Cutting Your Bangs the Old-Fashioned Way, with Scotch Tape


Back when we were kids and could not afford to go to a salon to get our bangs cut, my sister, Rachel, and I would use Scotch tape to cut our bangs when they got so long we couldn’t stand to have them in our eyes. In these socially isolated days, when salons aren’t open or you don’t feel good about going to one, or don’t have a talented, virus-free friend who can cut your bangs, here’s what you can do:

  1. Comb your bangs down onto your forehead and into your eyes. (If you remember Cousin Itt from The Addams Family, you can put on your glasses or sunglasses and remember those ancient TV days.) Cousin Itt
  2. Get your roll of Scotch Brand Magic Tape—not cellophane tape or masking tape, and certainly not duct tape.
  3. Pull off a piece of tape a bit wider than your forehead.
  4. Place the tape across your bangs as far down as it will go, perhaps just above your eyebrows. Place it in a gentle curve with the ends longer at either side of your bangs. The tape should like a parenthesis—one of these: )— lying on its two ends with the opening toward your nose. It is especially important to place the tape low on your bangs if you have curly hair, because even if it seems like you are cutting your bangs longer than you would like them to be, once you wash your hair your bangs will shrink up shorter.
  5. With a sharp pair of scissors, carefully cut above the tape so that most of the cut-off hair will be caught in the tape, thus saving you from cleaning up almost all the hair that falls off when you cut.
  6. Throw the hairy tape away and clean up any hair that wasn’t caught in its stickiness. Resist the temptation to cut your bangs any shorter or even them out if they look uneven—this is the road to disaster, with bangs that are too short.
  7. Enjoy being able to see and not having to swipe your hair out of your eyes all the time.

You can do this to your children, too, but be careful with the scissors near their eyes. Tell them to hold very still. Anyone who has seen me (and it’s been a while, except hollering to neighbors across the street) knows that I am not the world’s greatest hair stylist. But this is a way, in a pinch, to get acceptable results when you can’t afford to go to a salon or when COVID-19 keeps you away from the rest of humanity. And the (only?) good thing about the latter situation is that it will give your bangs time to grow again and perhaps you can consult a professional next time you need a haircut.

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