I must start this story off on a personal note—I have cut my own hair several times in my life. The last time was when I was nine months pregnant, and despite my friends’ advice, I snipped here and there resulting in—what I like to call soccer mom bangs. I blame the hormones, naturally.
Many women would never consider a DIY approach to hair. But for those on a tight budget or just wanting to control how much of a trim their locks get, this is the only way to go. And while you could be hit the jackpot and get it just right the first time around, odds are it won’t turn out as you expected. “Even though I give clients an A for effort and bravery it doesn’t always lead to positive results. Well intentions for beauty can totally backfire”, says Matrix Artistic Designer, Robert Santana.
As Edward Tricomi, co-owner of Warren-Tricomi Salons explains, “cutting hair is a craft that you learn and adapt to become your own. If you haven’t spent years training, honing your craft and learning how it all works, you risk butchering your hair.”
IT’S A MATTER OF TRUST If you suffer from hairdresserphobia, then cutting your own hair is perhaps your first choice. Who hasn’t sobbed her way out of the salon at least once in her life? I know I have! “Going to do my hair at a salon isn’t my thing. I’m afraid I will walk away feeling unhappy so I try to avoid it,” confesses Claudia Tovar, 27. “I just don’t like when someone else touches my head. And then, there’s the inevitable chit-chat,” added Jennifer Campbell, 32.
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EXPERT WORDS OF CAUTION Back to the debate of whether you should or should not cut your own hair, Santana adds “there’s always another option to doing it yourself.” Nowadays, the beauty industry offers a plethora of products, including clip-in bangs, hair extensions, and even wigs that allow you to change your look without having to actually mess with your hair. Just don’t try anything drastic on your own. If you just can’t resist the temptation to take those scissors to your own mane, take Creative Consultant for TouchBack Plus and co-owner of Gemini 14 Salon, Kristina Barricelli’s advice: “get your bobby pins or any hair accessory ready! If you mess up, growing it out will be a pain.”
Before snipping away, consider the possible consequences—According to Tricomi, “most people who cut their hair at home end up coming into the salon to have it fixed, which ultimately costs you more time and money.”
“Always consult with a professional. If you are on a tight budget, salons generally cut your bangs for a nominal fee and if you’re a regular it can even be free. Some salons are now offering incentives and or discounts on full haircuts and many times manufacturers or beauty schools will cut your hair for free as long as you’re a model for them,” concludes Robert Santana.
DO YOU THINK YOU CAN DO IT? Then, follow these easy-peasy instructions courtesy of Philip Berkowitz, Hair and Scalp Expert and creator of Philip B Botanicals Haircare line. His golden rule? You must be sober!
Don’t attempt anything complicated or extreme. That said, with a little practice you can trim your own bangs between salon visits, add a few long layers, or snip off some dead ends like a pro.
Use super-sharp scissors. If you try to cut your hair with dull, loose or rusty shears, you can do much damage. If you don’t have styling shears, try fabric scissors instead.
Stand in front of a mirror. It might sound obvious but you do need to see what you’re doing.
Start with dry hair, and brush or comb it out until it’s as smooth as possible. This is especially important if you have naturally curly hair, because curls stretch out when they’re wet and snap back as they dry.
Keep layers long and limit yourself to just a few, face-framing pieces. The shortest layer should be in the front and hit somewhere between your chin and upper lip. The rest of the layers should gradually angle back from there.
TO TRIM YOUR BANGS Gather your bangs in the middle of your forehead, then twist the hair into a tight little rope and hold it in place. With your other hand, pick up a small, sharp pair of scissors; point the blades straight up; and lop off the ends in tiny snippets. To play it safe, don’t cut off more than ½ inch. Note: keeping the scissors vertical is key. That way, you’ll get a softer, more natural effect.