How To Cut Your Hair At Home - An Ultimate Guide

How To Cut Your Hair At Home – An Ultimate Guide

Maybe you can’t leave the house right now to go to the barber or hair salon.

Or maybe you’re sick and tired of spending so much money on haircuts, or you just don’t have the time in your day to get your hair cut.

The good news is that if you have some time on your hands, you can learn how to cut your own hair.

What items do you need to cut your hair?

Make sure you have the following items handy: hair-cutting scissors, a hair comb, a mirror, and clippers. It’s also a good idea to have time as you shouldn’t rush the process unless you want to make a mess.

If you’re cutting your hair for the first time, you’ll need to be patient and learn everything you can about the process. You will probably make mistakes, but that’s understandable because you’re not a pro, but you can minimize the major faux pas.

With that in mind, read on to find out how to cut your hair at home without it being stressful.

Good Reasons Why You Should Cut Your Hair At Home

steps for cutting hair at home

If you’re currently in isolation at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, cutting your hair might be a fun task to do if you’re very bored.

But cutting your hair is also a great way to take control of your appearance.

If you’re looking untidy or you feel like having a bit of a different haircut, you don’t have to wait to go to your barber – by that time, you might worry that you’ll look like you’ve been stranded on a deserted island for months.

You really don’t have to reach that point as you can take your hair into your own hands.

Learning how to cut your own hair means that you can cut or trim your hair whenever you want, and it will save you money. Of course, if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal, like scissors, you will have to purchase them. But in spite of this, you will be able to save money in the long run.

Here’s a quick calculation of how much money you could save by cutting your own hair. On average, a man’s haircut costs $28. If you get your hair cut once a month, that would total $336 every year.

In 10 years’ time, you could save $3360. While that might not sound like a lot, it’s money you don’t have to lose if you cut your own hair.

Who wouldn’t want a few grand lying around to do something really cool with, hey?

How To Cut Your Hair At Home In 10 Steps

tips for cutting hair at home

If you’re feeling motivated to cut your own hair and freshen up your appearance by making a few tweaks to your hairstyle, here are the steps you should follow.

Step One: Prepare Your Cutting Area

Cutting your own hair can be a bit messy, so you want to do it in an area of the home where it will be easy to clean up all those bits of hair.

Ideally, the bathroom is a good place, but wherever you set up your cutting station make sure that you have a surface on which you can set your tools so that they’re easily accessible. You also need to have enough natural light so that you can see what you’re doing.

Finally, make sure you set up two mirrors – one in front of you (see, that’s why choosing to cut your hair in the bathroom is so convenient) and one behind you, so that you can see your hair from many angles. 

Step Two: Brush It Out

If you haven’t let your hair grow too long and it still has some shape from when your barber or hairstylist last cut it, this will make it easier to cut because you can follow the shape that you can see in your hairstyle.

Whether your hair still has some of the shape you like or it’s longer, it’s important to take the time to study your hair in front of the mirror.

To do this, brush it out and upwards – imagine you’re a cartoon who stuck his finger in an electrical socket because that’s the look you should be going for here!

Try to picture what your hair should look like and how you’d want to shape it.

Step Three: Wash Your Hair

young man washes hair

Don’t try to cut your hair when it’s in need of a wash or tangled as you won’t be able to cut it effectively. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner as it will make your hair much easier to cut.

Step Four: Comb Your Hair

You want to get rid of any knots or tangles so that you’ll be able to achieve a neater, cleaner cut.

Step Five: Dry Off Your Hair

You want your hair to be damp, not completely wet or dry, when you cut it so remove excess water with a towel.

It’s also a good idea to keep a spray bottle with water handy so that you can dampen your hair again during the cutting process if it’s become dry.

Step Six: Reach For Your Clippers

Now you will need to use your clippers on the sides and back of your head. Aim for a clipper guard of one or two. Work from the bottom of the sides all the way to the top.

You should keep the clipper at an angle so that you create an even look. Once the sides are done, you should trim the back of your head from the bottom up to the top.

You might have to pass over the lower part of your hair with the clippers again, but set them to a lower setting. This creates a more blended look with the rest of your hair.

Pro tip: You should always start out with a higher clipper guard when you start cutting your hair. This is to ensure that you won’t start out with cutting your hair too short.

If you need to cut more, you can move to a lower guard setting, as that’s much easier than discovering you’ve cut off too much hair and wishing you could glue it back on!

Step Seven: Use Scissors For The Top

man cuts hair with scissors

A quick word on scissors: while it might be tempting to use kitchen scissors to cut your hair, don’t do it!

You need to have styling scissors as these are sharp enough to tackle hair. If you can’t cleanly cut through your hair, you’ll end up with a ragged mess.

You also run the risk of causing split ends, plus kitchen scissors will be tougher on your hands because you’ll have to use more force to cut with them. The bottom line: it’s just not worth the effort.

Before you cut your hair with scissors, though, use a comb so that you can pull the hair from the top of your head. Earlier, you had a good look at your hair when it was pulled upwards so you should now have a better idea of how much hair you want to snip.

Cut small bunches of hair so that you don’t cut off too much at once. Trim a section that’s about a quarter of an inch thick, then do another section. As you cut, you should take some of the hair you’ve already cut with you into the new section you’re cutting.

This is what will help you to create an even length and look all over. It will also make your haircut look professional.

A word of warning: It’s easy to fall into the trap of cutting off too much of your hair when it’s wet, only for you to see that when your hair dries it tends to “jump” and look shorter because of how the hair naturally falls. Bear this in mind so that you don’t cut off too much.

Step Eight: Check It Out In A Mirror

young man after haircut

Make sure you check your head from various angles to be sure you’re happy with the result.

The good thing about working slowly and cutting off short pieces at a time means that you can stop before you make any mistakes.

If you need to cut a bit more, then go back and repeat some of the above steps until you’re satisfied.

Step Nine: Wash It Off

Now you should wash your hair to remove the hair you’ve cut. Dry your hair and style it as you normally would.

Extra Tips For Cutting Your Hair

tips for home haircut
  • Wear an old t-shirt or drape a towel around your shoulders when cutting your hair so that you prevent getting small hairs on your good clothes. They’re really difficult to eliminate and can itch when they come into contact with your skin.
  • Always use two mirrors: one in front of you and one propped behind you so that you can see your work from all angles as you cut. If you don’t have somewhere to place the mirror behind you, have a smaller mirror handy or ask a friend to help you.

Now that we’ve looked at the general tips to follow when cutting your hair at home, let’s move on to some specific hairstyles you might want to try.

Hairstyle 1: Easy Peasy Short Back And Sides

If you just want to trim the back and sides of your hair, this is an easy guide you can follow.

In fact, trimming the back and sides of your hair is one of the easiest haircuts you can do yourself and it’s a great way to freshen up your look without the cut taking too much of your time.

What you’ll need:

  • Mirror
  • Clippers

How To Trim The Sides And Back Of Your Head:

tips for sides and back hair
  1. Comb your hair so that it falls in the way it naturally wants to fall. 
  2. Choose the right clipper guard. If you choose a guard with a lower number, it will cut your hair shorter. Pop it on the clippers.
  3. Make sure you blend in the cut. This means that the difference in length can’t be noticed because the hair lengths blend into each other. Now, what that means is that if you’ve chosen a number two guard on your clipper, you should also use a three and four.
  4. With your number two clipper guard, use the clippers at the temples.
  5. Follow your way around the head until you reach the center. Make sure you dip your hand lower when you reach the center so that the crown will be blended in nicely. If your hair is very short, then you won’t need to do this. Just continue with a straight line.
  6. Replace the number two with a number three. You want to stroke the number three above the number two line you’ve made.
  7. As with the previous guard, move your way around the head.
  8. You want to use a lower number now. Aim for a 2.5 and use this to stroke the line between the two and three that you created.
  9. Then, use a higher number. With a number four guard, remove the number three line you’ve made.
  10. Using a 3.5 guard, go back and stroke the line between the one made with the third guard and the one made with the fourth guard.
  11. Check the hair for any longer pieces that you missed.
  12. Don’t forget to buzz hair in the neck area and around your ears.

Hairstyle 2: The Undercut

man with undercut hair style

An undercut is a trendy hairstyle that keeps longer hair on top and is shaved underneath it along the sides and back. You can do it yourself at home. Here’s how.

What you’ll need:

  • Mirror
  • Comb
  • Clippers
  • Hair clips

How To Get An Undercut

  1. Choose how long you want your hair to be on either side of your head and where you want to cut off the hair and shave it off.
  2. You will have to separate your damp hair on both sides. Comb your hair towards its middle parting. Remember that the shaved section of your hair will end past the round part of your head above your temple, but you can make it a little lower if you like.
  3. At the back of your head, you should also part your hair just below the side part if it’s long.
  4. Comb your hair forward. Make sure the top of your head is parted in a horseshoe shape and keep it in sections with hair clips.
  5. If your hair is long you will first have to use scissors to cut the hair that you want to shave off.
  6. Now it’s time to get buzzing! Use a number one or two clipper guard and go over the hair you’ve cut, all along the sides and on the back of your head. The great thing about the undercut is that it’s very versatile: you don’t have to completely shave both sides of your head if you don’t want to. However, if you want to stick with a traditional undercut, you should shave off all the hair that’s below the parted section.
  7. Remove hair on the back and sides by starting at the top with your clippers and buzzing all the way to the back. Keep the clipper guard edge in line with the part so you always get a lean line. Pro tip: When you hold your trimmer in such a way that the blade’s teeth are pointing at your skin, you will go the extra mile to ensure a much neater line.
  8. Shave your head from the bottom up to the top.
  9. Now for the top of your head. Make sure the top of your hair is wet and comb it back so you can see how far you want it to go. Cut off any extra hair you don’t want with scissors. This is also time to check that how you’ve cut is even and neat, so make any tweaks now.
  10. With a trimmer, trim hair from your sideburns and neck to make your look much cleaner. If your hairstyle looks trendy and neat but your sideburns and neck have stray hairs, it’ll kill your whole look.

Hairstyle 3: The Taper Fade

The Taper Fade is a stylish haircut. It basically means that your hair is longest on top and slowly becomes shorter as you move down to your neck.

Unlike the Undercut we’ve just featured, this haircut doesn’t involve shaving off all the hair on the sides and back.

What you’ll need:

  • Comb
  • Scissors
  • Clippers

How To Achieve The Taper Fade At Home

  1. Wash and dry your hair as you normally would. Straighten out your hair if you have curly hair, as this makes it easier to cut.
  2. Comb your hair to remove any knots.
  3. Make sure your hair is damp before cutting. Then cut the top of your hair, where it’s longest, with scissors. If your hair is not that long, you can try using your clipper’s longest guard.
  4. Choose the fade line you want– basically, this is the place where your long hair will start to shorten. Note: Bear in mind that you don’t have to completely remove all the hair. You can have some hair instead of shaving it all off, but how short you choose it to be depends on you.
  5. With a very short clipper guard setting, cut from your fade line. Move your clippers all the way around your head.
  6. Move to the next guard length and do the same thing to the next section. You will have to decide from where this next section will begin and how big it will be before you move on to the shorter length of hair.
  7. Repeat the process with the next two clipper guard lengths. Note: It might help you to clip the hair into sections if your hair is long or use flat pins if your hair is shorter so that you know exactly where the next section should begin and end.
  8. Once you’ve done all the sections with the different clipper guard lengths, use the shortest clipper guard to go over the sections to blend them together so that you don’t see the differences between them. This is what puts the last touches on having the perfect fade! 

Is Cutting Your Own Hair Safer During The Covid-19 Crisis?

closed hairstylist

The Covid-19 pandemic has been causing many countries in the world to enforce restrictions on their citizens, such as by placing people in lockdown so that they cannot interact with others as much as they used to.

While this might sound severe, it helps to save lives because Covid-19 is a severe respiratory illness. It is transmitted between people via droplets from infected people who cough or sneeze.

Bearing in mind that we are dealing with this pandemic and don’t know for how much longer it will impact our lives, cutting your own hair at home is safer for you because it prevents you from coming into contact with people who might be infected with the illness.

When you go to the barber or hairstylist, you are in close proximity to the person who’s cutting your hair, but also other people who could be sitting in the barbershop or salon at the same time as you.

In addition, it has been confirmed that coming into contact with Covid-19 on surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, can also transfer the virus.

Therefore, when you sit in the barber’s chair or rest your phone on the counter at the hair salon, you don’t know if you’re indirectly coming into contact with the virus that was transferred to surfaces and objects from infected people.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that getting your hair cut in a small shop or salon, such as in a mall where there aren’t windows, can also be risky because the Covid-19 virus can enter the air after someone sneezes or coughs.

If you’re within a meter’s distance from an infected person, which could occur in small spaces, you could breathe in the virus without realizing it.

Therefore, based on the above, it’s clear to see that doing your own hair in the safety of your home without coming into contact with other people is worth doing, at least until the pandemic ends.

If you want to wait until it’s safe to head to your barber again, this could negatively impact your hair. It could become too long, have split ends, or lose its style.

There are many other good reasons why you should try to cut your own hair. It could save you money and time, and also be a fun new skill to learn while helping you ensure that your appearance doesn’t suffer even though you’re staying at home.

Related Questions

scissors and hair on floor

How often should you cut your hair?

If your hair is short, trim it once a month. Medium-length hairstyles should be cut every month or two, while longer hair needs to be cut every three to six months.

Should you try to copy how your barber cuts hair?

Barbers tend to cut hair on one side of your head, move to the back, and then complete the work on the other side of your head.

But this can be more difficult to do on your own, so rather cut one side, followed by the other side, to give your look more symmetry, and then do the back.


You love your barber and always wonder how he gets your hair looking so amazing.

But maybe you can’t get to him right now or you want to save a bit of money on your hair.

Enter the DIY haircut! While cutting your hair might seem like an overwhelming task that’s best left to the professionals, there are many haircuts you can try at home, such as the one’s we’ve outlined in this article.

As with anything you try for the first time, always take your time and be patient! Cutting your hair might seem stressful but with some practice you’ll be able to get great results from it.

It’s especially useful to do during the Covid-19 pandemic, when social distancing and self-isolation are recommended to prevent the spread of the virus.

But who knows?

After you’ve tried to cut your own hair, you might never want to go back to your barber again!