Trimming Your Own Bangs

by April Reinhardt
(last updated March 7, 2016)

The first time I trimmed my own bangs, I cried. After dousing my head under the bathtub faucet, I combed my bangs flat against my forehead, grabbed my sister's craft scissors, and cut straight across, to two inches above my eyebrows. While drying my hair with my blow dryer, I was horrified to realize that hair shrinks as it dries. Instead of creating soft, full bangs, I looked worse than Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. At least his bangs touched his eyebrows. Gazing at my reflection through my tears, I wondered if using Mom's Dippity-do could glue some of the cut hair back into place. It wasn't a good look for an eighth-grader starting her first day of classes in a new school.

Fortunately, I've since learned the proper technique for trimming my own bangs, and that it doesn't have to be a life-altering event when done properly. First, you need to have the proper equipment:

  • Invest in a pair of professional hair shearers. Using craft or paper scissors will not lend an exact cut, especially if your hair is thick or especially thin. Some stylists also recommend using a blade over shearers. If you prefer wispy, face-framing bangs, use a brand new, single-blade disposable razor.
  • Buy an inexpensive water mister for slightly wetting your bangs. While there is some argument amongst hairdressers as to whether bangs should be trimmed wet or dry, you can have the mister handy just in case you decide that trimming your bangs should involve a certain amount of moisture. Stylists do agree that your bangs should not be saturated with water, however. When using water, a small amount is sufficient.
  • Use a fine-toothed comb. Never use a brush.
  • Use hair bands, bobby pins, or hair clips to hold any hair out of the way that you don't want to cut.

Whether you decide to trim your bangs wet or dry, using shearers or a razor, there are a few simple steps to follow when trimming your bangs:

  1. If you decide that you need a little moisture for greater control while trimming, spritz your bangs using your water mister.
  2. Put your hair into a pony tail if you have long hair.
  3. Use your comb to section your existing bangs from the rest of your hair, and then pin back the hair that you don't want to cut.
  4. Decide the length of your bangs before trimming. If you want them just below your eyebrows when finished, hold your hair at the bridge of your nose.
  5. With only your bangs left loose, part a 1-inch wide section of hair, comb it straight down, hold the hair section down with your comb, then snip at the hair section in spurts at a 45-degree angle. Never trim straight across.
  6. Repeat step number five until you finish trimming your entire bangs.

The most important thing to remember when trimming your own bangs is that hair does shrink as it dries. If you opt to trim your bangs while they are wet, trim no more than ¼-inch at a time. You can always cut more if you decide that your bangs still too long, but you can't put it back once you've trimmed too much.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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