How to Cut Your Hair at Home According to Stylists

Here’s some advice from stylists for those who can’t make it to the salon.

Life can get hectic–sometimes causing even routine appointments like a checkup at the dentist or a haircut with your stylist to fall by the wayside. Even worse, you may notice split ends or a loss of volume after you’ve been quarantined due to the coronavirus. No matter why you can’t get to the salon, you could be well on your way to getting creative with your grooming at home.

Even though stylists generally don’t recommend you cut your hair, sometimes desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. As long as you aren’t getting too daring with your scissors, you can rid yourself of your dead ends or successfully give yourself a bang trim without it looking like you stuck your head in the garbage disposal.

However, unless you’re an actual hairstylist, significant changes are best left to the pros, says Jerome, a stylist at Pierre Michel Salon in New York City. “My top tip is not to trim too much. Jerome says Health; you can always go around the second time if needed to remove more hair. “Don’t do anything different. Instead, wait for your stylist. Be patient.”

While the consensus from hairdressers is to wait on drastic chops until you can get to the salon again, we’ve got tips from the stylists on how to cut your hair at home. Go ahead; you can now attempt a hairstyle with more confidence.

The right equipment is essential.

Your kitchen scissors just aren’t going to cut it (pun intended) for this type of project. “I wouldn’t recommend using your usual house scissors because they’re just not going to be sharp enough–the blade is too thick, and because of that, you’re going to get a very jumpy, choppy line,” explains Carrie Butterworth, a celebrity hairstylist at The Salon Project by Joel Warren in New York City. It’ll look almost like a hacker job.

A pair of scissors will give you a smooth, healthy haircut. Butterworth says the best type of scissors to use are those that you can purchase at a local drugstore. You can buy hair shears online for as low as $23 if you don’t want to travel to a drugstore.

Clips might also help you make your hair look neater. Butterworth states that sectioning your hair with clips can improve your vision and help to avoid the messy, choppy look that would result if you tried to cut straight across. The Harry Josh Pro Styling clip ($15; dermstore.com), which are popular with stylists, comes in a set of three.

But first, moisturize.

Dora, a stylist from Pierre Michel Salon in New York City, advises that you moisturize your hair before touching the scissors. You want to work with moist, moisturized hair to get a neat cut. Moroccanoil Mending Infusion ($28, sephora.com) is her favourite styling product. It zaps dryness and prevents frizz. Dora continues, “This product will protect hair from breakage & seal split ends.”

Make sure you have the same length.

Once you are ready to begin cutting your hair, you should start by slicing your hair down the middle. Butterworth recommends that you first part your hair by keeping your chin close to your chest. Then, cut each section into one-inch sections. If you cut each branch into small areas, it will be easier to avoid any mishaps that might make your hair look uneven.

“After you have determined the length, be sure to match each section to the last one by holding the hair tautly between the fingers,” she said. Take a few steps back to verify that your line is straight. Butterworth adds, “You’ll be able to make any adjustments from there.”

Do not attempt to cut any more than a straight line. It would help if you waited until your next salon appointment. Butterworth cautions that layer cutting is not recommended because there are many options for cutting layers. The only person who cuts your hair professionally will know which layers have been placed based upon your texture, density and desired look.

Don’t go geometric.

As much as you might like to come out of quarantine with a dramatic new ‘do, Dora suggests keeping it simple until you can see a professional stylist again. “I wouldn’t recommend making any changes to your haircut that would affect the perimeter or make it more geometric.” (FYI. The perimeter is defined as the area of hairline that runs from the forehead down past the ears to where it ends at the nape of the neck. She also warns against cutting your hair too straight.

Dora advises that you begin by taking small sections out of your layers, twisting your hair and then cutting at the ends. In case you’re not familiar, point cutting is a technique stylists use to soften and texturize the ends of your hair rather than to remove length.

Be gentle with bangs.

If you want to touch up your bangs (or try them out for the first time), start slow and ease into the length you’d like. Dora says, “Bangs are in the face. You could always cut them shorter if it feels like you’ve left them too long.”

Butterworth says to first dry bangs. After that, hold a small portion between your eyes flat against your forehead. You can then pull another section towards the center of the charges. This will create a gently curving effect, in contrast to China doll bangs,” she says.

Butterworth advises that you don’t pull your bangs so tightly that they are too short.

Ask a friend to help you if possible.

Butterworth recommends having someone else do your hair. “My main tip to cutting your hair at home is that having someone else do it for you will ensure you have straight hair in the back.” Even though you don’t want to let anyone cut your hair, this is a lot more efficient than trying your best to get a straight, 180-degree cut yourself.

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