The Stylist-Approved Trick to Trimming Your Own Split Ends at Home (2024)

Hairstyle pros dish on how — and if — you can DIY your trim, layers and bangs.

By Jessica Teich
The Stylist-Approved Trick to Trimming Your Own Split Ends at Home (1)

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At-home and DIY beauty treatments are a great way to save time and money, and cutting your hair at home is actually no different — as long as you're careful. Sure, when it comes to big hair changes (like, say, a blunt bob on straight hair, cutting in new layers or chopping first-time bangs), we'd probably recommend saving 'em for the pros.

But otherwise, even hairstyling experts say it's totally OK to freshen up your layers, trim your (already-existing) bangs or nix split ends at home when you're desperate and can't make it to the salon for a cut every six to eight weeks. "I think it’s a good idea to save money snipping your hair at home between cuts," says Howard McLaren, co-founder and creative director of R+Co. It's a great way to "have fun and save up for a great snip!"

"A good rule of thumb is always remember to leave hair a little longer than you think," says McLaren. Work on dry or slightly damp hair, our pros say. "Slightly damp hair allows you to see the texture still intact," says McLaren. Olya Iudina, hairstylist at IGK in New York, explains that working on wet hair may lead you to "cut it shorter than you expect," since wet hair stretches in length. The only exception is if you have straight hair; you can dampen it with a spray bottle first to get the cleanest, sharpest lines possible, but remember to snip with extreme caution since wet hair will look even shorter once it dries.

"If you ever decide to cut your hair, watch expert videos and do some research online to learn more before doing so," instructs Frédéric Fekkai, celebrity hairstylist and founder of the eponymous haircare brand. For that, we've rounded up the best instructional videos below to help you cut your own hair at home, no matter what kind of cut you're looking for.

How to Cut Your Own Hair Straight

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Anyone with straight hair can use these foolproof methods to make sure your DIY cut is nice and even. Bring hair to the front and snip at an angle or straight, depending on if you prefer a rounded or blunt shape to your cut.

Before you get started, you'll want to invest in a pair of razor-sharp styling shears designed specifically for the task, like ARC Professional Scissors ("the best in the biz!" says Iudina), for the best-looking cut and the healthiest hair possible. Dull edges on household scissors could potentially give you even more split ends. You want "shears that are sharp and won't bend or push the hair away," says McLaren.

How to Trim Your Own Split Ends

If you're struggling with split, frayed ends but you don't want to lose any length (or if you don't trust yourself to give yourself a "real" haircut), this method shows you how to target split ends and snip them without changing the shape or length of your current cut. This allows you to go some extra time between hair appointments and keep your hair looking great in the meantime!

How to Cut Long Layers into Your Own Hair

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For the it-hair of the moment, YouTuber Carli Bybel shows how to cut graduated layers into super-long locks by sectioning hair, pulling it to the front and making angled cuts into the length using professional shears. Be warned, though: when it comes to at-home cuts, "I would recommend to stay away from anything that requires layers, shapes and so on," advises Fekkai, since for these types of cut, he says, "it’s difficult for anyone to be able to have the right technique, movement and gestures all around the head."

RELATED: 13 Simple Ways to Make Your Hair Grow Faster

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How to Cut Your Curls

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Wavy and curly textures rejoice: "The most forgiving home job [is] curly or textured hair, as its shape can be multiple lengths," says McLaren. "I would recommend seeing a pro to remove weight, but you can maintain the outer shape between visits." If you have thick, curly hair, cutting your hair at home is all about sectioning your layers and making minor cuts to your ends for healthier hair to extend the length between professional trips to the salon. This style is layered with bangs, but you can also just trim the ends of your hair using the same technique.

How to Cut Your Own Layers — Using a Ponytail

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Getting a perfectly even DIY cut can be tricky, but this tried-and-true method for achieving layers at home is great for beginners. Smooth hair into a ponytail at the top of the hairline near the forehead (hence the "unicorn ponytail" method), pull hair forward and snip ends. The sharper the angle, the more drastic the face-framing layers will be.

How to Cut Your Shoulder-Length Hair

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If you want to cut your lob, bob or shoulder-length hair, this method involves bringing hair to the front and securing with small elastics before trimming off ends. Clean up any choppy ends with small, precise cuts for best results. But proceed with caution! Our pros recommend saving big transformations like this one for pros. "The best haircuts left to the professional hairdresser [are] a transitional haircut (makeovers) and technical cuts like a blunt bob," says McLaren.

RELATED: 17 Pro Hair Color Tricks for Dyeing Your Hair at Home

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How to Maintain a Short Pixie Cut at Home

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To maintain a short pixie style, Kaye uses clippers, shears and lots of clips (and patience) on her semi-relaxed hair. Parting hair evenly, clipping hair back tightly and carefully combing through hair is crucial for this precise cut.

How to Cut Bangs at Home

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We repeat: Cutting bangs at home is not for beginners! That said, "existing bangs can be trimmed," says Fekkai. If you already have blunt bangs straight across your forehead, side-swept bangs or parted curtain bangs, freshen up your fringe with these tips. YouTuber Stella Cini also advises against making the first-time chop on your bangs at home: "Please make sure you know what you're sort of doing before you do it — or do it like me on a wig."

How to Trim Natural Hair at Home

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This YouTuber shares her trimming technique for her gorgeous natural locks. For her, it's all about detangling and using your fingers for a more precise cut, and using already-cut hair as a guide to keep everything nice and even.

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How to Cut Your Own Blunt Bob

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While we advise saving any drastic chops for the pros ("it’s the most difficult to achieve balance and weight distribution," says McLaren), this YouTuber makes removing about four or five inches from her hair look easy. If you're already a pro at cutting your hair at home and want to take it further, make sure you flat iron hair to ensure it's uniform and ready for a blunt bob cut before reaching for the shears.

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The Stylist-Approved Trick to Trimming Your Own Split Ends at Home (14)

Jessica Teich

Deputy Editor

Jessica (she/her) is a deputy editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute and a longtime product tester, reviewer, writer and editor of beauty and lifestyle content. She has over a decade of industry experience, previously as beauty editor at USA Today's Reviewed where she launched the Beauty vertical and tested hundreds of products and has covered trends for publications like The Boston Globe and The New York Times. You can usually find her sorting through piles of beauty products — and testing the best ones on camera.

The Stylist-Approved Trick to Trimming Your Own Split Ends at Home (2024)
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