Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? One upon a time, I truly loved having bangs. Yes, they were a definitely a major commitment (read: bi-monthly trims, twice yearly keratin treatments, daily washing and styling, and hourly mirror checks), but I loved how my blunt, brow-grazing cut always made me feel like I had a ~lewk~…even on days when I wore a basic T-shirt and jeans and no makeup (which for the record, is basically me every day). My love affair with bangs went on for two-and-a-half years until I finally called it quits. And then I quickly found out that the commitment of having bangs is truly NOTHING compared to the commitment of actually growing those freaking bangs out.
I’m about a year into my growing-out process (and yes, it actually takes that long), and I’ll be honest with you: The first few months were brutal. As much as I loved my bangs, I absolutely loathed the grow-out process. I had no idea what to do with the awkward chunk of hair in front of my face or how to keep the little face-framing pieces from flying all over the place while walking. And, to make things harder, I’m not exactly good at doing my own hair (k, fine, I’m absolutely terrible at it).
But through a combo of experimenting, Googling, watching countless YouTube videos, and begging friends and hairstylists for help, I did manage to master the five prettiest, easiest hairstyles to keep your hair off your face while growing out your bangs. There’s an option for every day of the week, and they’re all simple to DIY with some cute accessories, making your grow-out period almost painless. Almost.
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I used to roll my eyes at headbands, until I finally realized they’re truly the fastest and easiest way to keep awkward-length bangs out of your eyes. You can keep it simple and literally just slip one on, or if you’re worried a headband will feel too fourth-grade cutesy, do what I did for this look and add some messy, textured waves to your hair to rough the whole thing up a bit.
On air-dried hair, I use a Beachwaver curling iron (I’m genuinely terrible at using hot tools, so the fact that you literally only need to push a button with this one means even I can do it) to create loose waves all around my head, then spray the waves with a texturizing hairspray, like Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray. The spray gives my waves a little extra body and light hold to keep them falling—plus it adds some grittiness to keep my headband from sliding around.
After I slip on the headband, I like to gently tug at the hair around my face to loosen some pieces for a bit of volume (again, nothing too cutesy). If any of my bangs are sticking straight up, I’ll tuck the pieces under the rest of my hair and spray them in place with some hairspray.
Those sparkly barrettes you’re seeing on every celeb and influencer? They’re actually perfect for keeping your hair out of your face while you’re grow out your bangs. Start by using a fine-tooth comb to create a clean, center part. Then, on each side of your part, slick down a two inch-section of hair (including your bangs), spraying them first with a strong-hold hairspray, then combing them in place.
Pro/me tip: To keep your hair from looking too stiff, try misting hairspray on the comb before brushing it through your hair each time. Then, keep spraying and combing until your bangs and the front two inches of your hair are fully blended together. Once they’re smooth, secure them with two sparkly clips about three inches from the roots (try clipping right where your bangs end to keep them from popping up), then tuck the ends behind your ears.
Now for the rest of your hair. Mist a volumizing spray on your roots (I use SheaMoisture Coconut and Cactus Water Volumizing Spray) and a salt spray (like Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Soft Spray) throughout your dry hair, from mid-lengths to ends. The goal is to create different textures between your smooth, clipped-back pieces and the rest of your hair to keep it all from looking too kiddish.
If, like me, you only want to wash your hair every few days, this braided style is ideal for the middle of the week when your hair is greasy, your bangs are oily, and you just need to hide it all. It looks hard, but trust me—if you can do a basic braid, you can definitely do this.
First, blast your roots with dry shampoo (I love Briogeo’s Dry Shampoo) to sop up grease and prep your hair for your braid. Then grab a three-inch section of hair above your forehead (including your bangs), sectioning off a triangular mohawk from your hairline all the way back to the crown of your head. Then three-strand braid the section, pulling tightly as you braid to keep your bangs from popping out (don’t worry if some short pieces do pop out—you can just tuck them back in with a mini bobby pin).
Braid until you reach the crown of your head, then secure it with a hair tie, almost like a half-up pony. Continue braiding the tail down to the ends, then twist and wrap the braid into a little bun, pinning in place. To keep the braid intact, finish by blasting it with Big Sexy Hair’s Spray and Play Hairspray, then spritz a non-crunchy salt spray (I like Playa’s Endless Summer Spray) through your lengths and ends for soft, beachy texture.
For this growing-out-your-bangs hairstyle, you’ll need a bunch multi-colored bobby pins (if you’re not into bright colors, metallic pins work too). After center-parting your hair, rake a small amount of Drybar Finishing Cream through your hair from your roots to ends for added shine, pieciness, and hold. Then, with some product residue still on your hands, twist a one-inch section of hair on each side of your part, rolling your bangs into the twist as you go.
Continue twisting until you reach the side of your head (right above your ears), then secure the twist by criss-crossing two bobby pins (it actually keeps your pins from sliding out). Repeat the X pattern again an inch below, mixing and matching pins you use as you go—it’s what makes this style actually look cool, not this-is-me-hiding-my-bangs boring.
Okay, so this braided hairstyle takes a liiiittle more effort, but it’s honestly worth it—it’s so damn pretty and looks so “done” for going out after work. You’re going to need a ton of texture to keep your bangs from slipping out of your braid, so first sprinkle some texturizing powder (Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder is my go-to) on your roots and along your hairline, giving your hair a quick massage to distribute it.
Then, after making a deep side part (I like to start mine over the arch of my eyebrow), French-braid a three-inch section of hair from your part to just beyond your ear, securing the ends with two criss-crossed bobby pins that match your hair color. Finally, slide a cute hair pin (I’m wearing a Colette Malouf star pin) right over the bobby pins to hide them. If your braid looks too small or too tight, fatten it up by gently tugging at the sides to loosen it.
Look 1: Anthropologie headband; Look 2: Kitsch hair clips; Look 4: Sephora bobby pins; Look 5: Colette Malouf hair pin
All clothing and jewelry, writer’s own
Photographer: Ruben Chamorro; Designer: John Francis; Hair and Makeup: Chloe Metzger
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