How to Cut Your Own Hair and Not Totally Fail

I’m probably not the best advice for general hair cutting, but if you’re ever sitting in your dorm at 11:00 pm and suddenly have an existential crisis that can only be mended by chopping off your locks, I am the one to go to.

Existential crisis aside, I cut my own hair for different reasons. Hair dressers, for some reason, never listen to me and I always end up with a wack cut. There’s also the fact that I have a very dramatic cowlick on the right side of my hairline so my hair in the front has to be kept much longer than the stuff in the back just if it wants to be even.

How many times have I told hairdressers that I don’t need layers because my hair will naturally do it on its own! I swear they all just come at me like this:

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Anyway, the point is, if you have hair that needs to be cut a very specific way for it to look even semi-decent, cutting your own hair might be the solution. I’m not going to recommend how I do it to everybody, because I cut specifically to my hair, but here’s some stuff that I learned.


1. I used to just cut my hair with kid scissors and have of recently bought like actual hair scissors. Hair trimming scissors (from Target) usually help cut better so you don’t get split ends as easily but it’s whatever to be honest.

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2. No matter if your trimming or chopping, snip just a little bit off at a time. This tip is fairly obvious, if you don’t cut a lot, it’s easier to correct. Also don’t hack at a big clump. That’s how you damage the ends.

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3. If you part your hair differently every few days, make the different parts as your cutting it to make sure it doesn’t look good when it’s flipped to one side. For me, having that cowlick means that one side of my hair is longer than the other side, but that’s just what I have to do. If you don’t have that problem, just part it in the middle or wherever you normally part it.

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4. CUT IT DRY. For floofy hair like mine, if you wet it and then cut it, then it’ll all be the same length when it’s wet, but not when it’s dry. So if you don’t want the front of your hair to be shorter than the back, don’t wet it too much. Maybe a little, but not so much that it’s soaking.

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5. The YouTube tutorials that tell you to put your hair into two ponytails and hack them off DON’T work. This will leave you with a clump of hair in the back (by the nape of your neck) that is SO much longer than the rest. It’ll look so weird especially for shorter hair. It didn't work for me. It didn't work for Safiya Nygaard (watch her video here: And it's not going to work for you. 

In general, fancy tricks don't work.

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6. Use two mirrors so you can see what’s going on back there. I tend to eyeball it, but that totally doesn’t work for everybody.

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That’s all I got. It’s not foolproof and it’s not a method for everybody, definitely those with really straight hair. These are more tips for those of us whose hair just goes everywhere and can’t be handled by a standard hairdresser cut.

Good luck out there!

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