Best Hair Cutting Techniques
Unless you’re going for a record-breaking hair length, at some point, all of us are going to need a haircut. A haircut could not only work wonders for your overall appearance and keeping well-groomed, but it’s also beneficial for the health of your hair. Cutting your hair removes split and dead ends and allows new, healthy hair to grow.
It can be nice to go to the professionals, have them work their magic and have a brand new hairstyle within a matter of minutes. On the other hand, maybe you prefer to take the hair clippers into your own hands and cut your own hair (not recommended for a large majority of styles) or put them in the hands of someone you trust at home. Here are some basic techniques to get you started!
Before You Start…
Before you start cutting hair, make sure the hair is wet or at the very least damp. This makes it easier to ensure any stray hairs are trimmed right along with the rest of the hair.
It’s best to wash the hair before cutting it. This makes sure that any hair product is out of the hair and the hair is clean and, again, at least damp. If you plan to wash your hair after you cut it anyway, you can skip the wash and just make sure it’s a little bit damp.
If you plan on coloring hair at all, make sure this gets done first unless you’re planning on cutting a lot of hair (if you’re cutting a lot, you can save time and dye by doing it all after). If you’re just putting highlights in, however, you can apply the color after cutting to allow the stylist to target the right areas for color to enhance the look you’ve created.
The Right Scissors
If you’re just starting cutting hair, it’s best to start with smaller scissors. You may even consider using something like cuticle scissors or shears to trim baby nails. While there’s a place and necessity for bigger styling scissors in the professional world, smaller blades are easier to control. Start small and work your way up.
Trimming Split and Dead Ends
You’ll know when it’s time to trim your hair when it starts to “act up.” If you are having some bad hair days without explanation. Your hair will feel dry and sometimes straw-like, or it’ll be frizzy and feel coarse.
Pull the hair into a ponytail to the very top of the head and tie it with an elastic band. Make sure it’s centered, smooth, and tight. Pull the elastic on the end of the ponytail up and grasp the last three or so inches tightly.
Using scissors, cut the ends of the ponytail. You don’t need to cut much to get a quality trim. If there is one thing to remember when cutting hair – even if it’s just a small trim – it’s to take it slow; just one cut at a time. Work your way through the ends carefully.
Trimming the Bangs
Trimming the bangs should be done with damp hair and sharp scissors. Section off the bangs by parting them down the center and creating a triangle on both sides. Lift little portions of the bangs up with a fine-toothed comb and, a little bit at a time, trim the ends. Be careful. Even if you mean to maintain the current shape of the bangs, take it a step at a time, a tiny cut at a time.
How Often Should Your Hair Be Cut?
In order to stay healthy, hair should be cut and trimmed regularly to allow for the growth of new hair and prevention of split ends and dead ends. Ideally, it’s a good idea to trim or cut your hair between every four to six weeks if you have short hair. For those of us with longer hair, though, getting even just a trim every 8 to 10 weeks is ideal. In either case, you can probably get away with as much as three to four months between needing a trim as long as you keep your hair clean, conditioned and it’s otherwise healthy.
The key to knowing when to cut is keeping track of split ends. As hair grows and eventually splits, that split will travel up the individual strands of hair. This split is what makes hair feel brittle and will weaken your hair’s overall structure if it’s not properly tended to.
Quick Hair Cutting Tips
Remember, a shorter hairstyle does not necessarily mean it’s going to take less work. On the contrary, shorter styles may require more time styling and keeping the coiffe nice and fresh, which can cost you both time and money. If you like it short and are willing to make that investment, great! If you’d rather let it get a little longer before you see your stylist, it might save you both time and money.
If you’re going to cut your own hair, cut someone else’s hair, or if you’re going to have someone do it for you who does not have access to professional equipment, at the very least, they should have a good pair of scissors. Cheaper scissors can work fine in emergencies, but dull blades could create split ends, which is one of the reasons you’ll be cutting hair in the first place.
Even if you’re going to be going for more than just a trim, cut a little at a time. You can’t put hair back on your head (perhaps a wig is an option, but that’s not the point) so it’s best to take it slow and check and recheck your work. Doing any extended work that could drastically change the appearance of your hair is a marathon, not a sprint.
Above all else, take your time, enjoy the process and have fun with it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be responsible for the next big trend in hair.
What are some of your favorite haircutting tips? What are some dos and don’ts you’ve learned along the way?