I’ve interviewed enough beauty experts over the past few years to learn a handful of tried and true do’s and don’ts—for example: don’t pop your pimples, do wear sunscreen daily, don’t bleach your hair at-home…the list goes on. But cutting your bangs at home? That’s where a divide occurs, because it truly depends on who you ask.
However, I get that a busy lifestyle doesn’t always lend itself to bi-weekly appointments—most stylists and salons do offer complimentary bang trims between cuts—which means playing at-home hairdresser happens to the best of us. Like a toddler standing in front of a Jackson Pollock—how hard could it be? To that end, I spoke to two celeb hairstylists on the right way to trim your own bangs.
Invest in the Proper Tools
First things first, your need to step your tool game up. Sadly, those miscellaneous kitchen scissors ain’t it. So what’s the most basic toolkit? TRESemmé celebrity stylist John D. recommends a pair of stylist scissors, a comb, a clip or two and a blow dryer (more on that later).
Apart from the scissors, the comb is the second most tool. “If the teeth are too wide, it won’t allow for a natural fall pattern,” explains celebrity hairstylist Anna Jackson of BOSS HAIR GROUP in Chicago. “If the teeth are too close, hairs will group together allowing for bigger mistakes if too much is cut.”
Always, Always Cut Dry Hair
Unless you’re going for uneven, bangs should always be trimmed dry. “Wet hair stretches and expands and you run the risk of cutting them too short,” shares Jackson. “When the hair is dry, it’s positioned in its natural state, which allows for the trim to look the least disrupted.”
And, Your Hairs Natural State…
If you always wear your hair straight, then it’s imperative to straighten prior to cutting. But, if you always wear your hair curly, then cut your bangs when your hair is dry and curly. “Cut them exactly how you wear them,” adds Jackson. “This will avoid surprises and any ooooops moments.”
Another excellent and unexpected tip? It’s always good to apply a small amount of product pre-shears. “A lightweight product for hold keeps all hair in place. After cutting, you can use a lightweight spray, texture paste or lightweight oil to style your newly trimmed bangs.”
Consider Your Face Shape
Long faces generally look best with full bangs or side-swept deep parts. “This creates an interesting look to offset the visual of having ‘too much face,’” explains Jackson. “Without bangs, a long face with long hair will only appear to be dragged down and lifeless”
On the other hand, round face shapes tend to look good with a long fringe, a textured bang. “This will soften up the look as opposed to a harsh blunt bang, which can accentuate roundness.” Finally, petite faces typically look great in micro bangs, whether blunt or textured, a la Michelle Williams.
Have a Game Plan
Some things you can wing—your Seamless order at a new restaurant—others simply require real preparation. John D breaks down four key steps to ensure your fringe stays on fleek, even at home.
Step One: Using a comb, section out the front. Then, create a triangular section in the center. “The peak of the triangle should be where your head begins to naturally start to round forward,” explains John D. “The base corners of the triangle should be just above the arches of the eyebrows.”
Step Two: Next, gather the triangular section, combing forward and out. “Hold bangs straight out, kind of like a visor. Position fingers where you want to trim,” he adds.
Step Three: Now, slightly arch the bang section up so the line you’re cutting along faces slightly upwards. Then it’s snip time. “I suggest using a point cutting technique to create a softer effect,” he explains. (Point cutting is…exactly what it sounds like: Using the tips, or the points of the scissors held vertically, rather than the axis.)
“You can cut it all in one swoop, straight across, but you will have a more severe bang line. A straight cut makes a hard line. And, point-cutting makes a softer more diffused finish.”
Step Four: Time for the big reveal! Let bangs drop down and see how you did.“This is also a good opportunity to refine any rogue pieces that you may have missed,” adds John.
Cut with Caution
Now is the time we’ll state the obvious: if you cut your hair too short there’s no magic fix to get that old thang back. If you get too overzealous, look into investing into a hair piece (think clip-ins bangs), hair vitamins, or the fail-safe hat trick. Fact: Hair always grows back.
On the positive side, Jackson feels like there is no “ideal length” for bangs, since the style isn’t one-size-fits-all. Need some more bang inspo? Here are five top notch tutorials to help you to the next step with scissors in tow:
Super Simple, Bang Trimming Tutorial
Cutting (and Styling) Wavy Bangs Tutorial
Bang Cutting Tutorial on Natural Hair
Wispy Bangs Tutorials
Sleek Bangs Paired Wig Bobbed Wig Tutorial
Remember, at the end of the day how you rock, style and wear your bangs is an expression of self. “Sometimes we want long, grown out looking bangs, and sometime the shortest most blunt micro bangs,” explains John D. “It’s really in the way you own your cut. That’s the best shape for your face with a fringe!”