How To Grow Out Bangs: Expert Tips For Every Hair Texture & Bang Type
Bangs are not a monolithic category since hair texture is far from the same: You can have blunt, straight bangs, wavy curtain bangs, curly fringe bangs, side-swept, and a few other iterations we're likely missing. So if you decide to grow them out, it won't be the same process for everyone.
So here, we spoke with experts on the grow-out process, how to style them easier, and what you can expect during those dreaded awkward phases.
How do you grow out straight-across bangs?
These bangs have a sharp line, clean cutoff, and are usually styled straight, either from the natural texture or manually straightened. (This is because waves and curls naturally create dimension and texture, so they don't convey the same flat edge.) Because of this, these are the hardest bangs to grow out.
"Bangs that are cut straight across do have a few frustrating days ahead when growing them out. Mainly because they don't blend or connect to the rest of the hair," says celebrity hairstylist Marcus Francis, brand ambassador for new natural brand Better Natured.
So what should you do? Well, it might require a salon visit. "If it's possible on your next visit to the salon, ask your stylist to soften the corners by cutting a very small section at a 45-degree angle so that it has a bit more connection to the rest of the hair," he says. "If in that visit you can have them soften the ends of the bangs by either point cutting them to give them texture so the grow-out process will be kinder, or gently using the thinning shears to do the same thing. Adding softness to the bangs will make it an easier process to grow out your bangs."
If you can't make it to the salon or would rather tend to the problem by yourself, use this at-home hair trimming technique from celebrity hairstylist and Biolage brand ambassador Sunnie Brook: Use a wide-tooth comb to break up your ends, then grab a section of your hair and cut into the strands, scissors facing you. This trick, Brook says, is great for removing split ends and giving a more textured look. "It gives the hair more of a tapered end rather than a blunt end," Brook says. This tactic also gives you a more forgiving finish.
How do you grow out wavy bangs?
Wavy bangs may be fully across the forehead, part in the center (a la curtain bangs) sweep to a side, or the long shag. Since the texture is wavy, they don't fully have that crisp edge, as any bend or swoop will give the hair some inherent movement.
"In general, wavy bangs are easier, as it can blend into the rest of the hair," says Francis. "For example, shaggy bangs—aka longer bangs that graze the eyebrows or below—are much easier to grow out." During the grow-out process, "slice a few pieces on the sides to help them blend," essentially making a few face-framing layers a bit longer than the bangs themselves.
How do you grow out curly bangs?
If you've got curls, be it shaggy tendrils or blunt springs, you're in luck: You'll have the easiest grow-out possess. In fact, you can more or less skip the awkward bang phase with a few styling hacks.
"In my experience, curly bangs are actually easier to grow out. The texture in curls is pliable, and you can twist or mold them into place to morph into the rest of the hair," says Francis. "Using a leave-in cream can help mold them into place. Using setting clips will help you to shape the curl, especially the ends, into place how you'd like."
Begin this styling process while air drying. Like hairstylist and founder of Hair Rules Anthony Dickey tells us about air drying, if you want your curls to lay flatter, apply product while sopping wet; if you want some more volume in the area, do a quick pass with a microfiber towel to remove some of the water and build volume.
Styling tips for any hair type:
- Split them: "Styling your bangs in the middle like curtain bangs is one option for how to work with them until they are grown out," says Francis.
- Sweep them: Not the harsh, stiff side-swept bangs of yore but a gentle, easy, textured brush across. "If you're not a middle-part woman, swooping them across is also an option," says Francis.
- Pin them: "A bobby pin can act as an accessory and gives your hair an extra styling point while you're trying to grow them out," says Francis.
- Add accessories: If all else fails, using headbands, scarves, playful pins, hats, and accessories is an easy way to keep your hair out of your face.
Should you be trimming bangs during the grow-out?
We've been told that even if you are trying to grow out length, you should be getting regular trims. Does the same go for bangs? Not as much, says Francis: "If you're trying to grow them out, other than softening the ends, you won't need to touch them for a while." Once they get long enough, however, "you should try to be open to adding a few face-framing layers to make the process less troubling. That way, the bangs will have something to blend to and as they grow; it'll morph into more of a layer."
Even the phrase "Growing out bangs" can inspire dreaded groans. And, sure, there might be a day or two that you can't seem to get them just right, but with a little patience, styling, and maybe even a salon visit, you'll get the growth you're looking for.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.