Growing Out Your Bangs: How To Style, Maintain & Live With Them

Everything you need to know to survive this process, from someone who's come out the other side.
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Everything you need to know to survive this process, from someone who's come out the other side.

It’s been almost three months since I started growing out my signature blunt bangs, and in that time I have learned A LOT. Making a significant hair change like this doesn’t just involve emotional adjustments (which I was expecting), but actual skill adjustments, too (which I was not).

So for all of you who are growing out fringes or thinking about growing them out, I present to you the definitive guide to styling (and living with) your bangs as you grow them out.

Get Regular Haircuts

This sounds counter-intuitive, I know, and admittedly, I’m not the best about getting regular haircuts. But this is the number one BEST THING you can do for your bangs while they get longer so that you don’t go totally insane.

For one thing, getting them cut and styled as they grow out means that they flow into the rest of your hair. They look like they’re supposed to be there, rather than shouting to the world, “THIS IS WHAT I’M STUCK WITH RIGHT NOW.”

side bangs

I MAY BE GROWING OUT MY FRINGE BUT I STILL LOOK FRESH TO DEATH.

My straight bangs were crazy-thick, but thanks to the awesome cuts Lorelei at Tsubo gave me, I can count on one hand how many times they’ve annoyed me while they grow out. She took out a lot of the weight so they don't look too heavy or unbalanced. She was also careful to clean up the frazzled ends while maintaining most of the length. After three months, my bangs are legit side-swept perfection.

growing out bangs

Super obsessed with my hair right now.

So trust me on the haircuts.

Post-Wash Maintenance

Since you’ve had bangs, you know that getting them to lay correctly immediately post-shower is CRUCIAL. It's no different now that they're growing out--you really need to style them from wet to dry to make sure the hair sits nicely until your next wash.

While your hair is soaking wet, comb and part your hair wherever you so desire. Mine is to the left side.

how to side part hair

Part!

Now we blow-dry. A little heat is very helpful, especially if you’re establishing a new part situation. I comb my bangs straight forward first, then to the opposite side, then back the way they’re going to lay. This eliminates any waves or cowlicks, and gives them some nice body.

how to blow dry bangs

A handy chart to show you how to blow-dry your growing-out bangs!

I blow0dry the rest of my hair in sections, run a flat iron over it and voila! My bangs look gorgeous and lay neatly with the rest of my hair.

long side bangs

Tah dah!

Styling

Styling your hair while you’re growing out a fringe can be a pain in the ass; even more so if you (like me) don’t really LOVE getting elaborate with it on a daily basis.

I’ve mostly stuck with these three bang-restraining styles as mine grow out. They’re quick, easy, cute, and they work whether your hair is worn down or up.

Style #1: The Barrette

This is so simple: I spray my bangs with a healthy dose of hairspray and smooth with the palm of my hand, making sure that any short bits at the very front are “glued” in with the rest. I position my bangs so that they sit the way I want them to across my forehead, then slide a barrette in and clip it down.

barrette bangs

If you have thick hair, you’ll probably want to use the heavy duty clips rather than the cute ones from the little girl’s section at Target. They’re not as adorable, but they stay put.

Style #2: The Headband

For those days when you want to show off that widow’s peak, grab a pretty headband (make sure it’s soft, fellow glasses-wearers), bandanna, or silk scarf and slide it into your hair, pushing your bangs back as you go.

gold headbands

Always match your headband to your nail polish.

I especially love this style with high ponytails! It’s so '50s cheerleader!

best high ponytail

GO RYDELL HIGH!

Style #3: The Twist

For a slightly more ~bohemian~ look, this is what I go with. I start by pulling out a small section of hair right where I want the twist to begin, then a second piece right next to it. I pull piece #1 down and cross it under piece #2, incorporating a little more “free” hair from the bangs into piece #2, then pull it up. Think like a French braid, but with only two pieces. I keep going like this until I have no more bangs to twist, and then I pin it down at the side with a bobby pin.

twisted bangs style

Twisty! 

This twist style REALLY keeps your bangs out of your eyes. Plus it’s elaborate-looking enough to wear out practically anywhere.

twisted bangs

Twisty and pretty!

Growing out bangs takes a long time, and it can be totally maddening. But stick with these tips and I promise that your life--and your hair--will feel INFINITELY more manageable.

  • Have you ever grown out bangs? 
  • What's your best styling (or life) tip for this most tricky of processes? 
  • Which of these three ways of styling do you like best?