Bangs are a “great way to change up your look without too dramatic a cut or color,” says top hairstylist Marc Mena. It may not be a surprise then why red-carpet A-listers, including Jessica Biel, Kerry Washington, Lea Michele, Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel, Emma Stone and Rooney Mara, have been playing with fringe. If you're thinking of committing to a trim or already rock short forehead strands, read on for Mena's tips on styling and maintaining bangs.
Making the Cut
When it comes to choosing what style of bangs works for you, Mena suggests taking into consideration your hair's natural texture and length. Those with thicker, longer hair will be well-suited for blunt bangs, whereas those with thinner hair should consider the wispy or sideswept bang.
Also consider your face shape when deciding on how to cut your fringe. If your face has a square shape, blunt bangs work well. If you have a round or heart-shaped face, a wispy or sideswept bang might be more flattering.
Ultimately, Mena advises to leave the direction up to your stylist, who is best equipped to determine which fringe is right for you.
A Lesson in Style
When styling bangs at home, Mena suggests minimizing the potential for frizz by always starting with wet hair. You can also spritz on a straightener, like Living Proof Straight Spray. Using a flat oval brush, like the Mason Pearson Pocket Boar Bristle Brush, grab fringe at the roots and blow-dry in a side-to-side, windshield-wiper motion. This will help the bangs dry flat. Avoid using a round brush, which will give bangs too much of an arch and bounce.
Sustaining Your Look
Since bangs do sit on the forehead, which can produce a lot of natural oil, Mena recommends keeping them in tip-top shape throughout the day by dusting a bit of dry shampoo, such as Redken Powder Refresh 01, to the roots of your bangs using a makeup brush. This will prevent hair from looking greasy and can be repeated as many times as necessary.
As far as maintenance is concerned, most salons offer bang trims as a complimentary service. For those who are in a jam and must do it themselves, never cut fringe horizontally or straight across. The error factor is too high. Mena instead recommends cutting vertically into sections of the hair, which is the most forgiving way to trim.
Avoiding Growing Pains
If you’ve had bangs for a few months and are looking to change up your look again, growing them out is not as painful as some might suspect. Mena suggests taking a trip to the salon and requesting that your stylist trim the bangs in such a way that they become a natural part of your haircut, even as they grow out.