A Bang Up Job: How I Cut My Own Bangs

Who knew posting one little picture on instagram with Clara would start a tell-me-more-about-the-bangs frenzy? You guys are a curious bunch, demanding a post about my hair. Haha. There were even conspiracy theories that they weren’t real and I was pulling a Kim K on you guys by flipping my ponytail and faking them. Hilarious! But they are in fact real. Can’t say the same thing about my chest (just kidding). I just got off the sofa on Saturday afternoon, walked into the bathroom and cut them, came back out and sat on the sofa, and waited for John and Clara to notice. They seemed not to mind them (in fact John said they made me look “young and hot” so I’ll take it) and they do very conveniently cover my forehead wrinkles. So… score!

Because I cut them in the bathroom mirror all by myself, they’re definitely not perfect, but they seem to pass as actual bangs in real life, as opposed to looking like a child who took the kitchen scissors to her head. And since many (many) of you guys demanded a tutorial, here she blows.

I guess we should call this the sister post to the how-I-cut-John’s-hair post that I shared here. It’s pretty straightforward so quite honestly the most awkward part was getting these photos taken. Gah, I’m terrible at posing for John. So it went something like this:

John: click, click, click, “Do you need anything else?”

Me: “Ahh, this is stupid. Nevermind! We’re done.”

John: “What? I only took three photos? You sure?”

Me: “Ok, what about one like this? Ahh, too close. Back up! back up! Maybe we need to buy a lens to make my face artfully blurry.”

John: “Um… ok. So we’re done?”

As for the actual tutorial, it goes like this:

All I did was pull the hair in front that I thought should be bangs (which made a soft curved shape at the crown) forward and then I pulled the rest of my hair back into a ponytail to keep it out of the way. My hair might look ambiguously wet/dry in the picture above, but it’s fully dry.

Which leads us to step 2…

I looked up a few pictures on google of people with blunt bangs just to notice where they stopped. The ones I liked most sort of grazed the eyelashes (good thing I looked since my first instinct would have been to cut them above my eyebrows- eeks!). Then I cut them dry while looking in the mirror with the part of hair that I sectioned out just flopping in front of my face. Cutting them dry is key for me since wet hair can look heavier and longer and then dry and shrink up, thereby ruining your life. Well, that’s a little dramatic, but it can definitely pull a fast one on you, so dry hair seems to work best for ending up with bangs at the actual intended length.

Then I dipped my head into the sink to get my bangs all wet and used a blow-dryer to blow them dry in front of my face. This was helpful because after I dried them a few long stragglers stuck out and I snipped them straight across for a more blunt look. I have a ridiculous cowlick, so I’m trying not to be a crazy about how they fall. Although in this instagram picture there was a funny comb-over effect going on since a few from the other side of my head danced over to that side (hence those few guesses that this was a bang hoax I guess, haha).

Thanks to the aforementioned cowlick, sometimes I pull them apart like this. Just if it’s humid and they’re being wonky. Sorry about this bad self portrait, I was past the point of embarrassment after posing for John, seeing the pictures he took, deleting them in horror, and telling him to back out of the room slowly while whispering “it’s not your fault this is just so awkwaaaard.”

I can still pin them all back with two tiny bobby pins and rock my regular old pony (which I did last night for the Austin signing since it was crazy rainy and my hair + humidity = Frizz-fest 2013). So I guess I get three looks from this little snip-fest: 1) blunt bangs, 2)parted bangs, and 3) no bangs at all thanks to Mrs Bobby and her friend Pins.

Anyway, I hope this quick little tutorial helps someone out there save some money on a bang trim or something. Or just gives you all a good laugh at how uncomfortable capturing these photos actually was for me. It might sound crazy but I’m used to taking pictures of the house, not my mug. So it took me right back to high school yearbook photos and I was all clammy and weird about it. Seriously I didn’t know where to look, how to smile, it was a mess. Anyone else tackling some DIY haircuts at home? Or rocking some freshly shorn bangs? Tell $herdog all about it.


  1. Erin says

    I love your bangs I was curious when I saw the instagram. I commend your bravery. I haven’t tried bangs…curly hair…seems like trouble. But every now and then I cut all my long hair off just to mix it up. Well I go to a professional not that brave. Did you give the John and Clara any warning?!? any hints?
    ps I don’t believe you had any wrinkles to hide.

  2. Amanda D says

    You look super cute with bangs! I’ve had bangs for a few years now, and am actually trying to grow mine back out. It’s an annoying process and almost every day I want to cut them back off again- but I’ve managed to control myself so far. :)

  3. Christie says

    LOVE the bangs! I think you should name them Josie. It just seems fitting.

    Also, you totally look like Amanda Peete’s celebrity doppleganger. (So excited to finally have a reason to use the term doppleganger.) :-)

  4. Laura C says

    Nice! I’ve been cutting my own hair for about 5 years, now, but my hair is super-short, so it’s really easy (one-finger length all the way around). Definitely a huge $$ saver, too – at my length, I need a haircut at least every 4 weeks and each haircut was about $80 including tips (damn NYC prices)…that’s a lot of cash!!

  5. Crystal says

    Oh my goodness, I can totally relate!! Anytime someone asks me to take a picture of a new haircut I have or a new piece of clothing/ jewelry and it requires my husband to take the pictures, it is the most awkward event in the world. I want to look all cute and everything, but feel so incredibly stupid posing for him…which seems ridiculous since we are married, been together for 10 years and have a baby!! He snaps a few quick shots and hands the camera over and says “we good?”…I inevitably look at the shots, am completely horrified, delete them, tell him we are done and then proceed to try again snapping self portraits in the mirror. So pathetic…he always tells me he will take more and try to get it but at that point I am so over the whole situation! haha I am glad I am not the only one that goes through this anxiety!! LoL I LOVE the bangs btw, very cute!

  6. says

    Love the bangs. They look adorable. I really like the photo where you have them parted and I love the bun, too. And yes, I am always snipping away at my bangs. Usually I end up going too far, messing them up and then going to my hair stylist and blaming the mess on “someone else”….I am sure she is on to me but since she wants to keep me as a customer she never calls me on the fact that “someone else” is in fact me. As for photos? Fresh hell. I always do weird stuff with my hands when it is a full body shot and I think my smile always looks forced. Oddly enough, the best picture I have ever had taken is my driver’s license photo.

  7. Taya says

    Love the bangs and the tutorial! Wish I could do that but naturally curly hair does not agree! You look fabulous, darling!

  8. Cristina S. says

    Love them. Had them, hated it :/ but you make them look great! Can’t wait to meet you guys tonight in the gables (with my overdue-for-a-trim, not-shabby-like-sherry hair) :D

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