So… you cut your own bangs at home. Look, I get it — stay-at-home orders are driving all of us to question things about ourselves, including whether or not we'd look better with bangs. Or maybe your outgrew your already-existing bangs and just couldn't stand them hanging in front of your eyes anymore. But doing that kind of thing without a professional on hand has its risks, and now your bangs might not look the way you had envisioned.
There's also a good chance you don't have access to a professional hairstylist right now. Hair salons are currently open in some states, but you might not feel safe visiting one regardless. Thankfully, if you made a mistake while cutting your bangs at home, you don't necessarily have to leave them be. According to hairstylists, there are solutions to most bang-cutting mistakes – ones that you can achieve by yourself at home with the proper tools and guidance.
We asked three hairstylists to reveal the most common mistakes people make when cutting their own bangs and how to fix them, no matter your hair type. But before I get into that, you're going to need the correct scissors. If you originally cut your own bangs with household scissors or any pair that's too blunt, those could be the reason your self-cut bangs didn't come out quite right. "Most people cut too much hair at a time and use dull scissors," explains New York City hairstylist Erickson Arruntegui. "When you do this, the scissors push the hair, which causes an uneven cut. If you invest in sharper, hair-specific sheers and work in small sections, you will get a better result."
If you don't already have a pair (and trust me, the investment is worth it in the long run), you can see a list of stylist-approved shears here. Once you've got those and a fine-tooth comb ready, you'll be ready to encounter any bang-cutting mistake, which you can learn to correct below.
How to fix bangs that are crooked
If your self-cut bangs turned out crooked, you'll have to decide whether or not you're comfortable making them even shorter. "To correct them, they will likely have to match the shortest side," explains Los Angeles-based hairstylist Justine Marjan. "If you aren't willing to commit to the shorter length, I suggest trying to wear your bangs to the side or camouflaging them in braids and headbands until they grow out."
Otherwise, it's time to cut away that excess hair. Arruntegui advises starting with a fresh slate: wash your hair, blow-dry it, and flatiron it smooth. "[Then] look for the area that is off-balance and try to match it to the rest of the hair." New York City hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew advises that if you have tight curls or coils, you should cut the hair when wet and clip a paper towel underneath your bangs to help you spot unevenness more effectively.
The rest is pretty simple, according to Marjan: "Pull all the hair forward and cut a line straight across the match the shortest piece," she says. With those sharp shears, you should get a clean, uninterrupted line.
If you have tight curls or coils, you can still use this technique (and the ones that are about to follow), so long as you pay close attention to how much hair you're cutting. "When pulling down the hair, cut it a little longer than the length you want," Sturdivant-Drew recommends. "Curly and coily textured hair shrinks up when it dries, so to be on the safe side, always go longer."
How to fix bangs that are too thick
If your bangs are wispier than you'd like, you can always add more hair after the fact. Thinning out bangs that are too thick is a little more complicated but not impossible. Sturdivant-Drew and Marjan both recommend purchasing some thinning shears in this case, which can help you remove weight from the bangs with little effort.
Otherwise, you can use your regular shears and a technique called point-cutting, which you've definitely watched your hairstylist do before. "Cut into the bangs in an upward motion to break the bluntness up," Sturdivant-Drew explains.
To see this in action, you can watch hairstylist Brad Mondo's tutorial here. Just be sure to work in small sections, Arruntegui says.
How to fix bangs that are too blunt
Blunt bangs are super cute, but they're not everyone's vibe. If you were going for Farrah Fawcet but wound up with something more Pulp Fiction, there is a slight fix. "For a softer-looking bang, instead of having the hair fall forward when cutting, pull them forward so they are parallel to the floor," Marjan advises. "This will create a slight taper that will soften the ends."
That, of course, will also require you to cut off more length. If you aren't comfortable with that, you can just use the point-cutting technique, according to Marjan.
How to fix bangs that are too short
Again, some people like their bangs to be really short — but not everyone. Unfortunately, if your bangs are too short, time is going to be your only solid solution. "If you've gone too short, it's time to drop the scissors," says Arruntegui. At that point, all three hairstylists agree it's best to let those bangs grow out for a while, preferably until you can see a professional.
In the meantime, however, you can disguise too-short bangs with a hat or some cute hair clips, Arruntegui says. If you want to speed up the growth process, Marjan recommends applying castor oil to them at night.
Regardless of how your self-cut bangs come out, it's important not to take the end result too seriously. "At the end of the day, I wouldn't beat yourself up over perfection; this is not a permanent fix," Arruntegui says. "This is to hold you off till you can see a professional."
Sturdivant-Drew agrees — it's just hair, it will grow back. "It might not be perfect but as long as you own it, that's all that matters," she says.
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