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What Are the Best Tips for Giving a Haircut at Home?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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Horror stories have been told regarding DIY haircuts turned nightmares, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The best advice when giving a haircut at home is to keep it simple at first rather than trying to mimic elaborate styles. Start with the basics, such as giving a trim, before attempting any intricate haircuts. Be sure hair is clean and free of product and always use clean, sharp scissors that are appropriate for the task. As always, use caution with sharp scissors.

Getting a haircut should not be a painful experience but the haircut at home option has not always been a big hit, for obvious reasons. Too many people have suffered the horror of horrible home haircuts at the hands of well-meaning folks that didn’t know what they were doing. Following a few simple tips will help you give a better haircut at home, instead of causing your loved ones to burst into tears.

One good tip for those who would like to try giving a haircut at home is to start small. This means you should start with a small section of hair and only cut a small amount off as you begin. Get a feel for making smooth cuts and always cut off less than you think you need to cut. You can remove more later if necessary.

Keep in mind that curly hair can be challenging to cut, especially when giving a haircut at home. Curly hair will be much shorter when it’s dry as the curls retract, so you have to make the appropriate adjustments. In fact, it may be best to cut curly hair dry and just use a spray bottle with a mist setting to dampen the ends as you cut. Don’t pull the hair too tight before cutting as this will make it seem longer and likely result in cutting it shorter than intended. Following these tips should give you a more accurate picture of what the finished length will be.

As noted, when first attempting to give a haircut at home, it is generally best to start with just a trim or a straight, even cut that is all one length. Begin in front and separate the bangs, or area where bangs would be, into two sections. Clip the rest of the hair back if it helps. Begin in the middle and pull the section of hair gently downward. Cut from the center toward the outside. Repeat from the center to the other side then check to make sure that both sections are even. Trim away any uneven parts or stray pieces of hair.

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