Most curly-haired girls swear off bangs after one or two unfortunate mishaps with the scissors circa middle school. But it’s time to reconsider the look! If cut and styled the right way, bangs can take your ‘do to the next level of cuteness. Here’s how to get the perfect fringe for your waves or ringlets, courtesy of New York City stylist and salon owner Mark Garrison.
Don’t just go to anyone to get bangs. Seek out a stylist who has curly-haired clients (or who has curly hair themselves) and who is totally comfortable with your texture. If you come up short, ask friends with similar tresses (and killer cuts) for recommendations.
“Curly hair draws up, so bangs should be left at a longer length,” says Garrison. And bangs cut straight across usually don’t work as well because they can create a boxy appearance. Instead, have them cut on an angle. You have to frame the face nicely so you can accentuate features like the eyes and cheekbones, explains Garrison. Going slimmer on the sides and angled around the face can also elongate the face and make bangs more versatile when it comes to styling options.
“I find cutting with scissors works best because a razor makes curly texture frizzy,” says Garrison. If you have dense curls, they can look very solid when they dry, so texturizing with scissors—or carefully cutting different lengths within the bangs—can give hair an airy and lighter-looking silhouette. Working layers into a longer bang is how you control the volume, preventing your face from looking too round and also making your fringe easier to style and wear.
In Garrison’s experience, most clients with curly hair prefer to blow out or flatiron bangs smooth. If you intend to do this, cutting fringe at a side angle will help it flow better with your natural hair-growth pattern, instead of cutting and wearing bangs straight down like a shelf. If you want to wear your bangs naturally curly, they can look super-cool and fresh with a short pixie-type cut, as often seen on Halle Berry and Audrey Tautou.
A good ol’ fashioned round brush and hair dryer will smooth bangs and give them lift—but not everyone has the time or patience for this ritual. If you want to wear your bangs straight, cut down on morning (and date night!) styling time by using a small flat iron. Minis are even useful on-the-go, in case you want to tote one to the gym or stash it in your bag to freshen up your bangs. Try Sephora Tame: Mini Flat Iron ($21,sephora.com)
Does the thought of growing out curly bangs sound like a total nightmare to you? Here’s a hack: A messy ponytail or bun can look amazing with your natural hair texture, and you can simply pin the unruly bangs back with bobby pins. The tousled ‘do created by the fallout will look flirtatious and intentionally disheveled, in a way that only your hair type can pull off with totally stylish ease.