Is it better to cut your hair wet or dry?

just the tips

To decide whether you should cut your hair while it’s dry or wet, you should consider why you’re looking to trim your hair, the type of cut you want, and your hair type.

  • You should cut your hair while it’s wet, if you want precise straight or diagonal lines if you have straight hair.
  • You should also trim curly hair when it’s wet because it’s easier to cut layers or reduce the volume.
  • But if what you’re looking for is to trim straight bangs, you should do it with dry hair, because you’ll be able to better achieve the desired length.
  • And if you’re going to straighten your hair, it’s also recommendable to cut it dry to be able to make all the sections of your hair match


 As you can see, stylists decide to cut hair while it’s wet or dry, depending on the desired look you’re trying to achieve with your hair. 


A few days ago, I helped two friends who had come to the salon looking for different things.

Camila wanted a straightening treatment, and Veronica was hoping to change her look by going from a long cut to a short bob.


While one of my assistants worked on Camila’s straightening treatment, I started on Veronica’s hair. After looking at some images of the cut she was looking for, I washed her hair and started to cut it.

I saw that with the first scissor cut, Veronica closed her eyes instinctively, as if she wanted to protect herself from something.


Haircuts always cause a certain anxiety for clients, as much confidence as they have in the stylist with the scissors in hand.

At that moment I realized that I needed to reassure her, after all the trip to the hair salon shouldn’t be an ordeal. And I could tell that she was suffering.


 She was afraid that by cutting her hair while it was wet, the style would be shorter than she wanted when it dried. 

I explained to her that the short bob cut requires wet hair because it gives me more control to be able to cut all the sections the same length.


When I finished with the cut, and I dried her hair, her face lit up. It really was the cut she was hoping for, and she was more than satisfied.

Her fear that her hair would be shorter than she wanted after drying it dissipated immediately.

Now, in Camila’s case, I cut her hair as it was because it was already dry after having done the straightening treatment.

Do you know why?


Because in this case, she wasn’t looking for a different style, she just wanted to even out some parts that stood out and looked bad when her hair was flat.

As you can see, stylists make the decision to cut hair wet or dry, always accounting for what the client is looking for.

With that in mind, now I will let you know:

  • Which cuts should be done with wet hair
  • When it’s better to cut hair dry


Tabla de Contenidos


Which cuts are better done with wet hair

As I mentioned at the beginning, the majority of hair cuts are done wet. And this is because the hair is more malleable when it’s wet.


  • When your hair is wet, the water adds weight to the capillary fiber, and thanks to this, it’s easier to tell whether the length is even, the layers are symmetrical or if the uneven cuts are at the same length

And most importantly, wet hair allows for a more precise cut, especially in straight hair in which the details are very defined.

Now, what about curly hair?


  • You should also get your curls wet before cutting them, because the weight makes the curls straighten, and this allows you to cut exactly the amount of hair you want.

So, once your hair drys, it will curl again and the length will be exactly as the stylist was wanting.

If you have curly hair, I recommend that you go to a stylist to get it cut, because you need to be very experienced with scissors to be able to take out layers of hair if you’re looking to reduce the volume.


  • Which styles need wet hair for the cut to look good?

The long bob and the short bob, like Veronica’s cut, require wetting the hair before cutting it.

It’s the same for layers, shags, symmetrical bobs, long hair, and pixie cuts.


 If you’re going to the salon for one of these cuts and your stylist doesn’t get your hair wet, don’t let them do the cut. Beyond the aesthetics, it also affects your hair health. 

Because when you do any of these cuts with dry hair, the scissors can tear your capillary fiber and make your hair fine, and that way it’s more likely to break.

Also, the cut could come out looking bad.

There are some specific situations where hair should be cut when it’s dry. And that I’ll let you know next.


Cases when it’s better to cut hair dry

As I was saying before, cutting hair dry is a decision that stylists make when they’re dealing with two specific cases.


  • Cutting dry hair to make sure bangs are just the right length

To precisely cut the length of bangs, it’s better when the hair is dry.

Imagine for a minute that you have straight bangs and you want to cut them because they’re falling into your eyes.

What happens if you cut them while they’re wet?


It’s most likely that when it dries, it will be shorter than you want. And with bangs, a centimeter can be the difference between heaven and hell.

And if it’s too short, there’s no way to fix it.


 To avoid this problem, which can be a catastrophe, you should leave the front part of your hair dry, and then start to cut, removing a little bit each time until you have the ideal length. 

This is the safest way to not make mistakes and to not totally ruin your bangs.

The second scenario when you want to cut hair dry is when you want to even out the length after a straightening treatment.


  • Cutting hair dry to even out the length after a straightening treatment

It’s most likely that after a straightening treatment, you’ll see that some sections of your hair are longer than others.

It might be because before the straightening treatment your hair wasn’t even, as a result of previous haircuts, like layers or a shag.

The straightening treatment makes your hair even and smooth, and for that reason, you can see small details.

If you get your hair cut after the treatment, that is, when it’s already dry, you can fix the parts that are uneven, and you can shape them as you want, whether it’s straight, pointed or rounded.


Do you remember that before I explained that if you cut your hair dry you damage your capillary fibers?

How do you protect hair in case you have to cut it when it’s dry?

The same way as professional stylists. You should apply some drops of oil, to make sure the scissors don’t damage the capillary fibers.



As you can see, to cut your hair it’s also necessary to understand some important issues to avoid damaging it.

For some specific cuts, it’s best that your hair is wet when you’re cutting it.

And to even out hair after a straightening treatment, or to cut straight, even bangs, it’s always better when it’s dry.

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