said that the difference between a good and bad haircut is two weeks,” says celebrity hair and makeup artist Andrea Claire. “But a self-cut could take months of repair, so I’d caution readers to tread lightly and don’t get too scissor happy.”
When to cut your own hair
While Claire says that she has seen many successful self hair cuts, she has also seen disasters. “If you want a structured cut, never attempt it yourself. Self haircuts are more successful for the whimsy,” she says.
While you may decide to give yourself a trim because you can’t get an appointment soon enough, desperation isn’t the best reason for cutting your own hair. “Some women cut their own hair out of desperation because they’re having a really bad hair day or something traumatic has happened in their life,” says Claire. “You should not be cutting your hair when you’re in an emotional state.”
Cut your own hair, if you have a soft, slightly layered style that could use a trim. Your precise pixie or angular bob will not look so precise after you’ve taken your own scissors to it.
Should you cut your own bangs?
“As a hairstylist for 25 years, I definitely have had clients who cannot keep their toenail scissors out of their hair,” says Claire. If you are dead set upon trimming your own fringe, ask your stylist to show you how to do it, she says. “Just not with toenail scissors… EW!”
Before you cut, keep in mind that many salons will offer free bang trims — it’s easier than trying to fix client mistakes.
How to cut your hair at home
You’ll need to collect the right tools. Claire recommends:
- Sharp scissors: “Hefty kitchen scissors won’t do,” she says. Try Tweezerman hair shears, $38.
- Clips: This is for sectioning your hair, so you’re not constantly batting hair around. Try Docooler’s colourful options, $4.
- Comb: Try Kent’s style professional line, $6.
- Spray bottle with water for dampening hair: Any spray bottle will do.
Your hair should be damp. It should not be wet or dry, says Claire. “Stylists have proper dry cutting scissors so you don’t want to attempt cutting your hair dry.” The risk to having hair that’s super wet is that hair shrinks when it dries so you could end up cutting off a lot more than you mean to.
Cutting your bangs
- Lightly spritz bangs with water so the hair is damp.
- Pull pieces that are not part of your fringe away from your face and secure with clips.
- Claire says not to pull your hair too hard or you’ll end up with the same results as a hair cut when locks are wet—”like a bad elementary school photo.”
- “Cut into the hair with the scissor points known as ‘point-cutting’ versus a hard straight edge, because if you make a mistake, a hard line is harder to blend out for amateurs,” says Claire.
- You can either use your fingers as a guide, sliding them horizontally down your bangs as far as you can (further than you think—always cut less than you think you should!), says Claire. Twist bangs into one rope, then point cut at the rope held between your eyebrows.
Follow these steps, and this will never be you:
Cutting the rest of your hair
- Again, spritz hair all over with water so it’s damp.
- Gather hair into a ponytail at the top of your head and secure with an elastic.
- Either slide your hand along your ponytail to the ends or carefully slide your hair elastic to the ends while still keeping all your strands secure.
- Cut into your ends using the points of the scissors.
- This will result in a pretty even trim. After some practice, you can experiment by moving your ponytail closer to the front of your head for more layers in the front or closer to the back for more layers in the back.
While this technique is great for a once in a while trim, constantly cutting your hair this way may result in a loss of shape to your cut, something only a trained stylist can really do for you.
Take care of your hair, and tread lightly. You can maintain your hair on your own, and with these rules you’ll definitely spend less at the salon. Just, please, don’t be this girl anymore:
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