How to Trim Bangs

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Find out how to trim your own bangs. Jonathan Storey // Getty Images

Bangs are so very awesome, but if they have one downside to them it's their upkeep. Whether you want blunt-cut bangs or romantic fringe, it's a great life skill to know how to trim your own bangs. I'm about to tell you how to do just that.

But first, a little tip for you bang-lovers: your stylist should offer to cut your bangs for free if you're a regular customer. This is great if you have the time for such things.

I don't. I'm not getting on the subway to ride into Manhattan for a bang trim every 4-6 weeks when I can do it myself at home in my bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.

All you need for DIY bang trims are seriously sharp, pointy scissors that are preferably professional. You can find pro scissors at beauty supply stores or on Amazon.com (who knew, right?). I recommend the Equinox Professional Barber Scissors, which get an average of 5 stars from a whopping 1,300-plus reviews on Amazon.com. And they aren't pricey. Buy them from Amazon.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Always start with dry hair. You never want to cut your bangs while wet because they'll shrink when dry and look too short. If you usually blow-dry your bangs, apply styling gel before drying. If you usually wash and wear, then let them air dry.
  2. Using a comb, precisely section off the hair you don't want to cut. Pull this hair back in a ponytail or pin it up with bobby pins. Only your bangs -- or soon to be bangs -- should be left loose.
  1. Divide your bangs in half using a styling comb. (Styling combs have baby-fine teeth like this one from Amazon). Pin one of the halves back with a bobby pin. Take the other half and comb bangs down with the comb teeth facing out. Rest the comb on your browbone. Don't cut your bangs any shorter than where the comb hits your face.
  1. Skip to step 5 if you have shaggy, face-framing bangs Start 'point-cutting' or snipping the hair at a 45-degree angle. Work slowly, doing a bit at a time. Never cut bangs straight across since it's impossible to keep a perfectly straight line.
  2. Important note If you have shaggy, face-framing bangs, skip the scissors and instead use a brand-new, disposable single-blade razor (double and triple blades will split hair). I recommend this barber razor from Amazon.com. Celeb stylist Chris McMillan swears in Allure magazine that razors work much better than scissors. To razor cut, pull bangs taut with your middle and index fingers. Slide fingers all the way down to end of hair and then razor cut the hair just above your fingers.
  3. Repeat 'point-cutting' on the other half.
  4. If your bangs are too dense, you can add layers. Simply take a portion of the bangs between 2 fingers and pull the hair vertically above your head. Slide your hand up towards the ends, letting some hair fall. Lower your fingers an inch down the hair section and point-cut or razor cut (a half-inch at most) above your fingers.
  5. If you have long, face-framing layers, check to make sure the length is even by pulling a piece of hair from either side of toward the center of your face -- they should be equidistant from the bridge of your nose, according to McMillan.

    Tips:

    1. You'll want to invest in a pair of sharp, high-quality scissors designed to cut hair. You can get these at beauty supply stores or on Amazon.com. Utility scissors that have been used to cut paper or cloth are too dull for cutting hair.
    2. If you have long, shaggy, face-framing bangs, use a razor instead of scissors to trim bangs. Scissors can slip and cut hair unevenly, while a razor is more exact.

    Now that you know how to trim your bangs, make sure you're blowdrying them correctly. See Are You Guilty of "Bubble Bangs?" Find Out The Right Way to Blow Dry Bangs.

    Also, find out what bang hairstyles best suit your face shape in Best Bangs by Face Shape.

    Galleries of bang hairstyles:

    • Gallery 1: A Round-up of Awesome Bangs
    • Gallery 2: Sideswept Bangs
    • Gallery 3: Blunt Bangs
    • Gallery 4: Fringe Bangs
    • Gallery 5: More Great Bangs