We are big fans of bangs here at xoJane. Some of us are busy growing them out -- but I just cut some a few weeks ago. The exact second my poor, sweet, beleaguered hair girl made the snip, I heard myself let out a small, terrible, gurgling noise -- like it was some inner part of my psyche crying out, “Ye Gods! What have you done?”
Now that the dust has settled, I'm really into them. I feel like they frame my face pretty well and make me look cuter -- even when my hair is just tucked behind my ears or up in a ponytail.
The bad news is that good bangs don't come without a little upkeep. (And by a little, I mean a lot.) When I previously posted about possibly getting bangs, I got all sorts of excellent advice from readers, (as per usual) and I've added in a bit of my own to really cement the six very best tricks for super sick bangs -- every single time you style your hair.
1. No face lotion -- ever.
Thanks to a tip from our very own Melissa, I never use any moisturizer on my forehead when I'm styling my bangs to go out for the day. I mean not a single, solitary drop. I specifically have thin, fine hair that tends toward getting really stringy and straggly almost as soon as I wash it -- but trust me, absolutely nobody's bangs can stand up to laying around on a well-moisturized forehead all day long. (Don't worry, I make up for it by slathering my forehead with Josie Maran's Argan Oil at night.)
I also make sure to always have some oil blotting papers on hand to give my forehead a quick wipe-down in the middle of the day. Oil is the #1 enemy of light, fluffy bangs -- so skip this step at your own peril. I'm hot & heavy for this fancy-pants lavender-infused kind that comes in its own special carrying wallet, but the $5.00 version from the drugstore works just as well.
2. Blow-dry your bangs immediately!
Don't dawdle applying makeup or body lotion before dealing with your bangs. Bangs dry quicker than you think, and have the tendency to mold themselves into whatever gross shape they happened to air-dry in. Time is of the essence!
3. Break up any cowlicks as you blow-dry simply by using the right hair brush.
The gold standard for good bang maintenance is a boar's hair bristle brush, because the bristles are super close together -- unlike a nylon brush, which tends to leave too many gaps in your bangs due to the bristles being spaced far apart.
I swear by my boar's hair Mason Pearson brush, but the truth is that even the least expensive natural bristle brush can work to properly style your bangs. I bought this cheap $5.00 one from Sally Beauty to travel with because the lady who sold me my Mason Pearson very sternly told me to never, ever, EVER take it out of my house -- unless I wanted it to disappear. Now that I'm on my second Mason Pearson hairbrush, (because of course the first one went missing when I took it out of my house) I've finally heeded her advice.
ANYWAY, using the proper brush is only half of the story. The other half involves making sure you break up any cowlicks you may have so your hair falls straight forward just like you want it to. You accomplish this by brushing your bangs back and forth in a brisk motion while blow drying them using your dryer's nozzle to concentrate the air right on your bangs. Confused? Here, I'll show you how:
This is the only reason my bangs ever look any good -- and I wouldn't have known about it if a clever reader hadn't sent me this video that takes five minutes to explain what you are currently watching an endless loop of. A natural bristle brush ensures that your fringe falls in one neat, shiny curtain -- and also smooths and glosses your hair like crazy! (I swear, if you have straight, flat, lifeless, greasy hair, using one regularly distributes oils from root to end and makes your hair softer, fluffier -- just all around better.)
You can also just style your bangs with the best hair appliance ever created, the John Frieda hot air brush. It's exactly what it sounds like: half hairbrush, half blowdryer, all amazing.
4. Use dry shampoo before you even walk out the door.
When you have bangs, the time to use dry shampoo is not the day after you wash your hair -- it's immediately after washing it. A light dusting of dry shampoo well in advance of your hair getting greasy adds volume and fluffiness like nothing else. I am team Klorane or Shampoolio for life -- but you can actually check out every single xoJaner's favorite dry shampoo picks right here.
5. Bump it up with a Velcro roller.
Emily wrote about a clever bang-styling contraption that's part hair roller, part brush, but you can get pretty close to the same effect just by using a simple, cheap 2-inch Velcro self-grip roller.
It gives just enough "oomph" to your bangs -- and is a great way to keep your bangs out of the way while you get ready.
6. Don’t touch!
I am an insane hand lotion addict, so my hands are always oiled up like a piglet. But grease is the enemy of light, soft, fluffy bangs -- so it's hands off -- no matter what.
As you can tell, I've spent more than a little time thinking about how to get my bangs to look their very best. Can you imagine if I had applied myself to my schoolwork in the same way as a wee teen? I'd surely have solved the bulk of the world's problems by now -- such as how to get cats to do your housework or finding an easy way to launch the next dude who catcalls you immediately into outer space.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison