Getting desperate for a trim but no time to visit the salon? Perhaps it’s time for a quick fix at home. But before you whip out your old kitchen scissors and start cutting your overgrown bangs and unshapely layers, take a moment to get some expert self-haircut advice. Because trust us on this – there is plenty that can go wrong with a DIY haircut.

Do You Really Need A Cut?

First things first, ask yourself if a haircut is really necessary right now. After all, there’s a reason why we normally go to reputable stylists – they have the expertise we lack, as well as the best tools and products for the job. It’s also worth noting that most DIY haircuts do, in fact, look like DIY haircuts (and hundreds of “How to cut your own hair” videos on YouTube prove it).

Before you make any permanent changes to your hair, may we suggest some temporary ones? For example, if you feel like your ends are extremely dry from heat damage, try not using any heat tools except for your hair dryer on medium heat when necessary, for about a month. In the meantime, baby your hair – especially the ends – with regular hair masks, serums and oils, and try doing protective hairstyles such as buns and braids on most days. While giving up your hair straightener or curling iron for a month may seem tough, the ends of your hair will thank you.

But speaking of hair masks, serums and oils, it’s always a good idea to invest in some reparative treatments, but doubly so when you’re dealing with damaged hair and are thinking of giving yourself a haircut. Whether your ends are fried, your hair looks dull and matte, or your curls look limp, an intensive hair mask can do wonders for your hair and bring back that healthy-looking shine and life to your tresses.

Beautiful woman with scissors cutting her hair
  • Protein treatments

If you’ve recently bleached your hair and are struggling with breakage, invest in a quality protein treatment as it can add strength to your hair and improve its texture.

How to tell if your hair needs protein: take about two inches of your hair and stretch it; if it stretches far but doesn’t return to its original state, or it feels gummy and mushy, use a protein mask.

  • Hydrating masks

If you use a lot of heat on your hair and/or you regularly dye it, purchase a couple of hydrating masks to bring back moisture and hydration to your hair.

How to tell if your hair needs hydration: if your hair breaks or doesn’t stretch when you try to stretch it, or it feels dry and brittle when you touch it, you need a good hydrating mask.

  • Oils and serums

If your hair knots a lot and is kind of dull and matte-looking, you’ll greatly benefit from incorporating some hair oils and serums into your routine. The best way to use these products is on damp hair, right after you’ve rinsed your hair from shampoo and conditioner/mask. A good silicone serum will coat your hair and protect it from friction and wind, not to mention add a lot of shine to your tresses.

Check out our article on: How Often Should You Actually Cut Your Hair?

Make Sure You Have the Right Hair-Cutting Tools

If you’ve tried babying your mane but are still set on cutting your own hair, do make sure you have the right tools for the job. A simple trim at home is relatively easy to accomplish with the right tools but can practically be impossible if you’re using your dull kitchen scissors. So, invest in a pair of quality hair-cutting shears and a fine-tooth comb.

Start With Clean, Dry, and Styled Hair

While most hairdressers will usually wet their client’s hair before cutting it, you should start with clean and blow-dried straight hair. Why? Well for one, wet hair allows for more precision when cutting which is great when you’re an experienced professional, but not-so-great when you’re cutting hair at home. Secondly, cutting wet hair can lead to unpleasant surprises when you actually do dry and straighten your hair later and see how much (and how unevenly) your hair has bounced up. So, before you give yourself a trim, shampoo and condition your hair and straighten it.

Cut Less than You Think You Need To

If you’re cutting your own hair for the very first time or you’re simply inexperienced with hair cutting, do not go for the big, drastic cut. Instead, work in small sections and snip only what is absolutely necessary. Remember, you can always go back and trim some more later on, but you can’t bring back the chopped pieces.

In general, when it comes to trimming hair at home, it’s best to cut less than you think you need to, so we don’t recommend cutting more than an inch.

Pay Attention to The Direction Of Your Hair And Your Scissors

The way you hold the shears when cutting your hair can greatly impact the look and quality of your haircut. While your hairdresser may use all kinds of interesting moves and techniques while cutting your hair, it’s best if you stick to simple, tried-and-tested methods for at-home haircutting. Our favorite? A point cut.

Point cutting produces a softer and more forgiving haircut so we highly recommend it for home haircuts. Avoid cutting your hair bluntly across as this is more likely to lead to uneven ends.

  • Work with small and thin sections, about an inch or two wide
  • Put a section of hair between your fingers and turn it upwards
  • Place your shears parallel to the hair peeking through your fingers
  • Start trimming carefully and not too much
  • Try to cut away from your fingers so you don’t cut yourself
A young woman cutting her hair

Be Extra Careful With Bangs

When trimming hair at home, it’s best not to experiment and trim only what is absolutely necessary. We don’t recommend giving yourself new bangs, simply because there’s a very high chance you’ll regret it later. Plus, DIY bangs tend to look off unless they’re perfectly styled. But if you already have bangs and they’re just in need of a small trim, you can absolutely cut them yourself.

The best way to do this is to section your bangs in a triangle, pull them downwards with a comb and snip the ends using the point cut technique. If you need a guide for how much to trim, use the arches of your brows by trimming the bangs to just above them. Remember to go slowly and cut minimally!