I've been cutting my hair for 35+ years. I've only had 3 salon cuts in my whole adult life (all were disasters) and never plan on having another. I use cheap dollar store scissors.
I used to wet my hair, put it up in a ponytail on top of my head, bend over, and cut off the ends. This made very subtle layers and worked quite well. But after I read the Curly Girl book I learned to cut it dry, curl by curl. Takes longer but it gives nice layers and seems to give bouncier curls. I never wear my hair straight so even if it's not perfectly even, it's not really noticeable.
The 2nd Curly Girl book has a dvd that shows how to cut hair this way.