Amy Clark

Overcoming My Fears: Cutting Hair


I think I should just start a series on all of the things that I am learning to do that I was afraid to do. I certainly have enough entries on here to create a series: fear of working with dough, fear of gardening, fear of mowing, and now fear of cutting hair.

I hate to pay for hair cuts and had invested in buying a pair of clippers to do our son’s hair and my husband’s. I tried doing it once and just was too nervous and scared that I would mess their hair up to have done a good job. After attempting this a few times, I usually ended up taking our son over to a Super Cuts to correct my tedious and bad hair cuts. Just taking him over there instead of messing with it at home seemed to save me the time and hassle of attempting it myself.

We had been having my sister-in-law come over to help cut the boys hair and I would make dinner for her. It was a nice arrangement, but she is such a busy person that I felt a little guilty taking advantage of her free time. I still will have her do it, when she is available, but I wanted to learn how to do it myself so we could be more self-sufficient. I could also take advantage of the times when my son was in a good mood or when we had somewhere to go (pictures, family get togethers, etc..) where I wanted him to look his best.

I checked out a book entitled, “Cutting Your Family’s Hair” and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is trying to learn how to do their own haircuts. The book offered a picture (not a drawing!) tutorial on step-by-step instructions for hair cutting. It also offered a listing of basic tools you would need to get the job done.

The tools that were suggested in the book were a good quality pair of scissors (purchased from your local beauty supply store), a comb, a cape & towel (the cape can be purchased at your beauty supply store), a spray bottle of water, & a pair of clippers. My personal addition to this list is a booster seat to get your child at the right height needed to cut their hair well.

For a basic clipper cut the instructions were:

1. Set clippers at a low setting. Begin at back, cutting hair short. (For my husband and son, I used a number three, to make sure it wasn’t too close or too long- it worked well).

2. Use a comb to pull up the hair and move the clippers across the comb to cut the hair.

3. Continue up the back. Stop 3-4″ from the crown.

4. Move to the sides, using the clippers to trim the hair above the ears.

5. Continue clipping up the sides 2-3″. Leave the top hair to be cut with the scissors. Move around to the back, being sure all the clipped hair is the same length.

6. Cut hair at top back, pulling out hair with your fingers and cutting it to a one-finger length.

7. At sides just above clipper cut area, use a comb to pull out hair and cut (A one finger length is too long at the sides).

8. Cut the top guide line to the desired length, beginning at the crown. Here, it’s cut to a one-finger length. Cut all hair then to this length.

9. Blend the hair that was cut with the clippers with the top hair, using scissors and a comb.

10. Comb front hair forward and trim.

11. Trim across the bottom of the back with clippers.

12. Use clippers to trim sideburns.

13. Hold ears forward and use clippers to tidy up behind the ears.

Although it is hard to go by the written instructions alone, it does give you a better idea of how the pros do it. I found the pictures to also be a great reference for me and it helped make me feel more comfortable doing it.

I did both Ryan & Ethan’s haircuts this weekend and they turned out really well. I “practiced” first on my husband because I felt like I could really take my time and figure everything out. This is something I couldn’t do with an energetic four year old who kept saying during his haircut, “Are we done yet? Are we done now? How about now? And now?” I took my time with Ryan and made sure I felt comfortable with everything and then did our son’s hair after that. I must say, both of their haircuts turned out really well and I am really proud of myself for attempting something that is definitely outside of my box.

While I wouldn’t be up to cutting my own hair, I did pick a low-maintenance style that allows me to go less frequently and I do color my hair at home to save myself quite a bit of money for the family. I also try to do weekly pedicures as a special beauty treat for myself. These savings alone are probably in the fifty-sixty dollar range monthly.

Do you do any of your own beauty treatments at home? How do you save your family money in this category of your spending?

Published May 29, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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