How to cut your own hair at home during lockdown

It’s not ideal, but while we can’t get to hairdressers and need a trim, this is how to do it

It is possible to cut your hair without it ending in disaster as long as you follow a few simple steps (Getty)

Louise Whitbread, Cutting your hair own hair at home is nobody’s first choice.

But while lockdown is keeping us indoors unless it’s a trip for essentials like food and medicine, it may be necessary for keeping on top of your hairdo.

Maintaining a healthy head of locks through treatments like root touch-up and hydrating masks is something we’ve already got you covered on with our guide here, but cutting it is a whole other story.

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The smaller the blade, the smaller the mistakes, says hairdresser Anita Rice (Getty)

Far from simple, many hairdressers have trained for years to master the skill and hairdresser and founder of Buller & Rice, Anita Rice, advises it’s not a decision to take lightly. “I definitely don’t recommend anyone trying to cut their own hair. Nearly 100 per cent of the time it doesn’t come out how you imagined,” she told The Independent.

But if desperate times call for desperate measures, there are steps to take that can help you avoid disaster.

“Use small blades ie nail scissors; the smaller the blade, the smaller the mistake. For long hair trims, plait your hair to one side over your shoulder, tie a hairband one inch up from the very ends so you can see all the ends in one bunch, then hold the hairband and make small vertical snips (by doing vertical snips you will lessen your chances of cut lines). Once you feel you have trimmed all of the longest pieces undo the plait and repeat on the other side.”

Her advice for cutting shorter hairstyles is to proceed with caution, as it’s much harder to get right. “Don’t get too scissor happy, hang in there. Have a go at the edges/sideburns and back of the neck, if these are kept tidy you will be amazed how long you can leave the rest.”

Songwriter Harry Harris told The Independent that taking the plunge and cutting all your hair off for a bald style is also possible at home, and in his own experience, it’s manageable. “Firstly: if your hair is already reasonably long, then don’t try beard trimmers – I ruined a pair that way, they just get stuck,” he says.

“If it’s reasonably short then I’ve used my beard trimmers to get it down to a shaveable level. I use Harry’s razors, which for full disclosure explicitly say do not use on heads, but I think they’re great – use a new razor every time, go slowly, and do it twice – you’ll miss bits. Then put lots of moisturizer on your head.”

To stay on top of new hair growth, Harry does this himself at home using a razor once a week.

As schools are closed indefinitely, you may be thinking about cutting your kid’s hair as a few months indoors could make a noticeable difference. Journalist and poet Victoria Richards found her attempt at cutting her eight-year-old daughter Emily and three-year-old son Max’s hair turned out to be surprisingly successful.

“I’ve never cut hair before in my life but ended up chopping about 4in from my daughter’s hair. I just did it in the garden with a pair of kitchen scissors and comb freestyle, it’s not perfect, but it’s perfect enough, right now. I cut Max’s hair in the bath, he had been growing a bit of a mullet so I chopped it off around the back and even gave him a fringe trim,” she said.

“Since cutting the kids I’ve looked at myself and definitely considered giving my own hair a trim,” she added.

Digital PR and content marketing executive, Iona Jess Townsley, said she cuts often her own at home but does recommend watching a tutorial like this one on YouTube first to avoid any mishaps.

Using kitchen scissors, she keeps it as simple as possible. “For my own hair I went freestyle, just a short-ish bob cut straight along, I cut the front parts first to the length I wanted by combing damp hair and cutting straight across, then followed it as far back as possible. The back part was definitely not as straight as it could have been but I have bouncy hair so I could mask the unevenness pretty well,” she said.

If all else fails then Rice recommends to experiment with accessories and get creative. “Play with silk scarves, headbands, giant clips, turbans, fascinators and maybe get some fancy hats too.”

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