Hair Cutting - How to Cut Your Own Hair in Layers

Haircuts are Expensive!

Cutting hair at home

With the economy the way it is, it just a waste of money to spend about $200 a month on family haircuts. And this is "frugal", just a normal shampoo and cut. Other things, like getting a permanent wave of having streaks put in would double the $200 easily. No doubt about it, styling has become a luxury.

I found I can save a lot of money by cutting my own hair and that of my family's. There is nothing to it, and it's actually kind of fun. The "cha-CHING!" sound rings in my ears as I keep the fifty I would have otherwise "parted" with!

The only upfront investments are a plastic sheet like - clothing guard and shears, which can be purchased at the drugstore for about the same price as a basic haircut.

Find a comfortable chair and good light, and you are ready to begin. I sometimes put newspaper on the floor to make clean-up easier, so you can try that.

Hair cut 100

Dirty Hair Cuts Better

Easier and Less Flyaway

The ideal way, I have found, is cut dirty hair! It doesn't slide around so much which makes it easier to cut. (Hair dye is best applied to dirty hair too.. to protect the hairline from harmful and itchy chemicals. If you scratch, the color doesn't work so well.. so you end up with a bad dye-job. Just sayin'.) The sections usually stay segregated better too. After the cut, you will be washing anyway, so it makes sense to let it get a little bit oily before you start.

The Ultimate Smarty-Pants Routine

If you color your hair like I do, the really super routine is to color the hair at home when it is dirty. Not only will you use less color (it's bad for your scalp anyway) it creates a more natural, less chemical look. Then, let it get a little dirty again, and cut it. Shampoo and style it.

Chop, chop!

Have you ever cut your own hair?

See results without voting

Step by Step - the Basics

The Basic How To's

This is too much hair to cut at one time.  In two steps, it would be OK.  Remember, less is more.  You can always cut more, later.
This is too much hair to cut at one time. In two steps, it would be OK. Remember, less is more. You can always cut more, later.
Pull the hair forward around the jawline to make sure that left and right sides are about the same length, ideally - if you want a symmetrical haircut.
Pull the hair forward around the jawline to make sure that left and right sides are about the same length, ideally - if you want a symmetrical haircut.

Methods to the Madness

Men's hair

My husband is the easiest of all. Not much hair on his head to begin with, sectioning off and cutting is as easy as pie. Then combing into place, make a half-circle around the lower bottom edge around the back collar, and carefully razor blade away the back-of-the-neck fuzzies.

Sectioning Off the Hair

First liberally, then in tiny (about 1/4 inch or a bit more) slice of hair. Sections are usually

- around the face,

- crown (top of head) to ear,

- four large sections at the crown (divided up into tinier sections of course), and

- the back.

Brush the hair forward, towards the face.

Using a rat-tail comb, about 1-1/2 inches of hair brush forward and hold out from the face. Now trip the hair - let it be a half inch - with shears pointed upwards, so that you are cutting "uphill". Continue. Try to cut exactly 1/2 inch from each section, using either classic hair clips or butterfly style "grabbers" to keep the hair properly controlled while you cut.

Cutting the hair "uphill" - Perhaps the most important tip

To avoid the straight harsh line, trim the hair on a slight angle, upwards. THIS IS NOT LEFT TO RIGHT UPHILL, BUT rather uphill at a 90% angle of the sectioned off piece. Like you are stabbing the hair blockade, pierce the wall and CHOP. This allows the hairs to blend in and provides a more natural look.

Come on, Mom! Are we done yet?

Children's Haircuts

Young kids squirm a lot, so putting them in front of the TV is a good plan to keep them occupied. A lollypop is also a good idea. I used to give my son a comic book or cellular phone to play with but the head is too far down and that can be a problem. Better let him watch a TV show as a distraction.

Girls or long hair trims - I chopped my daughter's hair across the bottom but only after sectioning off the back of her head with a mini ponytail in the back. Again, trim the ponytail hair "uphill" to get rid of any and all split ends, then trim the back. To tell you the truth, I think it looks every bit as good as when she had it done at the stylist's.

Long hair cuts Male or Female

A small pony tail sectioned off at the crown works better than to simply chop across. Do it in two levels for a more natural, blended in effect in the back.

TO avoid the "escaped from a mental hospital" or the Raw Chop look, section each hair square (like 2x2 Inches) with a clasp. Again, comb upwards to see that the ends are even and in alignment. Chop. Repeat. Ideally about ten hair clasps will do. It takes a little longer, but the result is more subtle, better blending, and a fuller look. Easy does, it, turn on the radio, take your time. So now you know why most stylists have the gift of gab :)

Bangs

Bangs are a little bit scary. I remember my mom cutting mine using Scotch Tape on my forehead. That was pretty weird. Anyway, like everywhere else, you need to part the hair into tiny sections within the front - of the - face section. To explain, part off three horizontal sections, but when you chop hold the hair vertically. Pin back and continue. It takes about three sections to give a natural looks so if you goof it won't be obvious. Remember, holding the hair up, with scissors pointed upward, chop uphill towards the crown. It can be done ;) So just go ahead and do it.

Finishing Touches

After the cut, a shampoo is essential to get rid of tiny hairs that will scratch you and irritate later.

If you have long hair, bend at the waist to dry the nape first, this adds body. Dry hair also keeps your clothes from getting damp. Now straighten up and begin styling. Less is more - air dry at least 50% to avoid an overly dry scalp or damaged hair, especially if you color your hair.

Creme or Gel?

Getting a little of the subject, I prefer creme. The gel looks just too plastic when it dries. I take about a nickel to a quarter's worth for styling while the hair is just a little moist, not completely dry. It seems to respond better that way, with a little hydration. I hit the dry ends first, then the scalp and rub it through my hair as I style it.

More by this Author


Comments 39 comments

Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

I've been cutting my hubbie's hair for 25 years...saved us a lot. Good hub.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Good going, Lilleyth! I do occasionally - maybe once or twice a year, but with a basic cut it's pretty easy to maintain. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Every attempt at cutting my hair, hubbie's hair, friends' hair has resulted in disaster. I think I've saved my marriage by NOT cutting his hair!

Good hub though - times are hard.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

That's funny, 2 patricias! I sometimes watch a You Tube video before plunging in. My daughter had waist length hair until recently; now it's in a Bob style. Seeing the demo in front of me gave me courage, and yes, it turned out just fine. Thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

I cut my own hair sometimes. Thanks for the photos and helpful tips because I never really knew what I was doing!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Super, Natashalh! Your hair looks great in your photo, maybe you knew more than you realized. Thanks for the visit and comment, Ecal


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I've cut my own hair many times. Actually turns out better that when someone else does it, even at a salon! Always cut my kids hair when they were at home. Thanks for the photos!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Today I took my own advice and cut my son's Justin Bieber type hair. It was covering his eyes, a real mop-top. Now he is my little cutie pie again. He said the kids at soccer said he looked better. So nice to save money :) it never gets old.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Glad you liked the photos, JamaGenee. Photos do help a lot.. A picture is worth a thousand words. There are more of us home hair cutters than it seems. Sorry it took me so long to respond. Best to you, ECAL


takerecess profile image

takerecess 4 years ago from USA

I cut my bangs in between haircuts, but I'm too scared to do my whole head. If I ever need to though, I'll use your tips.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks for your comment, takerecess! If you do it in tiny rows of hair, it's not bad. With your comb, hold the row with one hand (left?) then hold your scissors upwards and chop upwards, towards the sky. If you cut your bangs two or three levels deep the effect is minimized so even if it's not perfect it will blend in well. A small curler or curling iron can be used later while styling to let the bangs cascade around your face. Lots of fun tips to try and experiment with! Looking forward to hearing how it goes if you end up trying to do it yourself. ECAL :)


Rusticliving profile image

Rusticliving 4 years ago from California

This is a great hub! I cut my hair and my honeys hair all the time. You gave some wonderful tips for me to use on myself. Can't wait to try them! Thumbs up and shared! Lisa


mepperly profile image

mepperly 4 years ago from Vancouver,WA

I just added this hub to my hub about cutting your own hair. You can see it here http://hubpages.com/style/How-to-Cut-Your-Hair-Pon... and return the favor if you would like to. Have a fabulous day.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

@Rusticliving, thanks for the read, comment, up vote, share and follow! WOW! :D Glad that some of my tips inspired you. Home haircuts can give you financial elbow space. Best to you, Ecal

@mepperly, thanks for the link. I will be glad to return the favor. Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. Regards, Ecal.


Etherealenigma profile image

Etherealenigma 4 years ago from Florida

I really like the picture of the girl with the red hair. That's the same red I've been trying to get my hair to for a while. Even the salon does not get it right. You shoulda put something in the post about how to use a buzz cutter. I get confused with do I have the blade in, do I not have the blade in, and things like that. I bought 2 of these blades now, and still don't know how to use them right. My son complains that I'm hurting him and it's pulling his hair. So unfortunately, I had to go back to paying to get his hair cut. Good article though.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Hi Etherealenigma, I love your name -

Just have to say, I don't know a thing about the buzz cutter, one of these days I will find out. My son gets an annual buzz cut before summer which grows out nicely in time for school. The red color you're shooting for will probably come from experimenting two colors. Use half of one shade - a cherry red probably - and a tomato soup red. I personally don't have much patience with the swatch test, I just go for it.

In college in order to save money I would get a perm (my hair got curlier after my kids were born), then a couple weeks later frost my hair using a cap then choose a strawberry blond which made it look really natural reddish blondish curly-ish. Just sharing what worked for me in the past. A little experimenting and taking notes helps so you will get closer to the color you are shooting for. Best, Ecal


rebeccaac profile image

rebeccaac 4 years ago from Sullivan Missouri

GREAT HUB, THANKS FOR THE KNOWLEDGE


jennzie profile image

jennzie 4 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

Nice tips! My hair is in desperate need of a cut and coloring, but I've been too lazy to get my butt to the salon. I have had pretty bad experiences with cutting my own hair, but I think I might try again using your advice.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hello Euro,

Congratulations on being part of the apprentice hub team and I admire your contribution here in writing this article. I can't stop myself from commenting about the subject matter of the hub, despite your well written and engaging work here. Well done.

As a licensed cosmetologist, former hair stylist and salon owner, I will admit that prior to licensing I experimented with cutting my hair and that of my own family members'. What I didn't know about styles and hair cutting techniques and my early mistakes were easy to excuse away by their gratitude in saving the money.

As a professional stylist, I've also been asked to "fix" many a home haircut or hair color that went terribly wrong including some whose hair had fallen out in their sink due to incorrect chemical processes performed at home. This is absolutely true.

I completely understand that times are hard and every dime saved is important. That said, I will mention that cutting dirty, dry hair is against the basic principles of cleanliness and sanitation practices that are taught in nearly every beauty school. Some of the clients who were assigned to me in beauty school were those in desperate need of a bargain who admitted they hadn't shampooed their hair for months! Not a good environment for handling and rehandling hair and using sharp pointed instruments. We were supposed to charge patrons for shampooing, but I would shampoo every patron whether they paid for it or not for my own protection and to enable an optimum haircut.

I feel certain that you have a natural talent for this specialized art since you mention your haircuts turn out well. That is great. Not everyone has this talent and can be negatively impacted by a poor self image due to a bad haircut. A good haircut, in my view, is more important than many other equally priced purchases that are worn once or twice.

May I also mention that as a hairdresser, many clients came to me not only for haircuts but to confide personal stories and engage in conversations that were an integral part of the salon experience. I heard things as a stylist that many Moms were not privy to.

I admire your bravery in this endeavor and would encourage you to think of taking a class to develop your obvious skills in this profession.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

PegCole17 - WOW!

The salon experience can be fun. Getting a new do by a cosmetologist is fun too. Hubs are usually written based on experience and interest, so this was no exception. What I have learned so far I have shared, and hopefully will give someone the confidence to give it a try for themselves. It's not an all or nothing affair. I still go to the stylist once in awhile but I don't go every month - it would blow my budget.

I agree with you about hygiene. When I said dirty hair, I meant days not months, LOL. Thanks for the great compliments! I have been lucky - talent, who knows for sure. My mom cut our hair when we were kids, so I figured that if she could do it, so could I. Of course a trained cosmetologist would do a better job. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a well thought out and objective comment. Take care, I sincerely appreciate it. ECAL :)


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Hello again Euro,

I'm so relieved that you took my comment in the way it was intended. I did not mean to offend in any way and like I said, I've been cutting hair since I was 14. In those early days the haircuts weren't all that great. You genuinely do have a talent for it or you wouldn't have such good results. My caution was to those other people who cut hair without this talent, that can result in lowered self esteem. I can tell you from experience that many have cried their hearts out in my salon chair from a poor haircut or a bad perm, thankfully it was not from me. LOL I cried with them as I wished for scissors that could make hair longer again.

Again, thanks for the good spirit in which you accepted my comments. Yes, some of the patrons in beauty school were quite poor and did not have access to proper hygiene. Seriously, you have the gift you should use it.

All the best to you, Peg


Jennifer Stone profile image

Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

I cut my own hair every so often, but never really had the know-how to make it look really good! Thanks for this, very useful!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Great, Jennifer, easy does it. Always better to cut too little than too much. Try my tips and tell me how it goes. There are videos on You Tube for inspiration, too. Good luck! :) Appreciate the comment and follow!


deimos319 profile image

deimos319 4 years ago from Prescott, AZ

awesome, thanks! word of the wise: never try to cut your hair while upset :) mullets will happen..


sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

I have cut my sister's and sometimes her friends' hair too and they were very happy with the results. But cutting my own hair ? I have thought about it but never felt confident, as I also have a load of long hair. Your tips are wonderful common sense - and I am sure anyone trying them out will not be disheartened by the results. Voted up and useful.


TeachableMoments profile image

TeachableMoments 4 years ago from California

Great tips! I recently tried cutting my hair and it was a disaster. I now have one section of hair that is way shorter than the rest. Wish I had read this hub before I started. Thanks for a very informative hub.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Hello Ladies!! Sorry for the late response. Yes, cutting hair requires a cool head. That is very good advice. Cutting your own hair is not so hard. Take a deep breath. The first person who gave me the courage to try was our town hairdresser. I asked her who cut her own hair and she answered "who else but me?". It looked great. She gave me suggestions to get started and I began researching it with You Tube videos. Other ladies told me they did their own styling for many years - practically all their lives. Glad to be of service, and thank you kindly for the Up votes. Best to you!!! Anastasia


GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

Great hub with alot of good tips. Im a little confused when everything is backwards in the mirror :0) Great hub, Voted up!!!


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

I love the photo of the kid with the bowl on his head. I guess people really did cut hair using a bowl at some time in history!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'll forward this to my partner, who cuts my hair. But honestly, I do like to keep my hair very short, so am okay with his running the shaver through my head. Voting this Up and Useful.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks, Alocsin and Debbie Pinkston!

Just an hour ago, I cut my son's hair (using my own advice, of course - like going slow) and I must say he is a dead ringer for Justin Bieber, LOL. Best of all, I now have money in my pocket for something useful. Appreciate the Up Votes - see you online! :)


Londonlady profile image

Londonlady 4 years ago

This definitely sounds interesting to try. I might start on a smaller section of my hair to see how I do before I move on to the real deal. Great hub, voted up :)


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

Great Hub! I have been cutting my own hair for years. The few times I have gone to a salon I have found them scissor happy and cutting it far shorter than I wanted. I have also cut hair for my sisters and friends. At one time I considered being a hair dresser, however from the comment above by Pegcole17 about having to wash peoples hair that hadn't been washed in months I am glad I didn't. I would never try one of those precision cuts though. That would need a real hairdresser! One other little point; I once cut my own hair after two or three glassed of wine. I do not recommend that! LOL


debbiepinkston profile image

debbiepinkston 3 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

I grew up in West Africa, and my mother cut our hair when we were little. When we got older, we learned to cut each other's hair. In Boarding school (grades 10-12) some of the dorm mothers were great at haircutting and we learned a lot from them.

Today I cut my hair most of the time, and about once a year I get a "professional" cut. It has saved me a lot of money over the years!

We also learned to sew our own clothes, decorate cakes, and many other things while in Africa!


idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 3 years ago from United States

I've known someone whose sister cuts her own hair, often in a layered style that looks so fantastic! I think a layered cut will do the (self-)trick so that even if it's uneven it will still look good.

Thanks for the tips, sometimes I think I want to cut my hair in my own way. Some people are dissatisfied with hairstylists sometimes. Up and useful and a following. :)


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Hi, idigwebsites, what a clever name! Thanks for the follow. I have had long hair for awhile now, and just recently I got the nerve to chop-chop. I have to say it turned out pretty good. And best of all, free. You are right about the layers. The expression dazzle them with your footwork applies here. Perhaps it's not for everyone, but if you have too much hair and a little bit of nerve, you may find these tips work well for you. Look forward to hearing how it turned out.


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 2 years ago

Great tips I pinned this one ~ I have been cutting mine and my son and hubby as well. love the tips :)


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

I cut my husbands and mine. I love to go to the beauty shop now and then, but it never satisfies me. I imagine I have saved very much. Wish I had it. lol Great tips.


Akriti Mattu profile image

Akriti Mattu 18 months ago from Shimla, India

This is such a cool post. Voted up :-)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working