How to Cut Your Hair at Home Without Regretting It Deeply

There's a chance that quarantine boredom has already gotten to you. You may start to feel an itch of creativity, or a need for change and excitement. If that sounds like you, please, put the scissors down.

True, there's something refreshing and rejuvenating about a fresh haircut, but only when that haircut is done right. A bad cut—and don't even get me started on bangs—can kill your self-confidence and set you back in terms of coping with these trying times.

Now, amid all this self-isolation and so many business closures, thousands of videos have already surfaced on YouTube and TikTok showing ways to make the most of an at-home trim. But that doesn't mean you should follow their instructions. Instead, trust us! Here's what we know about giving yourself an at-home haircut, and why it may just be best to wait this hair cycle out.

Hair Supplies
Scissors, brushes and other hair styling accessories lie in a box at the Cut and Color Friseur Klier hair salon in the Alexa shopping mall on May 17, 2013, in Berlin, Germany. Sean Gallup/Getty

Talk to Your Hairstylist

This is a great time to pay your hairstylist for a digital consultation if they're up for it. While they may not advise you to cut your hair solo, they will have great tips for making your current color and cut last through this social distancing period.

Don't Listen to YouTube or TikTok Advice

If you think you can trust a TikTok video that shows you how to cut your hair, think again. Even if a person on screen does a great job with their own hair, there's no reason to believe that you can mimic their technique.

Barber and hair stylist Taylor Leven told Newsweek that these resources will only harm your own hair. "Do not trust YouTube because everyone's hair is different," she said over an Instagram message. "What worked for someone most likely won't work for you. We all have different cowlicks, hair textures and hair densities."

Invest in the Right Tools

There's a reason we all pay stylists for their hard-learned techniques and high-quality products. If you're determined to try and recreate a salon cut, you need to buy the right tools.

For men cutting their own hair, OUAI creator Jen Atkins recommended buying cuticle-size scissors in a conversation with Men's Journal. Celebrity hair stylist Matt Fugate said the same for women cutting their bangs: It's worth investing in shears, he told Marie Clare.

With a normal pair of household scissors, you're likely to make bigger and more obvious mistakes. Even with the right tools, though, there's a learning curve in the best ways to cut your particular type of hair.

If You HAVE to Cut Your Bangs, Make Them Longer Than You Think You Should

Leven debunked common videos that tease a "foolproof" way to cut bangs. "WHATEVER YOU DO do NOT ponytail your bangs and cut them in the ponytail please just NO!" she wrote.

Cutting bangs isn't as easy as it sounds. Fugate told Marie Clare that there are tons of steps involved, including buying shears, cutting in layers and never jumping in feet first (hair first?) with a straight-across, single cut.

Instead, separate the hair into sections and cut upwards. "Resist the urge to cut straight across in a line," Fugate explained. "You want to hold your scissors horizontally and snip up into the ends of the hair to create a soft, piece-y, and diffused line that looks natural, rather than a blunt line that looks like you just cut it."

If you commit, just remember your new-cut bangs will bounce and spread, and likely won't hold the shape you expected. Leave extra length until you know how they fall. You can always trim more later.

Or Maybe Just Don't Do It!

Instead of committing to a possible mistake, Leven said it's best to get creative in other ways. "Hopefully we will be out of the quarantine in no time. Meanwhile, rock some hats! Braid your hair! Play around with different styles," she wrote. "Shoot, even order a wig if you really want to step up your selfie game. But whatever you do, leave the hairdressing to the hairdressers. Please."

How to Cut Your Hair at Home Without Regretting It Deeply | Culture