Global pandemic putting a kink in your hair care routine? With salons shut down, we’re all starting to look a little shaggy. Luckily, we don’t have too many people to impress. Boredom has prompted a crop of quarantine fringe, while some are using the time at home to go through the awkward stages of growing bangs back out. If you’re considering becoming your own hairstylist, read these rules before giving your mop a chop.
Select Your Scissors
Step away from the kitchen shears. Drop those mini-mani snippers! Unless you’d like split ends and fraying, that is. Professional shears are razor-sharp and precise so you get a clean edge. Other tools you can use include a fine-tooth comb, hair clips, and a straightening iron.
Start With Clean, Dry Hair
You’re less likely to eff it up. While wet hair may seem easier to manage, it shrinks as it dries, so you could be cutting off more than you think. Does your hairdresser usually cut it wet? Pros recommend starting with damp or wet locks for sleek or blunt styles. Either way, part and cut it in the style you usually wear it in. Make sure it is detangled and straightened if that’s how you usually wear it.
Do not cut straight across! Instead, use a point cut to trim up an into ends with the pointy part of the scissors. This technique is more forgiving for the at-home hairdresser than a blunt cut that goes straight across.
Work in Sections
For even results, use your comb to section off your mane into more manageable segments.
No More Than 1/2 an Inch
In this case, drastic times call for moderate measures. If you must cut your hair, remember less is more. We’re going for a trim here, not a whole new look. Vidal was famous for his bob cut, but you are no Sassoon, my dear. If you’re rocking a bob, just let it grow out into a longer bob. It will still look fine, but it won’t if you eff up that line, honey. Those who get scissor happy end up scissor sad.
Take Your Time
There’s no rush. Where do you have to go? If you get frustrated or your arms get tired, take a breather. Literally though, take some deep breaths before you get back at it.
Step Away From The Wine
A lot of times cutting your hair sounds good after a few drinks. If you’re reading this after putting away a bottle of wine, step away from the scissors! No one in the history of humanity has ever woke up in love with their drunken ‘do.
Don’t Do It
Trained professionals don’t even cut their own hair. What makes you think you can? We get it. Split ends make your hair look dry and dull. But a bad haircut may take longer to grow out than waiting for the salons to re-open. Keep in mind, you’ll have to live with the results. If you mess up your cut right now you can’t go running to your stylist for a fast fix. Before you start snipping, ask yourself, is this really about needing a haircut, or is it about exerting control in a situation that is out of your control?
Hair only grows about a half an inch per month on average. The longer your hair is, the longer you can go without getting it cut. Instead of trimming split ends, consider a split end serum. Try repairing and preventing breakage by avoiding heat styling and dyeing. To prevent damage and add shine, treat your locks to a DIY hair mask.
High-maintenance hairstyles like bangs or super-short cuts are supposed to be shaped once a month. However, as Elle points out, “Short cuts are difficult to do for hairdressers, let alone beginners.” They suggest parting your hair a different way, wearing it up, and trying out different styles. Spiral strands are more forgiving when it comes to at-home haircuts, so curly-haired girls can get away with more.
All this to say that some people cut their own hair all the time. With a little luck, some practice, a steady hand, and the rest of our rules, perhaps you can be one of them.