How to Cut Hair at Home

The secrets behind cutting and styling your family's hair, and braiding techniques.

| April/May 1993

If you ever want to strike up a conversation, just mention hairstyles and you're off to a long chat. After all, many folks feel that hair is the very bane of their existence, and yet few people are satisfied with their style. Those with straight hair want curly and vice-versa; many will go to extreme lengths to achieve what they "think" they want. Almost everyone has an experience they can recall, often interesting, sometimes incredulous.

For instance, I knew a girl in grade school who had long, thick wavy hair which she absolutely hated. She wanted silky straight hair, and she heard from someone that you could iron the waves out. You can guess what she did next. Yup, she took a regular flat iron to her hair and ended up burning almost all of it. It was so bad that she had to cut it above her ears and start growing it all over again.

I went about it in a completely different way. I rolled my hair on soup cans to straighten it. I would cut the ends out of used soup cans, wash them, and roll my waist length mass of wavy, tight curls up in them. If you can picture what I looked like you'll have yourself a good laugh, and you can't imagine how difficult it was to fall asleep in this state. Worst of all were rainy days. Whenever there was a day with any rain or even humidity, my hair would almost instantly frizz and my suffering would be all for naught.

But it's years later now and I am more comfortable with my hairstyle. I've learned which haircuts work best for me and I've even learned how to cut my family's hair.

Cutting and Styling Your Family's Hair

Cutting your children's hair is a great way to save money. The cost of a child's haircut at a barbershop often costs about the same as that of an adult. It can also be a real nuisance to plan a trip to town for yourself or your child, and many times you get to town and your child decides he/she doesn't want a stranger to wield scissors around his/her head. When you think about it, who can blame them? Living out in the "sticks" as I do and having four kids, I find that being the family barber is a great asset. Of course I've made mistakes, but nothing that couldn't be remedied.

With all the heads of hair I've encountered over the years, it seems that regardless of the style, we're all looking for the same thing—no-fuss hair. Keep in mind that I'm talking about basic trims, nothing fancy. The most important piece of advice I can give is this: Cut small amounts at a time; remember, you can't put it back on your head once it's been cut off. However, if you do cut too much off the first few times, don't panic. It'll grow out...and of course, there are always hats.

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