HEY! HI! Read This Before You Trim Your Own Bangs, K?
Photo: The Cut

Case in point: Convincing yourself you need bangs after drinking all your quarantine wine and scrolling through TikTok for five hours.

For real, though, if you’re considering cutting your own bangs and you have zero experience, you should probs take a second to think things over.

Like, do you actually want bangs or are you just really effing bored? If it’s the former, and you really, truly can’t wait to see a hairstylist, then you better pay attention. Because, yes, you can learn how to cut your own bangs—you just need the right tools, tons of patience, and an easy-to-follow tutorial.

Gather your supplies

First things first: You can’t cut your own bangs without a pair of shears. Nope, sry, no exceptions (even if your kitchen scissors are reaaaallly good). If you want an even, sharp cut (and why wouldn’t you?), hold off on your DIY project until you can order a good pair. Japonesque Classic Barber Shears and Conair Cararra Marble Shears are both solid—and affordable—options.

Oh, and while you’re at it, you’ll also want to order some alligator clips (to help you section off your bangs before you cut) and a fine-tooth comb (to help you get a super-precise part).

Prep your hair

PSA: Always cut your bangs 100 percent dry. “When hair is wet, it stretches, so if you’re cutting your bangs when they’re wet, you’ll probably end up cutting them too short—and you won’t realize it until they’re dry," says Meri Kate O’Connor, colorist at Tabb & Sparks in Santa Monica. You heard her! Cutting your hair while it’s completely dry is the easiest way to set yourself up for success.

Better yet, go ahead and style your hair exactly how you usually wear it before you grab your shears—that way you have an accurate idea of how your bangs will hang if your hair is naturally wavy or curly. For the record, O’Connor suggests you always see a professional if you’re cutting bangs for the first time, cites Cosmopolitan.

Practice your technique

You know when your hairstylist finishes off your cut by snipping your ends vertically? Yeah, that’s called a point cut—and it’s the best technique for cutting bangs with tons of texture. “It helps create texture and softens the line, so if you do cut an uneven line, you won’t be able to see it as much as you would with a straight-across cut,” says O’Connor.

Use Proper Scissors

If you can’t wait to trim your bangs, make sure you find a pair of sharp, fine-tipped scissors. "I'd recommend ordering a new pair of hair scissors, ones with a very sharp, thin tip," says Arrunategui.

If you're looking to make do with what you have around the house, Isabel Azocar, a stylist out of Ian McCabe Studio in Washington D.C., recommends grooming scissors. "In a pinch, you could use brow scissors, beard-trimming scissors, or even the tiny cuticle scissors that come in manicure kits," Azocar says. "The smaller the blades, the smaller the likelihood of error. Whatever you do, don't use a pair of kitchen or office sheers."

Cut On Dry Hair With No Tension

"Wet hair trends to shrink up when it dries," explains Arrunategui. "So if you cut your hair when it's damp, you'll likely end up with a shorter result than you intended once it's all dry. For that reason, it's best to cut dry hair using little or no tension, so you don't accidentally take off more than you mean to."

Casanova agrees and also recommends blowing out your bangs with a hairdryer beforehand, if that's how you normally style them. Again, this lowers the risk of surprises in the end.

Work In Small Sections

Once you have your sharp scissors and dry, styled fringe, pull the rest of your hair back and gather all of your bangs together. "You want to section your bangs horizontally in half — clipping the top half up with a barrette or bobby pin — then start by trimming the bottom layer," Azocar recommends. "You'll want to start cutting in the middle, starting at your part, and slowly work your way outwards to each side. Once you've trimmed the bottom layer, let the top section down, comb it all together, and use the under layer as a guide."

Make sure you take your time and only dust your ends. You can always cut more by repeating this process, so remove only the smallest amount of hair to start.

Cut Into The Hair, Not Across It

The best technique for bang-trimming is called point cutting, which involves cutting into the hair as opposed to slicing straight across. "Point cutting is when you hold the scissors vertically and cut into the bangs," explains Azocar. "It allows you to barely chip away at the split ends and avoid any harsh lines."

Keep in mind that since you're using sharp scissors you might not be familiar with, it's very easy to cut yourself (or an eyebrow), so be very careful. Arrunategui agrees, adding one final note: "Work in micro movements, and keep in mind, less is more," he says. "Or actually, maybe don’t cut your own bangs.", according to refinery29.

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