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How to cut your own hair at home

It is so easy. Truly. I have been cutting my own hair for about 2 years now and have never looked back.

Disclaimer: My hair is EASY. I have past shoulder-length, straight-ish, medium-thickness hair that doesn’t give me trouble, isn’t brittle, fragile, or too curly or thick, and … that’s all I have any experience with.


No drinking beforehand, please!

I had used some ponytail holders to mark off the sections but my partner had just downed a bottle of wine so he was a little wonky in his snips which is fine because we also didn’t have the right tools.

Or do it yourself if you have long enough hair to see what you’re doing in the mirror.

I actually do it myself with a garbage can in the sink – I lean over it, and just turn my head to the side and snip across the ponytail.

You need 1-2 day old hair

Slightly oily, not TOO oily and it your hair is too clean and fluffy.

You don’t want fluffy hair because the little hairs will go everywhere… You want hair that sticks together and will be easier to even out.

You need the hairs to stay together somewhat but you don’t need to have it soaking wet (preferable) nor washed beforehand (I prefer washing it after anyway to get the little hairs off).

Use the right, sharp tools

If you can use super sharp shears that are big, it would make it easier.

I got these hair scissors and they work great. Actually, you can even use regular paper scissors for your first try but it will come out all janky as they aren’t sharp at all.

You can also learn the point-cut that professionals use to soften out the edges but with this particular cut I haven’t seen any areas I need to clean up.

Use ponytail holders as markers

I put one ponytail holder super tight and used another as a marker of where to snip across to keep it straight.

You can eyeball it, but I think the holders help keep the hair right and bunched up in the same spot for a straight cut.

Choose a foolproof style

Anything with short blunt, super razor sharp edges is not meant to be DIY-ed.

You need something more forgiving, like longer hair or at least, shoulder length which is what I picked.

Cut it a little longer than you want

If anything you can go a little shorter but you can’t undo it…

Lighten up

It is just hair, remember? It can be evened out later, or you can just let it grow back out.

Here are some hair shots. Obviously I curl it so it looks way better but I am pretty happy with the results.


There are some great resources out there, namely this page with various styles and videos.

If you don’t want to give yourself a full haircut but just a trim, check out this Wikihow and this Youtube video about split ends.


I do what is called the SCHLOB (Choppy Layered Long Bob)

I do it past my shoulders because I like longer hair to curl..

Choose your length

I tie a ponytail at the base of my neck and then move the ponytail knot just past my shoulders, for the final length I want.

If you stop the ponytail knot just past the top of your spine, you’ll get a shorter haircut that will bounce up just past your shoulders.

I like to do the knot a few inches BELOW my shoulders because I am just trying to get rid of dried ends.

Snip across

Get someone to snip across. Hair is hard to cut when it is a big thick cord, so they may have to snip and snip and snip and snip again, which will create jagged cuts. THIS IS OKAY because of step 3.

Clean up the cut

Clean up the cut by then letting the pony tail knot go, and just cut across the bottom, evening out jagged looking cut.

Now for layers – find your crown

Make another ponytail knot but this time at the crown of your head.

To find the crown, take your fingers to the tip of your ears, and then brush your fingers to the back of your head in the same trajectory, and your crown should be just under the top of your head, around the middle.

Gather all of your hair up there, into a tight knot.

I’d suggest brushing it up so it is nice and even, and flat against your head, otherwise you may end up with jagged cuts or uneven lengths.

Make a really tight, ballerina-style ponytail, smooth hairs against your head all around, and a TIGHT ponytail.

From there, shift the ponytail knot back down the ponytail, very slowly. You can decide to aim it straight up to the ceiling pulling the knot up for less layered cuts, or straight back behind your head for more dramatic cuts.

Some hair WILL fall out of the ponytail, this is fine – this is where the layers come in, all the way until you have about 2″ – 3″ of hair left at the end of the ponytail knot.

It won’t look straight, might even look a bit jagged – that’s okay.

Snip across the ponytail knot

Now snip across the knot, slowly, and watch the layers appear.

Cut the ends off. It adds layers, texture, and you can go a little shorter here by redoing the second ponytail.


(If all else fails, just curl your hair nicely every day with a curling iron for beachy goddess waves and no one will ever see your janky haircuts. I’m bougie, so I love the Dyson Airwrap, and even wrote a review of it here, but I’ve heard the Revlon Pro also does the job just as well.)

More curled hair shots:

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