DH does his own hair, and our two boys' hair. He uses clippers. When he was in the military, he spent about $10 every two to three weeks maintaining his haircut, and he got tired of spending the money, especially since he didn't like the shaved-off look he often got at the barber shop. So he invested in a good pair of hair clippers and learned how to do it himself. I think he does a better job than some professional barbers! When he was in Afghanistan, he was the unit's designated barber, and he even cut the Colonel's hair!
When we lived in Germany, I couldn't find a hairdresser I liked, so I cut my own hair. (I have very curly hair, so any mistakes were easily hidden.) Here's what I did--I trimmed my bangs, then part my hair down the middle all the way, and put each half on either side of my chest going down the front. I cut them from there, so I could make sure they were even across. When I put my hair back to its "regular" psoition, there was always a piece in the middle that wasn't quite level. I'd pick that piece up with some of the better-cut hair, and cut the long piece to the same length as the better cut.
I've never tried layering my hair. I'm scared I'd mess up BAD.