Read this before cutting your own hair

Jenessa Williams

We've all thought about it—but is the big snip a good idea when you're not a professional? Actually, it can be

If you’ve taken up video-calling during lockdown, chances are your loved ones may have seen you sporting a slightly more dubious haircut than normal. With salons shut, our nation is crying out for a trim, colour or fresh set of braids, but it can be quite daunting to take on the challenge yourself. No longer see anything from under your fringe? Try out some of our top tips below to maintain your style at home.  

 

Get equipped 

No decent cut is going to be achieved with a dull pair of kitchen scissors or an ancient beard trimmer.  

Before you do anything else, invest in a pair of shears or hairdressing scissors—they’re a useful thing to have, and don’t have to cost the earth if you shop around online beauty stores.  

If you have the option, do your trimming outside, or on a wooden floor to minimise clean up. 

 

Go slowly

You can always take more hair off, but you can’t add it on. Whether you’re using trimmers or scissors, move in slow, strategic sections, and test out a low setting before you’re sure of the exact look you’re trying to achieve.  

Check at regular intervals to ensure you’re happy with how things are looking, and if possible, rope in a household member (or at least a large mirror) to tackle hard-to-see areas.  

 

Dye happy 

Box dye doesn’t have to be the enemy. Formulas have come a long way since the 80s, and there are plenty of brands out there that will provide you great colour coverage without stripping your locks of their essentials oils.  

Madison Reed’s cruelty-free range is a particular favourite, full of keratin, argon oil and ginseng root extract to keep scalp and locks happy.  

 

Clips, bobbles and buns 

Too nervous to trim? While it can be tempting to simply throw a hat over your unkempt hair, oversized clips are the fashion-forward way to hide a multitude of sins.  

If you’re struggling with an overgrown fringe, part in the middle and secure at either side, or tidy up a youngsters’ locks by pinning back on top of their head.  

The “man bun” has never been more useful—save yourself the hassle of maintaining a short back and sides by scooping up the long top in a tight bobble. 

 

Taming curls  

Curly or afro hair may be easier to trim when wet but remember that it will look shorter when it dries. To get an even finish, measure in finger widths as you cut, and ensure that all sections of hair have been detangled equally with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb.  

If you’re likely to wear your hair in a flat-ironed style, straighten it that way first before cutting—you’ll end up with a much more satisfying finish.  

 

Pony up 

For long straight hair in need of a sharp cut, adopt the ponytail method. Plait hair into one braid on the side of your shoulder, tie a hairband as a marker and make small vertical snips to take the majority of the longest pieces off. Once you’re mostly happy, untie the braid and set to work on any straggling pieces.  

 

Think it through 

Although an overgrown style can feel a little demoralising when you look in the mirror, does it really need the chop? Staying home can be a great excuse to grow out heat-damaged locks or to experiment with temporary colours. Think of this as a chance to try something new, or get to know the low-commitment products on the market.  

Josh Wood Colour’s excellent “root smudger” (£15) lasts up to three washes and is super-easy to apply thanks to its sponge-tip applicator, while Good Dye Young’s vegan “Poser Paste” ($18) comes in an array of vibrant temporary colours that won’t stain your pillowcases.  

Have some lockdown fun with your locks—this opportunity doesn’t come around very often.  

Read more: 7 Fashionable ways to plait your hair

Read more: Read this before you balayage your hair


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