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How to Cut Hair: A simple girl’s bob

Since open hair salons are in limited supply (and since not everyone can/wants to go, even if they are open!), I thought a refresh of this post might be helpful. Bang-trimming tips included at the end of the post!

How to cut a simple girl's bob at home

I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I’d cut Sonia’s hair, and several of you reminded me that I never have posted about how I do that.

How to cut a girl's bob at home

I am no professional hairstylist, to be sure, but this method works for me.

All I use are some hair clips and a pair of Tweezerman shears that are less than $30 (at the time of this writing).

I know it’s tempting to use cheaper shears, but one pair will pay for itself in a hot minute, and they’re so much easier to use than junky shears.


I start with a wet head of hair, because that makes things way simpler for me, especially if the kid in question has wavy hair.

And I part the hair down the middle, even if a side part is the end goal.

(If I cut it with a side part, then we have to be really precise about where we part the hair after the haircut, or there will be weird long pieces hanging down on one side.)

how to cut a bob haircut at home

Next, I clip up the top half of the hair, all the way around.

hair pinned up for home bob haircut

You don’t have to be super neat with this. You’re just trying to get some of the hair out of the way because it’s much easier to cut thinner layers of hair.

Decide how much hair you want to cut off, grab a section of hair, and using your fingers as a guide, snip off the desired amount.

using fingers as a guide for home haircut
Now you’ll have a section of short hair, and you can use that as your guide as you work around the head.

using fingers as a guide for home haircut

Once you’ve made it all the way around, you might want to check and make sure you didn’t start erring on the longer or shorter side as you made your way ’round. If you did, you can correct your mistake now, before you cut the rest of the hair.

If all is well, then let down the top layer.

Sonia in the middle of a home bob haircut

Now you can use the bottom layer of hair as a guide for cutting the top layer.

And once you’ve worked your way around again, you should be done!

Sonia's finished at home bob haircut

You may see some hairs that you missed later on, but the lovely thing about DIY haircuts is that you’ve got the tools to fix any mistakes you see.

A couple of random tips:

  • When my kids were little, to keep them still, I set up shop in the living room in front of cartoons. Another option is to slowly feed them some sort of food that is a treat.
  • Thicker hair is harder to cut than thin hair. If you’re dealing with a thick head of hair, you may need to divide the hair into three or four layers. Or you can do like me and eventually decide it’s worth it to pay $15 twice a year to have someone else cut the thick hair!
  • You get better at this with practice, so don’t give up if you make some mistakes the first go-round.
  • Gently wavy hair is pretty forgiving because uneven ends aren’t very obvious. So, if you’ve got a choice, try out your skills on a wavy-haired kid instead of a kid with perfectly straight hair.
  • Don’t forget that hair gets shorter when it dries, especially if it’s at all wavy. Err on the long side, because after all, you can always cut more off, but you can’t add length!
  • I use my hair scissors to trim my bangs, which means I can seriously stretch my time between haircuts. If you’ve got bangs that need trimming, a pair of scissors is totally worth buying.

Let me know if you’ve got more questions. And if you happen to be the sort who’s great at cutting hair, feel free to add helpful tips in the comments.

P.S. Some of you asked for bang-trimming tips. A few:

-Err on the side of caution with length
-Use the original line of your bang cut as your guide
-Be careful not to catch your non-bang hair in the scissors. Pin it back carefully before you start!
-For a slightly layered look, hold the scissors vertically as you cut, rather than horizontally. Make small snips with the scissors pointed up until the hair is the length you desire.


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Sunday 28th of February 2021

I would love to know how to decide what size shears to get... I think the link you posted was for 1/2" shears, but when I look up what size to buy it varies between 4 or 5 inches... So I am a little lost on what size to buy! During quarantine I bought the Wahl clipper set and it's been a game changer for me cutting my partners hair. I am not realizing that I get the same haircut every time I go in and I think it would be SO easy for him to do mine. I like the classic bob, I think it accents my undercut very well.

So, what are you guys's go to clippers for longer women's hair? I would love some suggestions!


Thursday 16th of July 2020

My husband usually gets a buzzcut and I have been wanting to do the same for some time now, except a little longer than his. I was injured in January and so my last professional cut was in December of 2019. By the middle of June it was really looking shaggy. We decided to invest in a Wahl clipper set and it was so worth it. We watched YouTube videos and I buzzed his hair first. Then two weeks later he did mine. His was cut to 1/2 inch on top, we left mine at 1 inch, and faded both of ours on the sides and in the back. Both cuts came out so good we doubt we will ever go back to a barber or salon again. I really love the freedom of super short hair, no more hair dryer and just a teeny dab of gel holds my cowlick in place.


Wednesday 15th of July 2020

I cut my husband’s hair, my hair and my small children’s hair (1 boy, 1 girl, and 1 baby). I had a few bad haircuts so I decided to tackle my own years ago and haven’t looked back. I have thick curly hair so if it’s not perfect you can’t tell. For layers on me and my daughter, I pull a length of hair out sideways from the head and cut straight up/down. Works like a charm and a necessity for our thick hair!


Wednesday 15th of July 2020

It is funny that those who have been concerned with saving money doing haircuts at home are now the experts of sorts. The tips you shared are great, but there are a lot of great Youtube videos that walk you through the process. What has worked for us is having the right tools and supplies to do the haircuts properly. We invested in good quality Wahl clippers, hair capes, hair clips, combs and high quality hair shears. We started giving my two boys, now teens, their haircuts when they were quite young. They get their haircuts every three weeks, so my husband has given hundreds of haircuts to them and he has gotten quite good with all that experience, plus the $$$ we save each year. It takes him less time to do both haircuts, then the time to drive one way to a barbershop. I get my hair trimmed every 2-3 months and he does the sectioning and trims it layer by layer as it is very thick. Both of my boys have very thick hair and my husband watched Youtube videos on clippers over the comb cutting as it he says it is easier to blend the different lengths for a more polished look. The salons were closed by us for a while, but we continued to get haircuts on our regular schedule. I did have a couple friends visit last month, and the topic of the salons being closed came up as my one friend mentioned her frustration with her overgrown pixie. Well she noticed my boys had good looking haircuts and to make a long story short, both of my friends got haircuts on the deck. My best friend got a trim on her long hair, the other got her short summer pixie cut with clippers to tide her over until her salon reopened, basically the same haircut as my older son. Neither one would’ve trusted their husbands to cut their hair, as they had never done it before.


Tuesday 14th of July 2020

I have a short, curly layered cut, which fortunately got cut way too short sometime last February (I was not happy at the time, but it turned out to be my saving grace). The last few months I've been hacking at it with my sewing scissors because nobody in the family would try. My bangs are no problem (I don't like them straight across in the first place) but the back was a disaster because my curls tend to grow out hair at weird angles and I can't stand it when tufts are sticking out sideways. So I just hacked it with the scissors until I couldn't see it peeking around my neck any more, under the theory that the only people who were going to see me besides family were on Zoom and that's face forward. I'm sure it looked awful back there.

Fortunately, California opened up to hairdressers (with masks and many restrictions) a few weeks ago and I got a real haircut Friday, because they are closing to hairdressers again tomorrow. Just in time! I was threatening to cut my husband's hair, but he got in last week, too.

My 19 year old daughter has slightly wavy long hair she wanted to get cut, and I feel brave enough to try it with these instructions but I'm not sure she'll let me near her with scissors. Fortunately, she will look fine even with several more inches of hair growth. Me, not so much.


Tuesday 14th of July 2020

Wow, you had very good timing for a haircut!

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