How to Give Yourself a Professional Women’s Haircut at Home

How to Give Yourself a Professional Women's Haircut at Home

It’s possible to keep your haircut looking great even when you can’t get to the salon. Professionals advise to hold out on a major overhaul until you can book an appointment. But if split ends threaten your look, a trim may be necessary. And if you’re brave, cutting some long layers is easier than it sounds. Before you attempt a chop with the kitchen scissors, follow the below guidelines to give yourself a fresh cut. 

Gather the Tools

For an at-home cut, you’ll only need a few quality tools. 

Sharp shears

The regular scissors stashed in your kitchen drawer will do more harm than good. Dull blades can cause frayed hair with more split ends. Sharp shears give you more control to create clean lines. They’re available at most box stores for less than $20.


A large hanging mirror makes it easy to see what you’re doing. And a small, handheld mirror is also necessary to see your hair from the back.

Wide-toothed comb

If you need a bang trim, a wide-toothed comb keeps strands in place without pulling. 


Use hair clips to section off hair until it’s ready to cut. 


Place a towel over your shoulders to catch loose hair. 

Tips From the Professionals

Once you’ve gathered your tools, follow these guidelines for the best results.

Cut on dry hair

Although hairstylists typically cut wet hair, professionals have training and a lot of practice. Wet hair shrinks once it dries, which means you can accidentally take off more than you’d like.  Cut on clean, dry hair so you can see the exact length you’re taking off.  

Start small

Snip a little at a time until you’ve reached your desired length. You can always go back and trim more. 

Focus on split ends

Cutting split ends will make your hair feel healthier and prevent further damage without shortening the length or changing the shape. It’s easier to spot split ends in straight hair. If you have wavy or curly hair, run your fingers through your hair to find knots and tangles. Focus on trimming these ends to prevent breakage. 

Use point cutting

After you cut straight across, point the scissors upwards and snip the ends with the scissors only partially opened. This method is ideal for trimming split ends and bangs because it creates a soft, textured edge.

How to Cut Your Hair

Follow these simple tutorials to freshen up your look.

How to trim your bangs:

  1. Pull your hair back into a ponytail except for your bangs.
  2. Divide and clip back the top section of your bangs. 
  3. Hold the bottom layer with your fingers without pulling on it. At eyebrow length, trim the hair by using the point cutting method, starting in the middle and working your way outward.
  4. Release the top section, comb the two sections together, and then trim using the bottom section as a guide.
How to Give Yourself a Professional Women's Haircut at Home

How to cut hair straight across:

  1. Part your hair down the middle and divide it into two sections. 
  2. Grab one section with your fingers and hold it at a slight angle directly above your desired length.
  3. Using your fingers as a guide, cut at a diagonal line with sharp shears. 
  4. Repeat on the other side, ensuring you cut at the same length.

How to cut long layers:

  1. Pull the top two-thirds of your hair into a bun and divide the bottom third into two sections.
  2. Separate one section into two and bring the bottom section forward. Run a comb through at a slight angle. Hold your hair straight in front of you between your fingers. Cut straight across at determined length.
  3. Bring the top section forward and comb the two sections together. Gather some hair from both the top and bottom section. Hold it straight in front of you between your fingers. Use the bottom section as a guide to cut the top section the same length.
  4. Point cut to soften the edges and repeat on the other side, checking that the length is the same on each side.
  5. Put the bottom section in a low bun and use a hair clip to secure it.
  6. Bring down the top two-thirds and create a top section by parting hair with a comb on either side of the crown. 
  7. Comb the top section straight up. Holding it firmly with your fingers, bring it forward, and cut straight across at the determined length. Point cut to remove the bluntness. This section will be your shortest layer. Use it as a guide for the remaining layers. 
  8. Starting on one side of the head, combine half of the top section with a new section and comb both straight up. 
  9. Holding the hair firmly with your fingers, bring the hair forward, and cut it to the guide (the freshly cut section). Cut across, and then point cut it. 
  10. Repeat, combining a portion of the cut section with a new section, combing straight up, and cutting to the guide until one side is complete.
  11. Repeat on the other side, using a portion of the top section as a guide and working your way down. 
  12. For more defined, face-framing layers, part the hair in the middle and draw a line from the part to the top of the ear with a comb.
  13. Comb one section forward at an angle and hold firmly with your fingers as you point cut towards the longest layer. Repeat on the other side. 


By following the above tips and tutorials, it’s possible to give yourself a fresh cut that looks professional and extends the life of your hairstyle between appointments. Just remember to start small and save the big changes for the pros.

By Danielle Emig

Danielle Emig is a freelance writer and lipstick lover living in New York City. Originally from Portland, she moved to the big city with only a suitcase full of shoes and a mind bursting with dreams. It was her desire for adventure that led her to NYC, and even working unpaid internships and odd jobs to make ends meet — like cocktail waitressing at a pirate-themed bar — wouldn’t deter her from making it as a writer and editor. Two years later, she landed at InStyle Magazine and hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not sipping out of a lipstick-stained wineglass, Danielle loves to cook, make jewelry, and hang out on her fire escape.