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DIY your at-home haircut with these 5 tips

It feels like we’re month 65 into the pandemic, and when you look in the mirror, it may feel like much longer. If you’ve not been to the barber in quite some time and fancy trying a little at-home hair session, there are things you can do to improve your chances of success (and a few must-nots).

Do it yourself (DIY) haircuts aren’t meant for coming up with an entirely new style or doing an aggressive trim — it’s best to leave that to the experts. But if you need to trim bangs or split ends and give yourself a fresh new look, here are some tips that can keep you looking good for all of your Zoom calls.

hair dresser products
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Invest in proper scissors

Do not — we repeat — do not grab a pair of kitchen shears and go near your hair. We don’t care how many times you’ve cleaned them before or since using them — they are meant for food only. The blades are also much duller than styling shears, which can cause more split ends and an uneven cut.

Instead, invest in a pair of sharp styling shears that are meant to cut hair, like these Fromm shears. For under $100, you can become an at-home cutting ninja. (Pro tip: This isn’t the time to give yourself bangs. Don’t ask us how we know.)

Grab some accessories while you’re at it

It’s preferable to have a double-edged comb with wide and fine teeth. This will help you section off your hair and get to those small, finer hairs around the base of your neck and your ears. While you’re online, grab some no-slip hair clips to make it easier to section your hair off so you don’t accidentally cut a rogue section.

If you have the money to invest in a flat iron, it can help to do so before you begin cutting to make sure your hair is as smooth and even as possible before you begin.

woman cutting her hair
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Start small

You can’t add hair or call a do-over if you’ve cut too much at once, so opt to start small in terms of what you’re cutting off. If you’re cutting your hair while it’s wet, it will always be shorter than you think when it dries, so take that into account.

If you’re a first-time trimmer, make the investment and spend time watching a couple of YouTube tutorials. It pays to take a little time to learn from experts before you give it a go on your own.

Start with longer layers

If you simply must go beyond a basic ‘do, start by giving yourself longer layers. That way, you aren’t committing too much on length, but it will give you some bounce in your locks.

There is a way easy-to-follow tutorial for cutting long layers at home. YouTuber Pick Up Limes’s techniques are always on point, and she is a master at explaining exactly what to do step by step so you have the most opportunity for success.

woman cutting hair
Atree Sound and Film/Shutterstock

Stay calm

This isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Don’t rush into cutting your own hair on a whim; if possible, give a few days from the time you decide you want to cut your hair and when you actually do it. If something happens to go wrong, stay calm. Walk away from the scissors, take a breath, and give it a minute before you return and assess the damage. The worst thing to do is panic and keep cutting in order to even things out.

Try to remember, it’s just hair. This is what hats and scarves were invented for. Your hair will grow back. Since most of us are still spending our time at home, this may be the perfect time to give it a try.

If you’ve lost sleep over the current state of your hair and either can’t or won’t get to a salon right now, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to give yourself a trim at home if you can follow the tips above. There is a wealth of knowledge from experts on YouTube as well that can give you even more details about cutting curly, natural, wavy, or fine hair to make it a good experience overall.

Who knows, maybe you’ll get so good at cutting your hair at home that you find you only need to visit the salon once or twice a year for a new style or to color your hair. If so, it can save tons of time and money, and you’ve got a new skill to add to the resume.

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