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LSA Basics: How to cut your hair at home

Hair cuts are not only trending in this lockdown but have also become essential. Hair, of course, is unruly and needs maintenance. Then, there is the summer hair issue, a tradition most Indians follow religiously. Summer cut, as our moms called it is no longer a ”Sadhana” cut. It’s dangerously close to being on a ramp thanks to our fabulous hairstylists and our resident hair experts. Now there are no road-markers and rules, it’s all relative to hairstyle, hair type and length. Here are a few tips on how to cut your hair at home. 

Everyone’s cutting hair at home and as cool as it looks on Queer Eye, a snip there and a swipe there, is not easy at all. We picked out ways in which you can do the basics on your own – all it needs is a good twist of the hand, a partner to assist and a good, if not grand, mirror. This is all the research we put together to create looks that are easier to replicate and ways to maintain your hair without getting hassled at home. 

What you need

A cutting comb that comes with both wide and fine tooth sides, so you can switch when you need it.

A good pair of scissors or shears ( must be sharp and snippy).

A bottle of mist/water – preferably one in a spray bottle. 

Alligator clips that hold bits of your hair here and there.

A cape or an old bathrobe. 

A blowdryer and a straightener.

A shine spray or a leave-in conditioner for added body and depth.

Know your hair 

If it’s curly, your cuts should be minimal. Remember that once the mist goes off, and hair comes back to normal – it’s going to be different so be cautious. If your hair is wavy, make sure it’s cut in layers, so there’s depth and movement. And if you have straight hair, you can cut it the way you want, a straight cut is easier to manage. Plus, make sure you detangle hair for maximum effectiveness. 

Rules to follow before you cut your hair

First, shampoo and condition your hair before starting out. It gives you non-greasy and clean hair to work with. 

Always wet your hair before cutting because wet hair gives you more precise cuts. 

Hairdressing shears are better than regular scissors, but that’s optional. 

Err on the side of caution when cutting – cut a centimetre and see how it can match the rest of the hair. Don’t go for a big hair cut without being careful. 

Work in small sections, not in large chunks. Snip an inch or two wide and make sure it’s spread as thin as possible between your fingers so there is control. 

If you work with a partner, make sure you cut hair when you pull it straight upwards with your fingers. When you leave it down, it can be a bit uneven – have you seen your hairdresser follow the rule? It gives more precision on the length and keeps it even. 

 Always place your scissors parallel to the hair that is held through your fingers for more control. 

Try to snip hair vertically rather than straight, so you have more depth. 

Cut less than you think you need to. Know that when we are cutting our wet, it will look shorter once it dries.

The most common cut (with steps) 

1. Section your hair into two using a wide-toothed comb, keep your natural parting in place. Leave a chunk of hair to tackle at the back later. This sectioning, in particular, is for the hair in the front. 

2. Spray some mist and let your hair fall straight, so you can see the length. With a fine-tooth comb, use your forefinger and middle finger to hold sections of hair and pull it straight and then, snip. Keep snipping till you reach the desired length you want. Keep a look-out for split ends. 

3. Now do the same with the other section of hair. Remember both sides must match in length. 

4. If you have layered hair, then make sure you take sections of your layers and snip them little by little in the same sections by holding each section with an alligator clip. Every vertical section can be cut at a 45- or 90-degree angle, so your layers are more dramatic. 

5. Move onto the back section after you are done with the front section. Make sure you clip the front so it doesn’t interfere. Split your back section down the middle, bringing your hair to the front to meet your fingers. 

6. Bring the sections in the back forward to join your two front sections. The back hair is going to be slightly longer, so keep your lines super straight. 

7. Make sure you snip them slowly yet tactfully to cover split-ends and not go too short. Your back hair cannot be shorter than your front sections.

8. Now that your front sections and back sections are done – just try to frame your face. Framing your face is essential but remember, it’s only for those who want a little extra. Take some hair that falls near your cheekbone and skillfully cut it slant, for a soft finish on both sides. 

9. Spray a good texturising spray or a shine spray to give it volume and body. 

If you are looking to tidy up split ends

Start with sectioning your hair into parts and twist the hair at the end, really tight. You will see split ends showing up and sticking out. 

Take good scissors and trim these ends – keep it small so you don’t cut too much. The back hair needs the same attention, just ask your partner to help you do the same. 

If you have an unruly fringe

Take your fringe, spray mist, and see the length that it has grown. 

Comb it and take a centimetre off with scissors while holding hair down straight with the comb. Make sure that there is space between the comb and the ends so you can move up if needed. 

Angle the scissors slightly for a more pronounced look and snip at the ends. Keep checking the mirror to see how much you can chop off – it needs to be maintained, not snipped into submission. 


How to cut straight hair tutorial

How to cut your straight hair into a bob

How to cut your layers

How to cut your hair into a wavy bob  

How to cut layers for wavy hair 

How to cut your bangs at home 

How to get a long bob effortlessly

Basic hair layers for beginners

How to do easy, side-swept bangs

All images: Getty Images

LSA Basics: How to cut your hair at home

Latha Sunadh

Deputy Editor

When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.


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