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Credit: Lara Marie Hair

Vancouver stylist Lara Marie gives pro tips for successful snips

You’ve read the DIY blogs. You’ve watched the YouTube disasters. Now it’s time to make the cut. For all the brave souls taking scissors into their own hands during this difficult time, independent senior stylist and Blanche Macdonald Hair graduate Lara Marie offers some advice. Here are the dos and don’ts of navigating an at-home haircut. 

DO use the best tools that are available to you

Whether those are kitchen scissors or the classic Quo shears from Shoppers Drug Mart, Marie advises using the highest-quality instruments you have access to. “Dull or janky tools can create unwanted damage,” she ways. A fine-tooth comb is also key.

DO start with clean hair

Wash your hair, and blow-dry your bangs—Marie says you can let the rest air-dry if you like. She suggests blow-drying them right after towel-drying, because letting the various cowlicks or funny spots in your hairline set can create imbalance. “Blow-dry your bangs back and forth along your forehead, using your fingers for tension and aiming at the roots to create the best natural fall,” she says.

DO start slow and steady

Cutting your own hair is kind of like baking: if it’s not quite done, you can keep at it, but once you’ve burnt your cookies (or butchered your bangs) you can’t go back. Take your time—we know you have it. Technique-wise, Marie advises trimming the hair straight across, trying your best to cut in an upward fashion. “But if this isn’t your first rodeo, and you love a blunt bang, live your best life,” she says. “Who knows—maybe you’ll discover your bang-trimming artistry in quarantine.”

DON’T cut your bangs for the sake of controlling something

“My hope is that those trimming their bangs are doing so out of necessity to maintain them,” Marie says. If you’re just looking for a way to take charge of an uncertain situation, maybe a brand-new hairstyle isn’t the way to go. Ask your friends (or, if you’re really brave, parents) what they think about your potential new look. At the same time, it’s your hair, and it will grow back. Marie puts it best: “You do you, boo!”

DON’T cut with dirty hair that has been slept on

The just-woke-up look is great for your morning coffee, OK for a last-minute Zoom meeting, but bad news for haircuts. If you don’t style your hair before you cut it, the results won’t be the same after that first shower. “I can say with certainty that it will sit differently once it’s been washed and dried again,” Marie says, “and probably not in a cute way.”

DON’T get crazy with your sectioning

“Try to go for a triangle section, roughly two inches from your hairline, parted in the centre—or wherever you usually wear your hair, if you have a certain style,” Marie says. “Start trimming in the centre of your section, and match the hair on either side for best balance, using your centre as your guide.”

What to do if things go wrong

“First, call me,” Marie says. “We’ll have a laugh, we’ll have a cry, we’ll get through it together!” Don’t keep cutting, and know when to stop when things have gone sideways. If you do have a mishap, Marie suggests getting real crafty with ’90s hair-clip trends, Pinterest French braid tutorials à la Lauren Conrad 2004—or a good hat.

Here’s a quick video!

For more of Lara Marie’s work, check out her website or her Instagram at @laramariehair.