Editor’s Letter: Cutting Your Own Hair Isn’t Easy

After 10 months without a trim, my hair had gotten long. Like Cher in the ’70s long. Postpartum hair loss had also set in about a month earlier, which meant I had been pulling tumbleweed-size clumps out of the shower hair catcher.

I knew some people had returned to salons, with different levels of precautions, but with a five-month-old at home I was reluctant. So my mermaid hair was fast becoming Swamp Thing hair. I needed to take matters into my own hands.

I had already given my son and older daughter trims with little drama, and de-mulleted my husband with clippers (I’m only mildly embarrassed to admit that I came this close to googling “Flowbee” during that time). But my own hair presented some new challenges: 1) Viewing the back of one’s own head is difficult; 2) Holding a sharp object and cutting straight across, behind you, is even more difficult. But I’ve never been too precious with my hair. With approximately 75 percent of my life happening over Zoom, I figured a botched cut could easily be hidden.

Using this allure.com story as my guide, I lined up my tools: good shears, like the Dovo Catch Cut Hair Scissors (children’s safety scissors won’t do), a small scrunchie (clips also work), and a mirror. As our experts suggested, I cut my hair dry, which is more forgiving for us amateurs. The first chop was liberating. I separated the bottom layer into two parts, left and right, and took about four inches off of each side. If I had stopped there, the result would have been the bluntest of blunt cuts, which is certainly a look, but not the one I was going for. I have extremely coarse, straight hair, so the pros often razor my ends to soften the hard edge. For a similar effect, I turned the scissors vertically and made a few dramatic snips upward.

After repeating the process for the top layer, I pulled the face-framing pieces in front of my chin to make sure both sides were even. Predictably, they were not. Adjustments were made. Several hair flips were performed. To my surprise, it looked good! The ends were even. It was swingy. It looked healthy. And it glistened with the sheen of self-satisfaction.

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