Saturday, 31 May 2008

I Did It to Myself

I’ve thought off and on about trying to cut my own hair, but never really had the nerve to try it. However, having failed to book an advance appointment and being unable to use the beauty college as it was shut for their spring break, I was faced with either cutting it myself or going out to dinner on my birthday with decidedly shaggy hair.

It didn’t look awful, but it was so long it flipped up on my shoulders and I’m just not into hair that long these days. It was driving me batty so I looked at several websites and got a book from the library for students getting qualifications in hairdressing. I’d also paid attention the first time I went to the beauty college. It was easy to follow the logic of she was doing because she did it v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I think I mentioned previously that I got a 3 hour hair cut. I thoroughly enjoyed having someone fuss over me that long and she really did a great job.

Anyhow, using what I’d read and seen, this is how I went about it:

I washed and towel dried my hair, parted it in the middle and combed it straight.

With a ruler, I measured the length of my hair at the top, side and from the bottom (it was about 8+ inches at the top and the bottom hair was about 5+ inches). I noticed that the hair length changed at about ear level and decided to keep that difference, ie aiming for a long layered look. I decided to cut the top half to a 6½ -inch length and to trim a couple of inches off the bottom so it was off my shoulders again.

I got a UHT milk carton, basically water-proof cardboard, and cut a 6 inch long template about 2 inches wide.

Using barbering scissors that came with Bill’s razor set (he shaves his own hair all the time), I took small sections of hair from the top and measured them against my template, cutting the hair to that length. Cut sections got moved to the other side of my head and secured with clips. When the right side was complete, I removed all the clips, combed the hair down and worked on the left side.

When the top was done, I got Bill to help me out. I wet my hair and combed it smooth again. Then I got a tape measure and put it around my neck at the length I wanted the hair cut to. I had Bill trim whatever hair extended below the tape measure.

When that was done, I did some comparison of the sides and did a bit of repair work, snipping tiny bits off what looked too long.

Then, like they do at the hair dressers, I combed wet hair across each check and trimmed the hair on a diagonal, sort of cutting off the hard corner at the front.

Finally I did my usual blow dry and styling and snipped bits off my bangs, something I’ve done all my life (they call it fringe here in the UK, which is a much more sensible name; where ever did the term ‘bangs’ come from?).

When I was done, the bathroom looked like something got hold of a furry animal; there was hair everywhere, including inside my clothes. I also had to stop for some first aid as I clipped the skin on one of my knuckles. I would never have believed scissors could be that sharp, but I believe it now.

It’s not a great haircut, I’ll admit, but neither does it like a lunatic went at it, which is what I’d feared. For a DIY job, I’m very pleased with it. I’m even more pleased that I made myself do something a little scary and it turned out OK. I like to feel that I’m still growing.

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