January 10, 2014

The DIY Haircut: Frugal and Easy!

One of the little ways that Nathan and I save money is by cutting each others' hair. Neither of us has been to barber or salon in years. While there is nothing wrong with having a professional do it if it is something that you really enjoy, it was always just another appointment that Nathan and I dreaded, so it made sense for us to learn how to cut our own hair. I have been cutting Nathan's hair since before we were married (for probably almost 4 years now). Nathan just started cutting my hair within the last year. We even have my sister on board now. I have cut her hair twice now!

Men's hair is definitely simpler (especially if they just want a basic cut), so it is a great place to start if you are just learning how to cut hair. Here are some basic instructions to get you started.

First assemble your tools. You will need a spray bottle to wet the hair, a comb, and a pair of hair shears (definitely worth the investment to buy a dedicated pair for just hair if you plan to make this a regular part of your routine). An electric razor can also come in handy for some of the finishing touches.

I would suggest that you cut your victim... uhhh, I mean willing participant's hair outside for easy clean-up when possible (the birds will appreciate the nest building material). Start by wetting down the hair with with the spray bottle, and then comb out the hair.

Start cutting by gathering a vertical section of hair between your middle and index finger of your non-dominant hand (Note that in picture it looks like I am holding it diagonally. This was not really intentional... I straightened it up before I actually cut). I usually cut Nathan's hair pretty short (so that we don't have to do it again for a few months), so I try to pinch his hair close to his scalp. Then use the hair shear to cut the hair that sticks out from our fingers. Continue to gather and cut more sections of hair, working your way around the head. (Be sure to only take vertical sections, which will give the cut an even, layered look.)

I usually start with the side and then work to the top. At the top of the head you will gather sections of hair parallel to the ground. It often will look best if you leave the hair on top of the head a little longer than on the sides, so you may want to hold the hair further from the scalp. Be especially careful to not cut the bangs too short.

Once you have finished cutting all around the head, you will want to take extra time to trim around the ears and the back of the neck. This is the trickiest part for me since Nathan has some curls around his ears and neck. I usually brush the hair down around his ears and cut a curved line that matches the curve of his ear a little less than a quarter inch from his ear. I learned the hard way to be careful not to cut too high up...it looks really silly. Then I brush out the hair at the back of the neck and use an electric razor to create a neat edge to the bottom of his hair. Be sure to just take a little at a time, especially as you try to create a symmetrical shape between the left and right side.

Finally, brush out the hair and maybe muss it up a bit to make sure that you don't have any stray long hairs and to make sure you like the way it looks. Then you are all done!

These days it takes me about 15-20 minutes to cut his hair, although I have definitely become faster over the years. I remember how long it took me the first few times (probably at least an hour) since I wanted to make sure I didn't mess it up! Just be sure to take your time, to remember that you can always cut more (but not less) and you will do great. Good luck and have fun!

(p.s. My thinning hair may also have something to do with the decreased cutting time-Nathan)

(This post was shared on the Homestead Barn Hop, Natural Living Monday, Homemade Mondays, From the Farm Hop, Simple Saturdays, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Simply Natural Saturdays, Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesday Greens, Tuesdays with a Twist, Maple Hill Hop, Down Home Hop, HomeAcre HopSimple Lives Thursday, and the 104 Homestead Hop blog hops.)


  1. Good looking victim - I mean model! I've done everybody's hair in my family for ages, my children don't want to go for a "real" hair cut. I put the cuttings among my plants, they help keep the critters away. My dad has one of those clipper / shaver things, actually he is the pickiest of the bunch! it was nerve wrecking at first to "sculpt" his hair, but after a few times I relaxed about it.

  2. Haha... thanks. Nice idea about using the cuttings to keep the critter away!

  3. You did a GREAT JOB! I also cut my husbands hair, but it's literally an all-over buzz. LOL :) Thanks for sharing on our spending strike link up - I think a lot of our readers who are participating in the strike this month will enjoy reading about DIY haircuts.

  4. We cut each other's hair as well. When I go to professional salons, they want to cut off half my hair, which would be too traumatic.

  5. Saves alot of money, no doubt. And I get my ends neatly trimmed, not hacked off. Cutting a woman's hair is easier than a man's, but I am learning to cut my guys. I have a few haircuts under my belt with the children, and he has cut mine for me. So we are saving hundreds each year.

    1. That's funny for us it was the opposite. Maybe it is because of societal pressures of how a woman's hair is "suppose" to look, but we found cutting my hair more nerve wracking and difficult than Nathans. Although I also have been cutting his hair for much longer, so maybe I just don't remember how nerve wracking that was at first... But either way, we will never go back!


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