How To Cut Your Own Fringe, According To An Actual Hairdresser

Because we know some of you guys are probably going to.

Here’s exactly what to do step-by-step so you don’t royally stuff it up.

It’s a fairly unanimous opinion that getting bangs is a big call at the best of times.

Never advisable after a breakup, during times of immense change or after you’ve downed three bottles of wine and your best mate is brandishing a pair of scissors, the general consensus is to exercise caution when it comes to fringes.

If you do have a short at the front, long at the back strand situation by choice however, you’re probably pretty worried about how you’re going to keep it that way during this whole quarantine schmozzle (among 87,000 other things to stress about too).

Sure, hairdressers are still open for the time being (the recent 30 minute cap on appointments has just been lifted, huzzah!), although if you’re self-isolating, you’re probably not too keen to venture out to your regular salon. The only alternative? Going DIY.

Now, this is a risky business. There is a reason we don’t cut our own hair (well, there are many actually), mainly because it’s a skilled art, as anyone who has had a terrible chop – either at a backyard party or by a real stylist – can attest.

"It's edgy." Image: Fleabag

Alas, desperate times call for desperate measures so we asked Sydney celebrity stylist, Anthony Nader, exactly what to do.

According to Nader, there are three main things you want to avoid doing: Never cut your fringe wet (“when it dries, it would of shrunk right up as your strands stretch beyond their natural sitting”), don’t cut your fringe horizontally (“if you do this you’ll end up resembling a Lego woman”) and try not to pull or stretch your fringe when cutting it as once again this will bounce up dramatically if you do.

Once you’ve got your head around that, you’ll need three long, flat sectioning clips, one cutting comb and a pair of sharp scissors – operative word here being sharp.

From there, this is the process (follow it closely and sober and you’ll be apples. Vaguely follow it half sloshed at your peril).

  1. Stand in front of the mirror and section out the fringe section clean and precise.
  2. Take the point of the comb and glide along the scalp from the crown area to the hairline on both sides.
  3. Grab your fringe section now, then use 2-3 clips surrounding the fringe section to ‘hold down’ the rest of your hair so it isn’t in the way of getting accidentally snipped.
  4. Now depending on how thick your fringe section is, to make it easier for you and control take a half inch section from each side starting at the hairline backwards then clip the bulk of the section away.
  5. To ensure that you don’t end up with a fringe that appears hacked at, firstly comb that section of hair left out then direct the tips of your scissors diagonally up into the length. Remember to take less than more with the length. Aim for approximately 1-2cm at a time.
  6. Be sure never to hold down this section or the other sections behind, as the tighter you hold this the shorter the length will jump up.
  7. Once you’ve established your length with your first section, now take your next section and comb down gently and use your previous guide underneath to follow your new length.
  8. Continue this method until you don’t have any more sections to bring forward.

And a final word from Nader: “If you don’t already have a fringe and want one badly, please, please, please just hold off until you’re sitting in the hairdressers chair again. It’s not worth the heartache attempting to cut one in and then it ending in disaster.”


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