In the last two years, especially during the most stringent stay-at-home months of the pandemic, many folks have chosen to take matters — aka their hair — into their own hands. If you’ve been on the fence about trimming your own hair, but eager to prevent damage from split ends, the pros say you can totally do it yourself if you’re not feeling ready to go to the salon. You just need the right tools. We asked several professional hairstylists to share their best tips and tricks for cutting your hair at home. Naturally, they came up with some seriously smart suggestions, with one of the major standouts being having the right scissors or shears on hand. Turns out, not just any pair of cutters will do. Your tools of choice matter more than you would think.
“It’s important to select a pair that fits your hand well and glides easily through the hair when cutting,” explains hairstylist Gina Rivera, in regard to what you should be looking for when shopping for shears. “Some of the things that contribute to this are the material the shears are made from, the length, the handle design, and the thumb design.”
Of course, cutting shears can get expensive, particularly if you’re investing in a quality pair that will last for years — if not a lifetime. New York City-based hairstylist Adam Livermore says that the cost for a quality haircutting shear can go well into the thousands, but he wouldn’t recommend the DIY home-haircutter make that investment. Rather, he suggests looking for a medium-size (four- to six-inch blade) shear made of Japanese or German steel if you can afford it. “The Japanese-made shears usually have a sharper convex edge, which is good for point-cutting or ‘chipping’ into things like your bangs, while German shears usually have an opposing handle, which will likely feel more natural in a non-hairdresser’s hand as opposed to the offset handles that most pros use to avoid repetitive stress injuries,” he says.
As far as cheaper options go, some high-quality stainless steel shears from the drugstore will get the job done, so long as they’re the right size. “If you are an at-home novice looking for tools to cut your hair, I recommend getting a scissor that is four or five inches, as this will help to give more control on how much you cut,” says New York City-based hairstylist Kali Ferrara.
Before getting started, hairstylist Merrell Hollis suggests investing in a three-way self-grooming mirror. “The mirror has three panels for a 360-degree view of your head, which allows you to see exactly where you are cutting from three different angles,” says Hollis.
Once you’re ready to go, don’t reach for the kitchen scissors. Instead, here are 13 stylist-approved hair shears to help make your home cut look more pro.
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