You want to start a real beauty conversation? Bring up your experience with bangs and chances are the entire room will be chiming in with their past tales of regret, styling mishaps, DIY trims gone bad, and yes, even total satisfaction in finally going for fringe.
But there's a reason that bangs spark up opinion. It's because they are a commitment (various members of the InStyle Beauty team can vouch for that) and they way you wear them is very personal. While I can rattle off about my routine and what suits me for days, I wanted to see what tricks hair pros have for getting the bangs of your dreams. Whether you're going in for a fresh cut or need some help refining your hair-care routine, just consider this your perfect bangs playbook.
1. Shampoo just your bangs.
The hair at your root shows oil the fastest, that we know. And unfortunately, that's exactly where bangs are... at your root. If you workout regularly, you know the struggle that is balancing your shampoo schedule and keeping clean-looking hair. But relax in the solace that is this tip from Marie Robinson Salon and Celebrity Stylist, Liana Le. "If you are the type of girl who likes to go to SoulCycle three days a week (or any other workout routine), you can save your blow-dry by simply shampooing your bangs, like washing your face, and blow drying them. This is my favorite cheat, because you don't have to style the rest of your hair! It's a quick shortcut for the girl running back to work," she says.
2. Ask for Complimentary Trims
If you ask anyone the downside of getting bangs, we're, like, 99 percent positive you'll hear something about the upkeep. Yes, 'tis true there's a hell of a lot of maintenance, but that doesn't have to add up in dollar signs from visiting the salon. No, we're not telling you to trim them yourself, but ask your stylist about touch-up bang trims. "Keeping up with the bangs of your dreams means seeing your stylist at least every two or three weeks. I offer my clients a complimentary bang trim between regular haircuts to keep the style fresh," says Le. Call your salon to see if they offer this complimentary service.
3. Cut Your Bangs Dry
Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with this trick. "As a stylist I always cut bangs dry, this is a must," says Honey Artists Hairstylist, Tyler Colton. "If anyone tries cutting your bangs while wet, stop them. Hair can shrink up when it dries and everyone’s hair shrinks up differently. What looks great wet can end up being way too short once it dries," he adds.
4. Find Bangs That Fit Your Face Shape
5. Try a Textured Bang
According to Honey Artist Hairstylist, Corey Tuttle, you can achieve a softer, textured bang by holding the hair out and cutting into it. When you hold it straight down and cut it, it creates a blunt vibe. "...which for those with strong facial features and a prominent jaw line, this can help soften the face, giving it a classic, geometric feel," he adds.
6. Ask About Razoring
Recently, my stylist razor cut my bangs, and the result was soft, piece-y fringe that looked natural, but was also super easy to push to the side. According to mizu senior stylist Judy McGuinness, it shortens the line and removes weight all at the same time.
7. Never Underestimate the Power of Dry Shampoo
A stylist told me once to never, ever put hairspray in my bangs, as they could look stiff and shiny—and not in a good way. I've abided by that rule, but sometimes I want a little bit of hold on breezy days, or when I'm heading off to an event and really shouldn't be messing with my hair. His suggestion? Dry shampoo. It soaks up any oils and gives your hair the teeny, tiny bit of texture and grip you need.
8. Avoid Cutting Them Yourself
While pretty much every stylist we chatted with said to avoid trimming your fringe by yourself, one of our pros did give us a helpful trick if you do find yourself with some scissors and liquid courage thanks to a few glasses of vino. "Use eyebrow scissors instead," says Honey Artists Hairstylist, Wesley O’Meara. "They're tiny scissors, so you're forced to think about every cut you make, and if you make a mistake, the cut is small enough that you won't mess it up too bad," he says.