Cutting your own hair at home offers an inexpensive way to stay on top of your personal grooming, and gives you a little bit more control over your look. How many times have you visited a stylist and paid good money, only to come out with a style you’d prefer to keep under a hat?! Before you can start, though, you need to learn how to cut your own hair like a professional.

Tools That You Need to Cut Your Own Hair

The right tools can make the difference between a good haircut and a bad one, so make sure that you choose good quality products before you even begin!

  1. Clippers – You’ll want light clippers that are easy to handle and use. Many models come with colored guards which slip over the main clipper to help you to control the length that you are cutting.
  2. Mirrors – At least two mirrors are required to help you see the front and back of your head, and ensure that you’re getting your hair the same length all over. If you can find more then even better, and if you’ve got a friend who can hold the back mirror to allow you to see properly then that will make your job easier.
  3. Scissors – Regular hair-cutting scissors have slim blades that chop into the hair with ease. If you have particularly thick hair you may also want to get some hair-thinning scissors.
  4. Razor blade – It is an optional step, but one which helps you to tighten up the hairline and give a really polished look.
  5. A comb – You’ll need a slim comb that you can use to part your hair and make sure that it is smooth and detangled.
  6. Clothing covering – a cloth, towel or old t-shirt will stop the cut hair ending up all over your clothes.

Preparation Work: Get Your Hair Ready

After collecting all these tools, you need to do some preparation work to get your hair ready for cutting.

  1. Decide what look you want – Look through magazines or take inspiration from your favorite stars. Having a picture of the haircut that you want will be great for you to refer to during the cutting process. There are hair-specific magazines which will help you identify new trends and will also offer you a great picture of the style as a whole to refer to, which might be easier than a candid photo.
  2. Wash, condition and blow dry your hair so that it is clean and in its best condition. Try shampoos enriched with keratin to get the most out of your hair. Keratin helps to repair the bonds and overall structure of the hair and makes it look fantastic when used regularly as your standard shampoo and conditioner.
  3. Use serum to defeat frizz and then run a straightener over your hair if you usually wear it straight. This will ensure that you get the right length and style when you have finished.
  4. Position yourself between two mirrors so that you can see the back and the front of your head. If you can get someone to stand with and hold the back mirror then even better, as they can adjust it so that you can see yourself much better.
  5. Section off your hair so that you only have to work with a small space at a time. This will give you more control over the style. You may use clips to do this or, if your hair is longer, you can use proper hairdressers clips which can be bought on the high street.

Use Clippers to Cut the Back and Sides


You can start to cut the back and sides after preparation work is complete.

  1. Take one side at a time, making sure that the other section is clipped away so that it doesn’t interfere with your work.
  2. Work slowly and methodically, taking your time over each section and constantly checking what it looks like in the mirror. Don’t try to rush this step as it is critical that the base of your hair style is neat for a professional look.
  3. Use clippers on a lower setting for back and sides than you want to use for the top, for a streamlined look. However, do remember that it is far easier to fix a problem when the hair is too long than once it is too short. Start conservatively with a slightly higher setting than you think you need, and then you can always get progressively shorter. Work on the whole back and sides at one setting before moving down to the next.
  4. Preferably angle the mirror behind you so that you can see your whole head. You could also move around the mirror so that you get a good view. It can be helpful to have someone else stand behind you with the mirror so that they can adjust it for you, and give you a little more flexibility as you work.
  5. Keep the hair at the top and front of your head away from the clippers using sectioning clips, so that you don’t accidentally take any off of that area.

Use Scissors to Cut the Top

  1. You will want to use scissors to style the top. This allows you more creativity than you would get with clippers and once you start cutting you should see the style you want beginning to emerge
  2. Refer to your inspiration picture as you go, so that you can make sure of what you are doing. Don’t be intimidated by a style which looks complicated, as it is simply a process of shearing away in sections until it looks the way you want it to.
  3. Trim the top in small sections and take your time, getting progressively shorter as you go. It may be best to cut in the style you want but slightly longer than you actually want it, so you can then use that as a guide once you’re happy with it.
  4. Cut in bangs if your preferred style has them, or you could also use clippers on a higher setting for a very striking look! Bangs are usually simple enough, but if you want long ones you will want to feather away at the hair until it is the right length and style. As with the rest of the top, take your time and cut slightly less than you want to each time.

Make Finishing Touches

  1. Even if you think that your style is looking really great, you still want to be sure that it is perfect. Using both of your mirrors and scissors, even out the sides so that they are uniform. Use the clippers on the last setting you used to do the sides, and run them back over and over to catch any stray hairs or messy bits.
  2. Don’t forget to trim down and neaten up your sideburns so that they are in keeping with the style that you have cut in. Don’t just shave or cut them off. Sideburns help to frame your face and can improve the look of the cut.
  3. Blend in the top and sides as a final flourish. Comb your hair and part/style it in the way that you intend to wear it every day. Now you are able to see any messy or non-uniform areas and can cut those down. The eventual style should be neat and uniform all over.
  4. Sharpen up the neckline using your razor blade or clippers. You’ll want to use your back mirror again to see what you’re doing and then gently blend into the hairline. Don’t just take all of the hair off in a straight line because it looks unnatural.
  5. Grab your wax, serum etc. and style! Try to style it in a way that will be easy for you to achieve every day, so you get a really good idea of what the hairstyle is going to look like day to day.

If you follow this process step by step, take your time and pay attention to what you are doing, you should be left with a professional-looking style that is completely you. Once you have cut your own hair a few times, it will be second nature, and you shouldn’t ever have to pay a stylist again! If you get confident over time, you could even experiment with color or more advanced styles!