While we typically wouldn’t advise cutting your own hair at home (or any other family member’s hair for that matter), there is nothing typical about our current situation. That said, we realize that some of us are going to need to take things into our own hands for the time being. So, in an effort to help minimize any potentially disastrous haircuts from happening, we’ve compiled some key do’s and don’ts of DIY haircuts for all parties involved.
If you're cutting your own hair...
Use small scissors: Instead of grabbing the kitchen shears for this, opt for smaller scissors like the ones that you’d use to trim your brows. "The smaller the scissors, the more control you have and the less damage you’ll do with each snip," says Penelope Love, a stylist at Sam Brocato Salon in New York City.
Always cut into your hair at an angle: According to Love, "this will prevent any drastically uneven lines and give you more natural-looking, textured ends."
Trim in full light: Before you start trimming, make sure you’re in a well-lit area—whether that’s a brightly lit bathroom or sitting in front of a large window. You want to be able to clearly see each individual strand as you trim.
Make sure your hair is clean before you cut: You always want to make sure you snip into freshly washed strands, because if your hair is oily or unwashed, it tends to clump together, which will create uneven results.
If you're cutting your husband's hair...
Focus on key parts: Like the hair around the ears and on the back of the neck. Love advises keeping the length on top intact unless the hair is getting into the eyes, in which case, trim sparingly at an angle, exactly how you would handle your own bangs.
Use the longest setting: If you have clippers or trimmers at home, put it on a longer setting (like a two- or three-guard) to start and go shorter if needed. Grab a comb and brush down all of the hair that sits around the ear. Then, use the trimmers to clean up any strands that hang below the outline of your ear. Finish off by tidying up any hair that's growing past the back hairline (into mullet territory).
If you're cutting your kids' hair...
Give them a distraction: The most important thing when cutting your kid's hair is to get them to sit still, because squirmy children and scissors are never a good idea. Put on their favorite movie or show (just make sure it's on the TV and not an iPad which will make their heads move).
Cut hair when it’s dry: This applies to all hair types, but especially when you're handling curls or waves, because shrinkage is real. Cutting dry hair will give you a more accurate idea of what the final length will look like.
Don't pull on the strands too much: Try not to put too much tension on the hair while you're cutting it, because as soon as you let go, it will spring up and look shorter than you intended.
Some final tips for all members of the household...
Don’t get too scissor happy: Now is not the time to try a new style, y’all. We are just trying to maintain what we currently have until we’re able to see our stylists again. Concentrate on key areas like the front of your face (if you have bangs) and the sides and back of your head (if you or your family members have shorter hair) only.
Skip the heat: Let’s all lean into the simple joys right now and skip all of the blow drying and flat ironing many of us typically do to get ready for work. Time savings aside, this will help keep your ends healthier (and color from fading).
Do show your strands some TLC: Now is a good time to double-down on hair masks and treatments—particularly if you have longer or processed strands that are prone to fraying. Don’t have a mask on hand? Here are some of our favorite DIY treatments you can try using things in your kitchen. And whatever conditioning concoction you decide to use, "wrap your coated strands with plastic saran and place a hot towel over them for 20 minutes. This will open up the hair cuticle and help the conditioner sink in," advises Anthony Cole, lead stylist for Sebastian Professional.