The decision to get bangs can be a major moment in a person’s life. Remember that scene in Legally Blonde when Elle is all bummed out at law school and calls her sorority sisters to vent, but one of them interrupts and tells her, “I got bangs!” all proudly? It was kind of rude, but I get it, bangs are a big decision for some people, while for others, it’s part of their signature look. Now, if you’re someone who has also made the life-changing jump to fringe, especially after considering them for a while, you’re probably wondering how to style bangs and how to maintain them.
Bangs come in all shapes and sizes. There are Brigitte Bardot–inspired curtain bangs that have been hot for a minute, rightfully so. There are also the classic bang styles, like blunt, straight-across bangs, baby bangs, curly bangs, side bangs (Gen Z be damned), and face-framing bangs. While they all look pretty different, much of the same tips and tools can be applied.
In order to make your transition to the fringe life as seamless as possible, we enlisted celebrity hairstylist Riawna Capri to give us tips on how to style bangs of all kinds. The first thing you should know about having bangs? It’s a very real obligation. “You must be committed to styling them every day unless you are planning to wear them as curly bangs, and you truly must be ready for them,” says Capri. The second thing? Don’t get them after a breakup, she stresses, no matter how tempting it sounds. (Listen, we’ve all been there.)
Capri also says that when it comes to curly and textured hair, it’s best to go to a professional who knows how to work with your hair type—and don’t forget the inspo pics. “Hair texture is very important when it comes to cutting and styling bangs. “Check out Pinterest and find at least three pictures of what your bang goals are, bring them into the salon as inspiration and talk about all of the details thoroughly with your hairstylist,” says Capri. “And the secret trick to set yourself up for success is also sharing a few photos of bangs you don’t like. People can see the same thing, but not necessarily speak the same language.”
Keep scrolling for Capri’s best bang-styling tips, and if you’re someone who likes a visual aid, check out how Capri styles her own bangs here.
Tip #1: Don’t Style Your Bangs When They're Dry
All bangs should be styled wet, according to Capri. “When they are wet, it’s the only opportunity you have to make them go to where you would like for them to go,” she says. We recommend keeping a spray bottle handy so you can re-wet your strands if they start to dry before you have time to style.
Tip #2: Don't Forget the Heat Protectant
A lot of people use hot tools to style their hair, but many forget to spritz their heat protectant on bangs, too. Magic Myst, from Capri’s haircare line InCommon, helps make bangs shiny and smooth while also protecting against any heat damage that’s caused by frequent styling.
Tip #3: Use a Compact Dryer for Baby Bangs and Straight-Across Bangs
For shorter bangs or for fringe that’s pretty much the same length across, Capri says to first smooth everything out with a Denman brush. Then, she likes to use a compact hair dryer, like the T3 Fit, to blow-dry while moving left to right, then setting them forward to fall straight across on your forehead. “The compact size lets me get really close to the face, easily.”
Tip #4: For Curtain Bangs, Blow Forward Then Flip
“Blow everything forward until almost dry, then blow each side forward but spin the brush away from your face to create that outward flip in the back,” says Capri. Then, use a flat iron to create that extra flick in the direction needed.
Tip #5: Use a Flat Iron for a Smooth, Polished Finish
Capri says you can use your flat iron to polish your bangs for a smoother/flatter appearance after you blow them out. “T3’s Lucea ID is always great because it has a refresh mode for the next day to reduce heat damage,” she explains.
Tip #6: Use Some Product If You're Going to Air-Dry
To reduce frizz, lightly coat your bangs with a lightweight styler or elixir before letting them air dry. “Scrunch and twist each side away from your face, and let them be!” says Capri.
Shop More of Our Favorite Styling Products and Tools for Bangs
A few quick puffs at the roots deliver instant volume and lift for bangs.
If you’re looking for a dry-shampoo formula that’s on the cleaner side, we love this tapioca-based option from Tresemmé. Dirty bangs? Where?
This easy-to-use blow-dryer brush takes the at-home scaries out of a blown-out bang job.
Hold, control, and soft, touchable texture without icky residue or that obvious I-just-doused-my-hair-in-product effect.
This new, strategic air dry cream from R+Co balances the hair’s pH so you get the best results from a no-heat style job.
The shine and bounce-boosting process starts in the shower. Try out IGK’s dreamy new shampoo and conditioner for impressive results that will reduce your product needs later on.