Is It Crazy to Cut Your Own Hair?

“I think I’m going to try cutting my own hair.”

After extensive scientific* testing, I’ve determined that this sentence is a fool-proof way to elicit “crazy face.” As in, the face people make at you when they think you’ve officially lost it.

*not at all scientific, I tested it on literally two people.

It gets even better when you go on to insist that,

“No, I watched a lot of Youtube videos about it, and I don’t think it’ll be that hard!”

At this point in the conversation, they’re likely to just start laughing and tell you to go ahead. To be entirely fair, it’s also the point in the conversation when you’re likely to realize that oh, ok, that is the kind of thing someone would say about a certifiably bad idea.

But still! It might be ok!

Right?

If that intro wasn’t clear enough, I’ve been thinking about trying to cut my own hair.

This entire hair-brained (I’m sorry, I love bad puns) idea is the direct result of three things.

  1. The frugal blogosphere, with encouraging anecdotes from bloggers like Frugalwoods, who cut their own hair (Mr. and Mrs.!) at home.
  2. My enduring hatred of strange people touching my head, and deep awkwardness when making salon small talk.
  3. My true belief that this will not be that hard, probably.

I’ve needed a haircut for a while now. Even before I thought about cutting my own hair, I’ve always been notorious for waiting as long as I can possibly stand between hair appointments. I have long hair, so I can usually get away with it, but I’ve definitely worn my hair in a bun for a month straight before addressing the issue and booking a haircut.

It’s not that I don’t have a great, reasonably priced hair stylist, because I do. She works out of her home, and she’s just lovely. If you’d like a referral in Ottawa, I’m happy to hook you up!

But the thing is, I’m going to have hair forever. And according to Youtube, long layered hair – my current style – is the easiest to cut at home if you’re a woman. It probably has to do with the nice margin of error you have with all that length, and very few blunt edges that can broadcast whether you’ve made a terrible mistake or not.

I figured that it was high time to learn how to care for this pretty integral part of my body, once and for all.

Now, I also need to point out that in keeping with the true Half Banked ethos, this was the definition of a half-baked plan.

I decided this was a viable idea on Saturday night, over a glass of wine.

I cut my hair on Monday night – completely sober, because even I’m not that bad at planning.

Literally every bit of research, planning and scissors-acquiring happened in 48 hours.

With such “extensive” planning, my range of acceptable outcomes from this adventure included:

  1. Loving it and deciding to cut my hair on my own forever and ever.
  2. Hating it and booking an emergency appointment to hide my terrible mistake and/or new bald spot ASAP.
  3. Something in between those two extremes.

To kick off my research, as I mentioned, I turned to Youtube. I’ve never been a big Youtube-beauty-blog watcher, but I found these three videos gave me at least some confidence in the fact that this was a manageable, normal-ish thing to do at home.

I borrowed hair cutting scissors from my mom, who as a fellow frugalista, of course had her own hair scissors, and was very proud of me for even contemplating this.

So with the required equipment of scissors, a comb and straightened hair, I got to work.

*insert montage of awkward hair cutting adventures here, and make sure not to skip the face I made when I accidentally cut a six-inch piece of hair I didn’t mean to cut. “It’s OK! Keep going! YOU WILL BE OK!”*

And you know what?

I actually am OK.

My hair looks fine. Does it look like I just left a salon? Of course not. But does my hair scream my frugal-weirdness from the rooftops, and cause people to question my judgement after a single glance? Not at all.

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After shot #1 – at least from the back, I think I’ve gotten away with it.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’ve avoided train-wreck hair.

If you’re thinking about attempting an at-home haircut on yourself, here’s what I found the most helpful going into it, from a mindset perspective.

Be ready to get it fixed by a professional if you really screw up.

As I said before, none of this is due to a lack of a great hair stylist, so if I screwed up royally, I’d just book the same $40 hair cut I would have needed to get anyways, and have a ready-made funny anecdote to share while I sat there.

Don’t be especially particular about your hair in the first place.

I’m not one to put a whole lot of effort into my hair. In fact, for most of the summer, it’s been pulled back into a bun in large part because I don’t have the patience or the arsenal of products to make it look presentable in humidity. All this is to say that if your hair is your crowing glory, uh… you might want to think about this longer than I did.

Know your margin of error, and stay welllll within it.

If I had very short hair, this likely wouldn’t have been on my radar. Since my hair’s approaching record lengths for me, I decided that even in the worst possible what-have-I-done situation, it would be OK with a bit of professional help.

Do at least some research.

I’m not saying go to school to be a hair dresser, but definitely watch at least two Youtube videos. The ones I shared in this post will do fine, and the above-mentioned Frugalwoods post is nice and detailed.

Dislike other people touching your head enough that it’s worth it to at least give it a shot.

I really cannot understate how much of a factor this was in my thinking this would be a good idea and something I should try.

Look at it as a great adventure! Or at least a decent blog post topic.

In the whole 48 hours between deciding to do this, and actually going through with it, I was stoked. I genuinely could not wait to give this a shot, and I knew that even if it failed horribly, I’d get a correspondingly hilarious blog post out of it.

Have you ever thought about taking matters into your own hands and cutting your own hair – or actually gone through with it? Fill me in, I’m sure I’m not alone in this! (Or… am I?)