Step-by-Step Directions for Haircuts

by Catherine Sullivan

Today, haircuts can put a dent in your budget. You may go to a hair salon instead of a barbershop. With these upscale terms and luxurious looks come increased prices. But there is the option to cut hair at home. You just need to follow certain procedures to ensure successful home haircuts that look neat and professional.

Materials Needed

Clips or bobby pins Small, sharp scissors Fine-tooth comb Electric clippers (optional)

Preparing the Hair

The hair should be clean and damp, but not wet. Have a spray bottle nearby for use when the hair begins to dry. Determine what look you want when you're finished. Using clips or bobby pins, secure the top and sides of the hair onto the person's head so that it won't get in the way as you cut.

With a fine-tooth comb, make a horizontal part in the hair about 1 inch from the hairline in the back; pin up the rest of the hair in the back. Trim or cut this section to the desired shape for the look you want: It can be cut straight across, curved or come to a "V," depending on the desired outcome. For a style that curves under easily, this layer should be shorter than the next.

Continuing to Cut

Taking the back hair only, make a vertical part about 1 inch wide running from the crown to the nape of the neck. Cut from the nape of the neck upward; move on to the next section upwards and repeat until the back is completed.

The length of the hair that's left depends upon the desired outcome. For a more layered look, hair should be about the same length from scalp to end of hair shaft all the way from top to bottom of the head. If you want more of a one length look, hair at the bottom should be shorter, with each layer towards the top of the head progressively longer. This also causes the hair to turn under more easily.

Cutting the Sides and Top

Doing one side at a time, let down some of the pinned-up hair on the sides, trimming the bottom to the desired shape and length. Follow the directions used for the back. When complete, let down the hair on top of the head. Following the shape of the skull, work in small sections from the back of the head to the hairline.

Completing the Haircut

Brush through each section, lifting the hair in the opposite way you did previously (e.g., if you cut horizontally before, cut vertically now), checking that the cut is even. Check all around the bottom of the cut as well to be sure it's even. If you wish, use electric clippers to trim any excess hair at the nape of the neck.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

About the Author

Catherine is a certified teacher and teacher trainer, with a BA from the State University of NY, and a MA from Lutheran Theolgocal Seminary, Gettysburg PA. She writes programs and educational curriculum and designs and maintains a website for her national church body. She is currently working on a craft book to be used in conjunction with existing curriculum.