As the world adjusts to the new normal of self-isolation and minimizing interaction with people outside of your home, people have had to make major adjustments, even for routine things like personal grooming.
Whether it’s out of sheer boredom or because they’re trying to keep a semblance of normalcy, some people have taken to cutting their own hair at home with mixed results.
RADIO.COM spoke to Tracy Seigert, a hairstylist and owner of Two Toned Salon in Edgewater, Maryland about the phenomenon. While Seigert advises against cutting your own hair, she says that if you are going to do it, there are certain techniques that could help.
Ask for help
If you’re isolating with another person, Seigert suggests asking them to lend a hand. “I would say you’re better off having someone else, as long as you're already isolating with them, do it.” Seigert is a trained hairstylist and knows how to cut her own hair, but she says that she still gets help when she gives herself a haircut.
“I almost always have to have someone straighten out the back of my own a little when I do it myself, because there’s always a longer side or talon hanging down in the back," she says.
Keep it simple
Seigert says that now is not the time to try a new style. “If you have layers, just leave them. It’s very hard to blend in a mullet if you end up giving yourself one.”
The exception, of course, being for people who want to have a mullet while quarantined, like country star Blake Shelton, who says he’s bringing the hairstyle back as a “symbol of hope.”
Leave it alone if it’s short
If you have a shorter cut, Seigert says it’s best to just let it grow out until you can see your hairstylist or barber. Short hairstyles “are normally cut with certain angles to build length and weight in specific areas.” She says that if you insist on giving a shorter hairstyle a trim, to definitely ask for help and “just trim off a minimal amount.”
Create an optimal environment
When cutting your own hair, you should control as many factors as possible so that you can focus on the cut itself, says Seigert. “Make sure the hair is either wet or straighten it first when trying to cut it,” she advises, adding that you should make sure “it’s falling in the position you normally wear it.”
If you haven’t done this before, she says it’s easier to cut dry hair “because then you can see where someone has a cowlick or a spot that bounces up more than the others.” Another pro tip: don’t pull the hair down with too much tension when cutting a piece. “The spots that want to spring up more will do so when you let go, and then they will be shorter than the rest of the cut.”
Use good tools
Using a flat iron to get your hair as straight as possible prior to cutting will help you see the outline better in your head, but the best tool you have in your arsenal is a good pair of scissors. “Use really sharp scissors, otherwise it will take forever and just bend the hair instead of actually cutting it,” says Seigert.
Try to do something that isn’t permanent
All haircutting tips aside, Seigert says the best thing you can do for your hair right now is to leave it alone. “Really you should just wear a ponytail or figure out a cute way to put it up,” she says, suggesting braids or space buns. “Learning to do that would take just as long as learning to try and cut it. When this is all over, you will have a new cute style to do on your hair, instead of a botched-up haircut that your stylist will need to fix.”
Use the time productively
Since you can’t see your hairstylist for the time being, Seigert suggests using the time to help your hair get healthy. “Stop using heat, do some at-home conditioner treatments, and give your hair a break. This is the perfect time to do it,” she says.