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Cutting your own bangs

Updated on March 8, 2011
Long fringe bang after cut, and hanging straight down.
Long fringe bang after cut, and hanging straight down.
Fringe cut but held in place still.
Fringe cut but held in place still.

As a hairstylist for over 10 years I've seen many odd hair mistakes walk into the salon. One of the most common things that people never seem to learn is cutting their own bangs. Some people do eventually figure it out, others give up and there are some who never seem to do either and have perpetually bad bangs that they are always trying to grow out.

So here are a few tips for cutting your own bangs (because no matter what your stylist says, your going to try it anyway). First thing - always cut them dry. Your stylist may cut your hair wet but that doesn't mean it's the best thing for you to do. When wet hair dries it shrinks. So if you cut your bangs to the length you want when they're wet, well guess what, you now have baby bangs. Don't they look cute??

Therefore - dry bang cutting only. Another major thing - sharp scissors. Your kids paper scissors or the kitchen drawer scissors are not going to do the job. Most likely you'll get frustrated and end up giving up or have a frizzy mess at the end. Find a pair of sewing scissors or something similar.

Ok, so you have your scissors and your standing in front of the mirror. Now what? Well, to make things easier pull the rest of your hair back into a ponytail or with a headband. Just keep it out of the way some how so you don't accidentally cut too much. Oh, and your going to need a comb as well.

So, now comes the tricky part, the actual cutting. Since everyones bang preference is a bit different I'm going to go over the basic type first, then go on to side bangs and such. The basic bangs are straight across, typically just above or on the eyebrow. To accomplish this comb your bangs straight down first. Place the comb on the counter and pick up a section of the bangs between your first two fingers of your none-scissor hand. Your want to have some tension on the hair but not too much, remember, you don't want baby bangs and hair does have some stretch to it. Slide your fingers done the hair to the bridge of your nose (this will likely be a bit long but it depends on how much 'spring' your hair has and it's better to be safe then sorry). Once you have the right spot pull the hair away from your face a bit so you can see what you're doing. Next, cut into the hair with the tip of the scissors. I suggest this type of cut rather than the straight across because you don't have to worry so much about having a straight line. So point the scissors towards the fingers hold the hair and make lots of little snips. The smaller the snips the more heavy a line you'll have, the larger snips will create a more 'shattered' or chunky line.

Rinse and repeat? almost .. simply repeat this process with the same section of bang until you have the length you desire. Once you have that established go ahead and finish the rest of your bangs by taking a bit of the cut section with the uncut piece of bang to give yourself a guide.

Onto the side swept bangs. This type of bang is cut in almost the same fashion. First, style your bangs like you normally do, for example, if you flat iron them or blow dry with a round brush. Next section out the shortest piece of your bangs. Pull this piece down but also to the side a bit to help create the angle. Cut into the ends with the tip of the scissors, and remember, give yourself some breathing room. If they're too long you can always cut them again, but you can't do anything if they're too short. Next, skip the center piece of bang and go to the long end piece. Pull this one down along the side of your face and decide how short you want it, remember to give yourself a little extra and cut up into the ends. With these two pieces done you can tilt your head to the side and forward to let your bangs fall free. Make sure you have a tilt, this will help keep the right angle to your bangs. Pinch the ends between your fingers and cut into them to match up the cut pieces of the bangs. Now straighten up and shake your head slightly to see how the're falling. You can easily adjust them a bit if needed. Also, don't forget about the other side to your bangs, usually this is just a small piece of hair that can be cut to match the longest piece of your bangs.

Fringe bangs are more tricky but the results can be amazing. The reason I say this is more tricky is because the 'wack it off' approach often works best. Here's the way it works. For this to be effective I would suggest that the bangs be damp instead of dry which already makes it a bit more risky. Next you need to comb the whole bang section over to one side of the head, and I do mean OVER. The hair should be across the bang section on the head, not across the forehead. Pick the shortest part that you want your bangs to sit at. I would suggest something around cheekbone level to start and expect this piece to actually bounce up about an inch from where you actually cut it. Next choose your finger or cutting angle. This will be cut in one motion, not the snipping into the ends but the wack it off in one straight cut. So you have to choose the angle you need. Starting from the piece of hair that is shortest and next to your other hair, the angle to think about is towards your face. If you want the fringe to be longer then angle it down towards your chin; a shorter, sharper fringe can have a more horizontal cut. Once your ready, go ahead and cut. Afterwards shake your head to see how the bangs are laying. I suggest cutting everything on the long side at first to see the results before going for a finished look. Comb all the hair back over and adjust the length and angle to be more what you want.

I hope I have been able to explain everything in a manner that's easy to understand. The pictures attached to this article are ones of the fringe bangs as I have described. If you are at all nervous cutting your own bangs, get your stylist to do them. But if you're feeling adventurous I hope I've helped you keep your style.


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    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from the Ether

      love it..finally a decent hairstylit on hubpages! thanks for sharing! voted up and useful. :)

    • youmeget profile image

      youmeget 7 years ago

      Yes you have. Thanks for sharing.