Skip the Salon: DIY Haircut for a Long Layered Hairstyle

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Save money when you skip the salon and do a DIY haircut for long hair at home!

I’ve done all sorts of crazy things in order to save money. My most recent? A DIY haircut for a long layered hairstyle.

I have cut Peter’s hair since we were first married. Using lots of pictures and the best set of clippers ever, I have successfully managed several easy mens haircuts for him including mohawks, faux hawks, and crew cuts.

When it comes to my hair, though, it’s a sad story. My last professional haircut was the big post-wedding chop (almost 2 1/2 years ago!) and it got cut all the way up to my chin. It wasn’t really the best look for me. Chin-length hair makes my face look too round.

Pregnancy made my hair grow very long very quickly, and now that my sweet babe is 15 months and running everywhere but oh-so-attached to Mommy, I can’t go anywhere for a fresh hairstyle without him clinging to me or wailing in the backroad.

Hardly relaxing.

But my hair was getting super long and starting to dread itself into one big circular super-attractive nest on the back of my head no matter how many times I brushed it, so it was time to do something about it.

I decided to save $25 and a guaranteed stressful event and attempt a DIY haircut for long hair.

This technique is super easy, but doesn’t take off much length. Luckily I had noticeably layered hair and Peter was able to cut the length off at the longest layer. After the total length was where I wanted it, here are the steps:

DIY Haircut for Long Hair

  1. Bend over and gather all hair *over* your head and tie it together with a ponytail holder (think about making a ponytail over the top of your head and in front of your face instead of behind it).
  2. Adjust the ponytail holder to the about 2 inches above the ends of the hair and made your cut just underneath.
  3. Release the holder and flip your hair back over your head.
  4. Done!

I did this with a standard pair of scissors and a ponytail holder. You can also use a pair of clippers to buzz off the hair instead of cut it. This will probably be faster and result in a “cleaner” cut on the hair (my scissors are pretty dull).

It took 5 minutes, I could keep Tristan happy, and it was free! The final result was a long layered hairstyle that looked professional, but without the price tag. I’ll be doing this once every six weeks or so, whenever I need a touchup. If it gets too long, I can just move the ponytail holder higher up on my hair (if I’m doing it myself) or have Peter cut it higher again. The cutting process will help resolve any unevenness that might happen.

how to cut your hair at home with layers


Related: Why I ditched my yoga pants

It really is very empowering to be able to do things ourselves at home. In case you’re keeping track, so far I’ve made our toothpaste, baked our bagels, birthed a baby, and now added cutting my own hair. It all started as a way to save money but it’s morphed into this lifestyle of self-sufficiency and a more natural, wholistic mindset that resonates with my soul at a deep level. I can’t imagine living a life on any other path.

The one thing I haven’t been able to do successfully is make my own shampoo. Thankfully, Brandless has me covered with an amazing shampoo for just $3 – without all the nasty chemicals of most commercial shampoos! Get your first two items free when you use this link!

Looking for more ways to save? Be sure to join my email list to receive my 25 ways to save list! This list isn’t just “use  coupons at the grocery store” simple ideas. These are intense, actionable ways to save real money and make a big difference in your budget.

Thanks for sharing!


  1. Cheryl

    March 28, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Agreed DIY at home is much easier. My husband trims mine every 6-8 to keep the ends even and remove splits or damage. The full sectioning, pinning up and trimming each layer. No ponytail chop. I have grown out my layers as they left my braids looking scraggly. Mine is to my elbows, and looks great. I work with small children, so a French braid compares function of keeping my hair back and looking professional on the job.

    1. Mrs. Crunchy

      March 29, 2016 at 1:58 am

      Wow, that’s great!! kudos to your husband for the legit haircut!

  2. Joanna

    February 3, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Wow I’ve never heard of that technique! I’m not that brave – but yours looks great! I have a TON of hair so I feel like it somehow wouldn’t work for me, as most things, when I try it with my hair it just marches to a different drummer! Lol

  3. Nina Walker

    February 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

    Nice advice i can really use

  4. Rebekah

    January 17, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    I did this today!!! It was fun and should get me through to the next time we have a budget for a haircut 🙂

    1. Mrs. Crunchy

      January 22, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Awesome!!! It’s SO EASY, that’s my favorite part!

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