The inevitable growing-out phase of bangs can be daunting, burdensome, and downright annoying — so much so that you might be tempted to break out the shears in a bout of frustration, delaying the process even further. And unfortunately, in the age of Zoom, it’s easier than ever to fixate on that pesky, in-between length rather than sitting back and letting your hair do its own thing.
While figuring out how to grow out your bangs can take time, there are ways to make the process less stressful. Remember: “Bangs are a commitment,” celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway tells Bustle. “If you choose to get them, plan for a slow breakup.” Just know that you’ll get through it with a little creativity and a lot of patience.
The most important thing to keep in mind: Trust the process. Depending on how quickly your hair grows, you might see your bangs catch up with the rest of your mane in as little as five or six months, says hairstylist and founder of útiles beauty Josh Liu. If you need assistance in the meantime, Redway, Liu, and more experts reveal easy tips and tricks for growing out bangs below.
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1. Don’t Skimp On Conditioner
Keeping your hair healthy is always crucial, but especially so when you’re trying to grow out bangs. Using a moisturizing, leave-in conditioner about once a week will do the trick. Liu recommends keeping Redken’s Extreme Length Leave-In Treatment close by to prevent the ends of your hair from splitting, while Redway suggests Nexxus Curl Define Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner for curly or frizz-prone locks.
2. Get Them Trimmed
Yes, really. It seems counterproductive, but in order for your bangs grow out properly, you’ll need to get them trimmed as regularly as the rest of your hair. The biggest misconception is that you should not trim your hair when growing out your bangs, says Joseph Maine, Color Wow artistic director. “If the ends of your hair are damaged, the split ends will travel up the hair shaft. If this isn’t taken care of during the growing-out stage, it can cause breakage that may force you to cut your bangs shorter than you would have liked,” adds Redway. Be careful not to overdo it, and if you can, visit a pro. “The more you cut, layer, or play with [your bangs],” says Liu, “the longer the growing-out process will be.” A healthy trim every couple of months is a good balance.
3. Experiment With Accessories
Headbands, scarves, clips, bobby pins, and barrette-style hair accessories are great ways to keep strands out of your face during the growing-out phase. “You can twist [bangs] back, pin them back, part them to the side or the center, and use clips,” says Redway. In other words, the sky’s the limit, so consider the growing-out stage the perfect time to be playful with all the fun hair accessories you’ve accumulated.
If you opt to go faux, Redway suggests placing a tiny piece of a skin weft hair extension (she likes Hair by Violet’s selection) in the middle of your bangs and using Nexxus Weightless Hold Ultra Fine Hair Spray on a round brush to help blend the ends of your bangs with the extensions.
4. Avoid Heat
It’s tempting to use straighteners or curling irons to try and blend your bangs with the rest of your hair, but use caution when it comes to heat-styling tools. “If you’re constantly using hot tools on your bangs, they’ll become dry and damaged,” says Richman. Instead, use a small round brush and a blowdryer with a concentrator nozzle to create shape in a gentler way.
If you can’t part with your heated appliances, try to use ones that offer different settings. Liu points to the T3 Lucea ID straightening iron and the T3 Curl ID curling iron as solid options that allow you to control the temperature, which helps prevent heat damage, breakage, and split ends.
5. Play With Different Styles
Believe it or not, there’s actually quite a lot you can do during the growing-out period. From sleek and tight to braided and twisted, you can try different styles that will enhance your bangs, no matter their length. To transition into a super-trendy curtain bang, for instance, celebrity hairstylist Nai’vasha Johnson recommends delicately draping your bangs out of your face, starting right above the bridge of the nose. To take it even further, get a texturized, layered cut, which will help blend your bangs into your layers for a “purposeful shag,” says Liu. You can even add a little wave in it for a boho-chic vibe.
Another option is to braid or twist the bang area to keep it up and out of your face. Richman recommends the crown braid or halo braid technique, which can be achieved using Monat Tousled Texturizing Mist and a bobby pin or two. Alternatively, take a cue from the Hadid sisters and try a trendy tendril updo. “Create a center part, and when your bangs are still wet, blow dry them to each side of the part so that they lay flat,” Richman explains. “Pull your hair back into a tight, low to mid ponytail or bun. Use Monat Studio One Flexible Hold Gel on your bangs to slick them down and back so that they disappear into your style.”
6. Change Your Part
For an easy switch-up, consider swapping your middle part for a side part (and vice versa), but note that a center part will be difficult with shorter bang lengths. “I always recommend switching over to a side part,” Liu says. His pro tip is to use a blowdryer at the root to help the bangs stay in place.
7. Be Patient
With the right tricks (and products), growing out your bangs won’t feel so painful. Lean into the “subtle sexiness” of it, Johnson suggests. There’s beauty in the awkward phase — by letting nature run its course, you can really get creative with different styles. Whatever you do, one thing is key, she adds: “Nurture your bangs like you nurture the rest of your hair.”