Last year I made the decision to get bangs. I also made the decision to cut them myself. I was feeling spontaneous and confident, and I figured that if I messed up, they would grow back. I was young, and it was just hair, so why not? I still experienced a moment of anxiety before making the first cut, of course. I hadn’t had bangs since an unfortunate attempt by my mom in first grade (I have the horrible school pictures to prove it), so I couldn’t help but feel a tad nervous.
Much to my surprise, it didn’t turn out half bad. In fact, I loved my newfound fringe. That is until I started the growing out process. What started out as a fun new look quickly turned into a something I found impossible to style. I mean—you can only wear so many headbands before it gets old.
If only I had the advice and product recommendations I needed back then. Now, thanks to three different hairstyling experts, however, I do.
Keep reading to hear their genius tips, tricks, and product recommendations for styling long bangs!
1. Consider the Type, Texture, and Density of Your Hair
First things first. Before you start styling, consider the natural state of your hair. Is it fine? Maybe your bangs could benefit from a spritz of volume spray. Do they seem too shaggy or undefined? Try a bit of texturizing mousse. Hairstylist Melissa Hoyle recommends using Aveda’s Confixor Liquid Gel ($22), as it helps to “control, hold, and add a little bit of shine.”
2. Don't Use Too Much Product
Knowing what specific products your long bangs could benefit from is important, but don’t go overboard when applying. Bangs are much shorter than the rest of your hair, even long bangs, so using too much product can weigh them down or make them look greasy. It’s also worth noting that since bangs cover your forehead, certain hair products could irritate your skin. Aaron Grenia, the co-founder of IGK Hair, sometimes forgoes the use of hair products completely because of these reasons. “I usually don’t use products on bangs, because they usually touch the face, however, our Call Time Styling Primer is lightweight enough to use on them.”
Lauren Thompson, a stylist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC, agrees wholeheartedly. “I don’t usually like to use a lot of product on the bang area unless the hair is very fine and thin, then I love a spray like Oribe Volumista ($44),” she says.
If you’re happy with the way your bangs are laying, then maybe just stick with a spritz of dry shampoo to add texture and volume at the roots. When it comes to long bangs, Hoyle says that “dry shampoo is your best friend.”
3. Wrap-Dry Your Bangs With a Blow-Dryer
For long bangs, styling when dry is a huge mistake. Our experts say to start with wet hair every time, as blow-drying helps shape them in a way that will hold throughout the entire day.
How you blow-dry can make all the difference. “Blow-dry them on low and brush through them with a comb or your fingers,” Grenia says. “Use the blow-dryer and a comb to direct the hair forward, left, and right, and focus on the roots, which is known as wrap drying. If using your fingers, pull hair back at the root to get rid of any natural bend. Do this until your hair is completely dry.”
As for what kind of brush you should use, Thompson reaches for a classic paddle brush. “For blow-drying long bangs, I like to first use a small Mason Pearson brush, blow-drying the hair from side to side,” she says. “Then I take a small round brush to round out the bottom, depending on which way the hair will be styled, to the front or swept to the side,” she says.
4. When in Doubt, Part Down the Middle
According to Hoyle, “An easy way to wear long bangs is to center part and split down the middle, [which] gives you a curtain effect. You also can change it up by swooping them to one side for a dramatic long side fringe!” We have a special place in our hearts for center-parted bangs. There’s a certain French je ne sais quoi about the look. After all, who doesn’t love channeling their inner Jane Birkin?
Next up, read eight life-saving tips for girls with bangs!