Yes, You Can Cut Your Own Hair

If you’re daring enough, here are some basic instructions. We recommend waiting it out, though. Your face and family will thank you.
By PETER LATHAM, Weekendr Staff Writer
Published on Apr 2, 2020

You might recall us mentioning here the other day that when we all emerge from our isolation in late Spring, or whenever it is,  that we’ll all need haircuts, and we’ll need to lose ten pounds. 

We also mentioned that we can’t do anything about haircuts, but guess what? We did a little research and found that you can actually cut your own hair. You can also clean your own guns, but it’s such a lovely day, lets not argue, okay?

We headed straight for the InterWebs to get to the bottom (actually, the top) of cutting your own hair. Here are the salient points and basic steps:

  • Wash your hair first. Leave it damp.
  • Comb it, and get those tangles out.
  • Dry your hair a little with a towel.
  • Find a safe place to do the job, away from dogs or small children.
  • Find a mirror, preferably two.
  • Work in sections.

Before we continue, here are some prima facie caveats. First, we don’t really recommend you do this. Patronize a local hairdresser as soon as you are able. They’ve gone to school and they have licenses. 

Secondly, study these instructions really carefully, and maybe practice on your kid first. Their tears will eventually stop.

It’s important to study these instructions very carefully  because you won’t have a hand free to read your phone or iPad once you start. Go over the instructions a few times, and then maybe tape up a basic list to the bathroom mirror before you begin, for constant reference. 

Now, the tools. Order some styling scissors. Those long pointy ones that hairdressers and your barber have? That’s what they’re for. Household scissors and your kids’ play scissors aren’t sharp enough, and you’ll hate yourself. 

If you’re really serious, order a hair cutting kit from a reputable company. We understand this kit from Wahl is a good one, if you’re serious. It’s about $60, and it only looks like a taser. It’s not a taser. 

Work in sections. Making sure your hair is damp, start on the sides. You can use a spray bottle to wet it as you work. 

Using the clippers, move from the bottom of the sides to the top, cutting against the train, and at a slight angle. Use the 1 or 2 setting on the clippers, so the blade is less exposed, and the damage is minimized. 

After cutting your sides, trim the back of your head from the bottom to the top as you did with the sides. To make sure you’re cutting evenly,  you’ll need to position a mirror behind you so you can check your progress as you cut.

When you get to the top of your head, that’s when you’ll do that little maneuver that you’ve seen your own barber or hairdresser  do. With your fingers and a comb,raise a small section of hair from the top of your head. Go easy, this part is crucial. Work in quarter-inch  sections, parallel to the front of your hairline. This is the art part and takes some practice to do it as swiftly and nimbly as your haircutter does it. 

Remember that the top of your head is going to be a lot more noticeable. This area accounts for the overall shape of the cut. Your hair should be the same length across the entirety of this section, so drive carefully in this area. You can always cut more later, if you’re so inclined. 

Survey the damage. Once you’ve gotten this far, and actually know how to use the scissors and clippers, you can go back and even up the areas that look jakey. (Midwest term. It means “crooked” or “off.”)

Make sure you trim the body hair below where your hair stops, on the back of your neck. Easier said than done. Think of it as painting in reverse. 

Finally, comb your hair in its natural way. This will enable you to see if it’s even, or if you’ve missed some areas. Consult the instructions again and tackle those areas.

Finally, send us photos of your handiwork, before you visit your haircutter when this is all over.

Stay sharp, my friends.

One Comment to: Yes, You Can Cut Your Own Hair

  1. Susan Pankow Banner

    April 2nd, 2020

    I love this “Cut Your Own Hair” article by Peter Latham. It’s hysterical yet all true! Following the instructions, I now feel inspired to cut my own hair. I will eventually end up looking like a 65 year old Rapunzel if I don’t take matters into my own hands. (eee gads!)
    Thanks again Mr. Latham. Wish me luck!


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