How to Find the Most Flattering Bangs for Your Face Shape

How to Find the Most Flattering Bangs for Your Face Shape
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How to Find the Most Flattering Bangs for Your Face Shape
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We’ve all seen our favorite celebrities rocking some seriously amazing bangs on the red carpet and on magazine covers. But becoming a fringe convert means finding the right style of bangs for your face shape, and for your lifestyle. Because, let’s face it: life is too short for sub-par hair, especially when it’s framing your face.

For advice, we turned to celebrity hair stylist David Babaii, whose clients include A-listers like Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow. Here’s how to tell which bangs will work best for you, and how to keep them looking slick no matter what your hair type.

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The Owner’s Manual for Naturally Wavy Hair

Perfect waves are coveted far and wide by the straight-haired and curly-haired alike, but if you were born with naturally wavy hair, then you’re already well aware that sometimes your texture feels like a curse rather than a blessing. It occupies a middle ground—not as wash-and-go as straight strands, without the bounce of natural curls. But even though getting there may take a little extra (occasionally tedious) work, waves can look shiny and gorgeous, so long as you know how to style them.

The key to making your wavy hair work, says Gary Howse, co-owner and founder of Gary Manuel Salons in Seattle, is to pick a texture and commit to it. “If you’re going to go straight, go straight and really shiny and make that the focus. Or,” he advises, “pick curly and learn how to accentuate the curl.”

If you want to play up your texture…

Scrunch with mousse.
Okay, we fully realize how 1991 that directive sounds, but 2015’s updated foam formulas promise to leave hair sexy and touchable, not crunchy. We’re fans of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Waves Foam Mousse, which enhances waves with flexible polymers that create a soft, defined texture.

Coarser wavy hair may require a more heavy-duty, stronger hold product. Ouidad Curl Recovery Curl Defining Styling Soufflé is designed to moisturize and define dry or damaged textured hair, especially those that are natural or transitioning.

Master the anti-gravity blow-dry.
Wavy hair can get weighed down, so there are additional factors that contribute to the perfect blow-dry. “When you’re going curly, you have to think about, ‘How do I dry my hair in a way that it’s not being pulled on?,’” Howse says. This may mean flipping your head upside down, or leaning your head to one side while you dry hair with a bell-shaped diffuser. A diffuser, of course, is absolutely crucial: This attachment clips onto the nozzle of your hair dryer to spread out the airflow over a wider area, giving you a gentler blow-dry that plays up natural texture while minimizing frizz. It’s a must-have.

If you want to go straight…

Prep hair with product.
Wavy hair requires both moisture to fight frizz and hold to keep a blowout from falling flat. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) is a new 5-in-1 styling treatment that offers both. The lightweight cream is the very first to combine the company’s two patented molecules: OFPMA, which smooths the cuticle and adds shine sans silicones, and PBAE, which creatures fullness without crunchy texture.

Blow-dry with a brush.
The key to achieving the ideal smooth, shiny blowout is pulling hair tight with a round brush while you angle the dryer down toward the ends of hair. “If you can’t feel the tension pulling, then you’re not doing it right,” Howse says.

Perfect your flat iron technique.”
“Be very careful about using a flat iron in a way that makes [your style] look like 10 years ago,” Howse warns. You don’t want stick straight strands so much as you want smooth texture that still has movement at the ends. “Think circles; I’m not pulling it down as much as I’m pulling it out and around, so you’re actually putting a bit of curve in it with the flat iron,” Howse instructs, “so it looks modern.”

No matter which texture you choose…

DON’T air dry your hair. “You’ve got to dry your hair all the way,” Howse says. “When you have curly hair, sometimes getting it three-fourths dry is great, because if you take it all the way it gets fuzzy.” When you have wavy hair, however, the extra water is going to do more harm than good. “If you’re going straight, it’s probably going to go fuzzy on you as it starts to [air] dry.”

DO brush gently. Wavy hair tends to be more fragile than straight hair, and overbrushing can lead to breakage and frizz. Goody Tanglefix Gentle Detangling Brush is the perfect brush, given its flexible plastic bristles which make it super gentle on waves.

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How to Grow Out Your Bangs—Gracefully

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!

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How to Get Long Hair

Pixie cuts, bobs, and shoulder-length hair can all perfectly frame a face, but when it comes time to grow out strands for a new style, the wait can be a real drag. Forget marking days off the calendar until you’ve achieved a Rapunzel-inspired mane—we’ve got the 411 on how to get long hair. Read on for the fastest way to grow your tresses, sans extensions.

Adjust Your Diet
“A healthy diet that incorporates a mix of protein and nutrients can improve the condition of your hair,” says celebrity hairstylist and NYC salon owner Julien Farel. He explains that balanced eating keeps follicles strong and prevents the hair from breaking easily. Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, MD, a board-certified NYC cosmetic and medical dermatologist, advises to incorporate omega-3 oils. She says, “I recommend salmon or supplements. Nuts are a good source, too, especially almonds.”

…But Don’t Overdo It
Dr. Gerstner says it’s important to keep weight stable and not avoid yo-yo dieting, as hair can be affected by extreme regimen changes in addition to stress and hormone levels.

Get Smart About Styling
It’s a fact well-acknowledged that heat can be wildly damaging to hair, especially when it’s already compromised, so limiting the use of a flat iron or curling wand to three times a week is best, says Dr. Gerstner. She also advises limiting exposure to sunlight, as it can strip the hair, and blow drying, adding, “A weekly deep conditioner masque is a good idea to keep hair as healthy as possible.” According to Farel, many hair care products include the same stripping ingredients as detergents, so it’s vital to choose wisely.

Try Vitamins and Conditioning Ingredients
“Phytantriol, arginine and fish oil, and biotin aid in the production of enzymes and hormones, which can help stimulate hair growth,” says Farel, who suggests his “hero” product line, Julien Farel Restore. The cleanse/treat/condition routine is designed to push regenerating anti-aging ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, deeper into the follicle, scalp and hair, which helps prolong the hair’s growth phase.

In addition, Dr. Gerstner recommends the use of supplements like Viviscal, which includes biotin, vitamin C, and a special complex of shark powder known as AminoMar, to help aid hair growth and scalp stimulation.

Take it Easy
Because stress can affect hair, Dr. Gerstner recommends weekly deep-tissue massages to relax body and mind. “The adrenals pump out extra cortisol when we are stressed, which leads to acne, skin inflammation, and possible hair disorders,” she says.

And you can always afford to take some time off: “Your hair is a reflection of how you feel,” says Farel. “If you are healthy, or on vacation, your hair looks great, shiny, and is easy to style.” What will our bosses say to that?

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Staying On Budget Package Vs. Independent Travel

When you have to travel on a budget, one of the biggest questions is whether it is best to plan each part of your trip independently, making separate airfare and hotel reservations, or to opt for a package deal where everything is included for one price.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one east answer to this dilemma, because it depends on where you want to go, and what deals are available at the time. For example, traveling to many to European cities is often less costly to arrange yourself, especially in the off-season, when airlines are running specials on flights to Europe.

On the other hand, if you want to travel to an exotic place, like Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, or Asia, it is often less expensive and easier when arrange by a package company or travel agent. This is due in part to travel agencies having special deals with the national airlines and resorts of these countries, and they are able to provide substantial discounts in exchange for a steady flow of business.

For example, last year I traveled solo to Egypt from New York for a grand total of $1,100, including airfare, an excellent hotel, daily breakfast, airport transfers, and daily sightseeing tours, including guided tours of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. This is a far better deal than I could have arranged on my own, since airfare alone would have cost over $700. The secret of this great deal was the relationship of the tour operator with Egyptair and the hotel at which we stayed.

There are similarly great deals for many Asian locations, particularly India, China and Taiwan. Make sure to research the availability of these types of package deals when looking to travel abroad on a budget.

Solo travelers often have trouble getting the great deals on travel packages, since the required single increase can often make the deal not worth it. Don’t despair; there are great deals out there if package deals are too expensive or aren’t your thing, and it is often a better option, especially if you are traveling alone.

One important tip is to find out exactly what is and isn’t included in any package deal that you are considering. Most travel packages include optional excursions, which can add considerable expense, and blow your budget. Try to get a detailed daily schedule to make sure you won’t be on your own if you don’t buy into the options. It’s also a good idea to ask for a list of the optional outings available, including descriptions and costs, so that you can compare what the price would be to what you could arrange on your own.

If you are traveling alone, make sure you start planning ahead, especially when it comes to airfare arrangements. The important thing to remember is that there are only a certain number of first come, first serve seats the advertised low fares, and if you wait too long you won’t get the lower rate. It is important to reserve your airfare and your lodging as early as possible to make sure you get the best available prices.

In the end, the decision whether to choose a package deal or independent travel an individual decision based on the traveler’s situation. Make sure to carefully compare package prices with those for independently arranging travel to the same destination. And don’t forget to take your own personal travel style into account. Some people are more cut out for a packaged tour, particularly to an new destination, while others prefer the freedom from itineraries that independent travel offers.

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Use Hostel Accommodation If Travelling On A Budget

You might think of hostelling as something that college students do while traveling through Europe for the summer. However, hostelling is not just for the college crowd anymore, and now includes people of all ages and backgrounds. If you are a traveler on a budget, staying at a hostel can be an adventure that will add to your travel experience.

Staying in a hostel will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and many travelers would prefer to spend the money on a traditional hotel. Hostel traveling is best suited to those traveling alone, or to young people traveling in groups. Hostels are not really recommended for families traveling with young children. In fact, many hostels do not accept children under a certain age.

Most hostels are set up like dormitory rooms, with several bunk beds arranged in the room, with anywhere from four to ten bunks per room. Each traveler is assigned a specific bed upon check-in.

Nearly all of the hostels in the United States group their accommodations according to gender, with the female guests in one section of rooms and the male guests in another. In multi-level hostels, males and females are often separated by floor.

It is not uncommon, however for European hostels (and those elsewhere around the world) to allow mixed genders to share a room. Make sure to ask about the policy of the hostel before you check in. I, as a woman traveling solo, have never encountered a problem with these arrangements, and I have stayed in hostels throughout Europe, including Rome, London and Amsterdam. Some visitors might be surprised or offended by these sleeping arrangements.

The bathroom accommodations at hostels differ also, with some rooms containing a shared bathroom and shower, while other hostels will have shower and bathroom facilities located in the hallway. If you would prefer not to share a bathroom with strangers, make sure you ask about the hostel’s policy ahead of time.

More often now, reservations are becoming increasingly vital at hostels, especially during the summer months in popular cities. It is now not at all unusual for hostels in popular tourist cities to be booked solid for months, where once it was common for travelers to be able drop by the hostel and expect to get a bed.

Price is by far the biggest appeal of staying at hostels. The nightly rate for a hostel is usually no higher than $25 or $30 per night, with most costing even less. With the average hotel room costing somewhere around $100 to $150 in many cities, it is easy to see why hostels are becoming such a popular alternative.

Another benefit of staying in a hostel is that the staff is extremely accommodating and knowledgeable about the local area. Unlike many staff members of some luxury hotels, who travel in from the outlying areas and rarely see the city in which they work, hostel staff tend to live in the city, and have an personal knowledge of the local sites, including which attractions are can’t miss and which ones aren’t worth the trip.

Hostels also usually have access to discounts and coupons for local area attractions and restaurants, and they can provide information on the best restaurants and hangouts around.

While not everyone will find a hostel appealing, and the accommodation of a local hostel are simple at best, they can be wonderful options for lodging for the budget minded traveler. After all, the goal of travel is to get out and see the world, and hostel travel lets you save money on lodging so that you can do just that.

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