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. Scully says

    I recently cut 6 inches + off my hair. I went into the salon with a picture of Heidi (google “Heidi Klum long bob” and the first image is a lovely, shoulder-swept length cut) only to come out with a drastically shorter, just under the chin cut. The point of this comment is to vehemently support Step 2 of this post. Wet hair likes to play tricks. Be ye smart and listen to $herdog.

  2. rebekah says

    so, I got bangs a few years ago, cut by my hairstylist, and my brother’s response upon seeing them: “Was it difficult to escape from the polygamist camp?” – so, thus began the process of growing them out again.
    Also, I hear you on it being super awkward to take pictures of yourself! I wanted to take a baby bump picture, and after a few tries, I fired my husband from the photographer job and replaced him with a tripod… It’s just so awkward, I preferred to not have a witness.

  3. Liz E. says

    1) Love them!
    2) Here’s a little Wednesday morning humor for you: when I was little I wore bangs most of the time, which my mom would cut and trim as needed. This one particular time, the bangs were quite long and needed some TLC, so she had me sit down (as usual) and snipped away, only to realize after the fact that for some reason (don’t ask me why; my own awkwardness will have to suffice) I had my eyebrows raised the whole time. Needless to say I had some super short, can’t-do-a-think-with-em bangs until my (molasses in January) hair grew out.

    So glad you did your research and left your eyebrows out of the length equation ;)

  4. Jenny says

    Darn, I was totally guessing this post was going to be called “The Big Bang Theory” oh well!

  5. Sara says

    I love them!! You must have had SOME idea that people would want a tutorial since you took the in progress pics right? lol

  6. Reenie says

    Love them on you. And John is right…. you do look young and hot ~ not that you looked old and cold before ;) HA!!

  7. Jackie says

    In 7th grade my mom took me to the “Hair Spot” for an $8 haircut. They cut one side of my (very curly/frizzy) hair dry and then wet the other side and cut it to the same length. So, at LEAST an inch of difference once dry. I’m pretty sure I thought it actually did ruin my life – at least I remember crying about it in the Kohl’s dressing room afterwards! 7th graders can be brutally mean even when your hair is the same length on both sides! Oh, a few months after that I caught the chicken pox from my 1st grade brother and had to go back to school when I was no longer contagious, but the “spots” were still healing. Not my best year!

  8. tammy says

    This brings back memories of when I last cut my own bangs. After I did them myself I got the rest of my hair trimmed. The stylest ended up giving me his business card and having me promise to call him the next time I had the urge to cut my bangs again.

  9. Lisa B says

    “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”

    I’ve totally done this to myself when I was younger. Sad sad dorky short bangs resulted.