Get banged: How to cut your own side swept bangs

I bet you clicked on this thinking, wow what’s Nina got to offer?  Sorry for the tease (couldn’t help it), but this is a tutorial on how to cut your very own bangs!

Everyone knows I’m a very “do-it-yourself” person.  I‘ll take a few risks to learn how to do something myself instead of going somewhere and having it done.  I like that sort of challenge.  I’ve risked it all with my hair over the years, and as a result, I’ve learned to cut side swept bangs.

If I ever get compliments on my hair, it’s going to be on my bangs.  I have been sporting bangs since I was 19.  (Well, that’s not true, I took a break from bangs for about a year and grew them out, but I missed them so much that I had to cut them again). In college, I used to cut people’s hair in my dorm room.  Most of them requested “Nina Bangs”.  I think my friend Diana came up with that term.  I had to learn to perfect my own bangs before cutting anyone else’s.  Believe me; I’ve screwed up my bangs many times.  But that’s how you learn.  Hair grows and you just do it again.  People always ask me how I get soft, side swept bangs.  So today, I’m going to tell you how to cut your own “Nina Bangs”.

Bangs are a great way to freshen up your look or add some style to your hair.  There are many different types of bangs.  You can have straight across blunt bangs, choppy bangs, super short Betty Page bangs, or longer side swept bangs.  I’ve always pulled off the side swept bangs and it is my favorite look.  It’s very versatile to style.  It goes well with an updo or a headband.  You can even clip it back if you don’t want to have it in your face.  Bangs over one eye always adds a little mystery.   If you are new to bangs and want to give it a try, I would recommend easing into it by cutting a longer version of the side swept bangs.  Then you can experiment and go shorter, blunter, and choppier and so forth.  It’s better to start at a longer length and then go shorter over the course of a few weeks.

You will need 3 things to cut your own bangs: A very sharp pair of scissors, small cuticle scissors and a fine tooth comb (Sorry, comb not shown in pic).

First, you will need to part your hair to the side.  Depending on how thick you want your bangs, comb the front part of your hair forward (see Figure 1).  The front section you are focusing on is outlined in red.  If you are doing this for the first time, you can clip the rest of your hair back so that only this front section is covering your face.  It might help you focus a little better on making the first cut to this section.

Figure 1

Do not wet your bangs.  I don’t recommend it because when you wet your hair and you cut it, the hair will dry shorter than when you had cut it.  Also, when your hair is dry, you can see how the hair lies against your forehead along with the rest of your hair.

Next you will want to cut at an angle towards your jaw (see Figure 2).  Try to cut it in a sweeping motion the side towards your jaw.   You are going to repeat this motion until the length is just right below your eye, on the center of your cheek, cutting at an angle towards your cheekbone.

Figure 2

Now this is where you have to start cutting with caution because the scissors will be close to your eye.  So please be careful when doing this.  You can also use the comb or your fingers to hold the hair away from your eye as you cut.  Instead of cutting at a straight angle, you will want to cut upwards to add some texture to the ends (see Figure 3).  Focus on cutting slight uneven ends. It doesn’t have to be perfect.  When doing side swept bangs, it is always a bit more flattering when the ends have some texture instead of a straight blunt cut.  It will also ‘sweep’ to the side a bit better when you have the ends a bit textured.

Figure 3

You can keep doing this until the bangs are at eyelash length.  I like it a bit longer so it covers my eye a bit.  If you want it shorter, you can keep cutting.  Then you will want to cut at a downward motion, slicing through the bangs (Figure 4).  This is why a very sharp pair of scissors can come in handy because it will easily cut through the hair without snagging or roughing the cuticle of the hair shaft.  Cut downwards at an angle towards the temple.  This technique will take a bit of the weight off and add more texture to your bangs.   You want the shape of the bangs to be curved with the shortest layer starting between your eyebrows and then gradually sweeping down towards your temple.

Figure 4

Finally, you can take the cuticle scissors and run over the bangs downwards again to add texture.  I like using the cuticle scissors at this point because it only cuts small amounts of hair and you don’t risk over cutting the bangs you’ve created. Use the cuticle scissors to cut upwards on the ends.  Then finish it by cutting the ends towards the temple.  If there are any uneven or stray hairs, use the cuticle scissors to polish those areas and to blend it into the sides of your hair.

Remember to cut your bangs a little at a time.  Comb through it, push it to the side, blend it with the rest of your hair.  Then cut some more.  It is better to cut little by little until you get the desired effect.

I’m hoping to do a video tutorial on this because it is so hard to describe it in words.  It’s better to show you!  But hopefully this was helpful, and if you have questions please let me know!  Enjoy your new awesome side swept bangs!

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11 thoughts on “Get banged: How to cut your own side swept bangs

  1. Please make a video. I really would appreciate that. It would help a lot as my stylist’s salon is so far away from home and I’m sick of having to go to the salon every time I just want to trim/cut my bangs and no haircut. Thanks! :)

    • Hi Michelle, thanks so much for reading my post and for the suggestion! I am working on making videos for my makeup and hair tutorials! So I will definitely make sure to do one for cutting and trimming your own bangs! :)

  2. The only bangs i had were thin straight across bangs, but i think yours are super cute. i really don’t wanna mess up though.

  3. Hi! I was reading through this and thought you did really well on explaining. This will be the first time I have ever cut my hair and you helped a lot. :)

  4. This was a great tutorial, i’m going to try this today, i just had a baby a week ago and desperately need a pick me up :) Thanks for posting this!

  5. Thanks, Nina! That was a very thorough and helpful tutorial. The pictures were helpful too. I look forward to your video. I’m going to try this today!

  6. Great tutorial. The only part I was unsure about was the downward cutting–it seemed a little scary once I had my shears pointing downward on my bangs.
    I have a bang question for you:
    When I tried to cut them a few weeks ago, I was going for blunt bangs. I made a mistake in the hair I cut though–I took a comb and separated a section of hair from behind one ear in a straight line to the other ear (make any sense?). So this left me with very short little “tufts” of hair in front of my ears that look…ridiculous. Like, they are too short to tuck behind my ear and too long to look okay. If I pull them back to pin them, they look too severe. Any tips on how to blend them in?

  7. This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.

    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

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