Cutting Off Your Locks: A Guide to DIY Haircuts

Chances are, you haven’t been to the hair salon since everything got shut down in March. If you have made it to the barber’s chair, you’re braver than I am and this guide is not for you. This is a guide for anyone and everyone who is ready to take a pair of scissors and the fate of their hair into their own hands.

Before we get into the how-to section of this article, let me give you some background on my new-found hair cutting “expertise.” As someone who regularly refuses to get my hair cut until it is literally halfway down my back, DIY haircuts intrigued me. Quarantine saw me spending a lot more time on YouTube, and when I ran out of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” the algorithm decided to suggest videos from a certain Brad Mondo. I watched without expecting much, but was immediately hooked. Mondo, a New York-based hair stylist and owner of the hair care brand XMONDO Hair, would often react to videos of people ruining their hair pre-pandemic. While these reactions were hilarious, Mondo sprinkled in tips and tricks for those of us still willing to risk it all after watching these DIY disasters. After the pandemic began, Mondo started uploading full guides to hair cutting at home and I took it upon myself to put these guides to the test by cutting off 14 inches of my own hair, as well as cutting and dying all of my siblings’ hair.

TLDR; Whether you want a trim or a dye job, live alone or have a helper, just enroll in the Brad Mondo YouTube hair cutting school and you, too, can possibly get a pretty okay haircut at home.

Tips for Cutting Your Own Hair

  1. Figure out what look you’re going for. Is this a simple trim that you can do with kitchen scissors, or do you need texturizing and thinning shears to build volume and layering?
  2. Purchase your hair tools. A spray bottle is handy if you have hair that dries quickly.
  3. Dampen and brush your hair before you cut it so that you can really see if everything is even.
  4. Start out just by cutting to the length you want. Cut a little less than you intend to at first just to get a feel for what you’re doing. You can always cut more hair off, but you can’t get the hair back once it’s gone. If you’re doing a drastic cut like I did, it helps to put your hair into a couple of rubber bands and cut off the length that way.
  5. For layering, hold sections of hair from opposite ends of your head up, away from your head and cut them with texturizing scissors. You want to cut at a bit of an angle so that the layers are cascading and natural-looking and not blunt.
  6. If you’re cutting bangs, hold them in front of your face. Do not cut straight across; hold the scissors up at an angle for a professional, textured look.

Tips for Dyeing Your Own Hair

  1. If you have darker hair, you will most likely need to bleach your hair to add any color. If you have never dyed your hair before, you might be able to lift enough color using just developer and hair dye if you are worried about bleaching for the first time.
  2. Buy powder bleach and liquid developer from a beauty supply store. 30 Volume developer is as high as you’ll want to go. Follow the directions on the bleach for mixing instructions.
  3. Section your hair out before you bleach it, then apply an even amount of bleach to the mids and ends of the sections. Do not bleach the roots yet, as they take bleach much faster than other parts of the hair.
  4. Let the bleach develop for about 20 minutes before adding bleach to your roots, then leave it on for another 15 minutes. To avoid the bleach drying out, incubate it by using foil or putting on a plastic shower cap.
  5. Rinse out the bleach, then towel dry. Apply toner to your hair following the directions. Make sure you have enough to cover your whole head! Toner adds color to your hair, box hair dye usually also has some lightening component.

And with that, you have a new ‘do! If your hair doesn’t come out as desired, it’s okay. Hair can always grow back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *