Trimming Your Budget: A Guide to At-Home Haircuts

Getting a haircut can be one of the easiest ways to transform your look without dishing out a lot of money. We all know that a good style can make a huge difference in your overall appearance, but can you achieve one without going to the salon? DIY haircuts can save money but pose the risk of disastrous results if done poorly. So how can you decide if you're DIY-ready? We've consulted the experts to determine if at-home haircuts are worth the risk! And if you're dead-set on a DIY 'do, we've also compiled a list of tips and tricks for those collegiettes who are ready to take the plunge. After all, it's always better to be safe than sorry!

Common Styles: DIY Dos & Don'ts

Are you looking to try a new hairstyle, but aren't sure if it's doable outside of the salon? We've put together a list of three common styles with tips on how to do them at home (and whether or not they're worth the risk!).

Simple Layers

Layers can be done at home as long as you follow the proper procedure. To achieve a layered look, all you have to do is trim the ends off of a tight, centered ponytail! Check out this super easy tutorial for full instructions.

Bob

Cutting your own bob is a lot riskier than cutting layers, so we really recommend seeing a stylist. But if you must do it yourself, start with a ponytail (this time at the nape of your neck) and follow these instructions.

Pixie Cut

Unlike the other two fairly simple tutorials, achieving a pixie cut requires a much longer process and is always best left to the professionals. If you're craving the short-haired look, visit a salon, because an at-home mess-up can be nearly impossible to fix!

A Guide to DIY Trims

First and foremost, how often do you need to trim?

What if you're just looking to get a trim? Is it really worth shelling out big bucks just to get an inch or two of dead ends off? How often should you be getting your hair trimmed, anyway? We went to the experts to find out the answers to all of your at-home trimming questions!

Angelo David Pisacreta is a celebrity hair stylist, hair illusionist and hair extension aficionado based out of New York City. In addition to being the owner and creative director of Angelo David Salon, he is the creator of Couture Hair Extensions & Additions. Pisacreta gave insight into how often girls should get their hair trimmed, and whether it's ever a good idea to save money making those frequent trims yourself.

“We’ve heard all sorts of hair myths. The most popular one is that you should trim your hair every 4 to 6 weeks. This is not always the case. Super-curly hair often grows more slowly. And if you receive a chemical treatment, such as lightening or coloring, you might need a trim sooner than later to maintain a healthy, shiny look.” Pisacreta says.

While specific timing may depend on your hair type, hair treatments and coloring, it's safe to get a trim every one to two months as a general rule.

So can you do a simple trim yourself?

Since that's a lot of trimming, you may be hesitant to head to the salon every time. But is it possible to do a simple trim at home (you know, besides that one time that you decided to do it in preschool right before picture day)?

“I would not recommend at-home trimming. If you trim your own hair and mess up, it might be harder for a professional to fix without cutting more length than you want to lose. Don’t [trim your bangs at home]. A professional can create bangs in the perfect length and style to flatter your face shape. And, many salons do bang trims for free, so why take the risk?” says Pisacreta.

And if you do decide to trim your hair at home, always remember to start with damp hair. Use a wide-tooth comb or paddle brush, and brush your hair into a smooth ponytail on the top of your head. In front of a mirror, squeeze the hair elastic at the base of your ponytail and begin pulling it straight up, towards your ends. Stop about three inches from your ends and hold tightly. Then, using a pair of sharp hair-cutting shears (which can be found online or at a beauty supply store), start slowly cutting into the ends of the ponytail. If you only want to trim the bare minimum, just cut across the tops of your split ends. If you want to trim a bit more, cut straight across the top of the ponytail holder, which should be adjusted to help you achieve your desired length. 

Alternative Ways to Save 

Looking to cut corners and save money some other way? Splurge on styling at a nicer, quality salon, because a bad hairstyle can seriously damage your look. Save on trims and other minor procedures, since they can be done well almost anywhere, and even done yourself.

You can also go to a beauty school or a less experienced stylist for a cheaper rate! Often times, you will get big discounts on the same haircut that would have cost you a pretty penny at higher-end salons for the same quality.

Generally, when it comes to any kind of haircut (trim or otherwise) it is best to stick with the professionals. But if you're dying to DIY, follow these tips to avoid a mess!