Create an entirely new style with bangs.

How to Cut Bangs on a Long-Haired Person

by Lindsey Robinson Sanchez

Bangs have made a fashion statement for decades on short and long hair alike. They can mask a large forehead, draw attention to beautiful eyes and breathe new life into an old hairstyle. You can cut your bangs so that they fall straight down or glance to the side -- but remember: you can always cut more, but you can't reattach hair if you chop it too short. Take your time as you trim, and enjoy your new, fashion-forward style.

Consider the texture of your hair and the time you usually take to style your hair before you decide to cut bangs. If you have curly or wavy hair, it may take a few extra minutes to smooth out your bangs with a brush or a flat iron. Bangs on straight hair tend to require less maintenance, since straighter hair tends to lie flat naturally.

Wash, rinse and dry your hair thoroughly. Hair stretches when it's wet and draws up slightly when it's dry, so cutting into wet hair can give you too-short, uneven bangs. Drape a towel or cutting cape around your neck and shoulders if you want to keep loose hair off your clothing.

Lift your hair off your face and note the two points on your hairline just above your pupils. You'll cut only the hair between these two points to create bangs.

Go back about two inches from your hairline, right between the two points on your hairline. Section off the hair between these points with a fine-tooth comb. You should have a triangle of hair on the front, center portion of your head. Separate this section with a stylist's clip and pull the rest of your hair into a ponytail.

Cut your bangs section to a manageable length if your hair is very long. Hold this section of hair, twist it and cut it to around the height of the tip of your nose or your upper lip. Your bangs will still be too long at this point and don't worry if the cut is slightly uneven. This is simply a preliminary chop to make your bangs easier to trim.

Comb through your bangs so that they lie smoothly on your forehead. Trim straight across slowly and evenly, about a quarter- to half-inch at a time. Re-comb and check the length of your bangs after every pass of the scissors. You can always take away, but you can't add hair if you accidentally cut it too short.

Comb the hair to the side if you want side-swept, angled bangs. Point the scissors in the angle you want the hair to fall and trim carefully, removing just a quarter- to half-inch of hair at a time. For example, if you want your bangs to sweep to the right, point your scissors to the right at a downward angle of about 30 degrees. Trim the end of your side bang to about cheekbone length so that it will blend smoothly with the rest of your hair.

Turn your scissors so that the points are vertical once you've cut your bangs to the desired length. Insert the tip of the scissors into your bangs about 1/4 of an inch and snip lightly to remove some of the blunt ends. This will soften the ends and give your bangs a more natural shape. Check your bangs in the mirror after every few snips to make sure you don't remove too much hair.

Items you will need

  • Sharp stylist scissors
  • Fine-tooth comb
  • Hair stylist's clip
  • Ponytail holder or additional clip
  • Towel or cutting smock (optional)


  • Cut more hair on either side of your forehead if you want your bangs to be wider. Move back another inch from your hairline if you want your bangs to be thicker.


  • Always begin with less hair and a longer cut. You can always add more hair to your bangs or cut your hair shorter, but if you chop too much, you'll have to wait weeks or even months for your hair to grow out to your desired look.
  • Be cautious when trimming your bangs around your eyes. Lift the hair slightly off your forehead with the index finger of your non-cutting hand to avoid poking yourself in the eye or accidentally cutting your eyelashes along with your bangs.

About the Author

Lindsey Robinson Sanchez, from Bessemer, Ala., has written for the "Troy Messenger," "The Alabama Baptist" and "The Gainesville Times," where her work was featured on the AP wire. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida. She writes style, beauty, fitness, travel and culture.

Photo Credits

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