After a period of deliberation—since at any given time, I'm either contemplating bangs or in the process of growing them out—I decided to get bangs the other week. (For reference, here's what my bang-less hair looked like before.)
I always give my hairstylist Bill Angst free reign; at this point, the trust level is so high that I don't even bring in reference photos.
And he decided that a long bang it would be. Yes, I deliberately got my bangs cut like this:
As in my bangs are halfway to my nose on purpose. So no, the above photo is not an "after" shot. I took it about a week and a half after the haircut, so this is basically it.
And before you think, "OMG, why would I leave the hair salon with bangs that are hiding my eyes?", hear me out. I'm going to show you just how versatile this cut can be; more versatile, I think, than normal straight-across bangs that graze your eyebrows.
AND—if your bangs got this long simply because you haven't been for a trim in a while, these tips will totally work for you, too!
I pulled my hair back here so you can see the lines of the cut a bit better. Bill cut my bangs based on a centre part, so that I could flip them around in any direction and they'd still fall nicely. This is how they tend to air-dry (which is how I dry my hair most days); my natural part is just slightly off to one side.
The bangs hit at about where my eye socket ends, and you'll notice they're not cut completely blunt—Bill used some haircutting sorcery to kind of thin them out a bit at the ends for softness. (But not TOO much; you don't want them wispy.)
He also left a longer piece on each side to frame the face, which totally reminds me of my favourite celebrity bangs of all time, Sienna Miller's. (Who knows, maybe next time I get a haircut I'll go even shorter, like her.)
I'm really low-maintenance when it comes to hairstyling (like, absurdly low). But bangs do require a bit of extra work. Here's what's in my arsenal to create the looks you'll see below.
Flat iron: I will forever be loyal to Chi for heat tools; I've been using their flat iron for more than a decade and it's never failed me. (Actually, it was Bill who first recommended Chi to me.) I started out with the classic Ceramic Iron but a few years ago switched to the 2-in-1 Curling and Flat Iron to save space—but sadly, I don't think they make this anymore. Although a regular flat iron works, I find it's a little easier to smooth out bangs with the curved edges of a 2-in-1—getting flat-iron kinks in your bangs is the worst. Another 2-in-1 (or 3-in-1?) that is great is the Rowenta Versa Style Iron.
Paddle brush: As far as I'm concerned, there is only Mason Pearson. No other brushes I've tried even come close. I have the "Junior Mixture" brush for medium-to-long, coarse-to-normal hair and love it. I use it for everything—detangling my hair out of the shower, styling with or without a hairdryer, etc. They say a Mason Pearson lasts a lifetime and I think it's true... mine is over 10 years old.
Round brush: This is necessary for styling bangs when you want to give them that fluffy volume that only a round brush and a hairdryer can achieve. The brush above is from Raincry; I also really like the wooden circular brushes from Dannyco.
From The Skincare Edit Archives
Hairdryer: Even if you don't have time to dry your entire head of hair, it's always a good idea to at least dry your bangs so that they fall correctly. In fact, any hairstylist I've interviewed about the correct drying techniques will tell you that it's critical you blow-dry your bangs before they air-dry on their own, otherwise they're never going to cooperate as well. (Like I said, I don't always do this... so do as I say, not as I do.) I think this is one reason so many people get dissatisfied with their bangs; try heat-styling them first before you declare you "can't" have them. The dryer above is a new one I'm trying from Kenneth Bernard; my all-time favourite dryer which is a bit more beat-up looking is my nearly decade-old T3. I can't believe it's still going after all these years! It's probably the Featherweight 1, which has been replaced now by Featherweight 2.
Hairspray: Sometimes necessary to keep your bangs in the right place, although I suggest to proceed with extreme caution. Too much product in your bangs, especially if you have fine hair like me, can make them look greasier much faster. I've got a video coming that I shot after taking these bang photos, and it will be VERY evident that over-manipulating your bangs with fingers/styling products isn't the greatest thing. The product I chose to "set" my bangs in place for one of these styles was Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, which I think is somewhere in between a normal hairspray and a dry shampoo (read: more drying and less grease-making). I found it gave just enough hold without any stickiness, and I welcomed the added texture. However, you could also use the tried and true Elnett. It's the very best standard hairspray.
Okay, on to the four looks!
Look #1: Off-Centre Part and Sleek
This is my everyday way of wearing these bangs, and required probably 30 seconds of work—just brushing them into place. It's where my hair wants to part naturally, and this is how my bangs air-dry themselves. If I wanted to make this a bit sleeker, I'd run a flat iron through the lengths, and maybe add some hair serum. (This is the one I'm loving lately, by the way. Smells like heaven. Just one drop though!)
Look #2: Centre Part and Wavy
For this look, I parted my hair down the centre (well, as close to the centre as a widow's peak will allow) and used the flat iron to create a bit of soft bend so they curve over the eyes. It's a shorter version of the curtain bangs we talked about here, but better for longer faces because the outward direction hits at the middle of the face, creating more width. (That's the reason I don't like centre-parted bangs left straight; I think they end up looking a bit sad and accentuate the length of the face too much. Plus they're hard to blend in with the rest of the hair.)
I like this style of bangs paired with hair in a textured ponytail, or it would also look good with hair down if you created soft waves throughout your hair.
Look #3: Straight and Side-Swept
This is what the bangs do if you sweep them across to one side. They actually cover most of the forehead and fall nicely to just below the eyebrows, which doesn't happen when you try to side-sweep shorter, straight-across bangs—those kind usually end up being too short to do this properly. (See? Toldja there were many advantages to the long bang.) To create this look, I had to wet my bangs and blow-dry them so they'd fall properly without my widow's peak/cowlick thingie forcing them to part in the middle. When you blow-dry, make sure to flip your bangs from side to side so that they don't dry into a part.
I think this style would look cute with a ponytail as well; I always think bangs are the best way to dress up a pony.
Look #4: Deep Side Part and Off-the-Face
Last up we have the swooshy deep side part, which has been trending all over the red carpet lately and is one of my favourite things to do. In my opinion, this is the best style to go for if you want to blend your long bangs into the rest of your hair. I used my trusty Mason Pearson to create the part, which naturally got this height in it, since my hair had previously dried closer to the middle. I used the flat iron again to finish the ends of the bang so that it blended well into the rest of the hair, and then misted with a tiny bit of the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for hold.
This would work with straight or wavy hair, and I like it best with either hair behind one shoulder or all thrown over one shoulder.
Would love to hear what you think of these styles!
Have I made you consider the long bang?
What's your favourite way to style grown-out bangs?
Have you tried any of my favourite products mentioned here?