Experts share their tips on how to cut hair at home

Life in self-isolation, which could go on for months, is almost certainly going to take a toll on hair and beauty routines.

The truth is that your skin is likely to thrive – considering there’s no need to apply make-up to leave the house and that face masks can be worn from the comfort of your work-from-home desk.

Your hair, on the other hand, will probably suffer.

At some point, fringes will need to be trimmed and split ends will need to be sorted. And if coronavirus self-isolation goes on for a few months, this could leave some people in a pretty dire place.

For those considering a DIY job, we’ve asked hair professionals to share their tips on cutting hair at home. 

It’s worth pointing out that most of the experts we talked to stressed that, in order to avoid any disasters, cutting hair at home should only be considered a last resort.

But here are some important things to think about if you do decide to get the scissors out.

Don’t cut a fringe horizontally

Celebrity hairdresser Jamie Stevens says there’s a certain technique to cutting a fringe – and it’s not what you might expect.

He tells ‘If you need to take a bit of weight out of a fringe, use a point cutting technique, this is where you hold the scissors vertically and snip into the ends. 

‘Don’t try and cut horizontally across your fringe, and avoid any style that requires blunt or straight lines. Be aware that if you pull hair taught and cut it, it will jump back up, especially if you’ve pulled it tight over your ears.’

Don’t do it yourself

Ana Gomes, a hair stylist at Blush and Blow London, says: ‘Ideally I would not recommend anyone to cut their hair themselves as it is impossible to achieve a completely straight haircut, due to the moving involved.’

So it’s best to rope your partner, flatmate or sibling into helping you, rather than trying to tackle it yourself.

Make sure hair is wet 

Ana says it’s best for hair to be wet all over in order for it to sit completely flat while you are cutting.

In terms of the cut itself, she adds: ‘Section the hair in a middle parting from the hairline to the nape of the neck.

‘Comb all the hair forward so it sits above the chest, tightly flatten the hair between your middle and index finger stop at your desired length and cut in a straight line. Follow the same method on the other side, this should give you a slightly rounded one-length haircut.’

Use the ‘dusting’ technique for split ends

Jamie adds that while it’s usually best to cut hair when it’s wet, with split ends, it’s best to do so when hair is dry.

He says: ‘If you’re just trying to keep split ends at bay on longish hair then keep it soft – we call it “dusting” when we just remove the very ends to keep it healthy without taking off length.

‘Part hair down the centre and push the lengths equally over each both shoulders, then pull the length of the hair on one side straight between two fingers with good tension (but don’t pull it at an angle) and snip with the point of the scissors into the ends. Keep the head straight, then do the other side and check they match.’

Don’t do anything drastic

All of the hair professionals we spoke to advised against doing anything too drastic at home.

For major cuts and style transformations, it’s best to wait until you can get into a salon again. 

Stick to simple trims, to be safe.

Treat your hair

If you can resist cutting at home, then do. 

Instead it’s best to focus on keeping your hair conditioned, so that it’s in a good place when you finally visit a salon.

Jamie says: ‘Instead, use this time to treat hair to regular deep conditioning and repair treatments – like a regular conditioner left on under cling film or a towel, or even an oil like olive oil through the ends will work if you don’t have a professional treatment in the house (just don’t put it on your roots).

‘Avoid heat styling with dryers or straighteners and instead embrace its natural texture as it dries naturally.’

Support salons, if you can

Jamie adds: ‘If you can afford to, support your local salon – which will be having a really hard time right now – by buying a gift voucher online for your next visit.’

There’s a chance it might not be there when this is all over.

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