How to give yourself a haircut at home

How to give yourself a haircut at home

Locked in and looking unkempt? Fret not. You can do the snipping yourself if you know the basics

Being under lockdown for over a month means no trips to the hair salon. Which is why people are taking things into their own hands. From trims to shaves, self hair-care now covers everything. So how does one get the best possible cut at home? We bring you advice from two Bengaluru hairstylists.

Before you start
Nikhil Madhu, senior stylist at Blown Salon says even before you start you should know what you’re going to do. “Put on a towel around yourself and some newspaper on the floor to make it easier to clean once you are done,” he says.
Khyapou Paul, senior stylist at GlossNGlass Makeup Studio and Academy says combing the hair thoroughly before a cut is an important step. “Knots in the hair can reduce the length of certain strands. Comb through and smoothen your hair so you won’t have any odd longer strands after your cut,” he advises.


Cut dry or wet?
There are differing opinions on this. Paul says cutting damp hair is easier and can be done by scissors at home that may not be as sharp as the ones at the salon.
Nikhil, on the other hand, advocates a dry head of hair. “You get a better idea of the length as hair tends to shrink a little when it dries. Cutting with wet hair requires much more precision which many at home may not be able to achieve,” he says.
The texture of the hair also matters, and straight-haired folks can easily chop when their hair is damp as the length and shape are similar to when the hair is dry. Those with wavy or curly hair are better off cutting when the hair is dry.
If you have frizzy hair, it may be a good idea to keep a spray bottle of water to dampen your hair just enough to control it.

Cutting short hair
Haircuts for people with shorter hair is relatively easier, says Nikhil. Clearing up hair around the ears can be done with a pair of clippers or small scissors.
“The easiest thing for people with short hair is an undercut,” he says. To achieve an undercut trim, leave an oblong section on the crown of your head untouched, while you shave around it with the desired trimmer setting. If you want to take off some length and add texture, Nikhil advises you take smaller sections of this larger oblong section and snip at the ends with the pointy end of a scissor. “Don’t cut vertically as it can create harsh lines,” he cautions. This trick can be used for longer hair as well.


Cutting long hair

Paul says sectioning hair is key. “Part your hair down the middle and separate them with clips or hair ties,” he says. One must maintain the same position throughout as moving around too much may cause the cut to turn out uneven.
Nikhil adds that blunt cuts and layers are not easy to do at home, but basic trims are achievable. “You may be tempted, but don’t attempt any drastic changes unless you can live with any mistakes you might make,” he says.

Be conservative
Speaking of mistakes, he says that you should always cut less than you think is necessary. “You can always cut more if the length you want has not been reached, but cutting off more can’t be fixed,” he says.
He adds that the way you hold your hair matters. “Holding it taut means that you are stretching your hair, and this could lead to you cutting more than desired. So hold it tight but don’t pull on it too much,” he says.

Cut a fringe in front
Both stylists advise you to section a semi circle shape from the front, and keep the rest of it out of the way.  “The ideal place to make the cut is in front of your eyes. Make a horizontal cut first and then soften the shape with vertical cuts,” says Paul.
His trick is to cut in two layers. “Section the larger semicircle into two layers, cut the lower layer first. If the lower layer is a little short you can cover it by cutting the upper layer longer. It also adds more body to your fringe,” he adds.


How to avoid split ends

While trimming your hair is the easiest way to get rid of split ends, repeat trims mean your hair never gets a chance to grow out.
“The pH of hair is around 4.5 to 5 while the water in Bengaluru is quite alkaline. Washing your hair in this kind of hard water causes dry hair and split ends,” Paul explains.
To counter this, he advises using four to five cups of water mixed with a few drops of apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair after shampooing. You could alternatively give your hair a final after-shower rinse with a bottle of mineral water. “This helps maintain a healthy pH level for your hair, making it less prone to split ends,” he says.

Lest you forget

Remember, haircuts during a quarantine are more about maintenance than fashion. 
While personal trimmers and professional tools are advised, many use regular kitchen and craft scissors to cut their hair.
A fine tooth comb is also in the arsenal of many DIY barbers.
If you are using a trimmer, make sure you have a pair of extra batteries. You don’t want it to die on you mid-trim.


Order online

E-commerce platforms like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and more are now open to taking orders for non-essential goods. Find a range of trimmers, available from as low a Rs 299.


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