First published , last updated . Reading time: 8 minutes.
Cutting your own hair is not rocket science, but it requires some practice and, a lot of times, a lot of discipline to master it well. Whether you’re just looking for a few tricks to trim your hair in between visits to the hairdresser, or you want to take total care of your haircut, you came to the right place: this is our how to cut long hair at home guide.
In this post we’ll cover the most basic and useful tricks you should know to cut your own hair. If you’re looking specifically for how to cut your own hair with clippers, jump over here.
Once you have these with you, you are equipped to start. Below you’ll find more information on these accessories and tools as we go.
Which kind of haircut do I want?
Before starting, look at yourself in the mirror and decide what kind of change are you looking for. Do you want to be able to trim your own hair, here and there, in between going to the hair salon? Do you just want to be able to ditch your hairdresser altogether and save some money? In this post we focus on what you need tp be able to master this art altogether and become a DIY haircut god(dess).
If you are not so confident in your skills, we want to tell you that we’ve been there. Before starting to cut our own hair, we were so afraid of screwing up, but eventually you will get over the fear.
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Know your face shape
It’s really crucial that you consider what kind of hair you have. Thin hair handles short cuts very well. In fact, the thinnest the hair, the shorter it should be, as it will give it some volume and density. On the other hand, frizzy, thick hair, could really use long cuts that can make use of their volume and texture. Which kind of haircut will suit me?
Have you noticed that some people have very bold haircuts who suit them amazingly, and others have haircuts that don’t compliment them, but you can’t exactly tell why that is? Most probably, it has to do with their face shape. The face of your shape (and, of course, your self-confidence) plays a major role in what looks good on you or not:
Oval shape: oval faces are very smooth, and can easily rock both short haircuts as well as longer.
Round shape: in general, short haircuts don’t compliment round faces, because they can give the appearance of a wide face. Long haircuts with some layers can, on the other hand, really suit that kind of shape. Stay away from shapeless long cuts though, who can accentuate that even more.
Square shape: in general people with this shape want to even out the shapes, by using haircuts that shift the focus away from the ‘corners’.
Rectangular shape: faces with this shape look better in haircuts that smoothen the length of the face.
Heart shape: the biggest challenge with this kind of shape is to find a haircut that brings balance and proportion. Bangs work very well here, as well as long haircuts.
How, exactly, you can work with your shape might be too advanced for now, but try to access what’s your face shape. That will avoid a lot of disappointment!
Pro tip 1: You even out or bring out certain features of your face by using different layers, cuts, lengths, and even hair colors. However, hair type plays a major role, so consider that factor as well.
Pro tip 2: browse images of your favorite celebrity and notice the different haircuts they had over time. Pay attention to what looked best on them, and why that is. Practice ‘analyzing’ this and with time it will become very intuitive to know which cuts look best on who.
Knowing which shape your face is useful, but don’t overthink it. We’re all trying to know what looks best or not, but at the end of the day, these are just suggestions. Honestly, if you love your haircut and feel very comfortable with it, we’re sure you can pull it off!
How often should I cut my hair?
No one likes hair that looks dull! That is why it is important to give it regular trims that will keep it healthy. For most people, that means a trim each 3 to 4 weeks, for others, that time stretches a bit longer (that applies to normal hair type, mostly).
Remember that thicker hair will need more regular trims than thinner hair because it is usually dryer and looks dull much faster. Besides, don’t forget that sun and the salt of the ocean can damage your hair, meaning you’ll be probably needing more regular trims during summer time.
Bottom line: try to trim your ends (2-4cm) every month to make sure your hair is and looks as healthy as it can be!
How to cut your own hair straight?
Some lucky people look amazing with straight hair (oval shapes, we’re looking at you). Or maybe you just want to cut it straight because you can’t be bothered with keeping it neat all the time. Fair enough!
Comb your hair well, and do a ponytail at the nape of your neck. Pass the hands through your hair, and place a ponytail holder a few inches from the bottom, just above from where you want to cut.
Now, grab it and point it straight slightly towards the ceiling. Hold it well, and carefully start to cut. Give it a few sniffs as even as possible, slowly. Don’t try to cut it all at once!
Once you’re done, remove the ponytail holders and see the results!
We always recommend that you try little by little, even if you need to repeat this a few times till you reach the desired length.
How to cut your own hair in layers?
This hack to cut layered hair has never failed us and looks good on most face shapes too. Comb your hair very well and, after, put it in a ponytail. Comb it quickly again, and bring it all back to the front. Now, with your scissors, cut it straight, a few inches from the ends (trust us, this works). If you want the layers to be very accentuated, do a higher ponytail.
Again, this works best if you do several attempts at first so that you take your time and make sure you don’t cut too much at the same time.
The result: because of the ponytail, your hair will become naturally layered when you cut straight, resulting in a beautiful cut! This cannot fail, we promise you.
How to cut bangs?
Cutting bangs is easy but requires a firm hand and a lot of patience.
Start by wetting your bangs and combing them well. Make sure they are laying flat, with the help of some hairpins. Once they are, snip upwards in small chop-chop-chop movements. Snipping them upwards will make them slightly uneven, which is great for beginners. In this post we’ve written detailed instructions, make sure to check it out!
Stylize or fix mistakes with thinning scissors
Make these your best friend. Whichever cut you go for, keep these at hand, because they can help you fix cutting mistakes. They will make your ends less even, making them look a bit edgy and asymmetrical, so they help ‘hide’ any uneven movement you did. It’s a great look on its own, and it can help smoothen your face angles too.
One of their main purposes is to remove some of the volume, so if your hair is not dense… stay away from them. If you want to take some volume away, sniff horizontally in those areas that look more ”chunky”.
If you want to stretch the period in between trims, do not forget proper haircare. Use conditioner and/or a hair mask whenever you wash your hair (unless your hair is oily), and use a good coconut oil to keep your hair hydrated and healthy. Jojoba oil is also among our favorites! Make sure you find one you like and apply it on the ends of your hair before going to bed.
Extra tip: many people don’t think about this, but keeping your hair constantly on a ponytail or bun, especially if tight, is really bad for your hair. Keep that in mind and let your hair down more ;)
Aim for slow and steady. Take your time, always, and don’t rush the process;
Apply oil regularly to avoid dead ends;
Protect your hair from the sun.
And this is it, the basics of hair cutting! Practice them for a couple of weeks. When you become comfortable with the scissors and become less afraid of experimenting, you’re ready to start other techniques and cuts.
If you want to cut your hair with clippers or are looking for a buzzcut while keeping your hair long, we’re here for you. Don’t forget to check our section Hair Styles for more tips and ideas!