On cutting one’s own hair

safety scissorsTwo weeks ago, I squeezed in an impulsive visit to the hair salon located in the spa in the resort in which we were staying in PA. The stylist asked lots of questions and spent time trying to figure out exactly what it was I was asking her to do. She might have achieved some sort of understanding, too, if I had, in fact, known exactly what it was I wanted her to do and been able to convey it.  Mostly, I wanted her to fix the haircut I’d had five weeks prior, during which I’d asked that stylist to please fix the style that my longtime hair stylist had failed to achieve.

So Olga did a fine job, but really, it was just a trim, and now, two weeks later, it’s growing out because if my hair were a superhighway, it would be the Autobahn.

Tonight, I was becoming increasingly annoyed at how long the back has gotten since my little visit with Olga, and I thought to myself, how much damage could I possibly do if I just bust out the clippers and trim the tiniest bit all by myself?

Now that the deed is done, I can state with confidence these two things:

  1. I CANNOT ENDORSE cutting the back of one’s own hair.  Bangs, maybe. But the back? Under no circumstances should this task be entrusted to anyone other than a trained professional.
  2. You cannot un-cut hair. It will grow, eventually, but you can’t stick it back on after it’s cut.

My little DIY trim does get the hair off of my neck, and this is a good thing.  It certainly feels better. It may even buy me a couple more weeks before I seek out yet another stylist whose price is more in line with my current budget.  My longtime guy? Waaaay too pricey for me now. Besides, If I’m being honest (and I know you expect nothing less from me), I hadn’t been entirely happy with his product the past few visits. I do feel kinda bad leaving him now because, well, we have history, and also, he had moved into new space and was struggling to keep it in the black. (Take a tip from my (former?) stylist: Do not open a shiny new salon in a high-rent district that’s 10 or more miles from most of your clients. They won’t come. Bonus suggestion: Take care not to do this when the nation’s economy is imploding.)

And before you ask, NO, I don’t have a photo of my little home haircut gone awry. My camera is in for repair.  (It’s under warranty!)  Plus, you think it’s hard to cut the back of your own hair? Try photographing it, with a cell phone camera! Not possible.

Aren’t you glad you visited today? I know I am. Do come back next time where I plan to bitch and moan about the perils of home hair color.

Or not. But I should.

19 thoughts on “On cutting one’s own hair

  1. I can’t believe you cut your own hair.

    As for color, look at it this way. If you can buy hair color in the drug store for $7, but it costs $50 at the salon, ask yourself WHY the discrepancy. There’s probably a good reason.

  2. One process (Mental Mama told me that’s what it was) isn’t bad. Well, except every time I do it I’m not entirely happy with the color, so every 6 weeks or so, I’m a different shade of blond.

    Cut my hair just once. Heard if you gather it on top of your head in a pony tail and then cut it straight across, it looks really good when you take said rubber band out. Let’s just say I was living proof that it doesn’t. At all. Nuff said. Supercuts is $12.00. It’s a very wise investment.

  3. Where was Curt? He could’ve helped? I’ve always offered to cut my wife’s hair, and one time she took me up on it. I thought I did an OK job, heck it was my first attempt ever, but that was enough of it for her. If she had let me do it more, I’m sure I would have gotten better and saved her the $79 she ends up paying every 6-8 weeks.

    Now as for me… I’m a #3 on top and #2 on the sides with the clippers. She cuts my hair but I could manage it decently on my own I think.

    So that’s no excuse about the picture — surely someone else can take that picture of the hair for you. ;-)

  4. This is so funny because today I almost but my bangs. I think I should take this post as a sign not to do it, even though you think it might be okay. I think this was a sign. Thank you

  5. Didn’t your son do this recently? I think Curt needs to lock all scissors behind a glass door or something and put a sign on it that says, “Break only in the event of an emergency, but definitely not a hair emergency.”

    I’ve learned the hard way that eating Ramen Noodles for a month is far preferable to a bad haircut. Even so, I will still color my own hair every other time to cut down on the cost, and I just let my hair grow wild in the interim. It’s no wonder my hair lady is heavily medicated.

    1. Bets – point well taken… although the color I seem to be able to manage. It’s not gorgeous with highlights and lowlights, but the gray goes away, and if you knew what my guy charges you’d have a cow.

      ann – ponytail on top of head and SNIP? You’re braver than I am! I was just futzing around with the bottom edge of the back…

      Jack – Curt was playing hockey! Now I have cut other people’s hair with decent success, dating all the way back to college when a senior who had a single on my freshman floor basically ordered me to cut. She was pleased. I do have the #2 and #3 clips, so if you need help…

      Suz – yes, do, take this as a cautionary tale. Please.

      CBW – yes, Bubta actually had a neighbor do his and it turned out fine (#1 all the way around). I cut The Boss’s, then Peezer cut his own so I cut his, too. Curt asked me to cut his but then got impatient (or wise) and finally went to the barber. I like your idea of the EMERGENCY box. It would save me from myself.

  6. Okay .. my hair stylist who charges an arm and a leg and possibly your newborn .. told me DO NOT EVER CUT YOUR OWN BANGS .. she said this as she was re-cutting my entire head in an attempt to fix what I had done… she also told me I would never get a job as a stylist at HER salon .. as if I wanted one .. harrumph.

    THAT said I have an appt for a trim on Saturday … I am using your post which I am printing out and sticking on the bathroom mirror to keep me from attempting to try and trim the back of MY hair .. the shape of which I am not pleased with ..

    Does BLUNT sound like TAPERED to you? I didnt think so.

    1. Daryl – as with Suz, I’m so happy my story can serve as a cautionary tale / deterrent / whatever. Do as I say, not as I do.

      Noe Noe – I’m too embarassed to take pictures. I’m already dreading going to church on Sunday – whoever sits behind me will be like, what the heck is going on with the back of Meg’s hair? What a bad haircut! *sigh*

      1. Wear a scarf over it and, as a bonus, you’ll look more pious. “Wow, I didn’t know Meg had such deep convictions!” ;-)

    1. I just washed and dried and maybe it isn’t as bad as I originally thought. It’s not good, but it may be passable…

      When in doubt, I’ll just don a scarf. Yeah, in the 90 degree weather. At the pool. Niiiiice.

  7. Definitely not cutting my own hair. BHE thinks I’m high maintenance and when it comes to my hair, I guess she is right. Going tonight, as a matter of fact, for a cut, highlights and color. I. Can. Not. Wait. It helps that I have been going to the same girl for 11 years and her prices have gone down not up :)

    1. Hmmm, I came up with this:

      At no time barbar times? If you wish modesty is , designate.

      I feel like I’m reading something Chinese that was translated into English by a native Chinese speaker.

  8. My stylist can always tell when I’ve tried to “touch it up” just a little bit. I don’t know why I can’t stay away from the scissors. It’s never pretty when I do a touch up. However, I do color my own hair and she never believes me. She thinks I go somewhere else for that.

  9. As a trained stylist, I’m happy to advocate the trimming of one’s own bangs, the waxing of one’s own legs and for the ambitious, the touching up of one’s own roots. However anything that requires a mirror or a camera to see should be considered strictly off limits.

    I’m not sure how desperate I would have to be to go to supercuts. Maybe with therapy and medication I could get my foot in the door….

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