How to cut your own hair at home: Professional hairstylists weigh in on bangs, tress trims, and more

How to cut your own hair at home: Professional hairstylists weigh in on bangs, tress trims, and more

Cut loose

Text: Emily Heng

We know what you're thinking: beyond grocery store runs and scenic hikes, a haircut is just about one of the few things that will allow you to leave the house without, uh, breaking the law. And who are we to deprive you of it, should your mane require maintenance? Still, some of us might prefer to stay in, whether for health or personal reasons — and so we have devised this handy guide to help your hair get by. Here's everything you got to know before hacking your tresses off, as detailed by our favourite hair professionals.

What tools do you need?

It's best if you have a pair of professional hairdressing scissors on hand. If not, a sharp pair will do. Den Ng, director of Prep Luxe salon, is a staunch advocate of the former. "This is because a professional pair allows for sharpness and precision," she explains. "Essentially, scissors that are not sharp enough will result in split ends. It could also potentially slip off from the mark when you want to cut your hair."

How should you manage your split-ends?

Eugene Teo, brand manager of Chez Vous Hair Salon, says you should begin by shampooing your hair. "Make sure not to apply any conditioner, serum, or oil," he advises. "This will help seal the split ends temporarily, so you won't be able to locate them. Once your hair is washed, blow dry your hair in a downward motion with medium heat. Then, use your thumb and index finger to hold on to a small section of your hair. Run and slide it in a downward motion. Once you can feel a knot, there's where the split-ends are."

"Cut slightly above the split-ends, not directly on it or below it. Doing so also prevents it from splitting upwards. Make sure to slant your scissors in an upward direction when trimming as opposed to horizontally across."

How should you trim your hair?

Drastic hair changes are not recommended during this period of time. "Let the professionals handle new, riskier snips," Gene, hairstylist at Walking On Sunshine, points out. "Wash and blow dry your hair. This tames your tresses and makes it easier to cut. Use a fine comb and run it through your locks, before using it as guide to cut the ends of your hair. Do it slowly, and portion by portion."

It is a sentiment Den agrees with. "You should wash and blow dry your hair fully before trimming your hair. This is called a dry cut, and it allows you to assess your hair's natural tension and volume before cutting. If you cut your own hair when it's wet, you might risk the tendency of overcutting your hair as the hair tension "shrinks" when it is dry again."

Bear in mind: you should never cut your hair straight across your head. "This makes locks appear unnatural and unflattering," Den clarifies. "Try point cutting instead. This method helps remove bulk from the hair's ends so layers or graduation built into the haircut blends together more seamlessly. The hair should be held approximately six centimeters from the ends in your fingers, so that the hair sticks out vertically. Then, position it perpendicular to your fingers, and begin cutting."

How should you cut your bangs?

"It's most important to take note of your angles," Den says. "There are two angles involved. Namely, the one at which you hold your scissors to your hair, and the other is when you lift off your fringe away from your forehead."

Take a section of hair and pull it away from your face. If you want a blunt and heavy looking fridge, Den recommends lifting your bangs slightly away from your face and holding your scissors perpendicular to the edge of it. Then, carefully cut. If you want a natural and layered fringe, on the other hand, lift your bangs further away from your face and hold your scissors at a slanted angle from the edge.