How to cut your own hair

A few pointers on giving yourself a haircut at home…

20 Jan 2021

It’s been a while since any of us have visited the hairdresser, hasn’t it? Lockdown 3 means that among many other businesses, hairdressers and barbers are temporarily closed.

And for many areas across the UK, even before the third national lockdown, the higher tier restrictions meant that local hairdressers have been closed even longer - which has resulted in the nation's hair getting even longer!

While we’re looking forward to finally returning to our favourite hairdresser for a professional cut (hopefully in the near future), it’s not in the nature of hair to be as patient as us. So, what’s the answer?

Well, you could always have a go at doing it yourself. We know you’re tempted. And if you follow our top home haircutting tips below, you might even be pretty pleased with the results…


Invest in the right equipment

Put those kitchen scissors back in the drawer. If you’re going to cut your own hair, you need to invest in a proper pair of styling scissors that are actually designed for the job. They’ll give you the best cut, and help you avoid getting more split ends than you started with.

Decide on a wet or dry cut

If you’ve got curly or wavy hair, you won’t need to wet it before you start. Cutting it when it’s dry will give you the best idea of what the final results will look like. If you’ve got straight hair, cutting it while wet will give you cleaner and sharper lines than a dry cut. So go ahead and give it a wash before you start.

Start small and cut a little

The best home haircutting tip we can give you is… start with small snips. Take it easy, be careful, and cut the absolute minimum off with each snip. If you’re using hair clippers, always start with the longest blade (the highest numbers) and work down. Remember, you can always take more hair off if you don’t cut enough the first time. It’s not quite as easy putting hair back on.

Pro tip: If you're cutting wet hair, remember that it’ll look shorter when it’s dry. So be cautious!

Use clippers for a short hair cut

Using a good set of clippers is the best way of giving yourself an all-over super-short cut. This style is obviously much more popular with males, but clippers are good for short pixie style haircuts too.

If you’re using a clipper, it’ll come with a guard. Make sure this is fitted, then choose a number for your trim length – one is the shortest. When you start trimming, go in every direction. You’ll need to go against the natural flow of your hair now and again, so make sure the guard is firmly fitted when you’re doing this.

Deal with split ends

If you want to get rid of split ends, the ‘model cut’ technique is best. Keep your hair dry, then twist sections of it with one hand. Lightly push the hair up with your other hand, and you’ll see any split ends. Then cut a tiny amount off any ends that are split in two – we’re taking a millimetre or two, no more than that. And of course, you should only use super sharp styling scissors for this task.

Tackle your fringe

Wash and dry your hair before you tackle your fringe. Then grab a section in the middle, and think about how much you want to cut off. Then snip off tiny amounts each time. The best technique is to lift the hair with a comb and cut tiny ‘v’ shapes, which should give a soft looking cut. Never cut straight across, as this’ll give you the kind of severe fringe you might remember from your least favourite school photograph.

Use elastic bands to cut shoulder length hair

If you want to cut shoulder-length hair, bring it to the front of your face and secure it with elastic bands near the ends. Then give it small and precise cuts for the best results.

Cut long hair with the unicorn ponytail method

If you're cutting long hair, this is a popular method for achieving good looking layers. Put your hair into a pony-tail at the top of your hairline, then pull it forward. Then carefully snip the ends.

Pro tip: snip at an angle for a more layered face-framing effect.

Follow a tutorial from a professional stylist

If you want to see how the professionals do it before you cut your own hair, there are some great YouTube tutorial videos out there. Search for your own style of hair, and you should be able to find all the details you need.

Brad Mondo’s ‘Hairdressers Guide To Cutting Your Own Hair And Not Ruining It’ is a great place to start. It’s quite a new tutorial (only a few weeks old as we write this), and lots of people have already given it a try.

If you’ve got any home hair-cutting tips of your own (or if you’ve tried any of the above tips already), we’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post a comment below.

Check out our hair styling range for more inspiration.

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