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How to Cut Bangs at Home, According to Professional Hairstylists

So, you want to learn how to cut bangs. You’ve scoured the internet for all the reference photos, found the best bangs for your face shape, and now it’s time to DIY. But before you pick up the scissors, you’ll definitely want to read these guidelines first.

how to cut bangs

Vogue Arabia, December 2020. Photo: Sharif Hamza

Whether it’s a low-maintenance style like wispy bangs or something more trendy like curtain bangs, it’s no secret that fringe requires precision and upkeep. But don’t let these things intimidate you. According to professional hairstylists, cutting your own bangs can definitely be pulled off on your own.

“Totally, you can cut bangs at home” says John Frieda House of Frieda ambassador and celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko. “If you aren’t feeling that confident about it, maybe seek professional help, but if you are, then you can definitely do it yourself.”

If you’re a bangs newbie, hairstylist Jennifer Korab recommends getting your hair cut by a professional first. However, if you are unable to go in to the salon, it’s perfectly fine to try on your own. “If necessary you can cut your bangs at home,” she says. “I would recommend to start slowly, it’s better to cut less than to cut too much.”

Ready to get started? Ahead, everything you need to know on how to cut bangs.

Is it better to cut bangs wet or dry?

All hairstylists agree: Cut your bangs dry. Do not cut them wet, because water can create “shrinkage,” which will completely change the look of your bangs when dried.

“First, it is important for any kind of bangs to make sure you do not start with super wet hair,” says Polko. “If you cut your hair when it is wet, it will shrink up and you will get a much different look when you dry it.” Instead, Polko recommends blow drying hair before cutting, especially for wispy bangs and curtain bangs. “When it comes to bangs, every millimeter counts, and if you cut wet and then dry you will lose length and won’t be happy with the outcome. Especially if you have any texture to your hair.”

Korab agrees, adding that you’ll want to cut your hair in its natural state. You don’t wear your hair wet, so why would you cut them wet? “For cutting bangs at home, I recommend to cut them dry, this way you know where they will sit,” she says. “If you choose to cut them wet, keep in mind as the hair dries, it will shrink up.”

What scissors should I use to cut bangs?

Standard shears are best for cutting bangs. Ken Paves, brand ambassador of Hairdo, says you can easily find hair cutting scissors at any drug store or beauty supply store. “They are much sharper and have finer blades than office or kitchen shears so please be careful,” he says.

“Stay away from thinning shears; standard shears or hair cutting scissors are best when cutting bangs,” says Polko.

What is the easiest way to cut bangs?

The best method for cutting bangs depends on the kind of style you want. To start, you’ll want to determine how far back your bangs will be cut. Paves recommends putting a comb across the tip of your head, from back to front.

“Just in front of where the comb no longer touches your head is where your hair naturally falls forward and this is the furthest back your bangs will be cut (depending if you want full or wispy bangs,” he says. “But this is also the furthest point of the triangle parting which extends to your hairline—of the hair that naturally falls forward, try to avoid going deep into the hair that begins to fall down toward your sides or ears as cutting too deep will give you an acorn cap style.”

If you are experiencing hair loss, Polko recommends to start small and keep working back “little by little” until you are satisfied with placement. As a rule, Korab says bangs should be about two finger widths back from the hairline. “Give or take, depending on your face shape, and hair texture,” she adds.

Curtain bangs


Start with clean dry hair. “Section out your bags—make a small triangle section in the center,” says Korab. For curtain bangs, Polko says you’ll want to “cut a little shorter in the middle” and taper down on the sides as you work your way toward your ears for that curtain effect.

Determine the length in the center by allowing “just the center to fall naturally, then cut a one-inch section between and slightly below your brows,” says Paves. Part down the middle, then “pull one side of your triangle section across to the opposite side.” Cut straight across the pulled side and apply the same pulling method to the opposite side. Keep each side tucked or pinned back as you cut the opposite side or you might cut one side too short.

Wispy bangs


Start with clean dry hair. “Make a small triangle section at the front of your head—this will be your section for your wispy bangs,” says Korab. “Next choose your desired length and start point cutting to create wispy texture. Check that they frame your face and blend evenly to both sides.”

Blunt bangs

Photo: Getty

Blunt bangs are probably the simplest style to DIY, but you’ll have to go slow to ensure your hair falls evenly. “For blunt bangs, split bangs up into small sections and cut in sections straight across, lining it up with the forehead,” says Polko.

Paves recommends using a comb as a guide. “I freestyle blunt bangs well below the brow, either allowing them to fall naturally or holding in place with a comb or between your fingers,” he says. “Be very, very careful with sharp scissors near your eyes and skin. Go very slowly and don’t rush.”

How do I style bangs?

It depends on your style, but generally, you’ll want your bangs to sit correctly across your forehead. If you have cowlicks, Paves recommends using flat clips. “It will hold your bangs in place as you style and train them to lay nicely,” he says. “For thick or stubborn hair, I often style the bangs or fringe by blowing and then put a soft fabric headband on to hold in place.”

Polko uses a small round brush to blow them out. “I apply a little John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum to keep them smooth, to make them fall nicely and sit well,” she says.

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