Getting a professional haircut can often be expensive, inconvenient, and frustrating. And even if you love going to the salon or barber shop for your haircuts, there’ll be times when you can’t get in for an appointment.
For these reasons, some opt to do their own haircuts. If you want to join the growing number of people who know how to cut their own hair, doing research is a great idea, and we’ll help you out with that in this article.
We’ll share step-by-step instructions you can use to cut your own hair, helpful tips to refine your skills, mistakes to avoid, and more. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to become a DIY hair-cutting pro!
How to Cut Your Own Hair at Home: Easy DIY Guide
Embrace your inner hairstylist with our all-inclusive guide to DIY haircuts. This article will cover techniques for different hair types, lengths, and styles, empowering you to take control of your hair game.
Learn how to give yourself a trim, achieve a classic one-length cut, master the DevaCut for luscious curls, and transform your locks with the ponytail method for long layers.
We’ll also explore the art of cutting your hair into a chic bob, creating a bold DIY pixie cut, and maintaining curly natural hair with twists for dusting your ends. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the know-how to achieve salon-quality haircuts from the comfort of your home.
How to Cut Curly Hair (Advice From a Curly Hairstylist)
How to Cut Hair Straight at Home by Yourself
Get Your Supplies
Before we get into the DIY haircut types and instructions, let’s get into the supplies you’ll need. For all of the haircuts we’ll be covering, you’ll need some hair-cutting shears.
No, we’re not talking about those scissors you used in elementary school. Haircutting shears are specialized scissors (i.e., hair scissors). They are extra sharp scissors, allowing for super precise cuts (learn more).
If you opt for the kitchen, household, or regular scissors, you could end up with damage at the ends of your hair from the blades being too dull.
Not to mention the fact that you may need to make many attempts to cut a single section of hair. Hair-cutting shears are more expensive than typical scissors, but they are strongly recommended for any haircut.
In addition to hair-cutting shears, you’ll need the following items:
- Elastics and/or clips – To hold hair out of the way until you’re ready to cut it or keep your hair sections from merging together.
- Comb – To keep your hair tangle-free, making the cut come out much cleaner, specifically for straight cuts.
- Hair clippers and a hair razor (optional and only for a few of the styles mentioned in this article).
You can find all of these supplies either online or at your local beauty supply store.
How to Give Yourself a Trim
One of the most basic haircuts of all is the trim. It’s when you cut a very small amount of hair to eliminate split ends. It shouldn’t change your overall look and can be done in just a few minutes.
Signs You Need a Trim
It’s important to determine whether you need a trim vs. a full haircut. Haircuts are much more substantial than trims and require a more involved process. Chances are you need a trim if you notice the following signs:
- Your hair is getting harder to detangle.
- You can see that some of your strands are split at the very ends.
- When you detangle, you lose strands shorter than the general length of your hair.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Giving Yourself a Trim
Giving yourself a trim is much easier than you might think. And we’ll prove it here. Continue reading for some straightforward instructions for trimming your own hair.
- Wash and condition your hair to prep it for the cutting process. If your hair is curly, you may also want to stretch it with a blow dryer – doing so will allow for a more precise cut.
- Separate your hair into at least 4 sections.
- Secure each of those sections with a rubber band or elastic.
- Release one of the sections of hair and carve out a small subsection of hair. This is the first part you’ll cut. Ensure the section is about a half-inch thick – the thicker you make the section, the less precise your cut will be.
- Clamp your fingers down the section of hair, stopping where you want to cut the hair.
- Use your hair-cutting shears to cut the hair. For a trim, cut off ¼ to ½ of an inch of hair. Cut closer to a half inch if you notice that you’ve got a lot of split ends that need to go. You should be able to cut all the hair in that section with one snip, but take another snip if any hairs are missed. When cutting the hair, be careful not to nick your finger. Also, remember that your fingers should be straight and aligned with the shears before making any cuts.
- Allow the subsection you just cut to fall downward. You’ll use it as a guide when cutting subsequent sections.
- Release the remainder of the section, carve out another subsection of hair, and follow steps 5 to 7. Complete these steps for all of the other sections of hair until all of your hair is cut.
Here’s a video tutorial showing how to trim your hair while it’s dry and stretched.
Depending on your hair’s thickness, it could take 30 minutes to an hour or longer to complete your cut. But whatever you do, don’t rush through things. Cutting too much hair off is a big mistake that could ruin your entire look.
How to Do a One-Length Cut
The one-length cut is a classic where the hair is cut to a single length all around. There are no layers and no length variation.
The cut complements most face shapes and evokes a clean, put-together aesthetic. And when done on people with fine hair, it can make the hair look fuller.
The best part is that the cut can be done at home without the help of a professional.
You just have to follow the below instructions to ensure your cut goes off without a hitch:
- Wash your hair thoroughly with your regular shampoo.
- Follow that up with a conditioner and your favorite moisturizer.
- Style your hair the way you usually wear it. This may involve blow-drying and straightening it or allowing it to air dry with your favorite styler.
- Separate your hair into four sections. Do this by parting the hair from ear to ear and again down the middle. Use hair clips to keep the sections separate.
- Release one of the back sections and cut it to the length you want your hair to be in the back. Before cutting any section, smooth the section out with your fingers and cut straight across at the desired length. It could take just one snip to achieve the desired length, or it could take several tries.
- Release the other back section and cut it to match the first section. Continue parting out thin horizontal subsections of hair going from the bottom to the top. Use the sections you already cut as a guide to keep the length uniform.
- When you get to the front sections, you’ll continue using the hair you cut earlier as a guide. The only difference is that you’ll comb the hair downward and towards the back of the head before cutting it.
- Comb all of the hair straight down, or (for curls) shake your hair out and take a look at your work to ensure it’s even. If it isn’t, make a few final adjustments, and you’re all done!
Want to see for yourself how the cut is done? Watch this one-length haircut YouTube video tutorial. It shows everything step by step.
How to Do a DevaCut for Curls
For a long time, curly haircuts were done just like straight haircuts, and the result was often disappointing for people with curly hair. Curly cuts that ignore the unique properties of curls can result in uneven shapes or unflattering frizz.
Thankfully, we have the DevaCut, a revolutionary hair-cutting technique. It’s specially designed for curly strands and enhances their natural shape and texture.
The revolutionary thing about this hair-cutting technique is that it’s done one curl at a time. This may seem excessive, but it ensures that each curl falls perfectly into place and that the overall shape of your hair is defined in a way that complements your curl pattern.
This technique is only available at DevaChan salons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. Here are the steps you need to go through to bring the cut to life.
- Wash your hair with your normal shampoo to remove any product or excess oil from your scalp and hair.
- Condition your curls with a hydrating conditioner and detangle them with a wide-toothed comb or your fingers.
- Apply your leave-in and smooth a styler through your strands to define your curls. Part your hair however you normally do.
- Separate your hair into several sections and secure each one with a ponytail holder or clip. It’s best not to secure the hair too tightly, as this may create dents in the curls and affect the final shape of your haircut.
- Release the first section of your hair and part out a horizontal subsection near the nape of your neck. Clip the rest of that section upward so it won’t get in the way.
- Working with your first subsection, take one curl at a time and trim off any split ends or damage.
- After you’ve cut a curl, put it off to the side so you won’t cut it a second time. If you want to get rid of a lot of length, do so. But be cautious – the hair you cut will take a long time to grow back. Try to cut the same amount off of all of the strands in case you have several hair textures that hang differently. In that case, you’d be better off using your own judgment and shaping your hair up according to how your hair falls.
- Repeat the previous three steps on the rest of your hair sections until you’ve cut all of your hair.
Want to learn more about the DevaCut? This video is exactly what you need.
Be warned: It will take quite a bit of time to get through your hair. So, you’ll need to be prepared for that. It’s not a good idea to rush through this cut. If, at any time, you don’t feel confident in your ability to pull things off, watch a few video tutorials. If you need additional assistance, your best bet may be to go to your nearest DevaChan salon for a consultation. They’ll be able to give you advice according to your unique hair.
How to Do Long Layers With the Ponytail Method
If you’re bored with your long hair, you can add some interest to it with long layers. Long layers are universally flattering, and they don’t restrict your styling possibilities. Also, you can do them at home with the right guidance, and we can help with that part.
Here’s how to cut long layers on yourself at home using the ponytail method:
- Cleanse your hair with a hydrating shampoo to give your strands a clean slate.
- Condition to restore your tresses’ moisture levels. If your hair is prone to tangling, detangle it while it’s wet and coated in your conditioner. The slipperiness of the conditioner added to your wet hair will make it easier to remove any tangles.
- Towel dry your hair to ensure it’s no longer dripping wet.
- Again, detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb. The more knots you have, the less even your hair will be.
- Use a brush, a comb, or both to create a ponytail at the top of your head. The ponytail should sit on the flat part of your head in the front, where you can easily balance books. Ensure your hair is completely detangled and that the ponytail is as sleek as possible- tangles and imperfections could throw off your results.
- Slide the elastic down the length of your hair until it’s 1 to 3 inches from your ends. The less hair that’s left out of the ponytail, the less noticeable your layers will be.
- Use hair-cutting shears to snip off the ponytail right above the elastic. Try your best to cut straight across. If your hair is on the finer side, you may be able to cut the ponytail off all at once. But if your hair is thick or coarse, you may have to go at the ponytail from different angles. In such a case, you should be very careful to cut the hair all to one length.
- Take a look at your hair to see how your layers fall. Make any final adjustments with the hair-cutting shears as needed. Don’t get scissor-happy here! Take your time and be very selective regarding which sections to cut and how much to take off each section.
For those who have never used this method to create long layers, it’s important to understand what affects your odds of success.
To get good results using this method, you’ll focus on how sleek your ponytail is and whether your ponytail is in the right position. To ensure that everything goes well, watch many tutorials on this hair layering method. Only then should you try it on yourself.
How to Cut Your Hair Into a Bob
Bobs have been popular for decades and decades, and we bet their appeal won’t diminish anytime soon. If you like the look of bobs and want to get in on the seemingly never-ending style trend, there’s no better time to do it than now.
This unique style features hair that’s short in the back near the nape of the neck and longer along the sides and in the front. It seems straightforward, but a lot goes into creating a bob. This is why many opt for a salon visit to get theirs.
But if you’re up for the challenge, you can save a few coins and create your dream bob at home with the following instructions:
- Gather your materials. For a bob, you’ll need a few extra supplies in addition to hair shears, a comb, and clips. You’ll also need hair clippers and a hair razor. These items will enable you to take the typical at-home bob up a few notches. And if your hair is super thick, thinning shears, which are obviously designed to thin out the hair, could come in handy (more on that later).
- Ensure that your hair is dry, clean, and free of tangles. If you have buildup or a lot of product on your hair, a wash and conditioning session is imperative. And while the conditioner is on your hair, go ahead and detangle it. For this cut, we recommend either allowing your hair to air dry or blow-drying it. With your hair dry, you’ll be better able to gauge its actual length. If your hair is curly, and you regularly wear it in that state, don’t stretch it as you dry it. That could distort your true length and cause you to cut off too much hair.
- Part your hair into three sections – two in the front and one in the back. Start by parting your hair across from ear to ear. If you want your bob to have a middle part, part the front right down the middle to make two sections. For a side part, part your hair slightly off center or way to the side (however you’d like) until you reach that horizontal part that separates the front sections from the single back section.
- Keep all the sections separate with hair elastics. The height at which you wrap the elastic around the hair is important. You’ll want to position the one in the back right below the nape of your neck. Then, position the ones in the front at about chin level or longer if you want a longer bob. It’s up to you.
- Cut the hair in the back right underneath the elastic. Cut straight across. You may struggle to try to cut all the hair in one snip. So, take multiple snips and try your best not to change the angle of the cut. Keep things straight.
- Remove the elastic from the back section and make any adjustments with the hair-cutting shears to ensure that everything is even. The hair should be cut straight across.
- Take the elastics off of the side sections. Ensure the hair is hanging down and tangle-free (straight hair only). Don’t comb through your curls.
- Shape up the sides of the hair with hair clippers. Make sure the bob gradually gets longer according to your desired angle as you get closer to the front of the head. If you have thicker hair, you can use thinning shears to remove some bulk near the ends of the hair. Once all the sections have been cut and shaped, style as desired.
How to Do a DIY Pixie Cut
Are you into pixies? Go for a DIY pixie cut, where your hair is cropped super short on the sides and back. Pixies are a great go-to for those looking to make a bold statement without having to do much daily styling.
Still, some people might cringe at the thought of giving themselves a pixie cut.
It is a drastic change, after all. And if you have thick or super long hair, going short with a pixie can be even more intimidating. But if you’re up for the challenge, you can learn how to give yourself a pixie cut at home.
Here’s what you need to do:
- For a pixie cut, you’ll need hair shears, clips, a comb, and clippers. If you have super thick hair, you may also need thinning shears.
- Start by washing and conditioning your hair with your favorite hair products. While the conditioner sits on your hair, use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle your hair.
- If your hair is naturally straight (or you plan on wearing your pixie straight), you’ll towel dry, apply a heat protectant, and then blow dry. Your hair should be nearly straight so you can see your length. If your hair is curly, define your curls with a curl-enhancing product and then diffuse your hair to keep the curls intact. You’ll cut your pixie while your hair is in its curly state.
- Separate your hair into four sections: two on the sides, one in the crown, and one in the back. Secure each section with an elastic or rubberband to keep them separate.
- Starting with the back section, move the elastic down to about the nape of your neck and then cut straight across with your hair-cutting shears (below the elastic).
- For straight hair, grab skinny diagonal sections of hair and cut them to about an inch long. Use clips to keep unwanted sections out of the way. As you get about halfway up to the crown of your head, the hair should be longer – about 1.5 to 2 inches. Do the same to the hair on each of the side sections. For curly hair, instead of cutting your curls in sections, you’ll cut curl by curl. That way, your cut won’t turn out disjointed and unnecessarily choppy.
- You can get more creative when you get to the crown of your head. Make this section as long as you’d like. Whatever you do, use your shears to blend the crown into the sides and back of the hair.
For more information, watch the pixie cut YouTube video tutorial. It shows the process of creating a pixie cut on straight hair.
How to Dust Your Ends with Twists (For Curly Natural Hair)
Dusting your ends is one of the easiest ways to keep your curly natural hair looking healthy and beautiful. It differs from trimming natural hair in the traditional way because it requires you to two-strand twist your hair first.
Here’s how to dust your ends step-by-step.
- Start by shampooing and conditioning your hair. While your hair is coated in conditioner, detangle it using a wide-tooth comb, detangling brush, or your fingers.
- Do two-strand twists all over your head. The twists should be small to medium-sized.
- Grab one of your twists and snip off as much as you want from the ends. Most people don’t cut off more than a quarter of an inch. Try to cut each twist in one go straight across.
- Repeat this process for each twist.
- Remove your twists and move forward with the rest of your hair care and styling routine.
Here’s a YouTube video showing you how to dust your hair.
Wondering how often to dust your hair? Experts recommend dusting every 8-12 weeks to maintain healthy curls. However, your ideal dusting frequency will depend on the wear and tear your hair undergoes over a given period.
Note: Dusting should not be the only way that you prevent split ends. Over time, if you don’t use other hair-cutting methods, you’ll notice your hair getting more uneven. Every now and again, you should cut your hair while it’s not in two-strand twists.
So, there you have it – a detailed guide to cutting your own hair. We hope that you found all the information you needed. You are 100% capable of cutting your hair at home – use the instructions in this article to make it happen.
But if you hit a snag or find yourself in the middle of a hair disaster, stop and contact a hairstylist. They have the knowledge and tools to turn things around and get you the best results possible. We wish you the best of luck!
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. With over 15 years of experience, Kenneth has been dedicated to hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box alongside his wife. As a team, they promote healthy hair care practices through their comprehensive platform, Curl Centric. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.