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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Giving yourself a haircut

My recent haircut reminded me to share my hair cutting tips. I always cut my own hair because, yeah, you guessed it. I'm cheap. I've actually never had my hair done professionally; I just can't plunk down cash for something I can sort of do myself :)
So in my years of practice, here is what I've learned:
1. To cut your own hair, it is best if it is damp or dry. Supposedly wet is ideal but this is too difficult when you are doing your own hair.
2. Start in the front, by your face, on very small pieces at a time - this way if you cut it too short initially (that fist cut often ends up shorter than you imagined!), you can let those short pieces act as layers around the face.
3. No blunt cuts ever. Ever! Even cuts described as "blunt cuts" at a salon are really layered lightly at the ends. To imitate this, you will have to cut several layers in graduating lengths (if your hair is thick), or cut in a downward slant (f your hair is thin). This technique is especially important on BANGS. Bangs never have a blunt edge: a blunt edge will always appear crooked.
4. Pitch the scissors. They are too hard to manipulate on your own head. Use a razor instead. Yep, just one of these.

They are much easier to use and automatically give you soft edges.
5. Cutting the back of your head is tough, but you can try two techniques: one is to part you hair at the center and pull each side to the front, turning the sections so the hair from the back of your head is closest to your face and the hair from the front of your head is on the outside of the section. Cut the part that will be in the back of your head; then comb your hair out and cut the front part that you can easily see, and add any layers. The second technique is to set up double mirrors and cut it by mirror. This is not hard at all and is very useful for adding layers of cutting with soft angled edges.
6. Before doing any cutting, explore your hair! Many people have several textures of hair and multiple cowlicks. For example, hair on the right side of my head curls more than the left, so I have to make sure that I don;t end up with the left side longer than the right. Cowlicks can affect how the hair lays on your head - if you cut your hair too short neat a cowlick it won't hang down but will curl back into your hair. Find these unique features out first!
7. Practice makes perfect - don't do a drastic short hair cut on your first try. Long hair hides mistakes better!


  1. Girl you got balls to cut your own hair. I have had some bad experience dying my hair at home..... so I can only imagine how cutting would come out.

  2. When I had long hair, I had a friend with salon scissors do it for me, but I leave my shorter haircuts for the pros. I have enough trouble styling it, much less cutting it!
    I cut my mom's hair once and happily learned that super curly hair will hide a *multitude* of mistakes. :)

  3. My hair's not curly, but I must admit that my natural wave/texture is extremely forgiving of little wayward cuts! If I had silky fine locks I'm sure I wouldn't be so brave.

  4. Ha. I have short hair that I cut myself every coupla weeks usually and I often mess up but I persist in doing it myself because A, it's super frustrating when the stylist doesn't do what I want and B, I save lotsa moola!

    Good luck to all fellow self-haircutters :)

  5. I'm aq guy and I've been pondering cutting my hair myself; not because I'm cheap (I am but I'd pay to have my hair cut) but because the salon/stylists never listen to me when I explain my bang situation and always lunk up my bangs making them too my eye look uneven because one side of my hair goes back further do to scar tissue.