Cut Your Own Hair

Young woman who cuts her own hair
Cutting your own hair - Photo: Shutterstock
Q: I just found your site on the web. Can a person really cut their own hair at home? I find the prospect intriguing.
A: In short, yes. A person can cut their own hair at home, but be forewarned it is very difficult and should only be undertaken if you are comfortable with the idea, and willing to risk bad results.
Generally speaking, cutting your own hair is easiest when you are dealing with very long hair or very short hair that is clipper cut. Clipper cuts are the easiest because you generally use a length guide on the clippers and it is merely a matter of guiding the clippers over the scalp.
Long hair is easy as well, but only because the person with long hair usually only wants to trim the hair.
If you are seriously considering cutting your own hair, I recommend you read everything you can on basic haircutting techniques first, so that you understand the principles before you just start cutting away at your hair. Learning the basics will help you to understand about cutting angles, elevation and creating layers, as well as how to properly position your hands and using your fingers as a guide.
It is usually much simpler (and safer) to have a professional cut your hair, specifically if you like to wear your hair in something other than a basic buzz cut or longer than shoulder length. Your stylist has the advantage of even access to all areas of the head, where you would need to use mirrors and/or estimation and feel to judge what you would be doing at the back of your head.
I should explain however, that the purpose of the information we offer isn't to encourage our visitors to cut their own hair, but rather to give them adequate information and resources that they can take to a stylist and get successful results. Many stylists, while being good at creating hairstyles of their own, have trouble in determining how to recreate a style they see in a photograph.
The specific "How To" information we give assumes an understanding of some basic terms which will allow a stylist to better visualize what he/she must do to achieve the look the client wants.
However, if the visitor has sufficient understanding and skill, he/she could use the instructions to attempt the style themselves, but many would find execution of the instructions difficult when working on the back of their own heads.
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See also:
Why and how to trim long hair
How to cut a curved line
How to trim bangs
What split ends look like