Whether we’re all inspired by those flawless French girls or taking our cues from Bridgerton, there’s no denying that bangs are having a MAJOR moment. From curtains to micro bangs and everything in between, fringes are flooding our Insta feeds and, quite frankly, we are HERE for it!
But before you head to the salon with your Pinterest board in tow, take a pause. While bangs are a simple way to update your lewk, it’s important to realise they do require some extra TLC.
To find out the best ways to keep bangs looking, well, banging, we’ve chatted to two top hairstylists. Read on for their expert advice on how to style and maintain your bangs like a pro!
First up, are bangs for everyone?
According to celebrity hair stylist, Charlie Wilkinson, we should all be jumping on the bangs-wagon. “There are no limits when it comes to having bangs as there are so many different types… from curtain bangs to side part, wispy feathered bangs, long and short bangs, full bangs, the 60s/70s bangs … the list is endless!” she says.
When working with clients, Wilkinson always considers their individual face shape, hair type and lifestyle. And, since you can’t glue hair back on once cut, she also has a commitment-free solution. “I also recommend clip on bangs to clients who want to give it a try before they buy!”
The best bangs for each face shape
“Everyone can find the perfect fringe to suit their face shape,” insists Melbourne hairdresser, Sofia Basile. “For a square face I recommend a soft wispy fringe or curtain bangs, and for a round face I would recommend a blunt, slightly textured style. The micro fringe suits most face shapes and is ideal for small forehead, while the classic fringe is always very flattering on everyone – but the key is not to go too short.”
The fringes we’re all asking for
Different bangs styles come and go, so what’s in fashion in 2021? According to Basile, we’re spoilt for choice. “The most popular styles I’m doing are curtain or cheekbone fringes, wispy fringes, the micro fringe, the face framing fringe, the mullet and the classic fringe – which is always on trend.”
For Wilkinson, there’s one stand-out style. “The most popular bangs that I style and that are making a huge come back in 2021 is the 70s middle part,” she says. “I cannot get enough of them! I just love how all our favourite hair and style eras are coming back into fashion.”
How to maintain your bangs
There’s no getting around it, bangs do need a bit of attention. “Bangs naturally sit around the front of the face so you will always feel and notice them growing quicker than the rest of your hair,” says Wilkinson.
She and Basile agree that micro bangs need super-regular trims (around every 3-4 weeks), while curtain fringes are the lowest maintenance. “You can can push your visits out to 6 weeks,” says Basile.
As bangs are front and centre on your face, it’s also more important than ever to keep them hydrated and healthy! As well as regular trims, that means investing in a good-quality sulfate-free shampoo that won’t dry out your strands or leave your fringe frizzy.
How to blow dry bangs
While we’re big fans of air-drying hair, your fringe will look a LOT better with some heat styling. And according to Wilkinson, you’ll need a good round brush and a hairdryer with a nozzle at the end – as this helps to keep the cuticle smooth.
As for technique? “Always make sure the air flow is pointed in the direction you want the bangs to sit,” says Wilkinson. “For 70s middle part bangs, take your bang section and blow dry them back away from the face so you create that lovely flick at the ends! For bangs that sit on the face, blow dry forward and side to side,” she says.
Another tip – “Always use a cold air setting right at the end of the blow dry to set the bangs in place.”
While Wilkinson says straighteners, curling tongs and wands are also great for styling bangs, Basile is a big fan of the Velcro roller as it gives a little lift, and is easy for everyone.
Celeb hair-stylist, Charlie's choice product for styling bangs: Coco&Eve's Miracle Hair Serum! “It is literally like smoothing diamonds onto the hair, it’s so glossy and is so lightweight and not greasy at all. It acts as a heat protectant too, protecting the surface of the hair from heat. Lightweight product is key!”
The best products for bangs
To avoid greasy, weighed down bangs, always remember that less (product) is more! Basile’s pick for thick, coarse hair is mousse, and Wilkinson can’t go past a shine-enhancing hair serum. “My favourite is always the Coco & Eve Like a Virgin Miracle Hair Elixir!” she says.
“It is literally like smoothing diamonds onto the hair, it’s so glossy and is so lightweight and not greasy at all. It acts as a heat protectant too, protecting the surface of the hair from heat. I tend to stay away from any products that are too greasy, heavy or wet looking. This can make the bangs drop quickly. Lightweight product is key!”
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How to keep bangs fresh after a sweat sesh
If you’re a daily exerciser, it can be tricky to keep bangs looking fresh. Aside from not wanting them to look lank or get a kink, you’ll also want to minimise grease to avoid forehead breakouts. So, what’s a sporty spice to do?
Before hitting the gym, Wilkinson recommends pinning your bangs with non-slip matte grips. “Pin the bangs out of the way to the sides or in the direction of the parting using bobby pins so it doesn’t mess up or dent the hair,” she says.
“A good stretchy hair band which goes all the way around the head is also great – it keeps the bangs flat to the head and can also protect the hair from sweat and moisture depending on how hard the workout.”
And if there’s one product you should always have on hand? “Always keep some dry shampoo nearby!” says Wilkinson. While she insists bangs are usually pretty easy to salvage, Basile suggests a quick shampoo and blow dry – of your fringe section only – when dry shampoo just can’t cut it.
Don’t cut your own bangs if you can avoid it. But if you do…
Those DIY disasters during lockdown are clear proof it’s best to leave all haircuts to the experts. However, if you ARE forced to be your own hairdresser, Basile has some tips.
“My golden rule with cutting your own bangs is to try and use quality, small scissors. This gives more control and you’re less likely to go too wrong. And always cut less than you think you need to, as most fringes will bounce up!”
Final tips for banging bangs!
“My best tip for banging voluminous bangs is to give the hair a good blast with cold air after blow drying into shape,” says Wilkinson. “Tip your head upside down, give it a good shake, use a bit of texture powder at the root and use your fingers to get that piecey, undone look! Then finish off with a texture spray!”
According to Basile, longer curtain bangs are a great way to dip a toe in the trend. Plus, they’re perfect for longer-haired ladies who want some interest around the face when they rock a pony.
Our tip? To avoid mussing up your fringe while you sleep, make sure you invest in a no-damage pillowcase.
So, if you want a change but you want to keep your length? Bangs are it!
Written By: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Vidhya