2020 has made a casualty out of many things. But neatly trimmed hair was one of the first luxuries to go.
Thanks to the closing of barbers and hair salons for much of the year due to the pandemic, more of us than ever before have taken to cutting their own hair, with variable results.
Even if you can’t get to your hairdresser, you still want to feel like the absolute best version of yourself. And that version isn’t likely to involve grown out sideburns, a floppy fringe and split ends.
Before you start, you’ll need the right tools. This isn’t a time to pull out a pair of kitchen scissors. If you have close-cropped hair, you’ll need a good pair of hair clippers. For longer locks, salon-grade scissors are best.
Although cutting your own hair can be daunting the first time, just think about how much better you’ll feel when your overgrown haircut isn’t flopping into your eyes while you’re out on a run. The key is taking it slowly and always cutting off less than you think is necessary. Hair grows more slowly than you’d think and you’re aiming for a trim, not a dramatic change. It’s more about tiding yourself over until hair salons open again than going full Britney Spears in 2007 in your bathroom.
Another option instead of trimming your own hair is to up your hair care routine to include leave-in conditioners which nourish hair and prevent split ends, keeping your barnet looking good for longer.
How to cut your own hair
For short hair, the process is fairly simple. Ensure your clippers are set to the right grade and run them over your head multiple times in all directions to get all the stray strands of hair.
For anything between a close cut and a bob, wash your hair and while it’s still quite damp comb it downwards over your forehead and ears. Using only the points of the scissors, lightly and gently cut into your hair on the diagonal, to avoid creating any hard lines, and trim the ends off. Next, take a piece of hair on the top of your head and comb upwards, and do the same thing. Work consistently around your head, and you should be good to go.
For longer hair, it matters less if it continues to grow out. We recommend that you focus on trimming split ends rather than cutting. A technique called dusting is a good place to start. Take a half inch wide section of clean, dry hair, and grip it tightly. Run your fingers down the strands of hair and trim any small split ends which poke up. Repeat over the rest of your head. When you’ve finished, your hair should look much neater and healthier.