The Secret Formula For Growing Out Bangs
Bangs are flattering and chic—and then tough to get rid of if you suddenly find yourself over them. In fact, count on a total of five months to completely move on from your bangs, says New York stylist/HarryJosh Pro Tools founder Harry Josh. “I know it sounds like forever—but if you know what to expect, you’re more likely to stick with them or not cut them all off again,” he says. “The first month won’t be bad—it’s the second month that I call the Annoying Month. Your bangs are going to drive you crazy for those four weeks, and that’s just how it is. Once you get to month three, it’s pretty smooth sailing,” he promises.
There are really only two types of bangs, according to Josh, the Blunt and the Bardot. Blunt bangs, he says, present more of a challenge: “I’ll tell you right now, thick, straight, blunt-cut bangs are the hardest to grow out. They’re difficult to blend with the rest of your hair. Really think about them before you get them,” he says.
To grow them out, wait until they hit your lashes: “Then you go to the salon and get them thinned, or chipped in,” says Josh. “You’re not cutting them shorter, you’re lightening the weight of them, losing the heavy corners.”
A month later, go back to salon again: “Now you want the stylist to change the shape, so the bangs become rounder and softer,” he says. “That way they’ll blend more easily.” Your Annoying Month may have started a few weeks ago, or it may be just starting, but once the bangs are reshaped, you can start doing the same styling tricks as the Bardot bang, below.
The Brigitte Bardot
The Brigitte Bardot bang—the less full, more rounded, peekabo style—is easier to work with. “Honestly? It’s the best bang,” says Josh. “It’s more flattering, it’s more versatile, it’s sexy. It’s got the sort-of lamb chops on the side that make it much easier to blend.” There’s only one key: “Don’t cut your hair at all.”
His tip for the first month involves creating a sort of side part within the bangs themselves. “When your hair is wet, divide your bangs, put a little get at the roots and then clip it or bobbi pin it and let it dry while you’re putting on your moisturizer, doing your makeup. Once it dries, take out the pin and they’ll stay a little and blend a little better.”
Between the Annoying Month and month three, Josh recommends working with a small round brush. “You’re going to take the brush and blow dry the bang upwards and almost back, up off your head—like the Fonz, or an old-school Charlie’s Angel. When it drops—and it will—you’ll have that gorgeous J. Lo side bang, where it just sort of floats around her face. The blow-drying makes the bang collapse with lift, if that makes sense.”
For months four and five, you can start experimenting with what it’ll be like to be totally bang-free, Josh says. “I like to twist each side of the bangs and then tuck it under,” he says. “Prepare the bangs with a little rough texture—you don’t want anything smoothing, or at all slippery like silicone because you need it to grip***. I put in Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Texturizing Spray ($15, amazon.com) and twist the bang, then take tiny bobbi pins and pin the twist to the head in a criscross shape. The rest of your hair will hang over it and actually hide the twist, so you end up looking like you’ve got that one-length hair you’re wishing for, just as if you’ve tucked some of it back.”
“If you find yourself struggling, don’t think of hair accessories as junior, because they’re not. They’re so good now, and they’re all over the red carpet—people use them all the time, so don’t be afraid to experiment.”
TIP: Josh makes a great round brush ($60, dermstore.com) and the best blow-dryer on the planet; his Perfect Holiday Blowout Kit ($275, dermstore.com) includes the blow dryer, the brush, a fine-tooth comb, and styling clips, essentially all the bang-wrangling tools you might ever need.
*** A goop-clean-beauty-shop option for non-slippery texture is Lavett & Chin’s Sea-Salt Spray ($25, goop.com), which has great grip.