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Everything You Need Know Before You Get Bangs

Getting bangs is a life-changing decision. You may think that it’s pretty simple. Just cut off your hair and you’ll immediately transform into bangs goddess Zooey Deschanel, right? No. It doesn’t work like that. There are a lot of things that you need to consider before hacking off your hair. Luckily for you, I’ve lived the bangs lifestyle on and off for the last seven years and I’ve got some helpful tips for you.

Not everyone can rock bangs. Unfortunately, there are certain factors that make bangs a little trickier for some people to pull off. First of all, if you have a short forehead, bangs might crowd your face. I’m talking a really short forehead, though, so this factor won’t eliminate many people. You might be able to pull off baby bangs, but they’re notoriously difficult for anyone to pull off.

Second, if you have really oily skin, bangs upkeep will prove to be fairly difficult. You bangs are resting on your forehead all day, soaking up all the oil that your skin is secreting. Your bangs won’t stay fresh and will become limp noodles just drawing people’s attention to your oily forehead. Not to be harsh, but it’s true. Similarly, if you live in a really hot and humid environment, bangs upkeep is tricky for that same reason. If you spend any significant amount of time outside, even a mildly perspiring face is going to ruin your bangs. On that note, if you live in a really windy environment, bangs are going to be equally difficult to maintain. I spent a summer working in Ireland, and pretty much every time I stepped outside my door, the steady winds immediately destroyed my styled bangs, no matter how much hairspray I doused them with. Therefore, your third consideration is climate. 


Girl With Hair Blowing In The Wind Fall
Anna Thetard / Her Campus

Fourth, and most importantly, are you committed to spending precious time every single day making your bangs look good? Even though I don’t wash all of my hair every day, I do wash my bangs every single morning, even if it’s just in the sink with a tiny drop of shampoo. The sweat and hairspray remaining from yesterday practically guarantee that your bangs will look like trash in the morning, and you’ll have to wash them daily. You almost certainly have to blow dry your bangs every time you wash them, too. Bangs don’t just magically sweep across your forehead in a fashionable style. There are particular techniques that you’ll have to employ to give your bangs the shape and style that you want. YouTube is your friend when it comes to discovering these techniques.

One misconception that I’d like to address, however, is that you can’t get bangs if you have curly or natural hair. The above considerations still apply, so if you’ve got a short forehead, oily skin, or thin hair, you might not want to attempt bangs. But curly bangs are such a look. Not enough people attempt them, in my opinion, and I’d love to see more people out there rocking them! 


Thought Catalog/Unsplash

So, if you’ve passed the litmus test described above and still believe that you can and want to pull off bangs, there’s another thing to consider: what kind of bangs do you want? You’ve got a lot of options, but they don’t look equally good on all people. Curtain bangs, side-swept bangs, blunt bangs, baby bangs, curly bangs…you need to do some research to find out which bangs will look best with your face shape. There are hundreds of articles and quizzes out there designed to help you pick a shape for your bangs! 

I’ll end with some more general tips on getting and maintaining banging bangs. Firstly, if you decide to commit to bangs, go to your hairstylist to get them cut. Do not cut bangs by yourself. Your hairstylist can also help you pick out the best bangs shape for your face. Once you’ve had them cut, don’t freak out if they don’t look how you envisioned they would. You might have to play around with them a bit to figure out how to best style them. Once you have bangs, know that they need to be trimmed much more often than the rest of your hair. I trim my bangs about once a month; but it could be even less time—especially if you go for a bold look like blunt bangs or baby bangs. I personally trim my bangs by myself, but this takes practice. Again, YouTube is your friend. You don’t have to trim your bangs by yourself, but it does save you the cost of getting a haircut every month. Also, it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it

Some more considerations: the hair products and even your skin and makeup products can also significantly affect how your bangs will behave. If you get bangs, you might have to switch up your skincare and makeup routine. Rich skin creams should only be applied to your forehead at night; otherwise, your bangs will soak them right up and become stringy, greasy noodles. If you wear makeup, you won’t want to apply heavy layers of foundation to your forehead, either. One positive of longer bangs is that you won’t need to be as vigilant about your eyebrow upkeep. You can easily hide those furry suckers as long as you like behind a trendy curtain of bangs.


Skincare morning routine
Kevin Laminto

When it comes to hair products, while you should wash your bangs more often than the rest of your hair, you don’t need to apply conditioner during each wash. If you apply rich moisturizing hair products to your hair regularly, try to minimize the amount applied to your bangs as well. If your bangs are weighed down by conditioners, oils, or creams, they will only get oily and gross that much faster. Hairspray is a must for most bangs styles, but only apply as much as you need. Don’t overdo it—no one likes crunchy, overly stiff bangs. Again, you want to minimize the amount of product that your bangs come into contact with. In addition to hairspray, you’ll also probably want to make sure you have a decent blow drier and a comb. A short, fine-toothed comb is perfect for most bangs styles, although you might want a different tool for curly bangs. 


Element5 Digital
Element5 Digital / Unsplash

Finally, the golden rule of bangs upkeep: keep a comb on you at all times. Your bangs will not behave all day long. You never know when you’ll step outside and a gust of wind will ruin your perfectly-styled fringe. And you don’t want to spend the rest of your day with mussed-up bangs. On that note, keeping a travel-sized bottle of hairspray in your bag isn’t a bad idea either. Take a hint from the Boy Scouts and always be prepared

I hope I haven’t scared you out of getting bangs, but I think that it’s crucial that you know what you’re getting yourself into when making such a life-changing style decision. Bangs are such a fun and unique hairstyle, and I’d love to see more people rocking them. If you decide to go for it, my wish for you is this: may your bangs always be banging.

 

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Lydia Schaecher

Notre Dame '20

Lydia Schaecher is currently a senior at Notre Dame studying Environmetal Sciences and Philosophy. When not studying or working, she can be found running in just about any weather, watching Ancient Aliens and reading up on conspiracy theories, getting ridiculous deals while thrift-store shopping, or playing Nancy Drew computer games.
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