The Easiest-Ever Guide to Trimming Your Own Bangs Like a Pro
There's no need to visit the salon in between cuts. These expert tips will make it easy to learn how to cut bangs at home—without messing up.
You’ve heard this one before: Don’t try this at home—especially when it comes cutting your own hair. But when brow-skimming bangs turn into a full-on curtain over your eyes, something must be done. Now, we’re not advocating cutting bangs for the first time ever if you don’t have them. That is a job for a professional. “Once you have bangs initially cut by a pro, then you can maintain them yourself because the shape is there,” says hairstylist and bang cutting guru, Mylo Carrion at the Rita Hazan Salon in NYC. “I recommend coming in for a bang trim every three weeks, but because many of my clients live outside Manhattan, I show them how to cut bangs at home.” So if you can’t make it into the salon every few weeks for a trim, we give you permission to DIY.
Before starting to cut your own bangs, gather your supplies: You’re going to need a comb, a couple large hair clips, and a pair of sharp, pointed stainless steel scissors that are about 6.5 inches long. “The craft scissors that your kids cut paper with aren’t going to cut it, literally, and neither are tiny cuticles scissors,” says Carrion. (You can get a good, inexpensive pair online or at a drugstore.)
Give yourself 30 minutes for your mini haircut, so you can work calmly and carefully. “It’s never a good idea to trim your bangs in a rush right before you need to race out of the house,” Carrion says.
Dry and Style Your Bangs First.
Since wet hair shrinks up when it dries, you could end up with bangs that are way too short. Blow-dry and style your fringe the way that you usually wear it, whether that’s swept off to one side or straight down. “The shape of your bangs and the lines that were initially cut will be a strong guideline to follow as you trim,” explains Carrion. Now, separate the bang section and clip the rest of your hair away from your face and out of the way of your scissors. “Because most bangs are a little longer on each side, and since these edges aren’t covering your eyes, just clip them out of the way too,” he adds.
Get Your Bangs Ready.
Smooth the fringe in place with your comb, positioned the way you usually style it. Put the comb down, and place the bang section between the middle and index fingers of your non-dominant hand. Slide your fingers down to your eyebrows and rest them there to hold the bangs in place. (Don’t pull the hair down tight, since that could result in too-short bangs.) “I always use my fingers as a visual guide when I cut hair, and they’re a lot easier to work with than juggling a comb in one hand and scissors in the other. The width of your fingers also protects your face from the pointy scissors.”
Cut the Length.
Hold the scissors horizontally in the opposite hand and trim the hairs hanging underneath your fingers. Cut these as if you were cutting a piece of paper, in two or three snips. “To be on the safe side, always trim less than you think,” Carrion advises, “usually no more than a quarter of an inch, keeping the bangs just below the brow.” If your bangs are angled slightly to one side, then hold your fingers at that angle, resting them at brow level. “Again, use your fingers as a guide and cut the hairs beneath that line at that angle.”
Chip Into the Ends to Soften the Line.
Now that you’ve got the length where you want it, grasp the fringe section again with your two fingers and, holding the scissors vertically, cut tiny V-shapes into the ends all the way across. (Don’t go overboard, just nip those tips the tiniest bit!) “This gives bangs a little bit of texture,” explains Carrion,” and it softens the line if bangs aren’t trimmed perfectly straight.”