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Finally Got Bangs? Here are Some Expert (and Easy!) Ways to Style Them

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Staff/Getty Images

Bangs—beautiful and soft face-framing strands of hair—have the power to transform your entire look. They’re kind of magic when you think about it, adding a touch of style and sophistication to your hairstyle, and they truly serve as the perfect accessory to every outfit and Instagram selfie.

Whether you have long, short, straight, or curly hair, bangs can be tailored to suit your unique personality and facial features. But styling and maintaining bangs can sometimes be a challenge. It’s honestly what deters most people from getting bangs altogether, because a fringe can require some added style time and maintenance when getting ready for the day. But have no fear, because as you may know by now, we have a guide for virtually everything here at IPSY.

We’re here to help you achieve the perfect bangs look, no matter your hair type or style preference, with tips from expert stylists. From choosing the right bangs for your face shape to mastering different styling techniques, this article will cover all the tips and tricks you need to rock your bangs with confidence. Get ready to elevate your hairstyle game and embrace your best bangs yet.

About the Expert:

Nick Stenson is a licensed celebrity hairstylist, esthetician, and makeup artist. Nick is currently an ambassador and celebrity stylist for L’ORÉAL/Matrix and Ulta Beauty’s Senior Vice President for Store & Service Operations.

1. Use a Soft Paddle Brush for Volume

“Curtain bangs are complementary for square-shaped faces,” says Nick Stenson, a licensed celebrity hairstylist, esthetician, and makeup artist. He adds that they’re perfect for adding a softer, rounding effect to the face. Plus, they help make any updo, bun, or ponytail look extra chic. “To style at home, use a soft paddle brush and low speed blow-dryer to gently round the bang and finish with a soft texture spray,” says Stenson. If you decide to air dry, which looks great for more hair textures when cut into curtain bangs, make sure to give them a little volume by scrunching them as they dry. Or, you can use an air-dry styler like this one from ODELE.

2. Have Your Stylist Cut Your Bangs a Little Longer

“Consider cutting your curtain bangs a little bit longer if you have an oval or heart-shaped face,” says Stenson. “They’re great for center-part styles and create a subtle offset of weight, bringing interest to basic styles,” he says. 

“Prep with a volumizing spray, then blow dry in one section with a medium round brush. Finish with the cool shot button on your dryer and sweep away from the face,” says Stenson. Plus, by having them cut longer, they will be a bit more low maintenance and piece-y. 

3. For Curly Bangs, Always Prep With a Styling Cream

If you have a square, oval, oblong, or diamond face shape, curly bangs are super flattering on you. “Curly bangs can be customized to accentuate the face by adding weight or volume just where we need it,” says Stenson. 

First, prep hair with a styling cream, then get your diffuser attachment out for your blow dryer to diffuse dry hair. Diffuse drying basically means you’re widening out the stream of heat and air instead of directly hitting the follicles. The technique results in minimally frizzy hair which is perfect for keeping curls looking hydrated and bouncy.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Use a Flat Iron

Blunt, oblong, and oval-shaped faces can look stunning in blunt bangs or baby bangs. “They create a horizontal point of focus and provide width at the brow area,” says Stenson. 

Add a heat protectant spray or serum to hair, and then use a vent brush to blow dry hair all over the face. “For maximum bluntness, use a straightener to straighten the bangs,” says Stenson.

5. Try Drying in a Downward Direction

Oval and diamond-shaped faces look gorgeous in blunt bangs—but of course, anyone can try them if they’re feeling a bold look. They’re also great if you love bangs, but you’re tired of pushing them away from your eyes. 

“With a bang this length, styling is minimal,” says Stenson. “Total Results Mega Sleek Blow Down Smoothing Leave-In Cream is a great option to provide a smoothing effect to your hair and to lay bangs in place over the forehead. Be sure to dry in a downward direction on low heat and use a fine-tooth comb to direct.”

6. That Cold-Shot Setting? Use It

You may remember flat ironing your angled bangs to your face if you grew up in the aughts, but this style is making a major comeback. Stenson points out that round, oval, square, and heart-shaped faces all look great with this look. “This asymmetrical choice offsets strong lines by transitioning the weight of a style to one side,” he says.

First, prep with a volumizing foam or spray at the roots. Then, blow dry hair down and away from the face “with a large round brush using the cool shot to set before dropping,” says Stenson.

7. Use Clips When Doing Skincare

Moisturizer can make things a little greasy. When running through your skincare routine, make sure to sweep your bangs out of the way with flat styling hair clips. This will prevent your bangs from becoming weighed down by excess oil, and once your products have absorbed, just unclip those babies.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to “Top Wash”

Even by being careful with your skincare, it’s no secret your bangs can become greasy and adopt that stringy look pretty quickly. They’re always going to look great freshly washed, but to avoid overwashing your whole head of hair, don’t be afraid to do the “sink wash” or “top wash” to refresh those bangs and restore them to their natural, fluffy selves. Your bangs typically require the extra TLC when it comes to washes.

9. Less Product Is More

One concept to keep in mind when avoiding excess grease: Less product is more. Your bangs don’t really need much of anything besides a good hair dryer and a quick style. If you’re applying something to your hair like a styling cream, hairspray, or a texturizing product, just use whatever is left on your hands on your bangs after applying it through the rest of your hair.

10. Dry Shampoo Will Be Your BFF

When in doubt, dry shampoo will be your bangs’ BFF. Those delicate strands will always benefit from a little spruce-up. But the secret? Try a powder dry shampoo—one that is light, discreet, and won’t further weigh down your hair. We love this one from CROWN AFFAIR, which comes with the most convenient brush applicator ever. 

From texturizing sprays to volumizing powders, discover new products that’ll make styling your bangs a cinch. Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated September 29, 2023 12:00 AM