You’ve seen the look on stars like Dakota Johnson and Alexa Chung: Long, grown-in bangs that effortlessly frame the face, and somehow miraculously never go out of place. Just like any other I-don’t-care hair or makeup look, styling a longer fringe requires a little more effort than simply rolling out of bed (although that’s exactly the look you’re going for).
Whether you’re a fan of lived-in bangs, in the beginning stages of growing your fringe, or have simply been putting off getting a trim, there are a few tricks you can use to keep your bangs in check. We turned to Fatima Sheikh, stylist at Cutler/Redken SOHO in N.Y.C. for a handful of pro-tips on how to maintain longer fringe so you have a killer style, instead of a major annoyance that’s constantly poking you in the eyes.
1. Speak Up
If your longer length is intentional and not a result of neglecting to keep up with regular bang trims, tell your stylist your preference so he or she can cut accordingly, “Let your stylist know that you prefer them longer so they can blend them into the layers on the frame of your face to give you that perfect lived-in bang that turns into lovely layers,” says Sheikh.
2. You’ve Got Options
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a long fringe is that unlike thick, full eyebrow-grazing bangs, you have a number of styling options, whether you’re in the mood to wear your hair up or down. “You can wear longer bangs to any side or parted down the middle,” suggests Sheikh. “They also look like a really effortless addition to a ponytail when you would rather throw your hair up. Longer bangs are also very easy to blow-dry back and pin out of the way if you’re not feeling it.”
3. Ease Up on the Products
Piling on the product might seem the obvious solution to keeping your bangs under control but Sheikh recommends not using too many products on your fringe due to it being so close to your face. Her tips for making your bangs stay right where you want them? “It is important to dry your bangs first as we all tend to have pesky cowlicks around our hairlines. When hair is wet is easiest to get them to lie how you like. Brush your fringe side to side while blow drying to make sure they have swing, then part how you please,” she says.
4. Time Your Trims
Even long bangs need to be trimmed sometimes. To maintain shape and keep the length eye-crazing, Sheikh recommends making a trip to your stylist for a trim every six to eight weeks. If you want to stretch out the time between cuts, she suggests making a slight adjustment to your style by wearing them in a side swoop as they grow. “It’s more versatile and keeps you from getting antsy and self-trimming,” Sheikh says.
5. Think Fuller If You’re Curly
Although Sheikh says a longer fringe can suit any hair type, she advises that curly girls need to be aware that “less weight means more curl so err on the side of longer and fuller to make room for the bounce up.”