Introduction: Cut Your Own Long Hair

Picture of Cut Your Own Long Hair

This is a fantastic trick I found for cutting long hair all by yourself! I came across it on a long hair forum while googling how to do it. I've been cutting my own long hair for about a year now, and I love it. Plus, it saves quite a bit of money depending on how often you get a trim. Keep in mind that I can't recommend it for curly hair because I have the straightest & thinnest hair ever.

I also can't promise this is the most precise method, but with a little care you get your hair nice and straight. :)

And big thanks to audreyobscura for photographing this and supplying gifs!

Step 1: What You Need + Tips:

Picture of What You Need + Tips:
Make sure the scrunchie is made from a slick fabric, something that grabs the hair will make this tricky. Also make sure you're using the right scissors - scissors that you'd use for cutting random things around the house are not ideal. You can get some nice hair scissors for $10-15 at any drugstore.

I like to cut my hair right after I've washed it and it's totally dry. You want your hair to be dry and free of tangles when you cut it. :)

It's also a good idea (especially the first time you do this) to employ a hand held mirror and large wall mirror so that you can see how what you're doing in the back. :D

Step 2: Part Your Hair and Make a Low Ponytail

Picture of Part Your Hair and Make a Low Ponytail

Part your hair as you normally would. (I've included a photo to show you what the top of my head looks like during this bit!) It's important to part your hair as you normally would - if you brush it all back, it won't fall as it normally does. After you cut and remove the scrunchie, it will be the farthest thing from straight when it's parted again. If you don't normally part your hair, you might want to play around with using a middle part - I think that may be the safest.

Then use the scrunchie to tie your hair into a low ponytail - right at the top of your neck. Make sure this is in the middle of your head!

Use your hand mirror to check it. :)

Step 3: Pull the Scrunchie Down Your Hair

Picture of Pull the Scrunchie Down Your Hair

Gently pull the scrunchie down the length of your hair, being careful to not pull it to one side. This can take a fair bit of practice. Keep checking with the hand mirror as you go!

If your hair is especially long, you might want to pull from the bottom as shown in the second photo. This method is a little trickier, and I don't do it often, but it's doable.

Leave 3-4 inches of hair below the scrunchie.

Step 4: Bring the Scrunchie Around the Front and Cut

Picture of Bring the Scrunchie Around the Front and Cut

Hold the scrunchie and the hair below the scrunchie firmly and gently bring it around to the front.

If you sense that it's shifted, you might want to give it another go. The hair that you'll be cutting should look fairly straight across - though not perfect because hair is always growing at different speeds!

A good rule of thumb here is to cut very little at a time. 1/2 inch tops! That way you can check it in the mirror to make sure you've done it right before you proceed. :D

Hold the ends of your hair firmly between two fingers and cut straight across.

Step 5: Bonus Round: Softening the Cut Ends!

Picture of Bonus Round: Softening the Cut Ends!

Once I've cut my ends straight across, I like to hold the scissors vertically and make tiny snips.

This softens the bluntness of the cut and can also hide small mistakes. :D

And you're done!


sallyab (author)2013-04-30

Does your method make the front longer than the back? Like dancing_sam, I've been cutting my own hair for years (since hairdresser disasters). My hair is thick and has to do what it wants, not what I want. Now it's longish and I still just chop off a bit that feels long to my hand, then look at the back in the mirror and it seems 'okay' - but it's very blocky and some shape would be good. Years ago, I read about making layers by leaning over so your hair hangs down to the floor and cutting. My hair isn't quite long enough to get a good hang, but also is too thick to stand a chance of cutting like that (the scissors slide - tried, vaguely). I plan to try the pony tail method. I amgine that the height of the pony tail makes the front/back length different: the farther forward, the longer the back will be?

I'm really glad to find a place to talk about this. I've never found (but have looked for) ways of cutting one's own hair. Thank you!

jessyratfink (author)sallyab2013-04-30

Honestly, I haven't found that it's a big difference for the front! I also haven't played with the height of the pony tail much, but that's a good idea. :D

You can even it out further after cutting by parting it down the middle in the back like you're putting it in pigtails and then pulling the two ends forward over each shoulder and then trimming those again. I do that from time to time, but I normally don't need it.

You might also want to look into using the two hair elastics method mentioned in the comments below - I bet it'd work really well with thick hair, so you could easily cut a little at a time. :)

JenniferD53 made it! (author)2016-06-11

Beautifuly described and love the pictures, Simple and easy. thank you

AndreaV58 (author)2016-04-26

I just did this just now. My hair is fine and straight just like yours and it worked perfectly the first cut..It is pretty straight and even and I didn't even feel the need to try to correct anything..honestly..the first cut was the only cut I did and I took off at least 5 inches of old hair. I feel great...I will do this your way from now on

Moestoes08 (author)2016-04-01

It worked for me and was quick and simple! Awesome stuff!

LenoreS1 (author)2015-12-30

Great instructable! It would be great to include an "after" photo of what it looks like out of the scrunchie at the end.

DonnaD18 (author)2015-08-26

Thank you! I followed your instructions and it was fine! Why should I with long straight hair pay the same as someone who requires a layered cut and blow out! It is totally not fair! For people with long straight hair who just needs their ends cut, this is perfect!!!!

MarilynM5 (author)2015-06-25

Thank you for saving me time and money. I followed your instructions and they worked perfectly. My hair is long, thin and blonde. I only cut a little, but I may get braver next time.

ScyIIa (author)2014-09-09

It was a little hard to see where the middle of my neck was because I have scoliosis but that's not your fault haha it worked well anyway!

MeiC (author)2014-08-21

Yes this should work, I am using a way that uses three steps, as this I consider just one step out of three. On youtube there is a tutorial by Habioku, called faye's method, I have used it for over two years now and is ideal for a trim or DIY haircut. It will give you a nice rounced U-cut ,as where I think this one will give a more straight cut. My hair is straight so I prefer a little softness.

ahemmings (author)2014-01-01

I wasn't clear sorry I ment by using a scrunchy it will cause graduation x

ahemmings (author)2014-01-01

I am a professional hairdresser, I was particularly interested in this article! I think ure method is a realy good one! Not trying to rain on the parade but this will cause graduation in the hair, you don't see it because it's when you out you're head down you will hae a bit of a step and loose strands! Just keep an eye on that as you can't see it but others can x

Bellie14 (author)2013-09-20

You're very brave!!

netkravler (author)2013-04-28

You write that a pair of scissors for hair is needed. Why do you then use some ordinary scissors ment to cut anything but hair.

I sharpen hairdressing shears for a living and this doesnt even come close to such a pair.

jessyratfink (author)netkravler2013-04-28

It's true that these aren't professional, but I don't use them often enough to spend money on a fancy pair of shears - these are hair scissors, and I use them only for that.

I just want people to understand they're not going to get the best results using ordinary scissors that they've used on paper or other things around the house, because the blades will be very dull.

dakota383b (author)jessyratfink2013-06-06

Those are hairdressing shears just not 200 dollar ones :)

dakota383b (author)2013-06-06

I'd let you cut my hair :)

HollyMann (author)2013-05-04

What a good idea. I just cut/trimmed my hair a couple of days ago. I always have problems in the back. I am not sure if this will work on me because my hair is so thick - but I will try it for sure! Also one other hair cutting at home tip - you can use an eyebrow razor (not sure if that's what they're called) but I know you can get them anywhere...I got them 3/$1 before. I use that to create a soft layered look or for creating longer bangs. :) oh - cute dress by the way!

OjosAlmendrados (author)2013-05-02

but what if you don't have it straight?

I am not much help then. :P

Check out dancing_sam's comment below - that might help! You can also try creative sectioning of your hair, I bet - and just trying to cut the same amount off of each section.

darklotus (author)2013-04-30

This looks as though it works quite well. I've had long hair most of my life and I do it a different way, but this is well set out and would work too!

How I trim/cut mine (I usually give it a good cut of a few to six inches at the beginning of summer with much more conservative trims a few times a year) is :

1. I wet my hair
2. part my hair down the middle at the back - it's very important that it's as precise as you can get it, as the part will be where your hair will be longest after cutting.
3. bring both sides to the front and make sure I comb them flat so they fan across my front - what is centre at the back becomes the outside edge on either side and the front of my hair falls towards the middle (hope that made sense)
4. in front of a mirror, cut straight across each side, making sure that both are of the same length.

This gives a slightly rounded shape and works for me as long as my hair is longer than mid shoulder (it's hip length at the moment, so not a problem to cut this way). If I want a straighter look, I can cut the outer edges slightly shorter than the centre bits at an even angle on both sides.

I then brush it straight down my back and check to see if it's even and if it needs adjustment I just repeat

Just an alternative way that I'm used to, and quite quick and easy too.

KROKKENOSTER (author)2013-04-28

CLEVER LADY making plans like this

Beekeeper (author)2013-04-28

Very interesting and I wish I had known about this before. My late wife had long hair and one day at a party she said she needed to get her split ends trimmed off when someone said "I'll do it for you, no problem". So she sat in a chair in the kitchen and the guy got out the kitchen scissors and crudely hacked off about 3 inches from one side and 4 inches from the other. My poor wife was desolated. Of course she had to go the a proper hairdresser the next day to get it fixed.

I have two questions for you though:
First - you say to part your hair as usual, but I see no parting and why does one need a parting anyway when the hair is combed straight back?
Second - what does your tattoo say? To see just a little bit of it is a tease:)

jessyratfink (author)Beekeeper2013-04-28

Oh no! I've actually had that happen to me at a cheap haircutting place. It's always upsetting!

I added a photo above and an explanation to you first question because I probably should have explained it more:
"It's important to part your hair as you normally would - if you brush it all back, it won't fall as it normally does. After you cut and remove the scrunchie, it will be the farthest thing from straight when it's parted again. If you don't normally part your hair, you might want to play around with using a middle part - I think that may be the safest."

And it says "innamorare" :) I always forget it's there.

dancing_sam (author)2013-04-28

Simple method nicely illustrated and explained, agree with others about using a tighter elastic though. I might try this as I think I'm going to grow my layers out a bit. I've been cutting my own hair for years, but always tie the hair in a high ponytail and bring it to the front over my head, this means you get layers, which is great if that's what you want. If you want lots of layers, you can twist the tail one way, cut, then back the other way and vut, then it just needs a bit of tidying when you bring your head right ways up again.

Catewms (author)2013-04-28

This is how I cut my hair - but I make two slight changes. First, I use "grippier" elastics than scrunchies, which I think move around too much. The ones I use are standard Goodie brand elastics. Second, I use TWO elastics. I leave the top ponytail one (at the base of the neck) in place. Then the second one gets moved to the desired cut point. Again, I think this keeps things in place a little bit better.

Advise that the bottom elastic be one you're not terribly fond of, because it might be sacrificed accidentally :)

jessyratfink (author)Catewms2013-04-28

Using two is very smart! I might need to upgrade next time. :D

That will definitely eliminate any mistakes!

badrescher (author)Catewms2013-04-28

I immediately thought that using elastic might be a better choice (for me, at least), but using two? Brilliant.

doodlecraft (author)2013-04-24

I love this method! I cut my own hair all the time because I'm cheap...and it's long. I'm going to try it your way next time! Thanks for another great instructable! :)

doodlecraft (author)doodlecraft2013-04-25

I couldn't resist, I cut my hair last night! Awesome, worked great! :)

bajablue (author)doodlecraft2013-04-26

lol doodle. Does your husband throw a fit (like mine) every time you mention "cutting" your hair? ;-D

doodlecraft (author)bajablue2013-04-26

Thankfully mine doesn't care or notice if I take a couple inches off...I notice though! I can't twist it up in a bun the same! Lol! But I Love having freshly clipped ends!

jessyratfink (author)doodlecraft2013-04-26

Haha, me too! I ended up taking off four inches this time because the ends were so dry. I miss the length but it feels like brand new hair now. :D

bajablue (author)2013-04-26

Thanks Jess... I'll try it! ;-)

786Ayesha (author)2013-04-26

You saved my € 15 jessy. I was to go for a trim next week. Thanks :)

lindarose92 (author)2013-04-25

You saved my hair's life Jessy! haha :D
I knew another method where I cut my hair upside down and once I put it back to normal it would look like a V (long behind and shorter on the sides). I did that for about a year and I liked it at first but then it became too long behind and too short on the sides.
I hate going to the hairdresser and my hair is about as long as yours so I want to try this method now! How does your hair look behind? Is it straight?

jessyratfink (author)lindarose922013-04-25

Yep! It's straight. :D Pardon the bad webcam image!

Though, full disclosure, the cut that happened while taking the photos was a little wonky and I had to fix it. But it's the first time I've ever messed it up! I'll chalk that up to camera nervousness. :P

lindarose92 (author)jessyratfink2013-04-25

haha don't worry, it looks great, thank you for the picture!! I am definitely going to try it! :D

mclare50 (author)2013-04-25

This is genius!!! Great job!!

carmesan (author)2013-04-25

i needed this instructable sooo bad, thank you:)

kenbob (author)2013-04-24

I have cut my own hair for years... though it is somewhat short...

PitStoP (author)2013-04-24

Nice Instructable.. You have very pretty long hair. =)

About This Instructable




Bio: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working ... More »
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