Dark Alley Haircuts

IMG_1660Hey ya’ll.  I do a semi-annual impromptu pop-up hair salon in a dark alley behind my favorite Seattle bar, Al’s. I only do it if I happen to show up there on a Saturday when Holley is bartending, with my shears and enough people happen to complain to me about their long shaggy hair. Then, the chair gets pulled out the back door and I start cutting hairs in the dark. It is a personal challenge and I generally get my drinks payed for. It also makes me kind of feel like I’m part of some kind of off-beat speakeasy for the night, so I do it.

IMG_1649IMG_1655This time around, 2 brothers from Florida were in need of haircuts. Or so they said. I almost had to turn them down based on the fact that they both had fantastically pretty 70’s shags. And I wanted to braid their pretty hair so bad.

But they talked me into it. So I we went to the dark alley hair chair. One of em got a lot chopped off. The other just needed a little trim and a clean up.IMG_1651IMG_1658

Maybe I’ll see you at Al’s sometime. and If I have had enough to drink and I happen to have my shears on me, you might get invited to the Dark Alley.

xo, HTHG

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



For your everything guide to DIY hair coloring, check this post!

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 12.14.38 PMIf you are in the market for a genius new system of haircare designed by hairstylists with a less-is-more vibe, check out the Hairstory Studio Haircare line, starring New-Wash magic cleansing cream. My hair has literally never looked of felt better. I use it once a week and my hair is never greasy, and always healthy! They have a line of 4 simple products for all hair types to help you master happy healthy hair without a fight. Check their shop out here, and make sure you mention that How-to Hair Girl referred you when you go to make your purchase.

If you are a DIY hair-cutter who is  curious about DIY home-hair coloring, I highly recommend using DIY hair color by Madison Reed, which Resorcinol-Free.

If you purchase a Madison Reed Radiant Color Kit, you will receive not only the colors of hair colors your choice, but also the necessary tools to apply it. The entire line is designed for the DIY hair colorer! And if you need to tone in between coloring, be sure to check out their Color Reviving Gloss to refresh and revive your hair.

Also, I recommend a shopping stop at Beauty Store Depot for all your DIY hair cutting and coloring tools to fill your toolkit!

Have fun with your hair!

xo, HTHG

HTHG and mysalontools.com shear giveaway!

HTHG is excited to announce an exciting opportunity for a lucky reader to win an awesome pair of 6 inch Joewell S4 series hair shears, with a case! this is the perfect pair of hair cutting shears to start you on your way to DIY hair cutting.

Mysalontools.com Is a fantastic resource for all of your tools for DIY hair cutting. They are an independent beauty supply company  that HTHG is excited to partner up with. Follow them on Twitter and Pinterest to keep up with what they are doing.

To enter the HTHG and mysalontools.com shear giveaway, please ‘like’ HTHG and mysalontools on Facebook, and comment on this post, telling HTHG what you plan to do with your new shears:)

The winner of this giveaway will be announced on Saturday, July 28th.

Happy cutting!


Big girls+Short hair=Hot!

Who says that big girls can’t have short hair?  Not HTHG. This is such a huge and disappointing fallacy. To prove it, check out Fat girls+short hair=yes  a great blog by the fantastic big girl with short hair, Erin D.

Erin is a gorgeous and vivacious woman who looks great with short hair and wants to spread the hair love. I commend her for creating a place for big girls with awesome short hair cuts to share photos and style ideas.

Erin was one of my original Vain clients, who got hooked on my haircuts when I helped her find her natural curl. She went very short a while ago and came to me to shape her up to start growing out a couple months ago. Here is her post from that last cut. Check it out if you want to follow her grow-out process.

Today, she came in and brought her friend Abby, and I trimmed em up. Erin’s hair was needing some layering and texturizing to bring out her curl, and Abby was ready for a new look. She is a DIY haircutter which I just love, but every once in a while a DIY hair cut needs a professional shaping;)

Can I just say…..I think these women look marvelous. Have you ever let your body shape or image keep you from the perfect haircut? I can’t tell you how many times I hear ‘I’ll go short when I lose 10 pounds’

I have an idea. Go out on a limb and cut your hair short if you are a big girl. Then send Erin a photo for fat girls+short hair=yes and share your new look and sense of freedom with the world.

And if you need any short hair ideas or references, check out this post about choosing which short haircut is right for you.


Freshening your look with a modern bob

Here is Cheryl. She is a busy lady. She consults, builds, and optimizes web-sites (Cheryl Hanback Consulting) for nationwide non-profit organizations, as well as working with more local small businesses.

She enjoys the arts, food and culture with her husband in the Kansas City area. They also spend a lot of time working in the yard, gardening, maintaining their beautifull rural 10 acre property. They are grandparents to 2 adorable girls.


With all this to do, Cheryl does not have a lot of time or patience to mess with her hair. She has to be able to pull it back, and keep it out of her eyes. She needs something low-maintainance, professional, but still casual. Her hair is fine, pretty straight, and very thick.

We decided that a just-above-the-shoulder classic bob with a modern twist. This involves a simple basic haircut and just a little bit of fine detailing. Here is a little clip of what makes this bob more modern and chic



This technique removes weight from the ends of the hair, making this bob less of a “bell” shape, and more shaped around the face. It hugs the neck nicely, elongating both the neck and face. And, it preserves the length around the face so that she can both tuck it behind her ears, and get it into a ponytail as needed. This cut does not require styling, and grows out beautifully!

Do you want to try it? You can now purchase a more in depth how-to video of this look in the HTHG video store right now!. Try it on yourself or a lucky someone else. Don’t forget to send HTHG a before and after picture!


Don’t forget to subscribe to HTHG to keep up on all inspired DIY hair content. HTHG’s Facebook will keep you up on hair trends, tips, and tutorials from all my favorite stylists and bloggers so be sure to Like! Thanks for visiting. XO