The decision to cut my own hair stemmed from my social ineptitude and not wanting to spend money on something I could do myself. The reason way I was so confident I could do this myself is because of all the videos I’ve watched online of other women cutting their own hair and making it look good. While going to the salon and being pampered is always fun, the thought of having to sit for an hour and make small talk with someone I don’t know very well makes me uncomfortable at the thought. I’ve been known to avoid hair cuts for months because of this very reason and it has caused a lot of damage to my ends, even leading to it falling out because it hadn’t gotten a trim.
No more! I vowed that I would watch every comprehensive YouTube video out there and merge them all together to create a method that worked best for me and my hair.
Before we begin, I would just like to add as a disclaimer that my hair is fairly thin, and so, is much easier to cut than I assume a thick head of hair would be. If that is the case, I’d recommend splitting the hair into more sections than I did and being a bit more diligent when it comes to cutting the back.
A pair of scissors (the thicker the hair, the sharper the blades)
A hair brush
A few hair ties (in case one breaks in the middle of the process)
A hair clip
A straightening iron
Two mirrors; one placed in front of you and one for the back of your head
Something to catch any fallen hair by your feet
I combed through my hair to removed any knots or bumps as my hair straightener heated up. Once it was set I clipped up sections of my hair and began straightening them so that all the pieces were the same length. Leaving any kinks or curls might result in some sections of hair being cut more than others, and that’s not really the look I was going for.
Once all of my hair was straightened I split it down the middle of my head creating two low ponytails on either side of my face. I would recommend using the small, clear elastics for this. They are less intrusive and allow you to see what you are cutting much better. I then slowly inched the elastics down to where I wanted my hair to end once it was all cut and styled. If your hair is a bit curly or textured, then you would be better off pulling the elastics down to a bit lower than you want your hair to ultimately fall. There’s nothing worse than getting a haircut and realizing that it becomes much shorter once you leave it curly or unstyled.
Begin to cut the sections of hair above where you placed the elastics so that when it’s all cut off, it will fall into your hand secured for easy disposal. Now, don’t be scared if your cut is not straight. That happened to me because I had pulled my hair slightly forward while cutting it, leaving the back portion a bit longer than the front. This is where the mirror behind you comes in handy. I used a long standing mirror so that I didn’t have to fuss around with a hand held one. By being able to see the back of your head, it’s easier to spot the pieces that are longer than the others. Once you do, you will snip the ends of your hair in an upward motion so as to soften the ends and not cut more than necessary. Soon, all of it will be at one length with softened ends and you can move on to creating your layers.
To create layers you will hair to comb your hair out well and pull it forward to the top of your forehead so that you look like a unicorn with a broken horn. Don’t be worried if there are any strands of hair that have fallen near the base of your head. Seeing as I cut my hair to around my shoulders, there was no way it would be long enough to pull all the way to the top of my head. Ultimately, those pieces don’t matter when you are creating layers. It’s all about the front pieces. Once you’ve combed your hair forward, ensure that there are no bumps or kinks and ties it at the base, right where your hairline meets your forehead. Then you just cut off the ends, and snip upwards again to soften them. The more you cut, the shorter your layers will be so I recommend cutting a bit, taking your hair out to have a look and just do the process again if you want them shorter. By pulling your hair to the front it targets all the pieces closest to your face so that when it is pulled out from the elastic, they fall evenly with the rest of your hair so it doesn’t look choppy or too aggressive.
This part is optional, depending on the look you want to go for, but I think that a few longer bangs look nice when framing the face. To create these bangs you will need to section off the front piece of hair where you want your bangs to be. This is tricky if you don’t have a smooth or even hair line. My trick is to aim directly above the outer ends of my eyebrows. Once you’ve sectioned the piece you want to be your bangs, tie back the rest of your hair. You will then twist this bang piece tightly until it is straight, but a spiral. By doing this it will allow the hair to fall in an outward, feathered motion instead of straight across, which can look a bit awkward. You will then measure how short you want them and just cut it. Once it uncoils, you will see that fans outward, blending nicely with the rest of the layers already created.
The last thing left to do is brush out your hair and make any last minute touches to the length. Once you feel comfortable with the way it looks, it’s time to clean up. This can be done anyway you feel comfortable, but you might feel a few hairs down the back of your shirt for the next little while, so a shower is always a good choice—not just for cleaning up, but to also see what your hair looks like with a bit of texture to it.
Let me know if you’ve ever cut your hair or ever would!