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. says

    Impressive for a home cut! For the less brave Richmonders, I just had Leila at Salon 604 on Belmont Ave cut me some lovely short pie bangs and she did an AMAZING job. Oh yeah and her bang trims are free in between cuts!

  2. Jade says

    They look great! The boy-hair-cut post has been super useful since my husband refuses to get his hair cut by a professional. Somehow, I am more confident using scissors and his haircuts are better than when I used clippers.

    But how do you cut your own hair? It sounds like a recipe for crookedness to me! How do you keep it looking “normal” when you are done?

  3. Laura says

    Love the new look! I just trimmed up my son’s hair on Monday. We love his hair in a long and shaggy look but he was starting to look more like a homeless child then the “cool surfer-dude” style we were going for haha. So I got the old clippers out and just started going for it. He HATES going to a salon for his haircuts, in fact I usually have to hold him (he’s 3). So it just works better for us to do it ourselves if he needs a little trim. It looks good now and more uniformed and I think now when it grows out it will grow out the way we are hoping. Now that you know way too much about my sons hair, I will quit babbling!!

  4. Liz says

    Love the bangs…I think the comment in step number two “thereby ruining your life” is too funny! Please do a post on how to trim the rest of your hair. That is one of my resolutions. I want to cut my own hair and save money not going to the hair salon.

  5. Angela B. says

    You look adorbs with the new bangs, now thinking I should cut mine and cover up the wrinkles too. Cute pic of you and Clara!

  6. says

    As a fellow bang cutter myself here are some tips!
    Cut up into the bang instead of across, taking away tiny snips. It will help the bang be full, but not heavy and blunt.

    To have the bang kind of softy curve into the rest of the hair, ala ms. zooey d, take the bangs, twist them once over, and cut. The twist will make the outside pieces of the bang the tiniest bit long.

  7. Katie says

    Looks so good on you! I tried bangs a year or more ago and couldn’t stand them hanging around/over my eyes and brows! They’re finally grown out again now. My hair is kind of coarse and wavy though, so bangs aren’t a good style for me anyways. But as I said, looks great on you!

  8. says

    They look great! This line made me pee, well not literally because that would be weird but it made me laugh for reals: “…wet hair can look heavier and longer and then dry and shrink up, thereby ruining your life.” While funny, that is also what they call a true story.

  9. Katie Kerr says

    Last fall I cut my own bangs while wet! You can imagine what happened next very very short bangs that were cut crooked. Ahh vanity. I paid for my mistake for a long time, actually I am still suffering :(

  10. Nita E. says

    Looking good, Sherry! I just got bangs (again) last week! I too have a serious cowlick requiring a side part over my right eye… so mine always are more to the side, like in your parted picture.

  11. Renee says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I’m of the opinion that bangs look much better w/ long hair. (I did the bangs w/ short hair a few years ago…disaster) You look gorgeous!

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