Thou shalt rock a fringe—if you so desire. “Bang hairstyles are an easy way to change your whole look and balance your face quickly,” says Rob Pizzuti, one of the owners of Blyss Salon in Toronto. And even though he admits they can be a bit more work, it’s easier than you may think to have bangs, plus it’s a look that everyone can try—even with a cowlick or curly hair. However, no matter what type of fringe you get, there are some tried and true rules when it comes to bangs.

1. Don’t let your stylist cut your fringe wet.
“Wet hair lies,” says Greg May, owner of Greg May Hair Architects in Toronto. It shrinks when it dries (so you may find yourself with way shorter bangs than you want if snipped when wet), so make sure your stylist is only taking scissors to your fringe when your hair is fully dry.

2. Have your bangs cut by a stylist. Always.

“We see so many horror stories,” says Pizzuti. Most stylists will cut their clients fringe for free. “Just pop in and you might have to wait five minutes, but usually any stylist will give you a free fringe trim,” he says. He and May both recommend seeing a stylist as it can be difficult to look at your own fringe in the mirror and get it to the right length without being crooked.

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3. Longer bangs = sexy.

While sexy is, of course, subjective, there’s no denying that bang hairstyles that just skim the eyes or eyebrows create an alluring, mysterious look. May suggests incorporating some layering or texture, too. But if it’s edgy, bold look you’re after, he recommends cutting your fringe slightly shorter than the brow, with a strong line (à la Pulp Fiction, says May).

4. Get the cut of your side-swept bangs done right.

How do you do that? Keep an eye on how your stylist is cutting them. “They should over-direct the section of the fringe to the opposite side of where you want it to fall, cutting a shorter to longer line while it is directed to this other side” says May. Confused? That’s why it’s best to leave cutting your fringe to the pros (see above).

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5. Blow dry your fringe’s cowlick first.

Don’t let your cowlick get the best of your fringe—deal with it first if your cowlick is strong so you don’t have to fight with it as much once the separation has settled in more as it’s dried a bit.

6. You can just wash your bangs to save time.

If it’s the commitment of making your hair look good every day that could be more time-consuming with bangs (they’re might be more likely to look stringy or maybe show oil, first), Pizzuti says you can go ahead and
just shampoo your bangs. “It’ll make your whole hair look fresh. It’ll take 10 to 15 minutes at most,” he says.

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7. Curly-haired ladies can have a fringe.

You just have to be mindful about allowing enough length (as the curl will shrink up the length of the hair), says Pizzuti. He personally like a long side fringe with curly hair, at about ear level. “You definitely don’t want a hard line or a square bang with curly hair,” he says.

8. Invest in a round brush to style your bang hairstyles.

“You’ll want a round brush that is one and half sizes bigger than the curl you want,” says Pizzuti. He notes that some people like to flat iron their bangs, but he prefers the use of a round brush and blow dryer.

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9. Experiment with a longer, side-swept bang.

This style will be easier to grow out (although it might not be the best bang style for you – keep that in mind, of course).

10. Blow dry your fringe in the opposite direction.

To get your fringe to lie softly and sweeping your face just so, Pizzuti says you should blow dry it in the opposite direction and at the last minute, swing your bangs over to where you want them and finish with a blast of cold air.

11. Limit the hair products on your fringe.

Because your fringe lies on your forehead (where you already have sebum from your skin), you want to use as little product as possible (or you may risk breakouts). For any product you do use, Pizzuti says you should make sure it absorbs into the hair rather than sitting on the surface of the hair.

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