When I was 16 and reeling from my first ever breakup, I took a pair of eyebrow scissors to the front of my hair and chopped myself a set of straight-across bangs. The results were so bad that my mom burst into tears when she saw me. I spent the next year hiding them with hair accessories and praying that they would grow out (the only saving grace: headbands were having a real moment in 2007, thanks to Blair Waldorf). Needless to say, the experience left me vowing that I would never, ever cut my own hair again. Then, quarantine hit.
By the beginning of May (or week nine, in quarantine speak), it had been eight months since I’d seen my stylist, and my lengths looked rough. My ends were so dry and dead that there wasn’t enough leave-in conditioner in the world to help remedy the situation, so I called in the big guns—Dove Celebrity stylist Patrick Kyle—for help.
While Kyle couldn’t come into my bathroom and trim my hair himself, he did agree to the next best thing: Walking me through a DIY haircut via Zoom. Or as I like to call it, at-home haircutting for dummies.
I’ll be real with you: I was terrified, and we got off to a rough start when I realized I had the wrong type of scissors (FWIW: Thinning shears are the best-of-the-best when it comes to cutting hair). Thankfully, though, Kyle’s arsenal of knowledge (and periodic pep talks) made doing it with kitchen shears manageable. I started by spritzing my dry hair with detangling spray and parting it down the middle. Kyle then had me lean forward—a la Samara from The Ring—so that the gravity would make the dead ends more visible.
Using my scissors, I slowly “dusted” the tips away by cutting up into them instead of straight across. The biggest take-away? “Lines are our worst enemy,” Kyle says, explaining that you don’t want to hack off the bottom of your hair or you run the risk of ending up with a boxy cut. The process was slow going, and involved a lot of stopping and starting to ensure both sides were even, but after a few snips my hair looked healthier than it had in months.
Once my ends were cleared awa,y and I was feeling more confident in my skills, it was time to try some layers (gulp.). Again, I was terrified, and started to have flashbacks of #bangsgate2007. I put my hair into a high ponytail and pulled out some face-framing pieces, then snipped at the ends of the pony. The result? A DIY haircut that looked nearly as good as any I’ve ever gotten in the salon… and that didn’t make my mom cry at the sight of me.
As nervous as I was to try an at-home haircut, it was a lot easier than I expected—and came out so, so much better than I ever could have hoped. And the best news of all? We caught Kyle’s entire lesson on camera, so press play on the video above for your very own $0 at-home haircutting tutorial.
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