Bangs come in all shapes and sizes, and basically look amazing on every hair type. But they come with a catch: upkeep. Daily styling, regular trims, and an eternity to grow out are a few of the main reasons bangs can be a challenging commitment for many of us to make. Thankfully, we're all five easy steps (and one quick clip) away from getting to try on any bang of our liking, without the downsides. We tapped celebrity hairstylist Sunnie Brook to guide us through everything we need to know about wearing faux clip-in bangs.
Find a Color Match
According to Brook, the first step to wearing faux bangs is finding a good color match. "Find a clip-in bang that matches the color of your roots," she says. If you're ordering your bangs online and can't be 100% certain on the color match, you might want to lean a smidge on the lighter side to be safe. "If you need to deepen or darken the color of your faux bangs to better match your natural root color, you can use a colored hairspray," says Brook.
Prep Your Hair
Next, you'll want to prep the hair to serve as a good foundation to hold the clips in place. For starters, "part your hair down the middle," says Brook. "This helps keep your hair organized and makes the application process seamless." No need to pull out a comb for precision here. Use your finger to create a more organic parting that will help keep your new 'do looking natural.
Your hair doesn't need to be squeaky clean or two days unwashed to make itself ready for clip-ins. Just be sure the hair is dry when you're ready to wear your bangs. Then, "apply a dry shampoo to the areas you want to clip the bang into," says Brook. Dry shampoo will help eliminate excess oils and slippery strands, providing a hold that'll last all day. (So if your hair is thick, super curly, or coarse, you might be able to skip this step.) If you still need a little extra grip, Brook suggests backcombing your roots.
"If your faux bangs are made with synthetic hair and appear shinier than your natural hair, use some dry shampoo to help matte out the shine," says Brook.
Place Your Clip-Ins
With your hair prepped and ready for transformation, it's now time to clip-in your non-committal new 'do. "Open the clips and apply [to the hair], pressing down on the clip areas to click them in place," Brook says. "If you’re having a hard time securing them, you can wiggle them until you feel the teeth grip into the hair," she suggests, "or try backcombing the hair more."
In terms of finding the perfect placement, Brook points out that most faux bangs usually look best when applied just past the highpoint of the head. "You can find this point by placing a comb horizontally on the top of your head," she says. "The point where your head and comb meet is the high point." Don't forget to have fun and experiment with this look. Play around with the placement until it feels comfortable and looks natural.
Customize Your Shape
Once your new bangs are placed comfortably within the rest of your hair, it's time to take note of where they're falling along your forehead. To make sure you're happy with the placement of where your bangs are sitting, fine tune your shape with a customized trim if needed. This is a great opportunity to play around with the bang type you're honing in on: choppy bangs, wispy bangs, side-swept bangs, curtain bangs. There are a lot of ways to wear bangs, and this puts you in full control of the look(s) you want to try on for size.
If you are regularly applying product to your faux bangs, like dry shampoo or texture spray, Brook advises washing them with a gentle shampoo when they begin to look greasy or become less manageable. "Keep your clip-in as in tact as possible, washing and rinsing the clip-in in the direction you want the hair to dry" she notes. "This will protect the strands from splitting or coming loose from the clip-in. "
To give your bangs the longest lifespan, look for options that are made of 100% human hair. Buying clip-in bangs made with human hair will also enable you to style them using heat if you ever need to blow-dry or add a couple of bends to match your natural texture. Use a low heat setting when applying heat, says Brook, who also suggests using a thermal protectant such as Biolage's Thermal Active Spray to keep the hair as protected as you would your own strands. Working with synthetic hair, you'll need to avoid heat entirely to prevent them from melting or becoming damaged. A handheld steamer is a great styling option for molding synthetic hair safely.