Hair stylists usually beg you not to trim your own bangs. Since you can’t go to a hair stylist or barber right now, here’s a guide to help prevent bang trimming trauma.

Note: you can always cut more off, so take it easy.

Pick out your sharpest pair of scissors. A small pair of scissors from a sewing or first-aid kit may be sharper than your kitchen scissors.

You’ll need a comb, spray bottle, clips or bobby pins, a towel and hair dryer.

Sit or stand in front of a mirror with good lighting. Place a towel around your neck with the ends covering your chest. Or wear an old t-shirt that you will throw in the wash afterwards.

If you wear glasses, keep them on for this part. Looking at your dry bangs, determine how much you want to cut off. Use your finger as a guide. Perhaps plan on cutting off half of a full finger-width to start. Note the curve, straightness or angle of your bangs. You’re going to duplicate it. Take a picture as a reminder.

Wet your bangs and the sides of the front of your hair. Cutting dry is fine, too.

Comb all of your hair back on the sides. Be sure your sideburns don’t get included in your bangs. Clip each section back on the side.

Comb your bangs onto your forehead. Clip the rest of the top of your hair, going back to the crown of your head. Hairs longer than your bangs shouldn’t be included. Your bangs should be damp, not sticking to your forehead. Use your towel to blot as needed. Re-comb your bangs if needed so they lay loosely.

Section two-thirds of the thickness of your bangs and clip them back. Comb the remaining third down onto your forehead.

With your non-scissors holding hand, pick up a small section of hair (¼ to a ½ inch) in what would be the middle of the arch or at the top of the angled bang. Hold the hair firmly in your fingers but don’t pull it tightly.

Next, hold your scissors in a vertical or horizontal position and give your first section a snip of about half of what you think you need. Check the reaction of the hair. Remember it will bounce up shorter when it’s dry. If it looks like it isn’t short enough, give it another small snip until it looks right.

Next, continue with the first snip as your guide and take small snips to the left side of the bang: straight, angled or arched. Return to the middle, using that first snip as your guide, continue to the right side of the bang. If you have an angled bang, start at the top and move your way to the bottom.

Take down the second third of the bang and repeat. Finish by bringing down the last section and repeating.

If it looks like the length is good, dry your hair and see how it looks. Repeat steps if the length is too long.

If your bangs look too blunt, add some layers.

Starting at the center or highest point, use your comb to create a 1-inch section of the bang. Comb this section out from your head and use two fingers of the non-scissors holding hand to hold the hair at an angle parallel to the slope of your forehead with the longest part of the hair hidden in between your fingers so that you won’t cut the length. Repeat this in 1 inch sections to the left, then middle, followed by the right.

If bangs are blunt on the bottom: you can take tiny snips of 1/8 inch at the bottom at 1-inch or wider intervals.

If bangs are still heavy looking, clip two-thirds of the bang out of the way and then carefully snip tiny amounts of hair, no further than halfway up the length of the bang. Bring down the next third of the bang and repeat. Do not do this on the top section of the bangs.

Caitlin Saraniero owns Panache Hair & Nail Lounge in Astoria and has been a hair stylist and colorist for 30 years.

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(1) comment

Sophia Bogle

Great tips! Is it any different for curly hair?

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