all hair types Should You Cut Your Hair Wet or Dry?

The long and short of haircutting techniques.

July 15, 2022
Cut Hair Wet Or Dry

There are a lot of factors that go into taking the plunge into a new haircut. Once you’ve found the perfect Pinterest trends inspo board, knowing how to get the look you’ve chosen is a different situation. While a trip to the stylist is the easiest way to get you there, you may opt to skip the salon chair if you trust your skills. 

If you plan to go the DIY route with your new ‘do, there are a few hair cutting tips you should brush up on before you do. You may have heard of dry cutting as an option versus the wet hair cutting technique most of us have become accustomed to. But you may be wondering which is better for you, and why do hairdressers cut hair wet in the first place? 

Below, we’re sharing everything you need to know about how to choose the right haircutting technique when you cut your hair at home.

Is It Better to Cut Your Hair Dry?

The actual difference between cutting hair wet or cutting hair dry isn’t as much about their technique, but more about the cut that they each produce. Your stylist likely knows the best hair cutting technique to achieve your desired ‘do, but being knowledgeable on the matter is never a bad thing — especially if you’re planning to tackle it at home. When deciding whether you should cut your hair wet or dry at home, there are three factors to take into consideration: your hair texture, the haircut you want and how you plan to style your hair.

If you have hair that’s on the coily end of the spectrum, your stylist would typically give you a dry haircut. This will let them easily work with the natural texture and pattern of your curls, cutting them in a way that defines their shape and enhances them. Similarly, if you’re aiming for an uneven cut, like an asymmetrical bob or a trendy shag, dry cutting will help you more accurately determine how to distribute the length and texture of your mane for a perfectly imperfect ‘do. 

Why Do Hairdressers Cut Hair Wet?

If you have thin or fine hair that’s on the straighter end of the spectrum, a wet haircut is likely ideal, which is why stylists may cut your hair wet when you go to the salon. When you’re cutting your hair at home just keep in mind that when your hair dries, the cut will end up a little shorter than when it was wet. 

Also, if you prefer the look of a straight-across cut (think a blunt bob or bangs), wet cutting will be the best option. This technique makes it easier to get the clean, precise haircut you crave. 

The way you plan to style your hair also plays a role in which hair cutting technique will help you reach your hair goals. If you’re a fan of sleek, straight hair, wet cutting will give you the precise look you’re going for. Since hair is stretched when wet, it’ll mimic more closely the appearance of straightened tresses. So when you’re cutting your own hair, you want to follow this general rule to get as close as possible to a gorgeous cut done by a professional.

Next: Is It Okay To Dye Your Hair While It’s Wet?

Edited by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn