I am someone who likes to DIY almost everything, whether that’s experimenting with at-home waxing or dyeing my hair bright red with at-home hair dye or trimming my own hair against all sound logic. And you know what I learned? There’s a reason we go to professionals for these treatments—especially when it comes to hairstylists. Because as my butchered at-home haircut can attest, that sh*t is hard and requires training, skills, and geometric vision that we mortal beings simply don’t have. So even though I know you’re here right now because you want to trim your own hair immediately, I (and all the experts I spoke with) strongly recommend seeing a stylist instead, because your DIY trim can go very wrong very quickly.
But if you’re already about to scroll past my warnings and disclaimers and just do the dang thing yourself, then fine, I get it, and I’ve been there. But please don’t just take a blunt pair of kitchen scissors to your hair—pause, take a deep breath, and keep scrolling because I broke down all the info you need from actual stylists, so you can trim your own hair without accidentally ruining your (hair) life.
Is it okay to cut your own hair?
Okay, this is when you’re going to hate me a little, but I gotta emphasize it once more: There’s a reason hairstylists are professionals—a lot of skill and technique goes into a haircut, so if you can hold off, please consider waiting to see a stylist IRL. “Hair cutting is an art form, but it also requires a lot of geometry,” says Stephen Thevenot, senior stylist at David Mallet in NYC. “The most important thing is knowing what to cut and what to leave, and that comes with training and experience.”
And FWIW, I’m not just trying to be a bummer or crush your impulsive 11 p.m. I-want-new-hair-right-now dreams—I just want you to do what’s best for your hair, k? “A trim is definitely better if you go with a pro,” says hairstylist Kamara Brown Lewis. Plus, “if you mess up, you’ll end up needing a professional—and more than likely, you’ll have to go shorter than you initially wanted,” Thevenot says. Which, uh, not fun.
It’s worth noting that if split ends are the reason you’re looking to trim your own hair, a less risky option is a DIY hair dusting, where you trim the split ends from your hair strand by strand without needing to worry about losing length. Brown also suggests skipping the scissors until your next hair appointment and loading up on hair serums, hair oils, and deep conditioners to leave your hair looking shiner and healthier and minimize the appearance of split ends while you’re riding out your haircut between salon visits.
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