DIY Guide to Cutting Your Own Hair

With the average price of a women’s haircut hovering between $40 and $60 (usually higher in cities) and the average frequency of annual cuts being between four to seven times a year, it makes sense that you may want to learn how to cut your own hair.

If you’ve ever tried coloring your own hair and enjoy the convenience, savings, and mastery of beauty techniques, it’s likely that you may want to try a DIY haircut, too!

Tips and Advice on Cutting Your Hair at Home:

Here are some things to consider before attempting to learn how to cut your own hair:

  • Do you prefer a precision cut, or are you okay with a bit of imprecision? Only cut your own hair if you don’t need a precise cut.
  • Cut your own hair when you have time to get a correction by a pro if you feel you must. This might mean scheduling it for a Friday night, so you don’t have to go to a morning meeting feeling less than happy.
  • Going from no bangs to cut-yourself-bangs is a big way to flop when cutting your own hair for the first time.
  • Your hair should be damp. It should not be wet or dry. If your hair is wet when cut, it will be shorter when it’s dry, especially if you have curly hair. Curly hair is difficult in general to cut in a precise line, so try cutting it incrementally, shortening it gradually.
  • For the first time, you attempt to cut your own hair, consider learning how to trim your own hair, rather than giving yourself a full-on haircut with a considerable change in length. If you are cutting your own hair short from long hair, you may be more satisfied to make the initial change in the hands of a professional.
  • Realize that in many videos, there is often quite a bit of adjusting done while cutting hair. This may be omitted in some online videos or made to seem faster with time-lapse, as in this bold, do-it-yourself bob. Never cut your hair in a rush.

How to Cut Hair Just to Get Rid of Split Ends:

How to Cut Hair Just to Get Rid of Split Ends

There’s a secret for how to trim hair and getting rid of split ends without losing length. What you need to do is take sections of your hair and twist them, and then carefully take the scissors and cut the ends that stick up. This video by Patry Jordan English shows this technique and another method for cutting ends of differing lengths without sacrificing length. It’s free, unlike a rather pricey gadget called the split-ender.

How to Layer Your Own Hair:

If you want to know how to layer hair, check out this demo. Try to match where your layers will be cut according to your face shape. You may have seen hairdressers do a feathering technique to the ends after cutting it at the right length. This snipping-in motion is called “point cutting,” and it gives the hair more volume. Shallow point cutting is good for thin hair, and deeper point cutting is good for thick, straight hair, but it should not be done on curly hair (see more).

How to Cut Your Own Hair Short:

If you’re determined to learn how to cut your own hair short, be prepared by planning it in advance to avoid remorse.

Basic Steps: (See essential video)

  1. Comb your hair. Part it down the middle, from crown to the back.
  2. Section 1/6 of your hair volume in the front on one side of the head and band it off with a rubber band at the length you want your hair (you will be cutting right below the band). Add another band underneath it to keep the hair together when you cut it off.
  3. On the same side of your head, section the back of your hair into another 1/6th of total v, banding in the same manner.
  4. Section another 1/6th behind the ear, between the front and back sections.
  5. Do the same for the opposite side of your head. Check the lengths of all the bands, using a mirror to help, and adjust as necessary.
  6. Cut off the ends flush underneath each top band. Remove the 6 remaining rubber bands.
  7. Comb and even out as needed.

Products That Can Help You Cut Your Own Hair at Home:

Products That Can Help You Cut Your Own Hair at Home
  • Hair-cutting scissors. The most important thing is a high-quality pair of hair-cutting scissors. Only use them for cutting hair to keep the blades sharp.
    Suggestion: Utopia Care Professional Scissors
  • A large hand mirror. This is especially important if you are discovering how to cut your own hair in layers.
    Suggestion: Rocutus Large Hand Mirror
  • A smoothing flat iron. If you have wavy or curly hair, use a straightening iron before you cut your hair, especially if you are going for a blunt cut.
    Suggestion: HSI Professional Flat Iron

Additional items:

  • A spray bottle to keep hair damp. If you often cut hair at home, and your hair dries quickly, this makes it easy to keep the hair evenly moist.
  • A towel or cape to drape over your shoulders.


By the number of videos available to answer, “how to cut my own hair?” which number literally in the millions, you are not alone. As with any skill, you can get better with practice. Just remember that hair typically grows a half-inch in a month, so factor that in when you determine how much to take off. 

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