From split ends to fringes: Exactly how to cut your hair at home (if you really want to).
So, you’re thinking of cutting your own hair at home. Honestly, same.
Whether your fringe is poking into your eyes, your crunchy split ends are scaring your working from home co-workers, or you’re just really bored and need something fun(?) to do, giving yourself a hair cut kind of seems like a great idea in isolation.
Best case scenario, we’d all leave beauty tasks like dying your roots, removing shellac and SNS nails, eyebrow shaping and haircuts to the professionals. But if for whatever reason, you really want to cut your hair at home, do it armed with expert advice.
From cutting your fringe to trimming split ends, here’s what you need to know about cutting your hair at home before picking up the kitchen scissors.
How to cut spilt ends at home.
While no hairdresser would recommend trying to give yourself a whole new hairstyle at home, owner of Edwards and Co salons Jaye Edwards says trimming your split ends is “a great way to keep your hair healthy and to promote growth, without attempting anything too drastic while waiting for salons to reopen.”
RAW Salon’s Anthony Nadar also reckons it’s hard to go wrong trimming your ends… provided you stick to some important rules.
Here are the celebrity hair stylists’ best tips for trimming split ends (emphasis on the word trimming):
- Use a quality pair of sharp hairdressing scissors. Blunt scissors will only make your ends look wispier… plus, think of the cross-contamination.
- If you have to resort to using kitchen scissors, do everyone a favour and make sure they’re clean and sharp.
- Always trim your hair when it’s clean and dry. Trimming your hair at home wet will likely end with you taking too much off – “your stands will jump up even more when wet,” Nadar says.
- Trim your hair in front of the mirror rather than just by sight. This way, you can take stock of how you’re doing as you go along.
- You can either stick to just trimming the ends at the front you can see, or section your hair and do sections at a time.
- When you’re ready, take a small section of hair and hold the ends between two fingers.
- Instead of cutting straight across (this will end in disaster), trim by ‘chipping’ into the hair with just the tips of the scissors. You can’t go too far wrong if you do this at a vertical or diagonal angle into the strands.
- If in doubt, trim less than what you think. And don’t worry about the back unless you have someone you can trust to help you.
Best split end hair products.
If after reading that advice, you’ve decided you’d rather not trim your split ends, that’s OK.
No, there isn’t a single hair elixir out there that can actually ‘fix’ or reverse split ends (only cutting can do that), but there are some affordable products you can get from the chemist, supermarket or online that can make your ends feel less crunchy.
Applying a few pumps or a dollop of a hair oil or cream to damp hair before drying can make your split ends feel softer, which should tide you over until your next hair appointment.
Here are our favourite budget-friendly ‘split end’ hair products:
- Daily Naturals Satin Ends Sealer, $17.95.
- L’Oreal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Treatment, $19.95.
- Pantene Pro-v Intense Rescue Shots Ampoules, 3 pack for $9.
- ELEVEN Miracle Hair Treatment, $24.95.
- John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Mini, $4.99.
- Schwarzkopf Extra Care Oil Treatment Elixir, $9.
How to cut your fringe.
How to trim your fringe will depend on the type of fringe you have.
If you have a long layered fringe that frames your face on each side, also known as curtain bangs, celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin (who does hair for all the Kardashians) shared a video tutorial on how to do this on her Instagram account.
The main takeaways from her video are:
- Work on freshly washed, wet hair (FYI this contradicts other hair cutting advice).
- Section your front layers from roughly a centimetre either side of your hair part, bring them forward and tie the rest of your hair back.
- Use a comb to brush the hair so it’s straight and taught. Then run your fingers down the hair and stop where you want to start trimming.
- Using scissors, cut the middle of your section straight across, and either side at a slight slant towards the middle.
This will make more sense when you watch Atkin’s tutorial… which we’d highly recommend doing before giving this a crack yourself.
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To cut a more traditional fringe that sits across your forehead (and now, over your eyes), here are the best tips from George Northwood, London stylist to stars including Meghan Markle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Alexa Chung, as told to The Times.
- Wash and dry your hair into your usual style so you can see what you’re working with. This stops you from cutting more than you mean to.
- Tie your hair back leaving only your fringe out.
- Comb through your fringe a few times and then use your comb to lift your fringe up and out away from your face, ready to trim.
- Only trim the very tips of your hair – leave major fringe cutting and shaping for your next hair appointment.
- Don’t cut straight across your fringe (Google ‘fringe trimming fails’ for a visual representation of why). Instead, ‘chip’ into the fringe by cutting upwards and downwards on a diagonal.
- Avoid cutting the edges of your fringe as this can be hard to get right. A good guide is trimming no further than past the end of your eyebrows.
If you’re still not sure about cutting your hair at home, you have two options:
Leave it for now and wear your hair up with a spiral hair tie or silk scrunchy (these stop you from getting ponytail kinks), or clipped either side to get it off your face.
Or, you can watch all the video tutorials, try cutting it anyway knowing your hair will grow back. Eventually.
Feature image: Getty