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You’ve found yourself standing at the bathroom mirror. Maybe you’re holding a pair of kitchen scissors, a brush and a sense of desperation, but we beg you, please stop right there.

Cutting your own hair at home

Does it really need immediate action?

We’ll be the first to tell you, cutting your hair is not simple. Cutting hair takes skill, training and the right equipment, even if the YouTube tutorials tell you otherwise. So first step, ask yourself this: should I just put down the scissors and book an appointment with the salon? Have I just exhausted some of the other activities (and snacks) in the house? If you’re still wanting to cut your hair yourself - keep reading.

Why not take a look at some of our reparative treatments? What better time to make your hair a bit happier and healthier than when it’s already not looking its best? If you’ve never tried Olaplex maybe now is your hair’s time to shine, or give one of our Maria Nila reparative masks a go.

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treatments

Shop hair care and reparative treatments

Hair maintenance not restyling

Ok, so you’ve decided that it just cannot wait until a Salon appointment. What you should be looking to do is a fringe trim or a little removal of split ends. Today is not the day for the restyle. Yes, hair grows, but trying out a pixie crop right now probably isn’t the best idea.

So I can't use kitchen scissors?

If you really insist on cutting your own hair, we beg you, kitchen scissors are not the way to go. They are built for cutting apart cardboard, not your locks. There’s a good reason stylists use professional scissors. Do yourself and your hair a big favour and invest in a pair of hair scissors before you get started.

Tips for selecting the right sized scissors!

To find a pair of scissors that will sit comfortably in your hand measure from the start of your hand to a point in the last section of your middle finger to give you a rough guide of what size scissors you should choose. Be aware that anything longer than your middle finger will be too big and won't sit comfortably in your hand while you cut so choose wisely for the best results!

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Scissor Maintenance

• Clean your scissors every time you use them to get rid of any product residue and hair
• Protect your scissors by keeping them in a case to keep them dry to prevent the corrosion and avoid damaging the blades between uses
• For optimum performance it is best to oil your scissors occasionally- apply to open scissors near the screw where the blades meet.
• Don't use them to cut anything else! This will cause bluntness to the blades and will affect the longevity and performance of your scissors.

How to trim my own fringe?

We firmly recommend waiting until you’re able to get to a Salon, but we know that feeling like there’s a curtain on your face can be frustrating. So if you need a little bit of fringe maintenance here’s our tips:

1. Hold a comb flat on top of your head. Turn sideways towards the mirror so you can see where your head starts to round in the front. That is your starting point for your fringe section.

2. Using a wide-tooth comb, separate your bangs from the rest of your hair by making a triangle shape.

3. Take the triangle and pull it straight out from your head in front of you. Your fingers should be generally where you want the final trimmed length to be. Then delicately flip the very ends of your fringe upwards.

4. Then you go in at an angle with the scissors; it’s called point cutting. You point with the scissors like a clock’s hand pointing to seven and then lightly trim across.

5. That should do it. DO NOT take too much off the length. “Just a little bit more” is where mistakes can be made. If you’re not sure, try styling it before going straight back in.

1. Hold a comb flat on top of your head. Turn sideways towards the mirror so you can see where your head starts to round in the front. That is your starting point for your fringe section.

2. Using a wide-tooth comb, separate your bangs from the rest of your hair by making a triangle shape.

3. Take the triangle and pull it straight out from your head in front of you. Your fingers should be generally where you want the final trimmed length to be. Then delicately flip the very ends of your fringe upwards.

4. Then you go in at an angle with the scissors; it’s called point cutting. You point with the scissors like a clock’s hand pointing to seven and then lightly trim across.

5. That should do it. DO NOT take too much off the length. “Just a little bit more” is where mistakes can be made. If you’re not sure, try styling it before going straight back in.

How do I remove split ends?

If you’re needing to reach for the (RIGHT) scissors, we recommend having dry hair. Hair expands when wet, and shrinks up when dry. Doing a dry cut helps to avoid unwanted surprises.

Don’t cut the hair to the length you want the end result to be, start small and work upwards. We can’t stress enough, you can’t glue the hair back on once it’s been cut.

Pull the hair straight upward with your fingers because it’s the easiest way to make sure hair length is even overall. Then, place your scissors parallel to the hair peeking through your fingers and snip hairs vertically rather than straight across. Point the scissors upwards and lightly open and close scissors on the ends of the hair. Start at the front and then use this as a guide the whole way round. Remember, don’t get carried away. This is not the time to make a style change, and trimming your split ends is as far as it should go.

How do I use clippers to trim my hair?

Our Advice for taking the clippers to your own hair?

1. Is it really needed? How long can you wait until you see the barber again? How many hats do you own?

2. Check your clippers:
Are the blades clean and aligned correctly? Use a brush (an old tooth or nail brush will suffice) to clean away any hair or debris on the blades as these may cause bluntness or even break the blades over time. It is also worth checking the alignment of the blades after a few uses to check the blades are either parallel or slightly set back from the cutting blade.

Ensure you have clipper oil and spray. You should oil your clipper with every use as it lubricates the blades and really helps in making them last longer. Apply as instructed. We would also recommend the use of clipper spray as it is proven to help keep the blades cool as well as disinfecting them.

3. Style your hair as you usually would and ensure you have access to a mirror and water before you begin. Start with the sides, do one side then the other and then finish off with the back.

4. You want to start off with a lower guard number (A one or two depending on how short you want it) for the lower part of the head, around the ears and sideburns. Once this is done, move up the guard numbers going over what you’ve already done and moving slightly upwards until it blends with the hair on top.

5. Work slowly and lift the clippers each time you drag them through the hair, this should help to ensure there’s no visible line between sizes. Work slowly and take care.

6. Get the right kind of clippers, it can make a big difference to the quality of the cut.

7. Sit down and prepare your apology letter to your barber, who will be refining (and maybe fixing) post self clipping.

Selecting the right kind of clippers and trimmers

Selecting the right clippers can feel like an overwhelming task when there are so many options to choose from but don't worry we're here to help.

What are the main differences between clippers and trimmers and how do I know what's right for me?

Clippers are used to cut a bulk area of hair and are not a particularly close cut (depending on the clipper guard size you are using) while trimmers are used for much closer cuts including styles with outlining and edging. A trimmer is also used by barbers for shaping the trickier areas including around the ears, sideburns and back of neck.

Do I need to buy both a clipper and a trimmer?

This really depends on what kind of style haircut you have. Clippers are perfectly adequate unless you are going for a highly detailed style which requires a closer cut.
If you (or your impromptu hairdresser) are beginners at cutting with clipper/trimmers we would advise you to act with great caution and ease yourself in with an easy style to avoid awkward questions from your barber once you're allowed back in!

Do all clippers cut hair to the same length?

When selecting a clipper for purchase it is best to check the production description for information on what grades the product's blades are. For more information on what guard size is right for you please review the chart below:

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Shop the right kind of trimmers

Consider growing your hair to help someone else…

Consider growing your hair to help someone else…

Why not consider growing your hair rather than chopping into it? We’re proud to work with charity The Little Princess Trust who provide free real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their hair through cancer treatment and other conditions. Growing your hair for donation can be a great way to do something good with your time away from the Salon.

Find out more on donating your hair to the Little Princess Trust.

Make sure you’re taking good care and treating yourself a little too. Looking for more little at home lifts? Take a look at our Beauty by You articles for more help and advice from Sally Beauty.