March 26, 2010

Adventures of the DIY Hairdo

I haven't had my hair professionally cut since November of 2008.

But let's back up a little. I used to have long, curly hair in the not-too-distant past. It's true.


I loved my hair and my hair loved me. But after a year of never combing it and of being in the sun all day, it started to get a little wild and a little dead. When it began forming miniature dreadlocks on its own, I decided I would cut it all off and start over.

In August of 2008, I did just that.

Before making the cut, the stylist asked me several times if I was sure. She told us about the many women who cried after cutting that much off. I insisted I would be fine. She made the cut, I fake-cried to give her a scare, but then my friend, Kortney, really did cry, which turned out to be funnier than my joke.

I loved, loved, loved my short 'do. It was exactly what I wanted.

But my hair tends to grow fast, so in November of 2008, it was already getting really shaggy. I had talked awhile back about wanting to get an "I got drunk and cut my own hair" haircut (but you know, by a professional). So I did. I chopped it shorter than it had ever been.


Shortly after getting this haircut, I was laid off of my job.

(Boo for the recession!).

Since finding work over the holiday season is damn near impossible, money was hard to come by. As a result, professional haircuts were even harder to come by. So I did what any person who doesn't especially value his or her hair would do:

I began cutting it myself.

It started with just the back. For whatever reason, my hair desperately wants to be a mullet. As a result, the back grows much faster than the front. So I would hold a mirror (or camera, as needed) in one hand and cut with the other hand.

My haircutting philosophy was, "Just keep cutting until it's kind of straight."

At some point, my bangs also started to get out of hand. So I tried my hand at those, as well.


Here is one thing I discovered in my adventures of a haircutter. In the movie, "Freeway," Kiefer Sutherland grabs Reese Witherspoon's hair and cuts it off (with a knife, no less!) right at the ponytail. Later, her hair is down and it looks fantastic.

Well, let me tell you: that is not accurate. Don't try that at home.

Here are a couple other things I learned the hard way:

- If your hair is slightly reddish to start with and you want to dye it brown, get a hair dye with ash tints in it. Otherwise, you'll end up with this:

- If you're giving yourself a trim, comb the section outward, then trim the ends that way. That keeps it from having too severe of an edge.

- With bangs, don't try to cut straight across, because it never ends up straight across.

Instead, separate it into sections, trim a little at a time, and finish it off with a razor.

One trick I tried was twisting the bangs tightly, then cutting the bottom. When untwisted, it framed my eyebrows neatly.




- Never trim your bangs while wet. They will end up too short.

- Finally, if you're going to try cutting your own hair, you must be willing to not freak out, not expect perfection, not get bothered by crookedness, and not worry about what others think of your interesting hair.

While I've gotten myself into some hair-related pickles, none of them have been bad enough to make me go to the stylist. Even after I started to get a little expendable income, I decided that paying a stylist to keep it up just wasn't that important to me anymore...though I won't rule it out for my next major cut.

I know my limits.

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