I Cut My Own Hair: Here’s How it Went Down

    Why is it that, whenever we are in a state of stress or on the verge of a breakdown, we have a strong desire to do something crazy to our hair? This happens so often that there is an actual trend circulating the Internet in which people make posts telling us to leave our hair alone when we’re going through a rough time. Seriously. If you search “leave your hair alone” on Twitter, you’ll find a long list of tweets from various people giving us wise words of encouragement that there are other ways to take care of ourselves that don’t involve touching our precious hair. There’s a theory that the reason we tend to change our hair during difficult times is that it is the one thing we have total control over. It’s hard to control the external stress of our daily lives, so whenever we feel overwhelmed, we tend to cope by becoming fixated on things we can control; i.e., our physical appearance. I tend to believe this theory is logical, considering I took a scissor to my own hair just last week.

    I didn’t understand the phenomenon at first. I didn’t understand how changing your hair could suddenly make you feel better about your problems – until I actually did it. As a current college freshman, I had difficulty transitioning into a college lifestyle, especially within the crazy city that is New York. Making friends hasn’t been easy, and the workload gradually gets more difficult. With that on top of the personal issues I face outside of my school work, I’ll admit my first year isn’t going as well as I imagined it would. Over winter break I dyed my hair for the first time, which was already a drastic change for me, and I’ve received lots of compliments from my peers since then, which was a real morale booster. But the more I looked at my hair, the more I felt like something was missing and kept wanting to add to it -- more dye, a different style, a different length, anything. However, I am also lazy and easily stress myself out over the smallest things, so taking the time to make and pay for a hair appointment wasn’t exactly the first thing on my to-do list. So, I just sucked it up and tried to carry on about my days trying to ignore my hair altogether and do something like paint my nails instead. Clearly, that didn’t last very long.

    I was watching YouTube one day after class and came across a video titled “I Tried Cutting My Own Hair,” so naturally, I clicked on it. And even though the girl who posted the video had seemingly cut nothing more than a split end off her hair, I was feeling inspired. I had just completed a long, overwhelming week, and as I was watching the video I couldn’t help but keep looking in the mirror hating how long my hair had become, and I just kept thinking, “How hard can it be?” So I grabbed my scissors and just started snipping away. An average, everyday household scissor no less, which is probably one of the worst possible things you can do to your hair. In fact, professional stylist Nicole Hitchcock states that typical household scissors aren’t sharp enough and their rounded edges are more likely to cause split ends. But that’s all I had available to me at the moment, so I did it anyway.

    Oddly enough, it turned out that I didn’t do too bad of a job, despite using dull scissors on dry hair! I ended up cutting about three inches off, and it wasn’t extremely noticeable that some pieces were uneven. My roommate came home later that night and asked if I had cut my hair, and when I told her I was “going through it,” and that I chopped it off myself, she actually complimented me and told me that it looked pretty good, and then she proceeded to tidy up some strands I’d missed. I guess I got pretty lucky and was careful enough to not epically ruin my hair. Still, going to get it professionally polished is something I will definitely want to do in the near future.

    The moral of the story is this: occasionally trimming your hair to maintain your bangs or try to cut some split ends can be super convenient at times if you have the proper tools, but going to a professional is always best and will pay off in the end. After all, they are professionals for a reason. Cutting your own hair is something I would absolutely not recommend, but sometimes you’ve just got to try something once and experience it for yourself. Just please, don’t forget about your regular hair professional. And remember, violating your hair is not an effective method of dealing with stress, despite the Internet’s beliefs.