If you're like me, you grew up believing your head of curly hair meant you could never wear bangs. You spent years dreaming of fringe and all the hairstyles you'd never get to try. And then, if you're really like me, you cut them yourself and spent two full years growing them back out. Here's the thing: Despite all that, whoever told me curly-haired girls can't get bangs was lying.
In fact, there are so many different (and absolutely rad) ways to wear bangs with curly hair. Think Stevie Nicks, Dilone, and Georgia May Jagger. But the cut will change your styling process. So in order to understand everything you need to know post-chop, we reached out to a few of our hairstylist favorites. Below, find their sage advice (and product recommendations) for handling curly hair with bangs.
1. Cut your bangs dry
"Ask your stylist to cut your bangs dry, while your hair holds the texture you normally wear," recommends hairstylist Ryan Richman. "You can always cut them a little shorter, but there's no going back if you've gone too short."
Moroccanoil celebrity hairstylist Bryce Scarlett agrees: "The key to curly bangs is to start cutting them very long—to your cheekbones at a minimum. Then, reassess as you go and watch where your natural curl falls."
Celebrity hairstylist Justine Marjan breaks it down: "Diffuse your dry hair with the diffuser attachment on the Ghd Air Professional Performance Hairdryer ($199) if it's necessary to style. Diffuse the front strands forward so they hang on the face, and, when ready, cut each curl individually. Have your stylist hold the end of the curl and gradually cut with the shears facing downward (as they slowly open and close their shears) so the ends are lighter. This will give a more defined curl pattern that isn't too heavy around your face. Aim for two inches longer than you think, then work up to shorter lengths if you need to (as curly hair shrinks into itself and bounces up when cut).
2. Keep climate in mind
"Keep in mind where you live," notes Richman. "If you live in a wet or humid environment, take that into consideration as climate can alter the shape of your curls. It's best to discuss how your curl pattern changes with your stylist."
"It is important to note how your curls naturally fall from day to day," continues stylist Laurie Heaps. "If a client has a lot of cowlicks, this can make styling fringe more of a challenge."
3. Use a light styling product to avoid weighing them down
"Like the rest of your curly hair," Scarlett says, "the key to taking care of your bangs is a good air-dry. Moroccanoil Treatment Light ($34) is also great for curls because it's light and doesn't weigh down your hair but continues to give you volume."
Similarly, Marjan suggests spritzing a shine serum and scrunching it into your hair, or Richman offers a lightweight primer with thermal protection if your hair is prone to damage. He recommends using Paul Mitchell Neuro Prime ($18) and twisting the curls with your finger before using a diffuser.
4. You may need to reset your curls more often
"Be careful when drying your hair and bangs," says Richman. "You may find you need to restyle your bangs in the morning even though you didn't wash your hair. Wet them carefully and pat dry with an Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban ($30) as it's less harmful than a cotton towel (it leaves the cuticle smoother as your hair dries)."
"Moroccanoil Curl Re-Energizing Spray ($26) is great to spritz on dry curls to refresh them," says Scarlett. "This will also not weigh them down, and gives them new life come morning."
5. Make use of your styling tools, but with a twist
"If there's one curl or piece of hair out of place, just touch it up with a curling iron to get the curls going in the right direction," suggests Streeters artist Holly Mills. "I would advise doing this on a medium setting, depending on how good you are with an iron (don't forget you are super close to your face)."
Additionally, for more styling control, "Add a slight bend with a flat iron," offers Heaps. "I make sure to move the iron in different directions for texture and then break the waves up with my fingers."
6. Start scheduling trims
"If you have a specific length you want to keep up," says Heaps, "you will need to be on a trim schedule and see your stylist every four to six weeks (depending on how fast your hair grows). Many salons will offer free bang trims in-between haircut appointments as well—so be sure to ask your stylist."