We know it’s scary. Your glance continually goes back and forth between a pair of freshly-copped scissors and your scraggly ends. It has to be done and you have to do it because you’re not (or you can’t afford to) spend the moolah to see a real stylist. You’ve watched tons of vids, but the thought of snipping away at your own curls is intimidating. Here are a few tips to soothe your worries and help you clip your kinks at home.

1. Don’t use paper scissors: Seems silly, but many people actually think that a good ‘ol pair of Office Depot paper cutting scissors is okay to cut hair. They are not. They can actually assist in creating snags and snarls that will lead to more split ends. Invest in a pair of shears from your local beauty supply store or in the accessories aisle at Target or Walmart for $15 – $20 bucks.

2. Do blow out your hair: This one is long-debated, but if you’re cutting your hair at home, you need to blow it out to ensure that you successfully SEE split ends that need to be snipped. Many stylists cut curly hair both dry and wet to ensure a good shape.

3. Cut in sections: Unless your hair is shaved or cut into an asymmetric curly style (if that’s the case, seek professional help) your curls (mid-length to long) can be cut like this:

a. Horizontally section off the hair around your edges, around the nape of your neck, to the other side of your edges. This is the                bottom layer of your hair, which is usually the longest. It can be cut bluntly to allow for layers up top.

b. Middle section: In a circular formation, part the hair at the crown of your head and clip it down. The remaining tresses are                     considered the middle section. Start from one end and part in vertical, square sections. Stretch the hair outward and clip                             vertically and upward. You’ve probably seen this technique done in salons. It’s not incredibly hard as long as you keep it neat.                 Prop up two mirrors to allow a back view for cutting those hard to reach areas.

c. Top section: Comb this section straight up and snip going toward the back of your head.

4. How to know what to cut: Once you blow out your hair, your split ends tend to stick out like a sore thumb. Once you stretch your curls outward, your hair will look fairly full and thick until you reach the ends, where it will begin to look thin. Cut off these strands.

5. Test your cut while wet: Wet your hair style like usual. Once dry, snip any additional ends that you may have missed.

Have you ever cut your hair at home?

Photo: Solange for Harper’s Bazaar October 2020

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