Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
There are times when we just can’t make it to the salon. For those in-between moments, it’s easy and convenient to simply cut our own hair—but should we? The answer is yes, “but make sure you have a plan,” says Amy Abramite, Creative Director, Salon Educator and Stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. Watch haircut tutorials to help familiarize yourself with various techniques and equip yourself with all the necessary tools and accessories. “Like duckbills clips and a comb,” she adds.
After you’ve prepped, it’s time to dive in. “Start with dry hair,” says Abramite, “It’ll give you a better idea of where hair will lay after its cut.” The next step is time-consuming but essential to prevent mishaps. Carefully section out and isolate the parts of your hair that you want to cut. Take small sections and work slowly. “Smaller sections give you the best opportunity for balanced and symmetrical results in your style,” Abramite says. When choosing the right shears, start out with five-inch blades: “The smaller the blades, the smaller the margin of error,” Abramite adds.
Ready for your DIY cut? Below, find the best professional hair cutting shears out there.
Best Overall: Fromm Explore 5.75 Inch Shears
These shears from Fromm—a brand that’s created high-quality shears for over a hundred years—are made of polished mirror silver and features beveled edges, so they’re long-lasting and nick resistant.
Best Budget: Diane Tulip 5¾ Shear
Just take a look at the reviews for these shears and you’ll quickly realize they’re a solid choice. Reviewers echo the same sentiments: These shears are lightweight, precise, and easy on the wallet. Plus, a few users even note that it worked well on thick, curly hair.
Best for Beginners: DIYBeautyCo Professional Hair Cutting Scissor
If you’re starting to experiment with a simple trim, these easy-to-maneuver shears deserve a spot on your vanity. The 5.5-inch blade is the perfect length to handle as you move through sections of your hair, and because they’re stainless steel, they can snip through the hair’s cuticle with ease.
Best Drugstore: Goody Stainless Steel Scissors Hair Trimming Scissors 6.6 Inches
Don’t let the price fool you—these are a sturdy pair of scissors. Reviewers prefer it for its ability to give you a smooth, strong cut whether you want to chip off dead ends or trim your sideburns.
Best Adjustable: Equinox International Professional Razor Edge Series
Featuring an adjustment screw, these shears allow you to quickly change the tension setting to your liking. These scissors arrive coated with oil to ensure the blades are fresh, so remember to wash with soap and water before use.
Best Thinner: Fromm Explore 5.75'' 28-Tooth Thinner
Hair thinning shears are ideal for removing weight, not necessarily length. These sharp blades cut through the first time and don’t leave your hair looking choppy.
Best Ergonomic: ULG Hair Cutting Scissors
Hand cramping, be gone. The ergonomic shape of these scissors allows the user to move around and snip without holding excess tension in their fingers. Plus, reviewers liked how secure and comfortable the grip felt.
Best Kit: Sirabe 10 Piece Hair Cutting Scissors Set
Ready to go pro? This all-in-one kit features everything you could need for the ultimate DIY cut at home. It includes shears, thinning scissors, clips, and more—all in a convenient, zippered pouch.
Before you start, think about the look you want to emulate. “If you’re a beginner, I suggest starting with a bang trim or trimming existing face-framing layers,” says Abramite. “Both will give you lots of mileage while you wait to see your stylist, especially since most people notice the hair around your face.”