How to Cut Your Own Hair While Socially Distancing

Do it yourself while you do have the time and can’t see a hairdresser


Whoever decided hairdressers aren’t essential workers never had to suffer through an unintentional mullet. The first person I see after this is over will be my hairdresser, so I understand if some of you are itching to give yourself a new ‘do.

But before you run to your kitchen and grab those scissors, consider these tips. They might keep you from doing something you regret.

First, try styling your hair differently. Now is the time to try something you have been wanting to do. Use some hair pins, a bandana, clips and curls. Braiding hair can be time consuming, but it’s a kind of art. Something as simple as parting your hair in the middle instead of on the side (FYI, I did this and ended up looking exactly like my Animal Crossing character) can be a game changer and might give you the look you need.

But if you’re determined to get snipping, start by doing some research. There are tons of resources online for how to cut your own hair. Make sure to check videos and articles that show you hair cutting techniques. This can help raise your chances of doing a good job and stop the impulsive 3:00 a.m. “I should shave all of my hair off” urges from getting the best of you.

Buy hair scissors and use clips. Scissors cut differently depending on the type you have, so it’s important to have the right ones. Clips, bobby pins, or hair ties help you keep each section in place.

Do a test. Grab a small section of your hair closer to the bottom (so you can hide it with the higher layers if you need to) and practice cutting it first so you can feel how the scissors cut and get a better idea of what you are going to do.

Tying your hair into a ponytail and slicing it off just above the band might seem like the best idea you’ve ever had, but it will most likely damage your hair, and will come out looking very uneven. Cut smaller sections and use clips or ties to keep the rest of the hair out of the way.

Maybe try shaving one side. A small side shave can be a radical change to your style, but you can hide it whenever you want to. Keep in mind that this depends on how much you shave, and can take a lot of upkeep since you need to shave it every couple of weeks if you want it to stay short, though.

Unless you have successfully done it before, avoid colouring your hair. Boxed dye can be difficult to get out of your hair, and colour correcting will cost over $300 at most salons. It could also damage your scalp or your hair, especially if you use bleach and could actually result in scarring or hair loss.

Remember that wet hair appears longer, so when the hair dries, it will be slightly shorter than what you actually cut. Always cut off less than you think you need to. This is especially important with bangs because they have a bit of a bounce, and you can end up cutting too much off if you’re not careful.

If you do end up with a crooked haircut or apocalyptic bangs, just remember that your hair will grow back, though it’s also never a bad time to invest in a collection of bandanas.


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