Cutting your own bangs is not for the timid. It takes patience, precision, and above all, the ability to know when to stop. If you recently got bangs, you’ll soon find those babies seem to grow faster than your regular hair. Before you know it, a hair curtain will have begun to cut off your vision. And while your salon will happily trim them for you, you may not have the time (or extra cash) to go in for a clean up every few weeks.
Now if you’ve never had bangs, I highly suggest going to the salon and having a professional cut them for you first so as to avoid a 911 hair emergency. I decided to give myself bangs when I was 18, ended up cutting them too thick, and spent the rest of my senior year in high school looking like a bad 80s music video. It wasn’t pretty.
However, if you had bangs, but they have since grown out into a side swept look, or even short layers, you can easily bring them back to life. Essentially, you follow a line that was originally created for you by your stylist.
Before you reach for those scissors and have at it, check out these instructions from Vernelle Murphy, owner of Salon V in NYC. You’ll find it’s surprisingly easy to cut your own bangs, as long as you follow this cardinal rule: you can always cut more, but you can’t cut less.
How to cut your own bangs
1. Get all your hair (except for your former bangs of course) up in a pony tail or clip.
2. Comb the to-be bangs super flat so you can get a sense of how they’ll lay. You may have to straighten them with a flat iron (or hair dryer and round brush) if they’re like mine and tend to bounce up.
Tip: Always always cut your bangs when your hair is dry, otherwise they may end up shorter than you’d like in the end.
3. Take a thin comb, put it under your bangs, and pull down to the spot on your forehead where you want them to end.
4. Hold the scissors vertically, and start making little cuts into your bangs below the comb line. Start in the middle and work your way out to the left corner. Then go back to the middle, and work your way right.
5. Trim the left side by doing the same thing that you did for the front, but this time hold the scissors at a 45 degree angle. You’re going for that graduated, fringe look on the sides.
6. Trim the right side just the same as the left (this may be a little trickier if your right-handed, so go slowly!)
Tip: stop and check your progress often, especially on the side that’s harder for you to cut. Make sure both sides are even by holding out various sections and checking their symmetry in the mirror.
7. Ruffle your new bangs a bit to make sure they’re falling the way you want them to — if not, repeat the steps for the area you want to clean up, but again, be conservative!
8. When you like the look of them, stop. You don’t want to fall into the trap of being over fussy, because you will end up cutting too much. Use a blush brush to brush off any errant hairs on your face.
You’re done! Now go show off that fringe!