Sep. 17, 2010 at 10:57 AM ET
Those of us with bangs have all been in this situation. We’re getting ready for work or a night on the town, and suddenly—yikes—our bangs are just too long. It doesn't take more than a tiny millimeter to make the difference between hip and sexy to sloppy and annoying. They're uncomfortable as they get into our eyes and then dorky looking as we push them out of the way and have them split apart. Professional haircutters beg us not to touch them and most will offer a free fringe trim between regular cuts. While that's a nice offer, too often we don't have the time to take them up on their kindness. So we take scissors in hands and get to work. Not so fast! Do you know what you're doing?
I consulted my own fabulous hair stylist, Rene Romeau owner of the Rene Salon at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. His jaw dropped, his eyes rolled up to the ceiling and in his charming Cuban accent said, "OMG you’re going to tell your readers to do what?" This is a man who's been helicoptered out to the Hamptons for a hair emergency; he's not used to clients taking scissors into their own hands. I told him to take a deep breath, relax and give us the scoop!
Rene's Hot Tips for DIY Bangs
• Always cut dry hair. Wet hair "shrinks" and only a pro should attempt cutting bangs wet.
• Separate bangs from the rest of the hair: ponytail for long hair, pins for shorter hair.
• Most women wear their bangs slightly longer on the sides and the best way to achieve this evenly is to gather the bangs to the middle of the face, right between the eyes, and give it a few twists. Then simply snip off some hair bluntly off the bottom. Untwist, and your sides will be perfectly even!
• Always cut less than you think you need to cut. You can always re-twist and cut a little more. You know you'll hate yourself if you cut too much!
Rene also advises to buy a good pair of scissors and only use them for hair. Try Tweezerman 2000 Stainless Styling Shears ($25 at Tweezerman).
Do you have a bangs-cutting horror story? Chime in below!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.