For the vast majority of us right now, heading to the salon for a routine trim is simply not an option, and it’s unclear when we’ll be able to start booking appointments again. But if fairy knots and rough ends are beginning to wreak havoc on your hair, it may be the right time to start looking into some methods that you can execute at home.
To get you started, we’ve gone down the YouTube rabbit hole and picked out some tutorials on trimming curly and textured hair that are simple and straightforward, with valuable tips and tricks for every texture. These include trimming methods for dry and wet hair, some advice from a curly stylist, and even maintaining your hair’s shape if you’re feeling particularly confident with the scissors.
While most professionals would suggest staying away from DIY haircuts and trims of any kind, times like these may be the one exception to the rule. If you’ve gone far too long without a regular trim, ahead are 10 simple tutorials that will prepare you to handle those split ends like a champ, with no regret.
Image Source: @naturallycurly of @spstyled
When trimming your hair for the first time, it’s best to start with the basics. Curly stylist Mell gives us a quick walkthrough on what exactly a trim is and the signs of damage like fairy knots, dry and tangled ends, and split ends--which are telltale signs that it’s time to let them go. And in addition to knowing when to cut, there are other factors such as hair texture, hair thickness, and personal hair goals that will help you decide how often to trim and what method to use. This tutorial is perfect for beginners and a great refresher for more experienced self-trimmers.
For Whitney’s highly textured hair, detangling is a must before trimming. Try using a detangling brush and/or a wide tooth comb and following up with a fine tooth comb to smooth the hair. You’ll be able to feel the roughness of the ends in contrast with the rest of your healthy hair, which will give you an idea of where to cut. And as tempting as it might be to pick up any pair of scissors, you’ll want to use hair shears--regular scissors can end up leaving you with more split ends.
Will reminds us that “Dead ends are like fake friends--you can see right through them.” And trimming in twists is a really convenient way to expose those thinning ends. Along with his quick-witted commentary, he demonstrates how and why he trims his natural hair in twists, keeping the process quick and simple. He twists his hair as usual, moisturizing the ends to bring out the curl pattern, cutting no more or less than half an inch to an inch to keep a consistent length throughout.
If you happen to have a lot of time on your hands, or if you’re a bit apprehensive about getting started, start trimming your hair curl by curl like Rayna. Because of her highly defined curl pattern dead ends can be seen more clearly, as they tend to look frizzy and don’t conform to the curl. For all the devoted DevaCut curlies who are brave enough to try their own cut, look here.
When you want your hair to be stretched before trimming it but you’d prefer not to use heat, banding works like a charm. Simply part your hair into sections like Kim, and wrap hair bands around each section. This method makes it easy to visualize thinning and out-of-place ends.
Because she has large curls that clump and tend to pull downward, Kelly focuses her trim on lifting her hair up and adding volume. Starting at the bottom layer on dry hair, she trims her hair to lift it up at the roots, trimming on an upward or diagonal angle, so that the ends are tapered rather than blunt. The result is subtle, but stunning.
“Dusting” your ends is a lot like how it sounds: you trim a very small amount of hair to the point that it almost looks like a layer of dust. Chime uses this method to prevent her from losing too much hair by getting overzealous with the scissors, and she only trims a few times a year. Her technique is simply to section the hair and lightly cut the very ends of her hair. The whole process only takes about 15 minutes. If you’re interested to know more information on dusting your hair, take a look at this step-by-step technique.
One simple way to maintain your layers until that long-awaited hair appointment is this ponytail method. Michelle both trims and shapes up her layers on wet hair using this method. Simply place your ponytail in position according to how long you want your layers to be (ponytail closer to the forehead= shorter layers, ponytail back further towards the crown= longer layers).
If you’re planning on bouncing between curly and straightened hair and you’re a stickler for an absolutely perfect trim, straightening your hair pre-trim will be a good idea. Because curly hair will clump together, it’ll be less likely to show minor slip ups, but straight hair is a little less forgiving. Watch as Jasmine trims her ends to create the look of consistent thickness from root to end. This is probably the best way to clearly identify all damaged ends.
Breanna explains how she maintains her wedge-shaped cut on blow-dried, detangled hair. Sectioning off the hair and starting from the back, she trims it straight across, using that as a measurement for where to trim the other sections. This tutorial is a bit more advanced, but doable if you’re comfortable enough; although I would only recommend it for maintaining a cut you already have, and not creating a completely new shape. Make sure you have two mirrors on hand to see the back clearly.
Are you comfortable with cutting your own hair? Let us know in the comments if you’ll be trimming your ends while practicing social distancing, or if you’d rather wait it out until you can meet up with your stylist.