Pro-tips for making your home haircut or fade look, well, pro

Arcana Salon, Crown N Glory Natural Hair Studio, Miss Charmsie, Exotik Roots, Trophdoph , Farah Dhukai, Fabrizio Perciballi, GameChanger, tutorials, Gilad, @nnekaelliott

There's still no telling just how long we'll need to stay at home. Uncertainty continues to swirl. But one thing is for sure, right about now those bangs are edging ever so close to your nose and your fade is non-existent. 

Socials have been teeming with people trying to maintain their haircuts. Some out of necessity, others embracing creativity and I'll also add boredom to the mix. Needless to say there have been a few major misses. So if you can't wait and absolutely have to trim, or to shave or cut your hair at home, here are some tips and videos to help inspire a steady hand.

Curly hair

“As far as trimming curls goes, you really just want to think of following whatever your desired shape is. It's actually waaay more forgiving to cut your own curls because they don't show steps in the same way straight hair does. You want to cut it when it's dry, and don't use ANY tension on the hair… don't pull on it or you'll end up taking off too much length and damaging the curl pattern. You can follow the shape of your curl and cut into it in a “C” shape to remove weight.” – Nicole Cousins co-owner of Arcana Salon.

“Section your hair into about six even sections using sectioning clips and tackle one section at a time. Cut curl by curl, meaning take one curl at a time, assess split ends and cut from the bottom of the strand. Only cut what's necessary and try to cut equal amounts per curl.” – Aisha Loobie, owner of Crown N Glory Natural Hair Studio

In the following tutorial, beauty creator Miss Charmsie does use a bit of tension when trimming her own hair, but still mainly focuses on cleaning up dry ends. 


Tighter coils needing a little shape

“You can lightly stretch the hair by twisting it first, [then] cut hair a little at a time — you can always go back to cut some more, as this is just a maintenance cut. Be sure to use hair cutting shears. These are sharp enough to cut hair precisely and prevent split ends.” – Lynn-Cha Hecdivert natural hair content creator at Exotik Roots

Twisting is a good method for cutting tighter coils, though Youtuber Trophdoph says you can also cut natural hair after blowing it out first. Here's how she does it.


Long hair

“Start with damp [hair], fully combed out, pulling the hair forward in front of your chest. Do not cut straight across, but pointing up into the hair with scissors, to remove length. Doing this will create a U-shape or rounded perimeter in the back, but it's hard to avoid that when cutting hair at home. The hair being damp and the point cutting just helps create a more diffused line, and is a little easier than trying to make everything perfectly straight.”  – Nicole Cousins co-owner of Arcana Salon.

Beauty Youtuber Farah Dhukai uses a hair elastic to keep all of her long strands in front while she cuts. 


Close shaves and fades

“Using a clipper and guards to trim the sides of your hair, the guards will determine how short or long you want your hair to be. Using a clipper with no guard will result in the shortest length, if you want to do a 0 fade. You can blend that in using a 0.5 guard, a number 1 guard, a 1.5 and finally a number 2 guard where the sides and the top meet. For a fool-proof method of cleaning up the sides, I recommend using a number 1 and 2 guard to keep it pretty tight on the sides, and using a number 3 guard where the top and sides meet. (If you want more length just go higher with your numbered guards.)” – Fabrizio Perciballi, senior stylist at Del Monaco Hair Studio.

Barber and Youtuber GameChanger has a detailed tutorial of a tapered fade, with lots of beginner tips, for those of you looking to maintain your fades or buzz cuts.



“Using a comb with close teeth is [key]. The best way to cut (existing) bangs yourself is to make sure you're putting a little texture in them, as perfect blunt bangs are harder to do on your own. Remove the length by cutting into them, that way you're softening and creating texture as you're taking out length. [This] allows your bangs to move around in any position without having a weird chunk or piece sticking out.” – Nicole Cousins co-owner of Arcana Salon.

Arcana Salon has been sharing some easy-to-follow tutorials on Instagram. Here's one on cutting longer bangs.


Cutting short hair

“When adding texture and trimming the top, I would recommend using a pair of texturizing shears. These are more forgiving and a good way of adding more texture to the cut. For a pixie cut, clippers would be a lot more precise when moving around the sides and the back of the head. Most clippers come with guards in sizes up to number 8. I wouldn't recommend going lower than a number 3 for a pixie cut. – Fabrizio Perciballi, senior stylist at Del Monaco Hair Studio.

While not a self-cut, you can see hair expert Gilad demonstrate an ideal technique for adding shape and texture to a pixie cuts or a-line bob here.


Nneka Elliott (@nnekaelliott) is a lifestyle blogger and actor. She shares her adventures with hair, skincare and makeup in her pursuit of a gutsy life. 

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