It’s a pattern as regular as the tides: in spring, we commit to getting bangs…and by Fall, we’re officially over them. But it’s way easier to cut a fringe than it is to grow it out, as anyone who’s ever done it knows all too well. But you don’t have to suffer through awkward hair stages anymore—we’ve put together the ultimate guide to how to grow out your bangs quickly, easily and gracefully.
1. Get a trim—and commit to getting them regularly.
We know—it seems a little counter-intuitive to advise you to get haircuts as you’re trying to grow your bangs out. But trust us: getting your bangs trimmed regularly is not only a good way to keep your hair healthy, it helps blend your fringe into the rest of your hair far more easily.
2. Sweep them sideways.
The easiest bangs to grow out are side-swept bangs—not only do they blend into your hair beautifully, they’re also far less annoying than trying to cope with hair slowly growing down straight into your eyes. Part your hair to either the left or the right (depending on your preference), comb your bangs straight forward from the crown, then swoop them to one side like Zooey Deschanel has done here:
zooey deschanel bangs
It may also help to dampen them, then blow them out with a round brush to help “train” them into their new direction. It may help to comb a little bit of hairspray through them, too, especially if you have issues with cowlicks or flyaways.
3. Embrace accessories.
The hardest thing about growing out bangs is that your newly long hair gets in your eyes and drives you nuts—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Bobby pins and barrettes are great ways to keep your fringe pinned out of your face; we especially love these Scunci No Slip Grip Oval Bobby Pins ($2.99, drugstore.com) for their sleek, non-basic looks AND the way they grab—and hold—even the slipperiest bangs. Simply swoop your fringe to the side, add some pomade or hairspray to keep the hair in place, then slide in a pin to keep it in place.
kristen bell headband
You can also embrace our favorite classic accessory, the headband, to keep those bangs pushed up, up and away—like Kristen Bell is doing. Make sure the band you choose isn’t too tight—that way lies headaches—and stick with dark colors for a grown-up look. We love these ribbon-look headbands from Sweaty Bands ($15, sweatybands.com); not only are they the perfect width, they stay put like a dream.
You can also get into wearing scarves in your hair, which is always a gorgeous look. Use a rectangular scarf (or fold a square scarf into a long band) to push your bangs back, then adjust it so that the scarf sits about two inches back from your hairline, and tie it at the nape of your neck. Let the ends hang long for a retro-inspired look, or tuck them underneath for a sleeker style.
4. Use lightweight (but hardcore) styling products.
You don’t have to shellac your hair down to keep your fringe under control—being selective with your products will really help. Use a light pomade concentrated at the ends to give definition and hold without lacquering your locks to your forehead. We swear allegiance to R+Co Pomade Mousse ($29, neimanmarcus.com), which gives great hold to even fine hair without weighing it down or gluing it together.
If you have thicker hair, or you’re prone to flyaways, hairspray is a great bet. Spritz it through your bangs and comb them into place if you have a lot of short, recalcitrant ends, then finish with a final blast to seal everything in place. We love Kerastase Lacque Noire Hairspray ($37, kerastase-usa.com) because it never feels crunchy or hard in our hair—but does it ever keep it in place!
5. Embrace dry shampoo.
Not only does dry shampoo keep your hair grease-free, it also adds texture and hold—which is exactly what you want when you’re growing out a fringe. Spray a little dry shampoo through the lengths of your bangs, then style as normal; you’ll be amazed at how much more obedient they are!
6. Twist, tease and braid.
Pins and headbands aren’t your only fringe-styling options. Once they’ve gotten long enough, you can also braid your bangs to keep them out of your eyes, like Carey Mulligan did back when she was growing out her bangs-heavy pixie cut.
carey mulligan braided bangs
You can also twist them to one side and hold them in place with a bobby pin. Another easy trick for styling growing-out bangs is to lightly tease them at the back to make all the hair stick together, then pin the hair to one side in a retro-inspired miniature pompadour. Simple, elegant and chic!
7. Be patient!
When you have bangs, it feels like they grow insanely fast—you have to trim them every other week to keep them in check. But when you’re trying to grow them out, it seems like it takes FOREVER for them to grow half an inch. Don’t despair! The no-bangs life is worth living; it just takes a few months for your hair to reach a noticeably longer point. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen…we promise. In three months, you’ll barely remember that you had bangs at all!