How To Do A Girls Basic Haircut At Home

By now, we are all developing skills we never thought we would even consider trying- and actually getting pretty good at them. Cutting your child’s hair may very well be one of them! At Cozy’s Cuts For Kids, we have been cutting kids’ hair for 25+ years (over 1 Million Haircuts!), and happy to share some tips with you on how to do it at home. Below are step by step instructions from my book, Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls’ Hair as well as a short, yet detailed, video we filmed a few years ago, with step by step directions for doing a girl’s haircut at home.  You may be surprised at how good you are!

What you’ll need:

  • Invest in a good pair of hair cutting scissors. Best options have pointed blades and are 5 ½-6 inches in length. Never use manicure scissors or regular scissors, which will cause a crooked cut). Here’s an example of a good scissor
  • Smock or cape
  • Newspaper, garbage bags or disposable plastic tablecloth for the floor for easier clean-up
  • Wide tooth & Fine-tooth comb (but you can get by with just one if you don’t have both)
  • Spray bottle with water
  • A few butterfly clips for sectioning
  • DISTRACTIONS to keep child busy/still. VERY IMPORTANT!

Set Up:

  • Cover your child with an art smock or old t-shirt
  • Avoid the bathtub for your cutting location (too slippery). Rather, sit child in a chair with a distraction (video, tablet, book, etc.)
  • Do it at a time when you won’t be rushed
  • While hair is dry, decide how much length you want to cut off (hair is always longer when wet)
  • Wet or Dry hair? I prefer cutting wet hair, as it is less slippery and easier to manage, thus it will be more precise

How to:

Start with the bangs (for blunt bangs only)

Step 1: Using a wide-tooth comb, part hair down the middle

Step 2: Mist hair lightly with water and comb through to remove tangles

Step 3: Measure along the part about an inch from the hairline and use the fine-tooth comb to draw a line from that point of the hairline at the outer edge of one eyebrow, forming a triangle-shaped section of hair (see pic #1) Clip this section away from the rest and repeat on the other side of the part.  Clip the rest of the hair away from these two bang sections.  If your child’s hair is fine, you may want to start ½ inch from the hairline instead of a full inch.

Step 4: Comb the two bang sections of hair straight down in front of the face.

Step 5: With your fingers, separate the center inch of the bang and hold it down toward the nose between your pointer and middle fingers just below the eyebrows.  Don’t twist it; be sure to hold it loosely, not taut, or it will be too short after you cut it.  Use the remaining fingers to act as a guard behind the hair strands (along the forehead), as protection in the event she makes any sudden moves, Tell the child to close her eyes, so she doesn’t get hair in them.  With the other hand, hold the scissor straight and snip just below your fingers.

Step 6: Repeat this process with the section of bang on either side of the center one, using the length of the center section as your guide.  Be sure to pull the hair straight down, not at an angle toward the center, or you’ll end up with curved bangs.

Step 7: Evaluate bangs after they dry and touch up if necessary

Note: For wispier bangs, after trimming using instructions above, hold the bangs about an inch from the ends between your pointer and middle fingers.  With the other hand, hold thee scissors perpendicular to the edge of the hair, and use just the tips to snip little v-shaped sections about 1/8 inch into the bangs.  This will make them a little jagged.

Now for the haircut! These instructions are appropriate for straight, wavy or curly hair that’s one length all around.

Step 1: Mist hair and comb through to detangle. Section hair as shown. The bottom sections will serve as your guide.  Once you cut the hair to length, you will match all other section lengths to it.

Step 2: Be sure the child is looking down, with her eyes on her knees, chin slightly down.  This is especially important for girls who have long hair.  Doing this will ensure the best cutting angle and keep the bottom layer from being longer than the top layer.  Keeping her head in one position throughout will also ensure an even cut.  Comb out a small section of hair at the part (approximately an inch in width) and hold it between your pointer and middle finger right above the length you want to remove.  Hold the scissors straight and the hair taut, then guide the blades of the scissor straight beneath your fingers as you snip.

Step 3: Using the length of this center section as a guide, work your way out on either side of it, separating and cutting small sections of hair in the same way so they all match the length of the first section

Step 4: Once you’re done cutting the two bottom sections, section out 1 inch of hair along the bottom of the sections still in the clips and continue cutting in the same way, 1-inch section by 1-inch section, until all hair is trimmed. For each new section, comb the hair, then cut it to match the length of the first section.  Comb the side sections straight down toward the floor, not back behind the ears, and match the length of the back sections. Note: If cutting curly hair- beware of shrinkage! Curly hair will bounce up much shorter than you estimate- as much as 3 inches- when you trim it.

The good news is that the one thing you can count on is that hair grows back! If you make a mistake, no big deal… Be sure to send/post pics & videos and don’t forget to tag @cozyscutsforkids !

Good luck and stay safe!

image credit: @alexandragrablewski and @artisan_books from COZY’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO GIRLS’ HAIR.

Cozy Friedman