How NOT to cut your own hair

I’ve been cutting my own hair since 2022. I was in the bathroom of my old apartment one night, looking at my lopsided lengths, and remembered my Zebra scissors.

Me, sitting on the floor in front of my bed wearing an oversized off-pink shirt with the collar cut to hang off my shoulder
Shout out to my lopsided hair length from 2022.

When I told three people I cut my own hair and asked them which side they thought I’d cut, they all guessed wrong.

Cutting my own hair didn’t become a thing for me to save money.

Rather, I just didn’t want to spend a lot of money for a trim or someone else not to do the hairstyle I wanted. It’s always, “Your face shape isn’t good for this style,” and, “I think you’d look better with this other style instead,” or, “I prefer these kinds of layers” — instead of being transparent about their inability to do that cut. If you can’t or won’t cut my hair how I want, then don’t be cutting it.

Some details about my hair prior to cutting it

I wear my hair slightly parted to the right, as is most natural. It’s not a huge part, as many hairdressers have done — maybe 2cm at most.

The right side of my hair usually grows longer than my left, probably because I most stim with my left and the bulk of my hair goes to the right for the part.

My hair is of medium thickness. All my life, I thought I had thick hair because that’s what my egg donor and everyone told me — “You’ve got thick hair just like your mother!”

I lost a lot of hair before beginning atypical anorexia recovery. My hair was weak and brittle, often falling out in chunks. “I don’t understand what’s happening to me,” I remember telling the hospital psychiatrist.

(For the record, she saw no reason to keep me and discharged me, as the hospital didn’t have experience dealing with eating disorders.)

I’ve always been able to see my scalp to some degree, so my hair wasn’t thick — just looked like it due to the cut and curls. My hair is thin and wavy these days. Definitely not thick.

Old haircare routine

I used to wash my hair every 2-3 days, covering it with a shower cap on no-wash days because getting it wet would add to the oiliness. Every 10 days, I’d do a hair mask — VERB Ghost year-round, VERB Hydrating Mask specifically during summer.

The masks help it remain lightweight and smooth, so my hair isn’t voluminous.

The childhood curls are long gone, and it’s wavy unless I hold twists around my finger long enough. Braiding my hair keeps it the same, with multiple small braids crimping it frizzy.

How I USUALLY cut my hair

I don’t bother with a bunch of hair ties to section hair up. I used to do it that way, but no.

The layers from my 2021 haircut kept somewhat intact, or I’ve just cut so many knots out of my hair that the layered effect remains.

1. Damp hair

I prefer to cut my hair 40 minutes after washing it, when it’s damp and drying fast. The small window encourages me to think quickly and less calculative.

2. Small, short, slanted cuts

So my cuttings are short and small and random, rather than large and aligned. This gives me more control over the length.

You can’t put back what you cut of.

I’d rather grab a lock of hair that’s 1cm when flattened than grab 3cm and watch the scissors struggle. The only time I grab larger is when I want to cut the longer strands to match the shorter strands.

I always cut at a slant. The angle direction is different for each part of my hair, and depends highly on the direction of the hair lock (like if I’ve twisted it).

3. Trim the short bits, too

I trim the shorter locks of hair one or two centimeters (definitely not inches). This way, the split ends are spared and my hair looks better overall.

4. Touch up the other side

I started cutting my hair to balance each part, but the shorter side deserves a touch-up!

4 mistakes I made when cutting my hair THIS TIME

I wrote this post last year at the beginning of the year and refrained from posting it due to my fam. It’s been slightly edited to be current, so to keep it current…I’m sharing my haircutting mistakes.

Pile of cut auburn hair against a stack of 10+ washcloths, atop which sits a pair of regular scissors
RIP my long, damaged hair (also, yes, my hair has a lot of red to it)

1. I forgot to cut in centimeters, not inches.

CENTIMETERS. I think I think inches by default because inches are the default here instead of cm. When you go to get a haircut somewhere, they ask you how many inches you want off — not centimeters.

So, yeah. Definitely cut off way too much way too fast.

2. I forgot my cuts look shorter because my hair is WAVY.

My hair is straight when it’s wet. It’s usually dry when wavy.

My hair looks longer than it is when it straight and wet, and shorter when it’s dry because the waves remove height.

Slanted cuts cause hair to turn upwards, which removes even more height.

3. I was distracted.

Charlise wanted video of how I cut my hair, since I don’t use the ponytail method. I was distracted, trying to explain what I was doing as I was doing it — something I’m not great at because I have to actively think about what I’m doing.

I’ve never been great at giving commentaries on my current behavior, something that got me in trouble a lot as a kid because I couldn’t explain why/what I was doing in the moment.

Also, having dissociative identity disorder (DID) complicates that because the same alter isn’t always the one managing the entire body; sometimes one alter is doing, another is thinking and another is speaking.

4. I was “off” today.

I woke up feeling weird, as is typical of me before my ribcage begins feeling like someone is squeezing it. I didn’t understand why I felt that way until I realized it was costochondritis.

I thought I was having a panic attack about something, but panic/anxiety attacks don’t happen from moving the wrong way or stretching too much. They also don’t go away when heat is applied to the areas where the inflamed ribs are. 👀

(My fam has legit gaslit me over this legitimate, serious medical condition and used it as evidence of me needing severe mental help. 🙄)

Waiting, though…I’ve been so annoyed with my hair lately and didn’t want to postpone this further. I just wanted to cut it, now, today, so I did.

I’ve never cut my hair on a whim before; it’s always premeditated, usually for at least a few weeks. Having DID means I often don’t recognize myself or struggle to associate with my body, so huge changes to the body are difficult to get used to. We can’t even paint our nails certain colors because they will trigger certain alters so bad.

Cutting one’s hair themselves is frequently likened to mental breakdowns and mental illness, and I suppose I feel obligated to declare that that is not the case for me due to estranged relatives feeling ever so entitled to stalk my blog simply because they are that obsessed with me and don’t have any other hobbies. 💅

Cutting my own hair isn’t about perfection — just cutting it back to how I like it…or, in this case, cutting it too much and then continuing to cut it so it wouldn’t look awful AF.

Ten years ago, I watched a video on this woman’s blog about how she cut her hair. It, too, was random and messy — “just have fun with it!” she said.

So…I have fun with it. I think I’m quite good at it, considering the number of bad haircuts people be giving themselves all over TikTok! Even though I screwed up this time, my hair still looks cute. 🤷‍♀️

Ultimately, I want to be able to cut my own layers completely — I don’t think I’m up to this yet:

And I won’t have long enough hair to do it for a while, since it’s now sooo short.

Have you ever cut your own hair? How did it go?? Would you consider cutting your own hair again?

P.S. I will share a photo of my hair later. It’s all creased from me putting it into a bun.

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