How to Trim Your Hair at Home
A hairstylist shares her tips for cutting your hair at-home.
The need for a trim
When the pandemic first started, and after salons had only been closed for a few weeks, an alarming number of people were overcome with the need to cut their own hair (and post their results on social media). Were they used to getting biweekly haircuts BC (before Covid)? Were they just bored?
Over a year later, some of us are feeling that same itch to give our locks a trim—but for a more understandable reason. In cities like Toronto, hair salons have been closed for months, and there’s no sign of them reopening anytime soon. So we reached out to Kelly Araujo (@hello.kells), hairstylist at Alibi Cutting Room in Toronto, for her tips for an at-home cut.
(Also, thinking about dying your roots at home? Read these hair dying tips first.)
1. Repair before you snip
Araujo says it’s not easy to cut your hair at home and suggests concentrating on helping it get healthier instead. “Your hair will feel better, which may cause you to re-think the urge to chop it all off,” she says.
Before hopping on Sephora.ca, check out the selection of hair masks available through your local hair salons—many of which have created online shops to offer quality hair-care products to their clients. “It’s a great way to continue to support small businesses that are currently experiencing extreme losses in revenue,” says Araujo.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on a small business website, Araujo recommends:
- For brittle, over-processed hair, try Opalex No. 5 Maintenance Conditioner, $38, sephora.com
- For helping your heat-styled mane last longer (so you don’t have to wash it too much), try Color Wow Dream Coat, $35, tradesecrets.ca
- For dehydrated hair, try R+Co: Atlantis Moisturizing Shampoo, $34, beautysense.ca | R+Co: Atlantis Moisturizing Conditioner, $34, beautysense.ca
- For a scalp treatment, try Drunk Elephant T.L.C Happi Scalp Scrub, $48, sephora.com
- To give fine hair a boost, try Quai Shampoo for Fine Hair, $37, sephora.com | Quai Conditioner for Finer Hair, $37, sephora.com
2. Head to YouTube
Check out Brad Mondo’s how-to video before picking up your scissors. When you’re ready to snip, wash hair, blow dry it, and straighten it—which will better ensure you don’t over-cut. Ready to snip? Do not use kitchen or craft scissors, says Araujo. You need precision scissors. Some pharmacies carry them, and Amazon does, too. (Try these.)
3. Don’t chop
The way you hold the scissors has a big impact on the end result. Araujo recommends point cutting, which means cutting hair upwards. “It’s more delicate,” she says.
4. Trim the bare minimum
Have a partner with short hair who’s asking you to help tame their shag? “Focus on trimming the sides and around the ears,” says Araujo. “Those are the areas that cause people to feel most unkept.” She recommends watching the Nomad Barber’s how-to video, which was created to help new barbers cut hair.
5. Wait for bangs
Finally decided you’re ready for bangs? You might want to put that dream on hold. “I believe there is a type of fringe for everyone,” says Araujo, “but determining what type of fringe is best for you and your hair is best determined by you and your stylist.”
Have bangs that need a trim? Araujo suggests:
- Ignore the sides of your bangs and focus on the centre. This will give you more of a moon-shaped fringe that can grow out better than a blunt fringe.
- Limit yourself to trimming the hairs that are falling into your eyes, and leaving the rest for your hairstylist.
Next, learn expert tips for shaping your brows at home.