From the moment you
make the cut to the pang of regret that sets in when you realize that bangs just weren’t your look, the process of growing out your fringe is a long and daunting one. “Growing out bangs is the hardest thing to do,” sympathizes Douglas Timleck, hair stylist and colour specialist at Hair on the Avenue in Toronto. “There’s no easy way to disguise them, and everyone knows you’re trying to.”
But it’s not all bad news. We asked Timleck to share his top hairstyle tips on how to grow out bangs while keeping your dignity in tact. (Hint: “A lot of patience and hairspray.”)
1. Be patient
Like the saying goes, time heals all bad haircuts. Simply put, once you’ve snipped off your locks, “There’s not a lot of options,” says Timleck. “It depends on how long and thick your bangs are.” It typically takes between two to three months for bangs to fall to the bridge of your nose, at which point you can then
sweep them into a side bang.
2. It’s all in the part
Perspective is everything, and depending on how you part the hair can make all the difference. “You can sweep hair to either side to disguise the fact that you have bangs,” says Timleck about creating a blunt centre part. “Just make it look as natural as possible.” And not like the awkward in-between stage you’re trying to conceal.
3. Make a style out of it
Work the fact that you have a short fringe to your advantage—like it’s on purpose. If you’re feeling really bold,
add layers around the face so that bangs blend in with the rest of the hair more gradually. Or create a playful hairstyle by sweeping bangs to one side of the forehead and pinning in place with a bobby pin.
And we’re all about
braided hairstyles this season. “Braid bangs into a hairline braid along the forehead,” suggests Timleck. “If you don’t like your forehead, sweep over to one side and hold in place with hairspray.” This part is key to successfully hiding your bang grow-out: “It’s all about the sweep and the hairspray,” he says.
11 rules for BANG HAIRSTYLES
4 more hairstyle tips for a graceful bang grow-out on the next page…
4. Put down the scissors
Seriously—this may sound obvious, but the best thing to do is to leave bangs as is and make it past the three-month hurdle. At this point, “You can texturize the hair to remove the solid bang line,” explains Timleck. “This takes the bluntness out and softens the line.” You then have more length to play with and can angle bangs to one side.
5. Add a curl
Creating natural waves within the hair can also help to conceal the shorter pieces at the front. “Curl bangs to the side,” says Timleck. “This helps them to blend in with the rest of the hair.” For a night out, try a softer version of the Marcel wave—the glossy, ’20s-inspired curl. Go for a looser interpretation of this stiff, retro hairstyle.
6. Consult your stylist
Getting a bang hairstyle can backfire if you make the cut on a whim—say after a dramatic breakup or on a girls’ weekend NYC getaway, especially if it’s not with your usual hair stylist. “A good stylist will know if you would like bangs or not,” explains Timleck as one of his top insider hairstyle tips. “It’s a big discussion and they will inform you of the pros and cons. And what it takes to grow them out.”
They can also help you out once you’ve reached the point of no return and are rocking a fringe style. “They can give you a tutorial on how to blow-dry hair to disguise bangs,” says Timleck. “And achieve your grow-out as gracefully as possible.”
7. Remember—you’re not alone
Think about the fringe runway beauty trends from past seasons—and their popularity all over again this fall. “There are many people with a longer fringe swept to the side because they’re growing it out,” says Timleck. “I see it everywhere, it’s quite a popular look.”
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter