I love a good scalp massage and some free tea as much as the next person, but hair salons make me anxious as hell. They're all impeccably designed, filled with beautiful, well-dressed people, and a general air of, "We'll help you, because obviously you really need it, but you know you don't belong here, right?" And then, good Lord, I'm expected to make conversation? Just to walk out with a haircut I probably don't like in a style I'll never replicate?
Fortunately, my DIY ethic runs deep. In part because I'm incredibly cheap, but also because I have a stupid amount of pride. So to spare everyone the hassle, and myself the anxiety, I’ve been cutting my hair, and my husband's, at home for a few years now.
Men have a clear advantage here--doing his whole head at one length with some clippers is perfectly acceptable--while women are held to a higher hair standard. We've been made to believe that a beautiful haircut is too difficult to manage on our own and the stakes are far too high to even try. But I'm here to tell you that's BS. Grab your scissors, ladies.
Brief disclaimer: While I love short hair on women, this technique is for longer hair.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Those blue and white guys up there are CreaClips, a genius tool created specifically for cutting your own hair at home that cost less than a single salon visit. Just look at those little levels! Adorable.
The blue one is for short hair and bangs; the white one is for long hair. You can have someone slide it right down your back and lop off the ends to keep it all one length, or use it yourself to create nice even layers. We’re going to be doing the latter.
Also, scissors. I like Tweezerman's stainless-steel shears. But you can use any kind of scissors--they just have to be sharp.
As I said, I’ve been cutting my hair like this for some time, so you’re not going to see any dramatic before and after as if I were swept up off the street by some ladymag for a makeover to “transform my tresses” or whatever adorable alliterative they’re on to this month. The difference will be subtle, but should look a lot cleaner and illustrate the structure of the cut better than my ratty, haven’t-had-a-trim-in-months hair does.
A few notes before we start: Most tutorials start by telling you to begin with clean hair, or towel-dried hair, or after using a texturizing product or whatever. I couldn't care less about that; just be sure to comb it out thoroughly. It can be wet or dry, whichever is easier for you to work with. Keep in mind that wet hair will shrink up as it dries, so be a bit conservative on your first try.
Now, get yourself into some clothing and a room that you don’t mind covering in tiny hair particles, and grab a trash can.
1. Start by flipping your head upside down and brushing all of your hair forward.
2. Next, grab the long white CreaClip and clasp it around your hair with the level facing inward. Aim for mid-shaft or higher so you have enough room to get it level and to the desired length. This can be tricky if you have fine hair like me; the clip might not have enough to grab onto and slide off on its own. Just try to work fast and hold it tight. Wet hair might add grip, but I like cutting mine dry so I can see exactly what I’m working with.
3. Once you’ve gotten it right where you want it simply cut off everything below the clip, using its shape as a guide. Do your best to actually hit the trash can with the clippings.
4. Once all those dead ends are gone, slide the clip off, flip your hair back over, brush it out, and admire the excellent job you’ve done. (Or, if you’re at all like me, repeat the process 4-5 times because you are an anal-retentive perfectionist.)
I suppose you want to see how it turned out?
Because I’m pretty sure I’m working with at least one hair disorder I try to do this every six weeks or so, but life and laze happen, and I end up skipping a few trims. In between, I’ll pick through my hair when I’m bored and snip off any split ends. The underside of my hair seems to be particularly rich with them, so I end up doing this a lot if I’m wearing my hair half up. This also tends to occur when I’m bored at work (so, like, all the time). It might not make me look like the most productive, diligent employee but hey, I’m just protecting my eyes.
So, do you think you’ll give cutting your hair at home a go? Show us a photo of your DIY trims! What are you going to spend all that extra money on? Might I suggest wine and burritos?