I have a confession to make. I have not seen my stylist in a year. Please know that it’s not because I’ve been disloyal. It’s because I’m a cheap fuck; I have engaged in the sin of self-hair-cutting, and sometimes sin feels good.
This is for anyone with medium to long hair. Like many of my methods, this is the frankenstein combination of various others I’ve gathered from around the internet and put together to make my very own idiot-friendly creation. To do this is typically considered either brave or stupid, but considering that hair grows, and common sense tells us to cut a little less than we actually want to so we have room to go in case we panic and run to a salon for a fix, I would call this merely brave. Let’s begin.
I do this on dry hair. It moves around more easily and wet hair shrinks as it dries, so this way you get no nasty surprises. We are going to start by cutting the layers first. I know this is unusual but considering they’re the most daunting part I like to start here, go slow, and then make the length match up to where I want it. If you don’t want layers, skip the rest of this paragraph. First choose an area on your head where you want the layers to be shortest, from which they will progressively radiate outward, and put your hair in a perfectly smooth ponytail at that exact spot. I like layers around my face, which means I place my ponytail in the middle of my forehead, making me look like a demented unicorn. Now all you’re going to do is cut the ponytail. Go slowly here. Even if this means you didn’t cut enough and have to keep doing it again, it’s free so who cares, better safe than sorry. I tend to cut about one inch at a time. Because your hair gets progressively longer as it moves away from the ponytail, placing it here will result in a very vintage-friendly face-framing rounded shape, not to be confused with an authentic middy cut but which still totally does the job.
Warning #1: Do not judge the length until you’ve brushed it all out. After being in this crazy high ponytail it might want to still go up before it goes down, making you think you cut way more than you actually did. Do not panic. You did not magically cut one inch that turned into five, physics do not work that way.
When the layers you want the shortest are about where you feel they belong, it’s time to move on to the next step, the overall length. It can be helpful here if you like to use the neckline of a shirt as a guide, from modest bateau to deep and plunging. Part your hair where you normally keep it and bring it all towards the front. Doing just one side at a time, lean your head wayyyy back, brush and gently clasp the ends of your hair between your fingers. Tilting your head like this ensures the angle will be right when it’s done. Again, cut less than you really want to. I am VERY conservative here, because we all know what happens when you have to keep evening it out and all of a sudden there’s half a head of hair on the floor, right? Right.
Finally, the last step is to check how even it is at the back. Grab a hand mirror and take a look. are there any pieces that are just too long? Make a low ponytail, perfectly centered, and slide the elastic gently down until you can pull the ends of the ponytail within view. Now you’re NOT cutting for length here in the least, you’re just grabbing all the bits that escaped. Check again. It should be all good!
Warning #2: If you hair is dirty, slept-on, previously styled or whatever, you might think it looks like crap. Before you decide to be disappointed, don’t cut one more hair. Just get in the shower and wash it. Once it’s all clean, dry, and lying where it should you’ll probably notice a huge difference. I absolutely love my hair cut this way.
It’s at this point that if you’re a bit obsessive like me, you can start grabbing random sections and tweaking them. I tend to play with it for days afterwards, even though it always comes out looking exactly the same. Whatever, it’s fun. It’s especially fun to be able to say you’ve cut this fabulous style all by yourself and enjoy the tons of money you’ll save. Lookin’ good!
For more awesome hair-cutting tutorials go check out howtohairgirl.com. I love that site.