Bangs are a vampy, sultry look — until your fringe gets too long, covers your eyes, and leaves you walking with your chin up just so you can see the sidewalk. It might be emotionally exhausting to think about picking up your phone, calling the salon, and scheduling a pricey appointment just to keep your bangs in check. (We're all flaky people who hate planning ahead, it's OK.) While there is another solution, it might be just as anxiety-inducing, especially if you're a cup-a-day coffee drinker whose hands are prone to shaking. That's right, you can bust out the scissors yourself. Terrified? Don't be. We enlisted two top hairstylists to tell us how it's done.
Do the Prepwork
It's important that you cut your bangs while your hair is dry. Why? "Your hair is longer when it's wet," said Nicole Leal, the director of education for LA's Nine Zero One Salon. "If you don't wait until your hair is dry, you could overdo it and cut off too much."
While you should only ever use hair scissors on your precious bangs (put down the pair you use for wrapping paper!), you don't have to splurge. "Any scissors you get from a beauty supply store will do," Leal said. "They don't have to be expensive. Just make sure you get a pair that's meant for hair." (If you need any inspiration, Tweezerman sells $15 sheers.)
Cut Right to It
"Don't take off more than half an inch of hair to start"
According to Leal, "It's easiest to cut a piece-y curtain bang." Start by taking the middle, shorter section of your bangs in your hand, then pulling the ends all together. Chris Naselli, a celebrity hairstylist and owner of NYC's Naselli & Co, said to point cut the ends of this section, which means snip it all with your scissors facing up. This works to give your ends some texture. You should hold the tip of your tools at about a 45-degree angle away from your face to avoid any eye-poking horror stories. (Sorry we had to give you that image.)
If you like a more blunt bang, hold a fine-tooth comb such as this Conair option ($6) right under your fringe to guide your scissors. Hold your scissors horizontally to keep the ends uniform.
With either option, remember to go slowly, and don't take off too much. "You can always cut more later," Neal said. "Don't take off more than half an inch of hair to start."
Cross-Check Your Work
While you may be satisfied after you finish, you should double check. So immediately after you stop cutting, jump in the shower, shampoo, condition, then give yourself a blowout. Once you're done, give your new bangs another once-over. You might notice that after styling, your fringe doesn't look like you did after you cut it — perhaps the hair is curling underneath itself, or looking uneven. "The hair will adjust to the cut once you style it," Leal explained. "It's almost like it knows it's been cut, so it changes. In that case, take the scissors back out, and start again. Be patient — we promise the end result (and brownie points you get for DIY-ing things) will be worth it.