Mar 27, 2020

How To Cut Your Hair At Home Without Regretting It

Giving yourself a haircut at home can be disastrous. Many of us either have a story, or have heard one, involving midnight trims that resulted in an emergency salon visit the next day. Suffice it to say, we don't recommend it, but since salons are temporarily closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19, it could be unavoidable for some.

For guidance, we checked in with professional hairstylist for tips and tricks for every texture, but before you grab a pair of scissors, know that they recommend avoiding big changes. "Unless you have split ends, don't do it," warns Nunzio Saviano, hairstylist and owner of his eponymous salon in New York City.

Yene Damtew, hairstylist to Michelle Obama and owner of Aesthetics Salon in Arlington, Virginia, agrees. "Cut less than you think is actually needed," she says. "Since you aren’t a trained hairstylist, you don’t want to end up going shorter than intended." As for tools, Saviano says that if you use dull scissors (like kitchen or office shears) your cut will come out uneven, so ordering a pair of proper haircutting scissors beforehand is crucial.

Keep clicking for the rest of their suggestions and, if you can, don't forget to buy a gift card or prepay for your next cut now to help keep your favorite salon or stylist in business during the pandemic.

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Straight Hair

Wet or Dry: Blow-dry hair smooth before beginning.

The Technique: Divide hair into manageable sections for your density and only trim ends by holding scissors horizontally to get a clean, sharp line.

Pro Tip: "Only cut half an inch," Saviano says. "You can always go back and cut some more, but small increments are always best."

Wavy Hair

Wet or Dry: You can cut hair wet if it's been combed out, but working on air-dried waves will give you the best result — or defer to whatever your stylist does for your texture.

The Technique: Divide hair into small sections, and be sure your strands are detangled before beginning. Avoid using any tension when holding each section, then only trim your ends. Or, if you have long layers, you can brush your hair up, towards the ceilings, and carefully trim just the tips.

Pro Tip: If you're cutting your hair wet, which is popular for wavy textures, make sure not to oversaturate the strands, says hairstylist Ona Diaz-Santin. Think: damp, not dripping.

Curly Hair

Wet or Dry: Detangled and air-dried is best since most curls tend to shrink when dry.

The Technique: The shape of your cut determines how to hold the hair while trimming. Rounds shapes should be cut while held forward, triangular shapes should be cut while held towards the back of your head, and square shapes are best trimmed evenly, so top-to-bottom and side-to-side, says Diaz-Santin. This might seem unnecessary, but this trick will help the hair fall correctly.

Pro Tip: "The best situation for curls is using a trifold mirror, five- to six-inch shears for control, and a six-inch cutting comb or hair pic," says Diaz-Santin.

Coily Hair

Wet or Dry: Dry and detangled is best.

The Technique: Working on individual coils, stretch the hair out then allow it to twist into itself. Trim only the hairs that stick out of the coil.

Pro Tip: Each snip should be thoughtful. "You can easily cut a layer into your hair by mistake," says Damtew.

Fine Hair

Wet or Dry: Blow-dry hair smooth before starting.

The Technique: Section hair and dust ends while holding shears horizontally for a sharp finish. Focus solely on your length (don't try to create or trim layers) and be very careful because a bad haircut on fine hair is very obvious since there is less density.

Pro Tip: Don't stress if you go a little shorter than expected. Nunzio notes that fine hair looks thicker when shorter.

Thick Hair

Wet or Dry: This depends on your texture, so click back through this slideshow for your answer.

The Technique: Section hair into multiple even, small sections for easy navigation before trimming ends. However, it's easy to get overwhelmed with thick hair, so consider dusting hair the same way coily hair is cut instead. "Stretch, twist, and then trim the little hairs that stick out," Damtew says.

Pro Tip: The smaller the section, the easier thick hair is to manage while trimming or dusting.


Wet or dry: Both work just fine.

The Technique: Buzzcuts are typically pretty easy to cut at home as long as you have clippers and know your level, then go slow, cutting less than you think you is needed to avoid going too short.

Pro Tip: Nunzio recommends Wahl clippers, which come in a kit with everything you need.

Pixie Cut

Wet or dry: This goes back to texture, so click back for your answer.

The Technique: Unlike a buzzcut, a pixie cut is very easy to mess up, so only trim ragged ends as needed until your next appointment.

Pro Tip: If your DIY cut isn't great, or you don't want to risk it, try manipulating ends with pomade until you can get to the salon.

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from Refinery29

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