Are you facing a Valentine’s Day without access to a hair salon this year? If so, you’re far from alone!
Normally, some 42% of women like to get a treatment or haircut before a first date, according to All Things Hair, but Covid-related restrictions are making that impossible for many. As such, this article will walk you through how to cut and style your own hair with confidence this Valentine’s Day. After all, whether you’re dating in person or virtually, isn’t it important to look your best?
How to cut your own hair
Before you even think about cutting your own hair, it’s time to buy a proper pair of hairdressing scissors. Their sharp blades will slice cleanly through your hair, rather than sawing at it and breaking it in the way that kitchen scissors will. You’ll also need a couple of mirrors and bright lighting so that you can see precisely what you are doing.
If you’ve never cut your hair before and are keen to look your best for Valentine’s Day, then start off slowly. Trim a little at a time – you can always make it shorter, but you can’t uncut it and make it longer again if you chop off too much!
It’s up to you whether you cut your hair wet or dry. Dry usually works better for curls and wet for straight hair. If cutting it wet, leave a bit more length than you want, as the hair will lift as it dries.
One of the easiest ways to cut straight hair is to tie it in sections with hair bands or hold it in sections with your hand. Cut one at a time, keeping an eye on the length of those you’ve already cut in order to ensure an even finish.
For curly hair, wait a couple of days after washing before trimming, so that the hair is settled into its natural position, then trim in distinct sections, as with straight hair – but take off even less length. It’s important that after every few snips, you give your hair a shake to see how it’s settling and ensure you’re trimming evenly.
If your hair is particularly thick, it might be helpful to clip up sections of it while you deal with others. If it’s finer, you should be fine to use bands or hold it in sections to trim.
How to achieve the perfect Valentine’s Day style
Of course, the perfect hairdo isn’t just about the cut. If you’re thinking of colouring your hair, you can do so easily at home in advance of your big Valentine’s Day date. You’ll need a decent packet of hair colour (two if you have long or very thick hair), a colour bowl and brush, some gloves, some Vaseline (or similar) to put around your hairline to discourage any drips and a shower cap to cover your head while the colour sets. Then, it’s just a case of following the packet’s instructions to the letter.
Remember to factor in doing a strand test the day before to ensure the colour is compatible with your hair. And keep in mind that it’s easiest to go up to three shades lighter or three shades darker than your current colour; anything more than that and it might be better to wait until you can next get to the salon.
Using a brush to apply the colour gives a more natural, even finish than simply squeezing the dye onto your head. You can also use a smaller brush (a toothbrush works well) to achieve a highlighted or lowlighted effect.
Valentine’s Day styling tips
With Valentine’s Day being the perfect excuse, why not treat yourself to some new styling products? Whether you want to smooth, volumize, protect your hair from heat, add shine, tame curls or anything else, there are products out there to help you.
Nor do those products have to cost a small fortune. Did you know that the majority of people spend under $40 on hair treatments before a date?
When it comes to achieving a particular look for Valentine’s Day, practice is the key. Whether you want box braids, curls, an elegant top knot bun or anything in between, it’s best not to leave it until the big day before you start styling. Doing so will only put unnecessary pressure on yourself. Instead, have fun with trying out different styles beforehand, not only to see how easy they are to achieve, but also how well they hold. After all, you don’t want your artfully arranged top knot bun to be sliding down towards one ear by halfway through dinner.
It’s the same with products. Invest in them with enough time to see how your hair responds before you rely on them for your big date. If a new product leaves your hair feeling weighted down or doesn’t tame your tresses in the way you had hoped, it’s important to realise that before Valentine’s Day and not on it. After all, finding that out at the last minute is hardly going to fill you with confidence, and that will come across during your date.
Remember too that achieving the perfect style can start long before you hop out of the shower. Have you experimented with pre-shampoo oil treatments and conditioning masks? Both can do much for the condition of your hair, helping to make it sleek and shiny, ready for your Valentine’s Day date.
Will your date be self-grooming too?
If you would normally hit the salon before a big date night, it’s understandable that the whole at-home, self-grooming experience might be creating a bit of tension. Would it help to know that your date is probably also feeling the pressure? According to All Things Hair’s research, 85.4% of women feel it is important that their date looks like they have spent time on their appearance. So your partner is no doubt feeling the pressure to look at their best as well!