How to trim your own bangs (if you must)

I know, I know…as a professional hair dresser I should NOT be encouraging this. But sometimes one finds oneself in a bind. With your once cute bangs becoming an impairment to your vision and an annoyance to your everyday life. You panic if you find yourself without a bobby pin. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

First of all, let me say that most salons will do complimentary bang trims in between cuts. This is obviously a better idea than cutting your own bangs. But what if you are snowed in (like today!) and have a bang trimming emergency? Have no fear, just follow these steps.

  • Wet or dry? It’s up to you. Cutting hair wet you get more control, but cutting hair dry might help prevent cutting too short. (Boy do I have stories about that…)


  • Gather your gear. You will need: scissors (NOT kitchen scissors please oh please!), clips and a comb. (not pictured: a mirror is probably a good idea too!)


  • Section.


Place a comb flat on top of your head. Where the comb starts to lift off the head in the front will be the point at which bangs should start. This is a general rule. Obviously if you want heavier bangs, gather more hair, and visa versa. IMG_6774

The width of your bangs should generally be from the end of each eyebrow. (For simplicity, we will do a triangular section. You can do rounded if you’d rather, but I think this is easier!) Now you have your section!

  • Clip hair out of the way. IMG_6779This step is tempting to skip. Don’t. All your hair wants to join the bang party, but those clips are the bouncers that will keep them out.


  • Cut section by section.IMG_6782

When I see a commercial with a woman grabbing a whole hunk of hair and chopping it, it makes me nervous. Start with a little section. That way you can determine the length. (Read: if you accidentally make the first section mental-patient-bang-short, you can bounce back!) Always err on the side of cutting too long!


  • For side swept bangs, cut the opposite way you wear them. IMG_6784This will keep you from getting that dreaded hunk of a bang on one side of your face. Let the scissors follow the angle of your fingers. In this picture, I would hypothetically be wearing my freshly cut bang on (my) right side. The hair on the left will be shorter, gradually getting longer toward the right.


  • For straight across bangs, pull to the center


This is if you want your bangs to be slightly longer on the edges. Typically, that is a good look for everybody. After you cut the first section, make sure the sides are the same length. Some combs even have a ruler on one side of them. Take plenty of time with the first section, and then just use that as a guide for all the other sections. There is nothing more frustrating than cutting your own bangs and then realizing one side is longer than the other (unless that’s what you are going for!).



If you don’t want the sides longer, try cutting them as pictured above. Make sure the comb is parallel to the ground and that your scissors follow!

These are just basic bangs, but I think it’s a good place to start! If you have any questions, please ask me!


5 Replies to “How to trim your own bangs (if you must)”

  1. I want to cut 8″ off my hair – just want something fresh but scared to do it. Shoulder length and may a bang.

    Miss you so much but happy that you are going to have an experience in life so amazing.

  2. First time without you at the salon. I cut 5 inches off my hair and it looks great ! So happy for your transition to NYC an hope you keep up with me. I am training people at site and need to look awesome which you always made me look. Hugs and love to you and your journey. Keep in touch. Peggy

    1. Peggy! That’s so exciting! Did you get bangs as well? That’s awesome you are training people. I miss you!

  3. Hey Brittany Jo! I have a hair question…
    I really adore center-parted bangs (ie. Alexa Chung), but I have a dreadful cowlick on the right side of my forehead. Is there anything I can do to get rid of it, or am I pretty stuck? Thank you (:

    1. Knee Deep in Lovely says: Reply

      Hey Hailey! I’m a sucker for those kind of bangs too!! Some things with a cowlick- you can still have bangs! I had a coworker who had one on EACH side, she still got straight-across bangs, she just had to style them (or pin them back) every day. By blowing them with a dryer back and forth across your forehead (Think of that forehead like and ironing board smoothing out the cowlick). Also you might consider a heavier bang. If you pull a little more hair to join the bang party, it may help to cover the cowlick. Make sure you warn whoever is cutting them that it jumps up, so they don’t cut them too short!!

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