5 DIY haircuts to try today!

Ever thought about cutting your own hair? Have you tried it? It is really fun and liberating but it can also be intimidating and a flat out mess. Enter, the Ponytail Cut. The beauty of the ponytail cut is that it brings all the hair to one place for you to cut, keeping it neat and straight forward. And, depending on where the ponytail is on the head, you can created many different shapes and effects with the cut.

For a beginner hair DIY-er, definitely start with a ponytail cut. For more on Ponytail Cutting and Coloring for the beginner DIY-er, check out this category.…..

On that note, Lovely people, I present to you 5 DIY haircuts to try today.

A practical yet creative hair solution for the brave and bold. 5 strategically placed ponytails cut off to create 5 different awesome haircuts.

I started with my fantastically brave and excited model, Meleah. Her hair was unbelievably long, and she had been cutting it herself using HTHG’s perfect layers DIY haircut. Her hair is thick and straight, but these haircuts can be used on any hair type.

*The amount of hair cut off the ends of the ponytail determines the length that the cut will be. We removed about 3 inches with each ponytail cut. If you want the same effect but with shorter length, remove more from the ponytail.

Cutting off a ponytail is not as easy as just a snip! you will need a sharp pair of shears like these affordable, quality ones.If you plan on becoming the full time master of your own

cut and color, it is also worth having a CreaClip, which is the genius tool  kit for perfect DIY bangs and layers for the whole family.

You will want to familiarize yourself with the point cutting technique to remove the hair a little bit at a time to soften and blend the ends of the hair.

Here is a map of the head to refer to, before you get started.

Are you ready? Let’s break it down!

DIY haircut #1. Long Layers!


For this one, you will put the hair in a  ponytail, centered at the middle of the top  of the head. Make sure it is smooth and tight.

Looking in a mirror, hold the ponytail straight up! Cut across the ends. Let hair down and check out your blended, even, pretty long layers.

  DIY haircut #2. Long layers with a little boost in the back.


Perfect for those who have a flat back of the head and want a little boost. This haircut is great for adding a little extra shape and body to long hair.

Put the hair in a ponytail in the middle of the crown of the head, and cut across the ends to whatever length you want. Let the hair down and shake it out!

DIY haircut #3. Long layers with pretty face framing.


This one is great for girls who like having a little something around the face. It creates perfectly uniform layers throughout the hair, but softens the face with shorter blended face framing layers.

Brush the hair straight forwards and put it in a ponytail right at the front of the top of the head, almost at the hairline.

Cut the ends off the ponytail. Let it down and marvel at your swinging layered haircut that accentuates your best features!

DIY haircut #4. Perfectly impractical asymmetrical layers.


This is the haircut for the hipster fashionista who wants to keep her length but still make a bold statement. May I suggest this haircut with some color faded dip dye and a deep side part?

Make a ponytail at the front of the top of the head, off center. Like 3 inches above the ear (Parietal ridge) on the side that you part on. Cut the ends off. Let your hair down and check out your awesome layer-y asymmetrical part, with heavy face framing, and a shy side. It almost looks undercut but it’s not.

Killer hair cut. My personal favorite from this series.

DIY haircut #5. Mid-length layered bob.


The Shlob, if you will. But a longer version of it. This haircut involves 2 ponytail cuts.

Make a ponytail right at the nape.

Cut it off to the length that the ends will barely rest on your neck.

Let it down, and cut the dropout off the bottom to straignten up the line.

Now put all the hair in a ponytail at the center of the crown. Cut the ends off. This will add layers and tons of texture an movement to the bob.

This haircut happens to look amazing with bangs too. If you are feeling inspired, try Zooey bangs or asymmetrical choppys.

I double doggy dare you to try one of these. You really can’t mess em up if you follow the directions, and they look totally salon-quality.

While we are on the subject of DIY hair…..

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 7.36.33 PMI use DIY haircut #3 regularly. I also use this DIY color technique to ombre my ends and this one to highlight around my face.

For my favorite DIY hair product recipes, check this category out.Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 7.35.37 PM

While we are on the subject of DIY hair, want to know about my DIY hair care routine that I coverabsolutely love and swear by? Yes, I am ShamPHree. And yes, I am a professional hairstylist and have been for 15 years.  And once upon a time, I was a hair product junkie. Want to know more? Check it out, and thank me later;) #freeyourhair #shamphree

Here is how

I  used a double ponytail cut to cut my daughters hair into a swingy little number recently.madrd

For more DIY hair cutting techniques and coloring techniques, check out the HTHG video shop.

YAY for DIY hair!!


133 thoughts on “5 DIY haircuts to try today!

  1. I did #1 this morning to get rid of some dead ends … had to flip my head over to be able to reach the end of my ponytail! Ends are so much happier now :D

  2. You have helped my hair! I feel so proud and practical when I successfully snip away my locks. I am not all the way no-poo yet, but I love, love, love coconut oil. Thank you!

  3. Wow this is so amazing, thank youu!! I’ve been searching online for a while for an easy and nice-looking way to cut my own hair (first time), and this is definitely the best! Thanks so much [:

  4. I have wavy/mildly curly hair, but am longing to try this. Should I straighten or leave it natural before trying a ponytail cut?

  5. Pingback: My Hair Hero(ine) | Awesomesauce & Asshattery

  6. Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you so much!

    I graduated from college last year and moved 900 miles away from home. The same hairdresser has cut my hair since I was 10, so I’ve just avoided getting my hair cut because I have no idea where to go and the thought of someone else doing it is a little scary. After not having it cut in over a year (I know…), I found your webpage and decided to try it on my own! Not gonna lie…I was a little afraid that I was going to have to crawl into a hair salon tomorrow morning…any hair salon…and beg them to fix my mistake. Ha! Not so. I shall never pay for a haircut again! :D

  7. I absolutely love these and would definitely try one, except that I have curly hair and have run into the problem of getting a haircut that looks great on straight hair but ends not really working as well with curly hair.

    • Try doing one of these cuts on your hair while it is curly, and DON’T use any tension when you hold out the pony. Keep the curls intact as you cut. Does that make sense?

  8. I have always had a love hate realationship with my hair – mostly it hates me while I try to make it love me. My mid-twenties saw my pin straight hippie hair develop wavy curly weirdness and that relationship got worse, way worse. Added to that was the fact that I always felt at the mercy of a stylist hoping they would have a clue what to do with it. So I have to thank you for this site because after reading a lot here last night. I was empowered to accept my hair in all its weirdness and to try the number 4 cut myself – and it WORKED! I also converted to ShamPHree last night and couldn’t believe how easy it was and how much better it feels. So thanks for a truly awesome and inspiring site!

  9. Pingback: Round ‘Em Up : Hair | {t w o n i n e t h r e e}

  10. Thank you so much for these! I did #3 and added some side swept bangs to disguise my post-partum wispies! My hair feels so much lighter and the whole thing took like 15 minutes! Exactly what this busy mama needed! Now I just have to be patient for a month or two while I work up the courage to do #4!

  11. Do you recommend doing the ponytail cut with wet or dry hair? Also, you mentioned the point cutting technique at the top of the post, but then in one of the pony variations you say to snip it straight across. I have medium length thick slightly wavy hair (with little curly fly-aways/break-aways by my face, that I love). I have never cut my own hair and am interested in trying the #3 above. Also, will these techniques work for easy kiddo haircuts? THANKSSSSS!!!!

    • To answer your question….you should use the pointcutting technique to cut a SOFT straight line across your DRY ends. And yes, these are great for kids!! Good luck, and I’d love to see a photo of the results:)

  12. This was sooo helpful! My hair looks great! I was able to get rid of all my dead ends all by myself! Thx so much!

  13. Great tutorial!! Will be trying #3 soon. What kind of sissors do you use? I bought a pair supposedly for hair trimming from Sally’s, but they seem so dull. Thanks!!

  14. Pingback: DIY haircut adventures on the internets | Iris in the evenings

  15. Pingback: DIY haircuts... tips and tricks (please share!) - CurlTalk

  16. Pingback: Homemade Haircut | aunt panda

  17. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
    that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  18. Pingback: DIY Hair (yes you read that right) | Stilettos and Shotguns

  19. Hi there. I love your blog and have used several of these hair-cutting methods with success, I think : ) I too love to say shlob- it sounds like it should be a cuss. I linked this article in a blog post, I hope that’s ok. Have a eat day, iris

    • So far, yes you are the only one. Hundreds of people have loved their DIY haircuts. I’m so sorry to hear that. Better luck next time!

  20. Pingback: jumbledroses

  21. This gives me some extra direction! I regularly “inpulse cut” since I don’t plan ahead for regularly scheduled cuts and then get desperate since I want what I want when I want it. :) It’s great to know some of the tricks I’ve been doing are what you recommend. and it gets compliments. next step:DIY color…

  22. Thanks so much for these! My money is super tight (recent PhD graduate, looking for full-time work, disabled, etc. . .) so these are a real godsend. If I want some layers around the face, is there a way to achieve this? I am willing to pay for one of the videos, but want to see if there’s a simple tweak I can do. I already have blunt bangs, but I’m looking for a little more movement in the hair.


  23. Pingback: Lovely Layers | lady on the mountain

  24. Haha I know you wrote this a year ago, but thanks so much for this article! I did a modified #3 by doing several ponytails (with less hair each time) to preserve as much length in the back as I could and I love it! My hair went from pretty but kind of boring to gorgeous and sexy! I feel better about it than almost any professional cut I’ve ever gotten :D

  25. These are so helpful! Thank you so much. I tried #3 today on my BFF and my own hair and it turned out freaking awesome! The secret is using really sharp scissors. I also added tiny little cuts at the ends turning the scissor on the other direction to add some texture, a texturizing shear will do that as well. After I cut the hair with the scissor held vertically as shown in the photo I turned it horizontally and cut very tiny bits for texture, since I don’t own texturizing shears. I can’t stop talking about my DIY layers. Hehe! Great info. Thanks.

  26. When you cut it, do you go in a straight line? For example, I was going to try #3 but wanted to make sure I was doing it right. Do you cut straight down?

  27. One more question:
    Do you know how to make a “v” or a “u” cut with a pony-tail? I am really excited to try this technique out!

  28. I stumbled upon your website when I was in desperate need of a haircut and didn’t have the time to make an appointment with my hairdresser. Your ponytail haircuts seemed easy enough, so I dug out the haircutting scissors I had bought ages ago but never used, and gave myself #3 – AWESOME!! Almost hate to say so, but that’s probably the best haircut I ever had in my life – love my hairdresser to pieces, but he’ll not cut my hair again unless I want a complete crazy change…
    My hair is somewhere around shoulder length, blonde, curly spirals in the back, curly-wavy craziness in the front, somewhat straight-ish bits underneath, and it definitely has a mind of its own.
    Ever since giving myself the #3 ponytail cut, my hair looks kinda surfer-girl curly instead of being a weird frizzy-curly-tangly mane. Layers in all the right places, face framing that actually works, no mullet-y straight bits poking out, perfect. Love it!
    Thank you :)

  29. Hey thank you for the tips. I have been doing number 3 for the past two years and I want to try number 2 to give the back of my head a “boost”. However I want the hair to frame my face as well. Do you think I should do the no.3 cut first and then no.2? as in combine the two cuts?
    I would love to hear your opinion.

  30. Pingback: Friday! | Extragrunty's Blog

  31. Pingback: Anonymous

  32. So I want to try #4. My hair is curly near my face. wavy towards the middle and straight underneath. Should my hair be wet when I cut it or do I leave it natural because I’ve read somewhere that it cuts better when it’s wet. I also want to know if #4 would look alright with curly hair? I’ve gotten my hair cut multiple times and then come to realize it seems to only look good if your hair is straight. anyways I love your article! Thanks so much

    • I think it would look amazing on curls! I would suggest positioning the ponytail a bit farther back on the side of the head to keep your front curly layers from being too short. I’d love before and after photos:)

  33. Hi from Denmark :-) I just tried #3 and I LOVE IT. I have slightly curly hair and, until today, I haven’t met a hairdresser, who could cut my hair with a satisfied result. Well – now I can do it my self! My hair looks messy – like “I have been on the beach all day messy”, it’s PERFECT ;-) Thank you for a great tutorial :-)

  34. Have you ever done this with a side braid? I was wondering if it would end up a sexy assymetric mess, or a oh shit what have i done mess.
    Very tempted to try it out, but i’m scared it’ll turn out horrific

    • Love the idea, totally curious about how it would turn out. It could be amazing. make sure you use deep point cuts into the braid instead of straight across…..

  35. Pingback: At the hairdressers: an update on cutting my own hair | meganonatrailer

  36. I desperately needed to have my hair cut, and I stumbled upon your site.. and I must say I absolutely love style #5 .. turned out awesome! Thank you so much for the step by step pic and description :D

  37. Thanks so much for this. I’ve cut my own hair before but wanted to try something different and quick. My last haircut was by a stylist who got too creative on one side of my head towards the front. I’m only at the mid-way point of growing that out, but had split ends. So your #3 helped me blend that in a little, and then I used the second step of #5.

    For anyone else who tries this combination… if your hair is much shorter than the model’s, it might be hard to see the ends after the first stage. After #3 I couldn’t get them up front where I could see them well. In the end I went ahead with #5 anyways, and afterwards improvised point-cutting with some pigtails. That worked for me, but I would have been nervous if I’d never self-snipped before.

    Anyways, now my hair is happy, so I just wanted to thank you for your awesome guide!

  38. Hello!

    I have wavy longish hair and thick Zooey bangs (thank you for the help with the bangs!). How do you think that would look/work with number four? I had a short asymmetrical cut years ago that was my all time fave, but now want to keep some length. Think it will look to heavy?
    I just paid for a haircut that is fine but boring. Your ideas are much better!

  39. I wanted to try #4, but I’m not clear on if it should be in the front or not.. It says front, but in the picture it seems more in the middle than the front.

  40. Oh my goodness, this has changed my life!! I haven’t had my haircut for a year, I have a slight salon phobia after a ‘Rachel cut’ gone bad when I was 15! I searched ‘how to cut your own hair’ on pinterest and found you! I popped my littest down for his nap and on an impulse tried out #3 – I love it!! I only took about 1 1/2 inches off, might get braver next time, but the results are great – I am a convert :) Thanks so much! xx

  41. I have cut my hair twice in the past 8 years. I hate going to the salon because of a few things…I don’t want to pay for a hair cut. My hair is so thick and long that it takes 1.5 to 2 hours to get my hair washed, brushed, cut, and styled. I also can’t ever find a style that I like. I had my youngest child just two months ago, and since my hair was down past my waist I had to keep it up in a bun all the time. Plus, my split ends were getting out of control! This evening I finally got fed up with my hair, so I decided to do a bit of Googling and found this helpful site! I tried #3, and I absolutely LOVE it! I pulled all of my hair into a ponytail at the top front of my head, and cut off about four inches. After that, I trimmed my bangs a bit to better contour my face, then took the hair at the top of my head in a pony tail at the top front, and cut a bit more off of that section. After playing with my hair for a while, I decided I didn’t like the long bit in the back of my hair, so I put all of my hair in a pony tail at the nape of my neck, slid it down until there was about three inches left, and trimmed that off. On all the cuts, I used the point cutting technique. After I style my hair tomorrow, I’ll send you a picture! Thank you so much for the helpful advice! I’ll never pay for a hair cut again :)

  42. I cut my hair using #5 and love it!! I already had a longer bob but wanted some movement. I only snipped maybe an inch and it came out incredible with much more body. I’m thinking I might need some slight movement in the front peices. If I now use the #3 technique will that remove and mess up what I’ve done with #5? Thanks in advance!

  43. I have been using this technique for a while now, and love how easy, fast and cost efficient it is! I have curly curly hair which tends to weigh down if I don’t keep it trimmed up. I find that if I pull the pony tail holder towards the end of the pony, and trim across that, I keep the lines much straighter. Works like a charm every time!

  44. Hi I love the look of #4! I’m just a lil
    Concerned on how short that side pony looks.
    My hair is at the bottom of my buttcheeks
    & I don’t want it much shorter lengthwise.
    I have alot of fine wavy/curly/frizzy hair.
    How do I know how long my hair will be?

  45. I really want to try #4, but I have a couple questions first.

    Just how asymmetrical does the #4 haircut turn out to be? There’s only one picture on this page, and it looks very similar a #3 haircut that wasn’t parted evenly. Do you have any other pictures of this haircut?

    • Good question! I don’t have any other photos, but you can control the amount of asymmetry by how far over the ponytail is. I recommend that if you have a deep side part and you want a bit of asymmetry, make your ponytail where the part line would be.

  46. So … I hate going to the hairdressers (in the minority I know). I’m bored stupid, it usually averages around 4 hours each time & its so expensive for a haircut that frankly most times I couldn’t care less about & never have the time for either!

    Tonight I happened to be husbandless (off to a football game), house-bound (with 3 sleeping moochos) & feeling frumpy so I did what any sane bored housewife does … googled DIY haircuts & came across your website.

    Thought it would be fun to document the process with photos (or would save time explaining what happened to my hair lol). It was alot of fun actually & I’m really happy with the result. I posted a link to those photos so hopefully you can see them :) Thanks very much for sharing!

  47. I love this. I want to do #4 but my hair isn’t long enough to all fit in the ponytail. ANy suggestions? I have wavy hair that when wet of course is much longer! SHould I just put what will fit in the side ponytail?

  48. Thank you so much! I love all things cheap and free and googled how to cut face framing layers myself. I came across your site and used #5. I am so happy with the results! So glas to know I’ll be able to cut my hair at home whenever I need to :)

  49. Hi Roxie

    Thanks so much, #2 did the trick beautifully. I didn’t want to lose length as I’ve been growing my hair out for nearly a year, after a too short DIY do. Every 2-3 months I take the razor to it again…sigh. Just last night I had been feeling despondent, thinking I was going to have to explain myself to a hairdresser, but #2 blended the layers again, and with less hair removed than would fill a tablespoon. Cheers!

  50. Pingback: DIY: family haircuts | the intentional penny

  51. I just did #3 on my hair, slightly modified because I’m trying to grow out some short top layers to blend better with the rest of my hair! You are a lifesaver! This is the best, easiest DIY cutting method I’ve found so far! Next time, once I build up some courage, I wanna try #4!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together

  52. I’ve been using Faye’s Self Trim method for a couple of years, which is of course a decent method, but it tends to make cuts that are all one length, or just tapered along the bottom. Which is fine, but lackluster when mixed with very fine hair. I’m so glad I found your instructions.

    I did a #3, though I did tone down the longest layers by re-trimming them off a low Faye’s style pony. I’m so happy with my hair now. It has movement and style, not just function! Thank you! :)

  53. Hi Roxie!

    So let me start saying how much I love your blog. I have been shamphree for a year and a half and when I discovered you, I flipped! So many great tips and sources for inspiration! Anywho, I have been cutting my own hair for years (starting back as a teen when I would clip it and looked much like that chick from The Cranberries (or that other chick from Empire Records, depending on the setting and the guard). My hair is long now, about to where a bra clasp would be. And I continue to trim it into layers with the ponytail method. However, I’m growing tired of the long tresses and was wondering if you could post an easy DIY do much like the one Winona Ryder sports in Reality Bites? Seriously, is there a shortish, choppy style more perfect than that… Doubtful!
    Thank you so much for your undying dedication to natural beauty!

  54. My hair is a little past my shoulders, super thin, and baby fine. I did #3 this morning and it turned out great! I only cut about 1 1/2″ so it wasn’t a dramatic change. I’m very pleased. Thanks!

  55. I wanna go for #3 ! My hair is thin, straight ( so straight !!!. Will this style work for me ?? I dont use any kind of hair straightener or any other extra things on my hair as its thin. I’m afraid :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>