I've had some version of bangs -- blunt or sideswept -- for a good few years now. And most of the year, I adore the look of them. The way they lay, the way they flatter, the way they allow me to dramatically change my hairstyle without employing the use of bleach or other Dramatic Measures. Like I said, MOST of the year, I love my bangs. There are a few months (June through August, or "The Sauna Period") where I bemoan my decision to stick with bangs, and curse the floppy, stringy situation all up on my forehead. It's amazing how a such a small section of hair can so quickly torpedo your heretofore sleek look, simply because the thermometer (and, yes, the humidity) is rising.
I usually realize the error of my ways sometime in June, and spend the summer sweating my way through a series of headbands that would make Blair Waldorf proud. You know what you don't want on your head in 92-degree weather? ANYTHING EXTRANEOUS. This year, however, I finally caught on to my moronic summer bangs habit, and began strategizing in March (yes, that early!) in order to avoid the Bangs Problem this summer. Here are my suggestions for how to deal with the awkward, frustrating experience that is...growing out your bangs.
1. Do not wait until mid-June to arrive at the realization that you need to grow your bangs out.
2. So it's already the first week in June and you're just now getting started. Do NOT give up!
The first few weeks will be the toughest. You'll be itching for that regular trim, and will forever be exasperatedly sweeping your bangs out of your eyes, fantasizing about stopping in for a quickie with your stylist. This is a trap. Your bangs are sentient. Ignore the siren call of the scissors, and invest in a few cute clips (more on that in a moment). Ignore, ignore, ignore.
3. To alleviate your frustration, switch it up.
If you're growing out sideswept bangs, the hard part is behind you, and you are essentially good to go after three weeks or so. If, however, you're working your way through blunt bangs, you...still have a ways to go. My approach -- once the bangs have gotten long enough -- is two-pronged. STAGE 1: Switch to sideswept bangs. It will make you feel like you've accomplished something, and offer you a bit of Forehead Respite. Which, incidentally, may be the name of my new band. STAGE 2: Change to a middle part. This is assuming, of course, that your bangs are long enough to do this. If you attempt a middle part and note that you bear an uncanny resemblance to Alfalfa from The Little Rascals, you are not yet ready for Stage 2. Be patient. It will come.
4. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
By this point, you're probably just SO DONE with the whole thing, and are considering wee little extensions for your...piecey bang things. That's where this step comes in. At this point, I invest in a few small clips (so as to clip the bangs straight back off your face, in a sleek, '60s-ish look), and some bobby pins. If you're talented with braids (which I am NOT), I love the look of the hair braided back off the forehead, like the one featured in this video on Hair Thursday; it seems like something even a hopeless braider like me could handle. Since I am so woefully untalented in the braid department, in fact, that one of my go-to styles is two mini twists held back with criss-crossed bobby pins. If I can do it, you can. Trust me.
The "Twisted Pullback" featured here is a more sophisticated and office-ready version of this look, and my girlcrush on Blake Lively continues unabated with this style/tutorial, which seems to be an easy and summery way to disguise Operation: Grow Out Bangs.
5. CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS.
Okay, maybe not quite, but I'm definitely on my way, and will be much, MUCH happier with my hair this June than last. And if you just hang in there long enough, you will be, too. Score!
Metalia also blogs here.