Style

How to Cut Your Own Hair

How to cut your own hair

When was your last haircut? Mine was January 12th, and it shows. My ends are splitting and my layers are frizzing. To help save the day, our favorite stylist Reagan Baker shares seven tips for cutting your own hair…

How to cut your own hair

1. Assess what your hair needs (bang trim, dusting the ends for health, shaping up the layers), and keep it as simple as possible. This is not the time for a big length or shape change. Don’t get too fancy or technical. Instead, think of this as a cheat sheet to get you by until your next professional cut.

2. Cut dry to get the most accuracy on length. (Hair shrinks quite a bit from wet to dry!) Comb everything down and cut as close to your body as possible. Make sure your hair is tangle free.

How to cut your own hair

3. Take neat sections with a comb to keep everything organized instead of just grabbing and cutting randomly.

4. Follow your last haircut as closely as possible.

How to cut your own hair

5. Use your fingers as a guide for your desired length. For instance, if you want to take one inch off, hold each section with your fingers exactly one inch above where you’re cutting to guarantee you won’t go any shorter.

6. Angle the scissors at 11 o’clock, rather than cutting horizontally (or blunt), to hide imperfections.

How to cut your own hair

7. Quit while you’re ahead. Put the scissors down before you look like Fleabag’s sister (aka a pencil!).

Thoughts? Will you cut your hair? One reader chopped her own bangs and Kim shaved her head.

P.S. Hair tutorials, and Reagan’s beauty uniform.

(Illustrations by Abbey Lossing for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Christie says...

    How about tips for how to cut guys’ hair? My husband’s hair definitely needs it!!

    • Ann says...

      My husband and son both needed it badly. I’d never done a male cut so I watched a crap ton of YouTube videos till they all started to run together… but a lot of them showed the same thing so I dove in and excitedly they both want me to cut their hair from now on!!
      Basically, you’ll need clippers and SHARP scissors.
      And remember, it’ll grow out ?

  2. Laura says...

    Thank you, Cup of Jo, for this timely post, and all your great reader comments! Based on their suggestions and the YouTube tutorials they shared, I took the plunge and cut my hair using the unicorn method. Haha, I can’t believe my hair looks pretty freakin’ awesome! I wasn’t even thinking about, much less worried about my hair, but it was just a small bit of self care that made me feel good and put a smile on my face – taking less that 10 minutes to cut and clean up. Thank you Cup of Jo readers – you’re the best!

  3. Lara says...

    I’ve been trimming my bangs for months now.. and to be honest I’m pretty good at it !

  4. Marianne says...

    I cut mine this past week after my stylist said she wasn’t coming back when her salon opened (which I totally support her decision!!). With that said I had to cut it with no hair cut in site and my last cut in October. My ends were so fried and dry. I have wavy hair and layers which are finicky, so I’ve always been very observant to how my stylist cuts my hair. I definitely angle my scissors and go through and point cut a few days later to blend. The secret, is YES stop while your ahead! I think I’ve left enough length for my stylist to fix when I see her again!

  5. tina crisas says...

    I don’t follow a lot of youtubers, only a handful who are down to earth and seem sincere. Dominique Sachse is one of them, she’s a news anchor in Texas and has fantastic content, including this one video regarding hair trimming (amongst others such as how to Look and Sound Your Best On Zoom, and coming from a pro., there were some excellent tips)I found it so helpful and easy to follow! I hope I may share this!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srhOamD5PDY&t=9s

    • Laura says...

      I saw this as well, too! I love Dominique! Great tips on how to just trim a little to make you feel better. I haven’t attempted mine yet, but I probably will. My ends are really needing a trim! Thankful I can alway pull it back into a pony if necessary.

  6. Susannah Bruce Hornsby says...

    @Kamina the second “ponytail” is just another rubber band at the end of the high ponytail! It just gives you a line to cut outside of so you don’t accidentally slip it up. I don’t think it’s technically necessary, but it does take any guesswork out of the equation. @Shannon, awesome 70’s ladies for the win! And yes, your hair should be wet or straightened to start. There’s probably “better” ways to do it, but this works for me! @Jo team, can you have people submit before and afters!?

  7. Beth says...

    Nope. I’ll wait. I have short, thin hair and I’ll leave it to the professionals when they are back. Highlights and all can just wait. My husband’s hair however I’ll have to figure out…

  8. Mary says...

    Yes!! I have curly hair and have been doing this for a year or so. Google “unicorn cut”! The closer you go to the front of your head/top of your head, the shorter your front layers will be. I was nervous the first time, and had the idea that if I don’t like it, I’d just get it fixed the next day. But i’ve been happy! I will say, in my opinion, it works better for longer hair.

    • janine says...

      I gave myself a unicorn cut!! Just took a tiiiiny bit off, but it went well. I haven’t had an actual haircut since OCTOBER. Yikes. But I’ve been growing my hair out. I have VERY wavy hair, so a dry cut works really well for me. :)

  9. I says...

    Am I really the only one who doesn’t really care about how my hair looks right now? I was supposed to get a haircut this coming weekend, it’s been a while, but so what…

    Also recommend purple/blue shampoo (Fudge is awesome) for those struggling with brassy hair…

    • Steph says...

      I don’t give a rip about my hair right now. I also don’t care much about my hair in general, but if your hair is your biggest problem right now you are fortunate.

    • Faith says...

      I’m not worried about how my hair looks, but I am growing tired of how it feels. I haven’t had a haircut since October and my long, thick hair is feeling too heavy and warm. I used this tutorial to trim it a little and will likely trim it again before quarantine is over: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIhMYgLtzOA

    • Shannon says...

      Agreed. I know many woman (myself included) have complex relationships with their hair, but getting my hair cut is no where near the top of my worries. Seeing protesters welding angry signs about their stolen haircut freedoms makes me feel the need to behave the exact opposite.

      That being said, I love seeing the home done hairdos and have definitely wanted to buzz my hair :)

  10. Hit week six in lockdown and grabbed not only the scissors, but the hair dye on a rare trip out for groceries. Took three inches off the length, shaped around my face, then bleached and dyed it pink (leaving the roots as I like the grown out look). Pretty pleased with how it’s turned out, and even my stylist gave me a “not bad”. Not sure how level the back is, but hey, no one sees that on Zoom and by the time I make it back in the office it will have grown out!

  11. Susan says...

    I bought that vacuum cleaner attachment hair cutter system (Flow Bee!) for my husband this last Christmas! He was very traumatized at the first haircut, but honestly it works amazingly well, and I am feeling like a real genius just about now.

  12. KA says...

    I’m grateful that this strange and scary time is reminding us all that we aren’t old dog who can’t learn new tricks. I used to be much more willing to try something that may or may not turn out. But the past 10 years or so I’ve been feeling so precious about certain things–manicures, home repairs, ambitious cooking. I can’t do THAT. Well, guess what? I can! And I’m remembering how wildly liberating it feels to do something out of my skillset! There’s a learning curve for sure, but it’s exciting to ride that wave! These past weeks feel a bit like how I imagined being a grown-up was going to be like when I was a kid. I am becoming the adult I thought I’d be when I was six. And that badass cuts her own hair for sure!

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Loved this comment :)
      “Wildly liberating” woohoo! I feel like that ever I fix something instead of buying new.

  13. Kim says...

    Attention long-haired girls!
    I’ve been cutting my hair for at least 15 years, but I haven’t looked at a tutorial in ages, I stumbled on this one recently and I haven’t had such a good haircut in ages!
    Subtle layers and a gentle V shape down the back, highly recommend :)
    This is the haircut I always asked for in the salon and brought in pictures…and somehow always left with a chop job and months to grow out.
    Get out the scissors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNzZqVUl28E

    • Amanda says...

      This looks like the tutorial I needed, thanks!

  14. Kirsten says...

    Ok but how do you do the back???

    I had a blunt cut that was cute like 5 inches ago but now is a hangy postpartum blah style with my fine straight hair. I wanna cut it but I don’t know how to get the back even! I’m emboldened because I just gave my two year old what turned out to be the cutest pixie cut ever after it grew out for a few days…

  15. Kayla says...

    Oh no I could’ve used this post one day ago! I trimmed my own curtain bangs yesterday and went about two inches too short and created baby bangs! The only positive about it is that they make me laugh every time I look in a mirror.

    • Nykole says...

      I love this! That’s the best attitude.

  16. anne says...

    any tips for ladies with pixies? my once-gorgeous cut (by reagan!) is starting to look like seinfeld in his sitcom days…

  17. Emily says...

    I gave myself a little trim! About an inch… which turned into an inch and a half when I leveled it off, hahaha.

  18. Jaclyn says...

    But.

    While we cut our own hair, say a prayer for hairstylists who are in dire straits with no income.

    Please.

    • Catherine says...

      Yes! I’ve pre-paid for my next appointment and bought products my salon was able to sell via curbside pick-up. I’m in Texas where salons are re-opening on Friday, and now my question is: Do I go back for an appointment? Am I putting my stylist (and potentially others) at risk by trying to support her business?

    • Faith says...

      Yes! My appointment was canceled during quarantine, but I paid my stylist anyway. I feel terrible that hair stylists lost so much income in one fell swoop.

  19. Becca says...

    I’ve been cutting my own hair to just above my shoulders for a few years now and while I started out being very careful with it, I no longer try too hard at it. Usually, I cut it straight while wet, and then once it’s dry I’ll lift sections from around the crown of my head to trim a little more to create a little bit of layering. Sometimes it turns out shaggy, sometimes it doesn’t, but I always end up feeling like $85 bucks, which is how much I’m saving by not going to the salon :)

    • Cat says...

      Preach!! Could have written this comment myself. I haven’t been to a hairdresser in about 2 decades, when I was 13. I keep mine a few inches below the shoulders, and I, too, cut it blunt and wet — frankly, I don’t overthink it. I’m no hairdresser, but it never seems to turn out badly, and I always feel so fresh afterward! Luckily long hair is pretty forgiving. I feel for our short-haired friends and loved ones…

  20. Katrin says...

    Haha, what a timely article! Thanks! One question, though: Can you maybe explain what exactly is meant by angling the scissors at 11 o‘clock? I‘ve cut both my daughters‘ long hair recently, and both times, I struggled with cutting it somewhat straight. I remembered that „angling“ tip from an older post of yours on cutting Toby‘s hair, but I just wasn’t sure how it works. Thanks so much in advance!

    • anna says...

      Basically just hold the scissors at a slight diagonal and cut “up” into the hair instead of straight across. Look this up on Youtube to get a good visual on it! This definitely makes the cut much more natural and forgiving.

  21. Thank you for this! Any tips on cutting men’s hair? I will be stuck cutting my husband’s thick, wiry hair for the foreseeable future and I am wayyy more nervous when I cut his compared to mine!

    • Nicole K says...

      Georgia, I’m not a pro but I’ve successfully cut my husband’s thick hair and my brother’s even thicker hair twice now with tips from my hairdresser. Most important, buy a set of clippers if you don’t already have them. Use the #3 shield and buzz from nape of the neck up through just below the crown. Then switch over to shears and “blend” from where you buzzed through the crown — use angled cuts! Then depending how long your husband likes it on top, just trim the ends a bit. If his hair is super thick I recommend getting a pair of thinning shears to help it feel cleaner without losing length. Good luck! Watch Youtube!

    • Kelsey says...

      I successfully cut my husband’s thick hair recently! He has longer hair (not long-long, but long enough that electric clippers weren’t the way to go).
      I started by putting all of his hair up in pins except for the bottom layer and cut that to the nape of his neck first. Then, I let down the next layer and just tried to follow his last haircut as closely as possible, being careful to take off the same amount of hair everywhere by measuring with my fingers. I used the bottom layer as a guide and made each layer a bit shorter than the last one. I continued to let down one layer at a time until I got to the top. I also used some thinning shears to make it so that it wasn’t choppy/blunt. For the front, I had him hold a mirror and help me figure out how long it should be and what angle to cut. Hope that helps a little! It’s far from perfect, but I was actually pretty impressed with myself! :)

    • Melissa says...

      Check out Hershesons on instagram. They are a salon in the UK and recently posted a couple of mens cutting video’s.

    • Christina says...

      Kelsey! That is almost exactly how I cut my husband’s hair too! Except that I don’t have any shears :-).

  22. SanDee says...

    Ever see the movie “Black Widow, “ with Debra Winger? In one of the final scenes, the female killer says to Winger that “the most important part of getting away with anything…is knowing when to stop.” I’ve never forgotten that line, especially when it comes to trimming my bangs or plucking my eyebrows!

  23. Angeline says...

    My last hair cut was November 27th. I had my son December 28th and now 4 months later I’m dealing with long, tangled hair and postpartum shedding! Sooo ready for a haircut and increasingly tempted to DIY a trim.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oooh the postpartum shedding! i remember that so well! (and congratuations on your sweet baby:)

  24. Christina says...

    My last professional cut was four years ago :-) . I have fine thin hair which, because I never wear it hanging down, has managed to grow below waist length. I keep it in a bun daytime, and braided nighttime. When the ends split I just cut the end of the braid! I also cut my bangs once a month, in sections, with good Fiskars scissors.
    And I always cut my husband’s hair, with scissors. He doesn’t want it too short but rather in a 90’s boy cut, and he cannot make hairdressers understand what he means. So I cut it, without any knowledge, not even Youtube (I began doing it way before Youtube existed, like 22 years ago). Sometimes it turns out good, sometimes not so much. But he doesn’t care :-) .

  25. Colleen S says...

    I got a haircut in February. Normally I go months between appointments, but I’m ready for another. I also want my stylist to recommend some products for me.

  26. Lynn says...

    Any advice on which scissors to buy? My hair scissors are like 20 years old.

    • Suzanne says...

      Following!

  27. Nollie says...

    This is great advice if you have long-ish hair. But what about us who have pixies?? It’s a shaggy mess I don’t dare touch.

    • Charli says...

      Yes. I’m an every-four-weeks haircut person. I am now 4 weeks overdue. Considering just a full shave and starting over but that feels a little dramatic.

    • hm says...

      I have cut my own pixie for the last 8 years or so–it’s not as hard as you might think, especially if your hair has any natural wave/curl (so much more forgiving). It takes me about 10 minutes, and I just do it before I jump in the shower every 6 weeks or so. Here’s how I do it, which is probably 100% wrong but works for me:

      -Start on the sides, where you can see what you’re doing–placing your fingers parallel with your head, pinch hair between fingers and pull to the desired length. Cut OUTSIDE your finger (doing your best to avoid your knuckles). Pull the hair that same length away for every snip.
      -Next, do above your ears (if needed). I do this AFTER the sides, gently pulling my ears forward, and making little snips, following the natural shape of my hairline.
      -To do the back, I use the same method as the sides, but by feel–pulling the same length away from my head as on the sides.
      -I do the top/front last, and basically use the same method, but keep it a little longer. I hold the hair straight up, fingers parallel with my head, and cut outside my fingers. For the front, I snip tiny little snips, at an angle.
      -Cleaning up the back of my neck is the hardest part, so I basically don’t bother–mine grows in an okay pattern. If you know someone who can use clippers, they can clean it up easily!
      –Wherever you have cowlicks, leave hair a little longer in that area so it sits down.

      I’ve cut mine too short a few times, but honestly, pixies grow back fast. Just lay on the eyeliner and call it good.

  28. A says...

    Hey SR, I cut my hair after watching this youtube tutorial: https://youtu.be/xNzZqVUl28E

    My hair is wavy, so I left it dry and straightened it instead of wetting it in case the cut took a while…it did (first-time jitters). But it came out alright!

    Good luck!

  29. I just cut my son and husband’s hair this weekend (clippers, so easy) but am increasingly considering getting my husband to cut mine!

    We were due to move from Vancouver island to California in March and I had an appointment booked at a salon for the week after we arrived… but of course we weren’t able to move. my last haircut was December 10 so I had been building up to this…and although I know this isn’t high on the list of corona related hardships… I really am ready to look less ragged! And hoping someone chimes in with how to deal with highlighted hair too :)

  30. Joanna Tsay says...

    I just cut my 4-yr-old som’s hair for the second time this quarantine. I was nervous the first time and went longer but this last cut I felt a little more confident and went shorter. Two weeks ago I bit the bullet and cut hubby’s hair and my hair. Thank goodness for YouTube. Took a long time and each time I’ve cut myself off it’s the scissors but…It was liberating! I’ve never cut hair before and I felt like this was my moment.

    • Joanna Tsay says...

      *son *with

  31. amy says...

    i love the drawings!

  32. Susannah says...

    EXPERT 70’s MOM TIP: I’ve been cutting my own hair since my daughter was born three years ago. I had forgotten to get it cut while pregnant and then it was off to the races and…it was getting dire. My mother happened to be over the day that I reached almost-freak-out-status and no local hairdressers could see me…she said “You know, we all used to cut our own hair back in college,” (mental picture: all-girls dorm in the early 70’s, Joni Mitchell blaring, scissors flying) “You just make a high ponytail at the top of your head, then run your hand down the end, and make another ponytail at the place you want to cut it and SNIP! Easy as that and you have layers.” We poured big glasses of wine and did it together in two minutes. She was EXACTLY RIGHT and I’ve never looked back. I think this works best with curly or wavy hair so the ends are more forgiving and I always make the ponytail where I’d put up a bun on the back of my head so I can be sure it’s always long enough that I can still put it up.

    • Masa says...

      This is such a lovely picture.

    • claire says...

      Wow, this is blowing my mind and I kinda want to do it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kamina says...

      Susannah, I’d love to try this but I don’t quite understand what you mean by making one ponytail, then making another ponytail? TELL ME MORE?

    • shannon says...

      My aunt, professional hairdresser for 40+ years, used this method on my curly, thick, nearly waist length hair. She got it all wet and combed it through, trimmed off the inch of dead fluff/split ends, then finished with a high ponytail, cut the end off, and voila! Perfect layers. She was in beauty school right around the time your mom was in college, so maybe that era had something to do with it!

    • Tara says...

      My old hairdresser told me the story of his friend flying all the way to Paris to learn to cut the “gypsy shag” (excuse the word “gypsy”) in the late 60s. On his flight back, he opened a Time Magazine only to find a tutorial on how to cut the shag. It was the same as what you described! He spent hundreds of dollars on what he could have learned in an inexpensive trip to the newsstand.

  33. Lauren says...

    This post is so timely… over the weekend our family was in desperate need of haircuts. I have two boys aged 5 and 2 with very “personable” curly hair that tends to flail about. And my husband, who has always kept his hair neatly trimmed with not a hair out of place. Over the weekend, my family hairdressing “career” began with kids cuts. It was a two day process… Saturday for bravery (the children) and taking a tiny bit of length off. On Sunday, after watching a few more YouTube tutorials, I was much braver with the scissors and trimmed with confidence.
    My husband was so impressed with my handiwork, that on Monday I graduated from kids cuts to men’s haircuts. My husband was by far the fussiest client of the family… but the end result was tidy a hair style that didn’t look terrible.
    Needless to say, I am happy to keep my split ends for now, and I will never again comment on the need for professional hair cuts (even for the children) as it was HARD work! :-)

    • Silvia says...

      My husband is also, generally speaking, a fussy client ???

  34. Hilary says...

    I will definitely not be cutting my own hair during this atrocious time BUT desperate times, needs must, etc when my bayalage starts to turn from it’s current “ribbons of gold” to “horrifying chunks of Garfield” because tragically, brunettes just don’t get to stay blondish forever, it is inevitable that we slide into…The Orange Zone.

    I am seriously considering going back to my dark, capuccino-esque natural color. But will I regret it? It took me about a year to get my hair to this color of lightness with bayalage and I’m afraid I’m going to undo it all in a moment of clementine weakness. Any suggestions?

    • samantha says...

      ask your regular stylist if there is an at home toning treatment you can do to help remove the dreaded orange/brass-y tones.
      i (strive to) have that lovely ash bronde hair, and it was lookin a little too golden retriever. i got wella’s color fresh toner, and it did a pretty good job of removing the too brassy sections. https://www.wella.com/professional/en-US/hair-color/color-fresh/color-fresh
      worth looking in to to not ruin that year of hard hair work!

    • Morgan Quinn says...

      Try one of the hair glosses from Kristin Ess! They are sold at Target and online. Her Instagram is full of photos of the different shades if you aren’t sure which one to choose. I used Golden Hour last week and it subtly freshened up my light ends. I also use her purple shampoo every 7-10 days to cool down my brass. Hang in there!

    • Emilie says...

      Hilary – I hear you on the struggle to make the call about whether to go back to your roots (literally)… but I say DO IT! I am naturally dark brown and spent about three years getting to the light/white blonde I wanted. I liked it, but the upkeep was SO pricey and right before quarantine I bit the bullet and went back to dark. I couldn’t be happier. Being lighter was fun and I’m glad I did it, but it feels grand to be back to natural. Good luck!

    • Kelsey says...

      These glosses by Kristin Ess are the perfect for in-between salon colorings. https://www.kristinesshair.com/in-shower-gloss
      They’re not permanent, but they definitely spruce things up! I did one two weeks ago, and I’m starting to notice fading.

    • T says...

      Purple/blue shampoo

  35. Erin says...

    I started cutting our family’s hair a couple of years ago, including my own, so we were oddly prepared in this area.

    Use real hair scissors. It does make a difference.
    Watch youtube videos.
    Don’t expect to get it perfect the first time.

  36. Sheri says...

    Love this post, and I would love more quarantine beauty tips. How to cut my son’s hair, touch up roots, pluck and dye my brows? I would feel so much better if I had the confidence to touch up my looks a bit.

    • Natanya Vanderlaan says...

      Yes! More beauty tips! How about a luxury pedi at home?

    • Gemma says...

      Yes! I just bought myself a foot spa for some sort of attempt at an at home pedicure. And I have two girls who are in DESPERATE need of a haircut. How-to’s would be great!

    • Amanda says...

      Yes to a Mani/pedi tutorial. And brows!

  37. I just ordered some new haircutting scissors- I already cut my 13 year old’s hair (straight blunt cut), but my husband and other daughter have more complicated requests. Not sure whether I trust myself with my own hair, my husband, or either of my teenage daughters. A few more weeks and I’ll have to pick one of them!

  38. carole yunker says...

    Once had my husband cut “1 inch” as per request off in the back. Turned out was 6″. We both were in tears. So for these times, tightened belt around my neck and he cut hair underneath it. I did the sides. No chance for error. Ha.

  39. Meg L says...

    I cut off the end of my ponytail, only about a half of an inch! I got the OK from the woman who does my hair… “Go for it, we’ll fix it later.”

    • Sadie says...

      This is really cute.

  40. Lee says...

    Would this tutorial be the same for curly hair? I’m in desperate need of a haircut and a bit worried about cutting my wavy hair.

    • Reagan Baker says...

      I’d blow dry it straight or flat iron it first!

    • Julia says...

      The absolute best advice for curly hair from my hair stylist
      Cut it dry, and with the curl.
      So you take a curl and look how much you would want to take off and then you cut it ‘in’ the curl, so not at the end but in the loop (oh I hope I make some sense) then it will still be this gorgeous curl only shorter. Works every Time!

    • Rachel says...

      Cut dry, in the curl, second day after wash, take very little, and do not pull. Look up curly girl a clearing house for all curl types for more tips.

    • Chiara says...

      Curly cuts = cut dry and cut curl by curl. I’m sure it’s more complex than that, but that’s the general principle. I have 3B curls and am waaaay overdue for my cut, but am way too scared to try myself so for now I’m rocking the Hagrid look. Good luck!!

  41. Amanda says...

    I’m trying to envision what I means to cut with the scissors pointing at 11 but I just can’t wrap my head around that (laugh-cry emoji). I think I might just be a hopeless, shaggy wookie until it’s safe to go to the salon.

    • Katie says...

      It’s little diagonal snips. I’ve seen my hairdresser do it. 12 o’clock would be pointed straight up and down, like you’re about to cut your fingers. Turn it to the 11 o’clock to get the little diagonal snips. I do this on my daughter’s bangs to hide imperfections.

    • Anna says...

      Hi Amanda, I think she meant that the scissors do not cut in a straight line, e.g. horizontal, but do many little snips at a slight angle ( pointing to 11 o clock). Your scissors point and cut like that \\\\\. The ends will not be all perfectly the same length, but somehow the hair falls more naturally.
      Does this make any sense? Cheers, anna

  42. Haha, my last trim was NOVEMBER and I’m pregnant so I definitely need a haircut. Very much hoping I’ll be able to get one before baby arrives in September otherwise I am gonna be a very haggard-looking third time mama, haha. Happy and bedraggled.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m contemplating using this time staying at home to watch some YouTube tutorials on hair styling to figure out a cute braid situation for when I have my first little one in October!

  43. Kimberly says...

    *Let me begin by saying I am not a professional hair person of any sort and I am not to be held responsible for any ensuing hair mishaps*
    But…I think I can help! I did my own hair (trim and layers) for years after I watched a video on youtube. The woman demonstrated and I followed along, it works. It is not a professional cut but it works.
    Tilt your head upside down, brush it all into a pony at the very front/top of head at the hairline, flip head up and observe how ridiculous you look. I think I remember the woman laughing at this point as well.
    Moving on, hold pony straight up (or fold to see if that helps) and cut across to trim ends. I think she did layers with it still up but I folded hair in front so I could see into the end of the pony and then you cut into the fresh ends of your hair, repeatedly, at angles and various amounts of depth. You can take the pony out to check it and keep going until desired length/level of layeredness is achieved.
    Voila!
    *Seriously though, watch the video on youtube…*
    I am about to look for a new video for short hair because of course I was due for a cut the minute the world changed…hair is trivial but it also is not. It is a simple thing we have power over right now when we have so little, it feels. So let’s trim/cut your hair, you go girl!
    Blessings and best wishes to everyone right now and always

    • SR says...

      Yes! My hairdresser told me to do this when I want to freshen up my layers!

  44. MK says...

    I’m really loving the illustrations lately!

    • Susie says...

      Agreed!

  45. jill d. says...

    i usually get my hair cut every 6 to 8 months so i don’t plan on cutting mine (yet that is)….we’ll see – honestly i don’t trust that i can cut it in a way that will look even (my hair is super straight and any mistake will show). I’m more occupied at the moment in covering up some of the grey that keeps coming in.

  46. Ro says...

    I’ve been cutting my own hair and bangs for years and my advice is to cut * way* less than think. You can always keep chopping, but you can’t put it back on your head! Other than that, embracing imprecation is key.

    • Ro says...

      Imperfection* haha

  47. Paula says...

    This illustrations are a dream!!

  48. Morgan Quinn says...

    You can follow these steps if you want to cut your hair at home. 1. Look at yourself in the mirror. 2. Put the scissors down. 3. Call your hairdresser and purchase a gift certificate you can redeem when they are back in business.

  49. Courtney says...

    I’ve cut my hair a number of times and think it’s totally do-able. The “unicorn” method is the easiest. I usually keep my hair curly, but find it works well for straight hair! This is a good tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTlT1hH_VwE

  50. Celeste says...

    No. But I may dye the root situation and cut the males’ hair in my life.

  51. Cathy says...

    This is very helpful and timely! On an unrelated topic – I was wondering how everyone is dealing with homeschooling their children. I have a kindergartener and a preschooler and have been struggling the past two weeks. The first month was great, but as the novelty has worn off, so has the fun.

    • julie says...

      Cathy, yes – YES. I am getting so much resistance from my pre-k kid these past few weeks. It had all started so well. I wish I had something helpful to contribute, but I’m just here to commiserate. xo

    • Amanda says...

      Hi Cathy, if it helps – I’m following my kid’s lead. Since little kids (kindergarten and younger) do well with a play-based approach to learning, we’re emphasizing lots of reading time, singing songs, instruction-style games (Simon says, red light-green light) and educational activity books when she’s in the mood. Otherwise, we chat a lot when we go outside about how plants grow, what colours we see, etc. With little ones, anything and everything is a learning opportunity!

    • I’ve homeschooled my four kids all the way up to college. Here’s a secret: Living together isn’t always fun. Most of the time, it’s ho-hum, with about 10% of it being great and 15% being downright terrible. Or something like that. There is NO novelty, but there is routine, acceptance, independence, play, work, TONS of fighting, boredom, and freedom — just people living their lives, together. There is no one right way to raise and educate children, and I’ve learned that once I move beyond the idea that it has to be fun (or uplifting or pleasant or whatever rainbow-and-bubbles fairytale we’ve concocted), it gets easier. Or at least more doable. xo!

    • Lauren says...

      My children have struggled with “work” at home too (aged 5 and 2). Initially I was trying really hard to keep up with the pre-school’s suggestions (particularly for my 5 year old). However, it was simply making him feel down about not getting to see his friends. Instead, we have opted for family focused learning experiences each day, and play based learning which has worked out so much better. Also, my 5 year old has loved playing board games. There are some really good ones that encourage reading, maths, time telling etc. Best of luck to you and your family during this time. I’m sure you’re doing a wonderful job!

    • Kathleen says...

      100%, yes. We did fairly well for the first 4 weeks too and then last week things started to feel hard. I’ve basically thrown in the towel with my 1st grader. He is still taking some “comprehension quizzes” at the end of each week to show participation but we’re not doing the worksheets or much of anything else. Instead, lots of time listening to audiobooks, coloring, reading, building with Legos, and playing outside. My 4th grader and 7th grader are fairly independent and only have about 2.5 weeks left. But they are getting tired of it and I am finding them more and more switching over the watching YouTube! Drives me crazy so there is a lot of me checking on them and encouraging them to get back on track. Anyway, the end is in sight for us since school is out before the end of the month. I know some schools though continue through mid-June. Sending lots of grace to all the “distance learning” parents out there!

    • Deb S. says...

      I am teaching kindergarten via Zoom and the struggle is REAL after 7 weeks of distance teaching! (kids eating, crawling under covers, licking the computer screen: I have seen it all!!) ;) SO much of my day in the classroom with my students was hands on and active; working on a skill until I could “read” in their body language that we need to shift gears, regroup, reteach, or have a break out dance session to a learning song etc. We might engage in dramatic play and use props related to a story we are reading. If their interest is waning, I love finding a new topic in a book or on youtube to learn about: bees, cranberries, ducks, monster trucks, etc and let them watch something new to learn about. Their small growing brains soak up new topics and it gives you something to marvel at as they learn all sorts of random facts. 5 and 6 year olds have the most amazing minds!!!

    • Tamara says...

      Not great. My husband and I are both teachers-him middle school, me high school. Our own children are in 5th & 8th grade. Like all of you, we started out strong, then reality slapped us around. Trying to simultaneously teach our students remotely and homeschool our kids while playing musical devices & hoping the bandwidth holds is crazy making. Now I take turns worrying in equal measure about academic progress & social-emotional growth for both my kids & students. I wish I had a great nugget of advice to offer, but I’m looking for that too. All I know is that like everything else, when we get to after education will never look the same. Hopefully that will be for the better. In the meantime, I’m trying to focus on loving my kids & my students & doing the best I can to give them the skills they will need regardless of what the future may hold.

  52. Jessica says...

    Any tips on cutting men’s hair? We have clippers but my guy doesn’t trust me. Maybe a guide like this would help with that. Just need to clean up the back and above his ears!

    • ANDREA says...

      Jessica:

      I cut my husband’s hair last week using a thicker comb and a pair of scissors. Basically, I combed up against his hair, laying the comb against his head and cut anything that stuck up. The width of the comb was the length I was going for, making the cut even. Videos also said to go around the head in horizontal bands, starting from the top.

      It worked well. I was just trying to replicate his current cut, just shorter. I also trimmed his eyebrows, since on many men these also grow like the hair on your head.

    • Amanda says...

      I just gave mine a buzz cut. It wasn’t perfect, the back is kind of crooked, but the good news is no one else sees the back of his head these days, lol.

    • GB says...

      HA, I finally convinced my boyfriend to let me cut his hair and the results were pretty hilarious (to me at least). I cut the hair around his ears so you could see them again, and I also cut right across the hair on the back of his neck, which was the easiest bit. I know barbers go over that part with trimmers to get it all nice and smooth but I wasn’t gonna go down that route with my razor. I also cut what was basically becoming bangs, and now they’re short enough that he looks like a cartoon monk from the middle ages, I don’t know how else to explain it. He was perfectly fine with letting his hair grow but he did it for my entertainment, which I love and appreciate. Also, I’ll never cut hair again.

    • Jenna says...

      Also cut towards the crown. It will make nice layers rather than lines across his head!

    • katie says...

      I’ve done straight scissors on hub’s hair for years. We randomly got clippers just before the pandemic and they were a game changer for a better cut along the back! Did you clippers come with length guards? Make the back nearly foolproof. The grading/layering between bottom and top is a bit harder – there’s a rocking motion demonstrated on YouTube. And big warning if you’re a lefty over the ears – think twice, cut once! Ours had tapered ear clippers but I almost did them upside down and backwards. Phew.

    • Erin says...

      Watch a few youtube videos. If you have clippers with length guards, you can totally clean up the sides and neck.

    • Megan says...

      Agree with Katie 100% – clippers with length guards make it nearly foolproof. I take the guard off to clean up the back of the neck area with the blade, and we’re done in 5-10 minutes.

  53. SR says...

    I was hoping for a little more from this tutorial, like how to trim or freshen layers for your whole head… this is like a tutorial for how to cut one section of hair, haha! No instructions for making a nice even cut all around the head :(

    • Reagan Baker says...

      You are right about that! I wanted to keep it as simple as possible just to get you by until you can see a professional. I didn’t want to get too technical to avoid major mistakes that would take 6-12months to grow out.

    • I says...

      Soooo many videos on how to do that on YouTube

  54. Agnes says...

    The two previous posts about hair are on my top 10 of happy readings for this weird time ! My hair is complicated, I need a specialist. I just don’t look at myself in the mirror, but really my son and my husband couldn’t care less and that helps me :-)
    Thank you for your practical, happy, deep, sensitive posts. Three days ago my mental health was not great and I was wondering if you have felt the dark cloud around, Joanna, and if you could write a post about it, if you felt like it.