2023 Guide: How to Cut Short Layers Yourself at Home

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how to cut short layers yourself

1. Necessary Tools and Supplies for Cutting Short Layers Yourself

When cutting short layers at home, it’s important to have the right tools and supplies on hand to ensure a successful haircut. Here are some essential items you’ll need:

Professional Hair Cutting Scissors

Investing in a good pair of professional hair cutting scissors is crucial for achieving clean and precise cuts. These scissors are specifically designed for cutting hair and have sharp blades that make the process easier.


A wide-toothed comb is essential for parting and sectioning your hair during the cutting process. It helps in creating clean lines and even sections, making it easier to cut the layers evenly.

Hair Clips or Hair Ties

To keep your hair organized and out of the way while you cut, it’s helpful to have hair clips or hair ties to secure different sections. This will prevent any accidental snipping of hair that you don’t intend to cut.


A mirror is necessary so you can see all angles of your head while cutting your short layers. Make sure you have a large enough mirror that allows you to see both the front and back of your head.

List of necessary tools:

  • Professional Hair Cutting Scissors
  • Wide-toothed Comb
  • Hair Clips or Hair Ties
  • Mirror

Having these tools and supplies ready before starting will ensure that you have everything you need for a successful DIY haircut.

2. Determining the Desired Length for Your Short Layers

Prior to cutting short layers, it’s important to determine the desired length you want to achieve. This will help guide your cutting process and ensure that you achieve the look you desire. Here are some tips for determining the desired length:

Research and Inspiration

Start by researching different short layer styles and finding inspiration from magazines, online tutorials, or even celebrity looks. This will give you an idea of what length and style you prefer.

Consider Your Hair Type and Texture

Your hair type and texture can influence how short layers will look on you. For example, if you have thick hair, shorter layers may add more volume and movement. If you have fine hair, longer layers may be more suitable to avoid thinning out your hair too much.

Consult with a Professional (Optional)

If you’re unsure about the length or style of your short layers, consider consulting with a professional hairstylist. They can provide guidance based on your face shape, hair type, and personal preferences.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can determine the desired length for your short layers before starting the cutting process.

3. Techniques and Methods for Cutting Short Layers at Home

3.1 Razor Cutting

Razor cutting is a popular technique for creating short layers at home. To achieve this look, you will need a razor comb or a straight razor. Start by sectioning your hair into small sections and hold each section taut. Then, gently glide the razor comb or straight razor down the hair shaft, removing a small amount of hair with each stroke. This technique creates soft, textured layers that blend seamlessly.

Another method for cutting short layers at home is point cutting. This technique involves holding the scissors vertically and making small, upward cuts into the ends of the hair. Point cutting adds texture and movement to the layers, resulting in a more natural-looking finish.

Tips for Razor Cutting:

  • Always use sharp blades to avoid damaging your hair.
  • Start with small sections of hair to ensure precision.
  • Practice on a mannequin head or take a class before attempting this technique on your own hair.

Tips for Point Cutting:

  • Hold the scissors at an angle to create softer edges.
  • Avoid cutting too much off at once; it’s better to make multiple small cuts than one large one.
  • Work slowly and carefully to achieve the desired result.

4. Step-by-Step Instructions for Sectioning and Parting Your Hair for Cutting Short Layers

To ensure even and balanced short layers, proper sectioning and parting of your hair is crucial. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

4.1 Sectioning Your Hair

  1. Dampen your hair slightly to make it easier to work with.
  2. Using a comb, create a center part from the front of your hairline to the nape of your neck.
  3. Divide each side into two equal sections by parting horizontally from ear to ear.
  4. Secure each section with hair clips or elastics to keep them separate while you work.

4.2 Parting Your Hair for Short Layers

  1. Starting with one side, unclip the top section and comb it forward over your face.
  2. Create a vertical part about an inch away from the center part, extending from the front of your hairline to the back.
  3. Clip the rest of the hair out of the way.
  4. Repeat this process on the other side, ensuring that both parts are symmetrical and even.

By following these steps, you will have clearly defined sections and parts that will make cutting short layers much easier and more precise.

5. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Short Layers Yourself

Using Dull Scissors

One common mistake when cutting short layers at home is using dull scissors. Dull scissors can result in uneven and jagged cuts, making it difficult to achieve a clean and professional-looking hairstyle. It is important to invest in a sharp pair of haircutting scissors specifically designed for cutting hair. This will ensure that you have clean and precise cuts, giving your short layers a polished finish.

Skipping Proper Sectioning

Another mistake to avoid is skipping proper sectioning when cutting short layers yourself. Sectioning your hair allows for better control and accuracy while cutting. Start by dividing your hair into smaller sections using clips or hair ties. This will help you focus on one section at a time, ensuring that each layer is cut evenly on both sides of your head.


  • Invest in a sharp pair of haircutting scissors.
  • Use clips or hair ties to divide your hair into sections before cutting.
  • Take your time and be patient while cutting to avoid mistakes.

6. Ensuring Even and Balanced Layers on Both Sides of Your Hair

To achieve even and balanced layers on both sides of your hair when cutting short layers at home, it is crucial to follow a systematic approach.

Create a Guide Section

To ensure symmetry, start by creating a guide section at the back of your head. This section will serve as a reference point for the rest of the haircut. Use a comb to part your hair down the middle, from the crown of your head to the nape of your neck. Secure one side with a clip or hair tie, and focus on cutting the layers on the other side first.

Work in Small Sections

Working in small sections will help you maintain control and precision. Take thin horizontal sections of hair, comb them straight, and hold them between your fingers. Use your guide section as a reference point to determine the length of each layer. Cut the hair at an angle, starting from the desired length and gradually blending it into the longer layers.


  • Create a guide section for symmetry.
  • Work in small sections for better control.
  • Use your fingers as a guide while cutting.

7. Special Considerations and Tips for Different Hair Textures when Cutting Short Layers at Home

Fine Hair

If you have fine hair, it is important to be cautious when cutting short layers at home. Fine hair tends to show imperfections more easily, so precision is key. Opt for longer layers to add volume and avoid over-layering, which can make your hair appear thinner. Additionally, consider using texturizing products to enhance body and create movement in your hairstyle.

Curly Hair

Cutting short layers on curly hair requires extra care to maintain the natural shape and bounce of your curls. It is recommended to cut curly hair when it is dry since wet curls tend to shrink when dried. Work with smaller sections and use a technique called “twist and snip” to create defined layers without disrupting the curl pattern. Avoid using thinning shears or razors as they can cause frizz.


  • Be precise when cutting fine hair.
  • Opt for longer layers to add volume to fine hair.
  • Cut curly hair when it is dry to maintain the natural shape.
  • Use the “twist and snip” technique for cutting curly hair.

8. Styling and Finishing the Look after Cutting Short Layers

Once you have successfully cut your short layers at home, styling and finishing the look can elevate your hairstyle even further.

Add Texture with Styling Products

To enhance the texture of your short layers, consider using styling products such as texturizing sprays or sea salt sprays. These products can add volume, definition, and hold to your layers, giving them a more dynamic and stylish appearance. Apply the product sparingly to avoid weighing down your hair or making it appear greasy.

Create Soft Waves or Curls

To add movement and dimension to your short layers, try creating soft waves or curls using a curling iron or hot rollers. Wrap small sections of hair around the barrel of the curling iron or hot roller, holding for a few seconds before releasing. Once all sections are curled, gently tousle your hair with your fingers to create loose waves. Finish with a light-hold hairspray to set the style in place.


  • Use texturizing sprays or sea salt sprays for added texture.
  • Create soft waves or curls using a curling iron or hot rollers.
  • Gently tousle your hair with fingers for a natural-looking finish.

9. Alternative Methods or Tools for Cutting Short Layers without Professional Scissors

If you don’t have access to professional haircutting scissors, there are alternative methods and tools you can use to cut short layers at home.

Sharp Craft Scissors

If you have sharp craft scissors with fine blades, they can be used as an alternative to haircutting scissors. However, exercise caution as craft scissors may not provide the same level of precision and control as professional scissors. Use them only if you don’t have any other options available.

Thinning Shears

Thinning shears can be used to create texture and remove bulk from your hair without cutting off length. They work by removing some of the hair strands while leaving others intact. This can help soften the appearance of your short layers and add movement to your hairstyle. However, it is important to use thinning shears sparingly and carefully to avoid creating uneven or choppy layers.


  • Use sharp craft scissors as an alternative if needed.
  • Be cautious when using thinning shears to avoid uneven layers.
  • Consider seeking professional help if unsure about using alternative tools.

10. Recommended Online Tutorials and Resources for Cutting Short Layers at Home

If you prefer visual guidance or want additional tips and techniques for cutting short layers at home, there are several online tutorials and resources available that can assist you in achieving your desired hairstyle.

YouTube Channels:

  • Haircut Tutorial by TheSalonGuy
  • DIY Haircut Tutorial by Brad Mondo
  • Cutting Short Layers at Home by Luxy Hair


  • www.haircuttingtutorial.com
  • www.hairstyling101.com
  • www.beautylish.com


  • Watch multiple tutorials to gather different techniques and advice.
  • Read articles and forums for additional tips and insights.
  • Practice on mannequin heads or seek assistance from a friend or family member before attempting to cut your own hair.

In conclusion, by following the step-by-step instructions provided in the article on how to cut short layers yourself, individuals can confidently achieve a stylish and professional-looking haircut at home.

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