In the past I’ve written on this blog about how I saw a Devacut curl specialist and that experience wasn’t great. I also shared how I saw a second Devacut curl specialist who had more experience with wavy hair, and that experience was really good.
I haven’t yet talked about do it yourself haircuts! For the first couple years that I was following the curly girl method, I cut my own hair using a dry curl cut, curl by curl technique. I wrote about this on my blog EmilyReviews, before this blog existed. I used that technique several times but I never documented it with much detail because I wasn’t regularly blogging about my hair back then.
As someone who is naturally somewhat frugal, I love the idea of being able to cut my own hair. While I did really like the second curl specialist that I saw, I don’t love the price tag of those haircuts, at around $140.
I had considered trying a regular wet cut at a regular salon, even though I had a series of awful haircuts basically my whole life prior to age 24 or so, when I started embracing my waves. I think the main reason why wet cuts didn’t go as planned for me much of my life was due to not realizing that my hair was wavy and not understanding what techniques would and wouldn’t work sell on my hair type. So I think I could get a successful wet cut now…but I decided to try a new (to me) type of do it yourself haircut, instead. The pigtail haircut that Manes By Mell has a tutorial on. I’ll embed that video below.
I wanted to try this haircut because it seemed quicker and easier than the way I used to cut my own wavy hair, curl by curl. I also liked the overall shape that she got once it was completed. I find that adding layers often helps my waves, but I don’t like really extreme layers like shag cuts provide.
As the tutorial teaches, I separated my bangs out and cut those to the length that I wanted, first.
Next I divided my hair in pig tails, placing the hairtie just behind my ear as suggested. I cut the ends to create most of my layers.
The third cut is done after letting the pigtails down but you keep them in two big sections. You turn your head over a shoulder, brush your hair in the opposite direction, and cut at an angle. This is to help create a U shape in the back rather than a V cut.
From there, Mell suggests styling your hair as usual and once your hair is dry, cut any pieces that seem out of place so that they flow better.
Challenges I Had With The Pigtail Cut On Wavy Hair
I found that after I styled my hair dry, I could tell there was one layer that was too big and bulky…but because it wasn’t a single curl clump that was out of place, I couldn’t tell at first what I should cut to make the overall haircut shape more cohesive.
On my second wash day after the haircut, I realized the back had a bit more of a V shape than I wanted. Basically, the section right in the enter in the back was significantly longer than the rest.
How I Solved My Problems With The Pigtails Haircut
In the past, when cutting my own hair and feeling like something wasn’t quite right, I would start cutting to try to fix it, and quickly wound up making things even worse. So, these days, I like to “sleep on it” before doing additional cuts. I want to make sure that any cuts I do are definitely what I want to do!
So, I waited a bit before trying to ‘fix’ the bulky area.
I had my boyfriend cut the longest piece to create more of a U shape in the back. I continued to have the bulky layer, though.
One day while brushing my hair before my shower (gasp! Yes, I dry-brush sometimes!) I found the solution to the problem. I found that when I was brushing my hair out, I could tell by looking at the tips of my hair where the ‘bulky’ layer was. When brushing, most of my hair was on a graduated incline in length, but there was one section that was all the same length rather than flowing along an angle with the rest of my hair.
So, the next time I trimmed my hair I got it wet again, used a long comb to find the edges of my hair, and then aligned the comb on an angle including the shorter layers and longer layers. The “bulky area” showed up as a thicker section of hair that was all one length. I trimmed all of the hair while at an angle, so that all the layer would be cohesive.
I repeated this on both sides of my head, and it got rid of the bulky layer, leaving all of my layers more even in size. I made a video of myself doing this haircut and fixing the bulky layers that I’ll embed in this post once I have it up, to help illustrate what I did.
Does the pigtails cut work on loosely wavy hair?
In my experience, it did work pretty well on loosely wavy hair! I had a couple of minor problems, but these were likely my own fault. I don’t think they were caused by my hair being loosely wavy rather than curly.
Is a Devacut or DIY pigtail cut better?
Because my devacuts were done by professionals, they were perfectly even. My DIY haircut wasn’t perfectly even, so in that sense, the Devacut was a bit better.
However, I am really happy with the results I got from the pigtails cut, and it was almost free. I did buy haircutting scissors because the ones I had were pretty old and had some rust on them, but the scissors I purchased were under $10. Compared to $140 for a Devacut. I don’t feel like the difference is enough to make me want to pay for a devacut in the future.
Sydney Haskell says
You did a good job of cut your own hair. It is really difficult to do. My husband cut my hair for me for two years during the pandemic and I cut his. Yikes! But now I got to my wavy haired stylist in town and she cuts it dry, puts a mist of water on it, scrunches and checks it for stray pieces and then uses curl cream and scrunches and lightly diffuses it. It is now in a short wavy Bob and I love it. It cost me $25 including the tip! I do live in a small rural mountain town in Colorado and if I drive 50 miles to Colorado Springs, I could get a regular wet cut for $75. I couldn’t find a Deva cut stylist. I have 2A very fine low density hair.
I have been having my husband cut my hair for me since shortly after we met, he has been doing for over ten years now. He does the full sectioning and lets my hair down in increments to trim each successive layer. When my hair was collar bone length, I had him do long layers, so I didn’t get the Christmas tree effect, now that it is past my elbows, I have him blunt cut my ends. He always cuts my hair dry, so he can see the split/damaged ends and remove them. The lady who taught him, emphasized sectioning so that you are cutting manageable amounts and you can see the guide of the previous increment. If you try to cut too much hair at once, the blades push the hair before it cuts, leaving it uneven. That is why when my best friend asked him if it would be faster to just put the hair in a ponytail and cut, he explained, not really because he would still have to go back and fix the mess it caused. So I cannot imagine how anyone who claims to know how to cut hair would tell you that you should put your hair in ponytails and cut it, unless they wanted you to screw up and have to go to a salon to get it fixed. Here is the method he uses. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tpw4B0Zk3m0
Emily Evert says
First, it’s so cool and sweet that your husband cuts your hair for you! Envisioning this just makes my heart smile.
Second, what you are saying about how hair in larger sections can bunch up unevenly makes a lot of sense. In the tutorials manes by mell does, she shows using a comb and fingers to create a straight line of hair at the end of the ponytail, so it isn’t bunched up. But, my hair is thicker/denser so I did have a hard time getting my hair to not bunch up when combed out. So perhaps that is part of why I had a bit of trouble. Maybe I should have broken the ponytails into four or something to get more reasonable sections for my hair thickness.