Cutting My Own Bangs
January 2, 2017 7:08 AM   Subscribe

Do I dare? I'd like to extend the time between haircuts, but I also don't want to look like I got my hair done at Le Weedwhacker Salon. Tips? Tools of the trade? Recommended videos?

For context: I'm a cisgender, caucasian woman with thick but fine-textured hair; when I go to the salon I have my hair, bangs included, cut with a razor. Since my hair is thick, a lot of this is to get some of the "weight" out of my hair. I do the kind of 'wispy, angled bangs' thing. Not sure how else to describe it. Photo that comes pretty close to what I'm talking about.

I've watched my stylist when she cuts my bangs, and after she takes a razor to them she snips at them with scissors at a 45 degree angle.

Looks for tips on how to cut my own bangs properly. But, if this is the type of calculated risk not worth taking, please tell me. Is it okay to just schedule a bang trip only with one's stylist? If she normally charges $55 for a cut and blow-dry, what is a reasonable rate (and tip) for just a bang trim? I think part of my reason for wanting to try this at home is not just saving money, but feeling odd just going for a bang trim. (My stylist tells me I should get my hair cut every six weeks to keep it healthy, and I know she's right, but I'd rather get my bangs trimmed every six weeks and extend my haircuts to every ten weeks.)
posted by nightrecordings to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My stylist does bang trims for free. Yours probably does too. However, I'd totally cut those myself (and have done so before when I had similar bangs.) Just start really really small. Look at keeping them trimmed as a daily maintenance thing rather than cutting a bunch off every once in a while.
posted by something something at 7:16 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ask your stylist about their bangs policy.

Any stylist I've gone to where I live doesn't charge for bang trims. I don't go in often, because I do trim my own bangs, but they remind me this is possible every once in a while. I can all ahead and the stylist does a quick dry trim in between other clients.

I've also been offered a "maintenance cut" for inbetweens, which was about 60% of the regular price and designed to be at the five week point between ten week appointments.
posted by TORunner at 7:17 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Most salons I've been to have told me to come in to have my fringe trimmed between cuts at any time without appointment etc. Ask at your next appointment.

In general, if they do need to take a lot of weight out there is a good chance that 10 weeks between cuts is ambitious. I always have a lot of weight taken out and I know to schedule the next appointment when I wake up one morning and my hair has gone from looking fine to looking like an unmanageable mess basically over night. I can't wait 10,weeks, 8 is pushing it, 6 is ideal.
posted by koahiatamadl at 7:20 AM on January 2, 2017

I've done that trim on myself before millions of times. I have hair scissors and I hold them vertically and trim into the bangs maybe an inch to an inch and a half all the way across. Just takes a minute and it's pretty hard to screw up.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:00 AM on January 2, 2017 [7 favorites]

Yep, trim your own hair!

It's not hard at all, just takes a little courage to start, and a little practice. Hair grows back, and you are your own worst hair critic. ThatCanadianGirl has a good tip for vertical cutting, especially for your hair type and look. The main thing is to AVOID making a single cut straight across, unless you want that sort of weed wacker look. (Which can work on some folks, like Betty Page or Yolandi Visser). Starting with bangs is good, but In fact you can cut all your hair, all the time. I've only payed a for around two haircuts in the past 6 years :)
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:08 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Another big yes on vertical cutting.
posted by janey47 at 8:16 AM on January 2, 2017

Be sure to get proper, sharp scissors for this, but totally feasible. Just be conservative in how much you snip off at a time.
posted by zennie at 8:26 AM on January 2, 2017 [3 favorites]

I have cut my own bangs more times than I can count.

I do the twist cut technique and do the vertical cut. This makes them look natural and lived-in, and not like you just trimmed them yourself.

A twist cut works REALLY well with angled bangs. I do the sidebang thing and pull my twist slightly in the opposite direction of the sidebang--this makes them a bit longer on the sidebang side so that they fall well.

Just grab the section of hair you want to be bangs, twist the hair around once or twice, move your grabbing fingers down almost to the bottom, and make vertical cuts up into that small section of hair. Do just a little at a time and then let them fall and see how you like them. It's impossible to screw them up doing it this way.
posted by phunniemee at 8:56 AM on January 2, 2017 [7 favorites]

My old hairstylist told me if I need to trim my own bangs to do it in little bits not big cuts across the bangs. She showed me how to take small locks of the bang, then twist the lock so the hair is kind of messy at the end, then snip lightly into the ends. This gives a nicer look than if I just trim across the entire bangs.

But what I usually do is to trim straight across then do a touch up to soften the hard edges by dividing into the little pieces and snip into them. If I just trim across them I get a bowl haircut look no matter how carefully I do it.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 9:42 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nth conservative vertical cuts. For the diagonal, obviously keep cutting vertically down the imagined diagonal line. Make sure you're doing it with dry hair, or else they'll end up way shorter than you want!
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:52 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing thumbs up for DIY (there are are many youtube vids on this very topic if you need a visual walkthrough), but if you're really worried you could always try it yourself just before a scheduled cut. If it doesn't work out the hairdresser will be able to do something with it but if all goes well you can just move your appointment back four weeks, in line with your preferred schedule.
posted by freya_lamb at 11:08 AM on January 2, 2017

I tried the twist-cut method on my bangs the night before yearbook photos my senior year of high school and have regretted it for the past 25 years or so. So I endorse freya_lamb's suggestion that you try it before a scheduled cut when any errors can be quickly corrected.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 4:48 PM on January 2, 2017

I cut my own bangs, mostly because I've had some horrible experiences with hair stylists, and I have weird curly/wavy/frizzy hair. It's good to cut them a little bit at a time, and don't start doing it before a big event. I have gotten better with practice.
posted by Melsky at 7:22 PM on January 2, 2017

Once you do it a million times it gets to where you can do it without even thinking. Took me maybe 2 mins last night. Think of all the time you'll save not making an appointment and getting there and waiting and getting back! Life's too short and hair grows too fast for that ish.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:49 PM on January 6, 2017

I have long side swept bangs. I cut my own bangs all the time because my hair grows really fast.

Get a pair of cheap thinning shears from a beauty supply shop. They make it harder to cut too much off at once. Make sure to trim a little at a time. I hold them a little away from my face and just trim at an upward angle. When I get the length I want, I just trim some of the stragglers to the final length.
posted by Miss X at 11:09 AM on January 10, 2017

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