Cut your own hair without making a mess or getting little hair bits on your neck and body, by braiding, tying off hair before cutting it.
This is how I typically cut my hair, and I think it works well with most hair lengths.
Cutting braids creates texture and movement similar to a razor cut, wherein a stylist creates variation in length with a straight razor.
If hair needs to be trimmed every six months, and if you want a salon-style textured interesting hair cut, adapting to cutting your hair this way can allow you to be split end free with texturized hair if you don't have the disposable income to get in with a competent stylist that often.
Step 1: Tools and Information
You will need:
1. Scissors. Sharp scissors are better. I used old safety scissors and it worked fine.
2. Rubber bands or hair ties. Either are good, since it doesn't matter that rubber bands rip out hair, in this instance, however hair ties can be moved more easily if you place one wrongly at first.
3. Time and patience.
I recorded the cutting process here.
Step 2: Braid the Hair to Be Cut
Braid and tie off small locks of the hair you want to cut. You can see that I have some hair close to my head.
Like a usual hair cut, you should comb and part your hair the way you like it.
Hair can be wet or dry.
Part your hair as usual and comb it. Then, working from the top of the part down, braid small sections and tie them off.
Notice that these braids do not have any french braiding.
Feel out a small patch of scalp, pull together that hair, and braid only that hair. Don't let any strands from other parts of your head get into that braid.
Here are some tips for strategically braiding for this cut.
In the video and pictures I didn't use a mirror while braiding, I just pulled the hair ties so that they were at similar lengths of hair. These braids have a fairly random thickness and weren't "engineered" to generate any kind of undercut or hair style besides what always comes out when I braid then cut my hair.
PRO TIP: The braiding causes a textured look similar to that of professionally razor cut hair. If you employ smaller braids, the result will have more subtle "choppiness." Larger braids will have slightly greater length differences after cutting. The advantage is a dramatic texture, and less work making tons of tiny braids.
Areas where you desire more texture, use bigger braids. If you want the lengths to be less choppy in another area, use smaller braids there.
Tie off areas strategically, the end tie is a marker for where to cut your hair.
If you are using rubber bands, rubber band the braid just below where you are going to cut it. Hair ties are easier to down the braid to adjust.
Obviously hair looks shorter when braided, so don't think about how long you want it, instead think about how much you want to cut off and you will place your hair ties in the right place.
Without a mirror, you can feel where the ties are and know whether they are tied off at the right length on the front and back of your head.
PRO TIP: You can tie off hair at different levels to create a certain effect, such as a cascade of lengths or just shorter hair in the back. If you want to do an undercut, it is best to do two sessions, so you won't get the longer cut braids and the shorter undercut ones confused.
Step 3: Cut Just Above the Hair Tie
Step 2. Cut just above the hair tie
Lift a braid away from the rest of your hair, and grab the hair tie. Cut just above it and set it aside. If your braids are small enough or your scissors sharp enough, you should be able to do it in one snip. If not, you run the risk of setting tiny bits of hair free, but not as much as if you cut your hair without tying it.
You can use your hands to feel where the scissors are and do this without a mirror. With a mirror, you can see what you are doing but it is easy to get confused and misinterpret what each hand should do.
The hair will look crazier than the hair cut actually is when you initially unbraid it, because the braiding has imparted non-permanent volume to your hair. Comb it down to see how it will look in the coming weeks.
Step 4: Decide What You Will Do With Your Hair
Now you have a bunch of tied up hair.
If you are just trimming you won't have enough to make extensions or similar hair-care related products.
It is certainly clean enough to try and make a paintbrush, if you know how. Usually I toss them in a green space (my lawn) because I have been told that birds will make their nests from human hair.
I also mix it in with potting soil to help aerate the soil and keep large potted plants from being too heavy to carry.
You can also glue hair together to make a textured stencil for spray painting.