At-Home Pixie Cut Using Clippers
Well, I finally took the bait and cut my own hair.
It had been about nine weeks since my last hair cut, and that cut was really just to tide me over for a more substantial trim (it was days before my sister’s wedding and I didn’t want to do something drastic in case it went awry).
Of course, that substantial trim never happened, because hair salons around the country were forced to close as Covid-19 began to spread in earnest throughout the country. Salons were set to reopen on May 20th in Connecticut, but the governor ultimately decided to delay until June due to ongoing concerns about the risk. This recent NPR article goes into more detail about the various risk factors of public activities.
Even if they had reopened last week, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable going in. While many of my peers and family members have taken “re-openings” to mean that those activities are safe, it is clear from the articles I’ve read and the literally hours of seminars I sat in on during my first week at the hospital that we are not out of the woods yet. In most states, Covid-19 cases and corresponding deaths have merely leveled off rather than declined; in many states, they are still on the rise.
I will end my preaching shortly, but I just want to emphasize that 1. we are living in a country in which clear and universal instruction regarding best practices is simply not being delivered, 2. we are dealing with a virus that is still not entirely understood, and 3. collective safety means collective vigilance.
Alas, this post is about my hair cut. Let me tell you about how I managed to cut my own pixie cut at home, for less than the cost of two trips to the budget salon.
How I Cut My Own Pixie Cut with Clippers and Scissors
What You’ll Need:
I suggest Wahl Clippers, because they’re specifically made for haircuts and are better quality than a lot of other trimmers. This one comes with guards.
Mine are secondhand Super Taper II, a professional grade variety that is suitable on textured hair, purchased on Ebay for $49. Since clippers were sold out everywhere earlier in the pandemic, I bought mine on Ebay. If you go that route, try to find some under $60, preferably with clipper guards.
Hair Shears and Thinning Shears
Like these. Some clipper kits come with scissors so you won’t need to purchase separately.
My clipper kit came with guards, but if you purchase separately, make sure to get an 8 (1″) Guard that is compatible with your clippers. You can go bigger or smaller depending on your preference.
Plastic bag or easy-clean mat
For easier cleanup after cutting. I took a kitchen garbage bag and cut it down the side and base to make a long plastic sheet, then bundled the clippings and threw it away. Not eco-friendly, but good in a pinch, especially if you’re working in a small space that’s hard to clean effectively.
I used this very simple tutorial for the cut, with some adjustments for cutting the top, which I’ll share below.
I used this video to get a better idea of how to section off the top of my hair, which I wanted to leave longer.
After I used clippers on the sides and back, I started trimming. I wanted to cut quite a bit of length off the top, so I started with blunt shears all over the top section of my head, then blended into the clippered sections with the thinning shears.
This kit also includes a razor comb, which would be great for adding texture to the longer portion of the cut. As I’ve gotten more comfortable cutting my own hair over the past few months, I have started to use a shorter guard, often a 3/4″ instead of a 1″.
Even with access to tutorials, cutting your own hair will always carry risk and involve some experimentation. You need to prepare yourself for imperfection, and commit to going with the flow. After all, your hair will always grow back.
If you live with someone who is willing to take it on, you can ask them to help you trim your edges in the back, or even trim your whole head. But it’s good to know that is IS possible to do this yourself with a bit of preparation.
If anything was unclear or you have your own suggestions, let me know in the comments!
Related: How I Dye My Hair with Henna