With good reason, the idea of giving ourselves a haircut can be nerve-wracking. Most of us have, at some point in our lives, accidentally cut our own hair way too short or into some sort of uneven, ghastly mess. But with patience, confidence, a steady hand and planning, even beginners can master DIY haircutting techniques so that a stylish, free, at-home haircut is easily within reach.

Woman at hairsalon

Begin Properly

No matter the hair type, locks should be kept damp with a spray bottle to prevent frizz for a balanced trim. Those with perfectly straight hair should wash before cutting so the hair is wet. This will ensure that each snip of the scissors is even. Very curly hair needs to be clipped while dry to avoid cutting too short.

Purchase the right arsenal of tools before starting. Hair clippers, which have sharper blades for a clean cut without split ends, are an essential item. Remember hair ties and bobbles are key for holding hair in place and steady while snipping away, and don't forget a hand mirror for checking the back of the head throughout.

Allow Room for Error

Cutting more hair off is always an option; therefore, start longer than what you want to wind up with. The extra length will allow for errors to be corrected and for shrinkage (the shortening of hair as it dries) during a wet cut.

Sectioning off hair may also be beneficial for a more manageable cut. A fine-toothed comb can also help smooth hairs to keep them in line and the cut even.

Use Easy Techniques

With this in mind, pull hair into a tight ponytail at the top and center of the head. For a simple trim, snip vertically into the ponytail to be rid of dead and split ends without taking off too much length. For a shorter cut, measure off the length to be cut with a comb before cutting straight across. Once the length is gone, snip into the ponytail again for a more natural look.

To add more layers, pull the pony toward the front of the head for more layers in the front or toward the back of the head for back layers. Keep the ponytail as tight as possible to keep hair from sliding through the tie, which could result in an uneven trim.

Regardless of the length or texture, structured or architectural looks should be left to professionals. Home haircuts are best for trims and layered looks. Keep in mind that bangs can be quickly trimmed by cutting vertically into the bangs as well.