How to Cut Your Own Hair

(Without instantly regretting it.)

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Before You Start

Do Your Do Styling Shears by Sally Hansen, $12,
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First things first: you're going to need to buy a pair of scissors actually designed for cutting hair. They'll be sharp enough to give you a smooth trim without causing split ends. Next, make sure your hair is dry and relatively clean—unless you're cutting layers, in which case you'll want it a little damp—and then get ready to do some snipping.

To Trim Split Ends

To trim your split ends without the help of a friend or stylist, your hair should be long enough that you can pull all of it in front of your shoulders where you can see it. Don't cut your hair if you can't see it in front of you!

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Working section by section, twist a one-inch-thick bunch of hair into a straight coil. If you're due for a trim, the ends of your hair will stand out from the twist so you can trim them off. Then cut about a quarter inch off the end of the coil to ensure split ends are totally cut off. Repeat coiling and trimming until you make your way around your head.

To Cut Your Bangs

If you don't currently have bangs and you want them, you should see a professional—they can gauge the best cut for your face shape and give you the bangs that you really want. But when it comes to trimming, go ahead and cut them yourself!

Start by pulling the rest of your hair back into a ponytail. Comb your bangs forward flat and use the comb to hold them at the point where you'd like them to hit on your forehead. The comb should keep your bands stationary as you trim. Holding your scissors vertically, trim your bangs starting in the middle and working to one outer corner. Repeat on the other side.

To trim the outer edges, hold your scissors at a 45-degree angle and cut your bangs on a diagonal, leaving the edges longer than the center of your bangs. Fluff your bangs with your fingers to make sure they are even, and make tiny, careful adjustments as necessary while holding scissors vertically again.

To Cut In Some Layers

For this haircutting technique, start with your hair slightly damp. Pull it into a ponytail on top of your head—the closer to your forehead you place your ponytail, the more dramatic the layers will be. Squeeze your ponytail into one long rope, holding it two to three inches from its end.

Carefully cut into the ponytail, snipping off any split ends. The more you cut off, the more dramatic your layers will be, so if you just want to get rid of any unwanted ends, cut as minimally as possible. When you're done, let your hair down and take a look—your ends will have plenty of new, healthy movement.

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