Cut someone’s hair (2011, 2012)

"Haircutting" Photo Credit: Alan Turkus (aturkus) on Flickr

Photo Credit: Alan Turkus (aturkus) on Flickr
Used unmodified under the CC Attribution license

Apart from cutting my own bangs when I was little, I have no experience cutting hair. So why would anyone let me cut their hair?

(It surprised me that after I showed people my new haircut and told them I did it myself (and that it was on my bucket list), at least 3 people said, “I would have let you cut my hair.”)

Maybe because my mom used to cut our hair, or because I heard of people getting their hair cut by their friends, one day as I was getting my hair cut, I decided I wanted to cut someone’s hair too. When I told this to the person cutting my hair, she encouraged me to practice on wigs and then eventually on family and friends. She even offered to give me some of the wigs she used to practice, but I never followed through with that offer, because I was so nervous about making a mistake and ruining the wigs, which felt like a waste to me.

In 2011, assuming I would never find a willing volunteer (and very glad I left this list item vague–“someone’s” which includes my own hair, vs. “someone else’s”/”a friend’s” which does not), I searched online and found the video at the end of the post, which showed me how to cut my own hair. After viewing it at least 20 times, I practiced (without scissors!) making my hair into the cone shape and sliding the hairbands, etc. (see video to see what I’m talking about). When I decided I had the idea, I committed to this haircut, figuring I’d cut it a little longer than I wanted. That way, if I messed it up, I could go to the salon and have enough hair left to get it fixed and not have it end up too short.

I was so nervous when I actually did this, but I remembered I could get it fixed and went for it. At first, I did use the kitchen scissors she mentions in the video, but in future attempts, I found that smaller scissors and not attempting to cut all the way through the entire ponytail works best. (When I tried to cut through the whole thing at once, it wouldn’t work and the hair tie slipped a little, and I had to spend extra time evening out my haircut. When I cut through only part of the ponytail at a time, going in little sections by giving more space between the two hairbands so I could get the point of the scissors in the ponytail, it worked way better–no more hacking through.)

So far, most of the times I’ve done this it’s turned out pretty well. Exception: one time I had to shorten the longest layer using a second technique for cutting your own hair (put ponytail in nape of neck without twisting, pull hairband straight down toward tailbone, trim hair using same method in the video) because I pulled the hair funny when I was doing the cone, making the last layer so much longer than the others that it looked funny. Other than that, it’s been really nice to decide on a whim that I’m ready to cut my hair (and donate to Locks of Love), and I save money to use for future bucket list items!

Have you ever cut your hair? How did it turn out?

Want to cut your own hair?

Below is the video I mentioned in the post. While there are many YouTube videos out there showing you how to cut your own hair, most of them are on straight hair. This one is really good for curly hair.


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