Congratulations, you are a stronger woman than I am. Seriously, having bangs when the humidity is at 90 percent is like helping friends move when the humidity is at 90 percent: If you like them now, you’ll like them forever. Some people might say that the only bangs that look good in the summer are the ones that aren’t, but the truth is that bangs can be very cool in the hot months. Here’s how to keep them looking good.
PROBLEM #1: They get so effing oily.
SOLUTION: First, don’t put conditioner in your bangs. It gunks them up, and hair that’s that close to your roots, a.k.a. newborn, doesn’t really need conditioner anyway. Once you’ve blow-dried, lightly spritz dry shampoo underneath your bangs. This acts as a barrier between your hair and the grease on your forehead. Speaking of that forehead grease, the banged must always carry blotting papers, since most bang oiliness comes from contact between hair and skin.
PROBLEM #2: The humidity is making them wing, wave, and separate.
SOLUTION: Using a straightening iron seems like an obvious choice to keep bangs smooth, but that tends to give you that overly straight, ends-sticking-out look, which is not OK. Instead, go ham with your blow-dryer with this no-fail smoothing technique from hairstylist Kristin Ess: Starting immediately after you get out of the shower (don’t give waves a chance to set) take a boar-bristle round brush and put the thumb of the hand that’s holding the brush underneath the section of bangs you’re going to blow-dry. Then put the brush on top of the thumb, so that you’re squeezing the bangs between them. “The thumb is underneath to get extra tension because you have got to pull on the follicle from the root, ” Ess explains. “Even the best heavy brush is not going to be able to do it alone. You have to have the thumb there.” Repeat in two-inch sections until bangs are dry.
PROBLEM #3: They’re sticking out every which way when you wake up.
SOLUTION: Get a smoothing treatment, but just on your bangs. “Even women without excessive wave or frizz will get it in their bangs, because you’ve removed the weight of the rest of the hair,” says James Corbett, who charges $150 at his New York City salon for a Trissola Solo bang treatment containing glyoxylic acid. Other in-salon treatments that will do the trick are Cezanne, Brocato Super Silk, and Goldwell Kerasilk.
PROBLEM #4: They need a trim, but you can’t make it to the salon due to all of your summer travel plans.
SOLUTION: You’re going to do this yourself. Starting with dry hair, gather your bangs in one hand, then pull them down and rest them in a point on the bridge of your nose, holding them in place by pressing your thumb on top of the ends (your thumb should be upright, above the rest of your hand). They should be straight, but not taut—if you hold them too tight they’ll spring up and be too short. Snip up and around the thumb so they’ll be slightly shorter in the middle and longer at the temples, says hairstylist Mark Townsend.
PROBLEM #5: You need an exit strategy.
SOLUTION: Ending it all may seem like the only option, but nay, bang lady, there are so many options available to thee. Pull them back with something called a “twist scarf.” It looks like a head scarf but actually stays on and requires no tying thanks to a hidden wire inside the fabric. (The ones from ban.do are very cute and can be found online.) Or spritz dry bangs with a pump of hair spray to give them some grip, then brush them to the side and pin them under your hair. Or do a lil’ Cersei Lannister thing and part hair in the middle, then twist bangs back and bobby pin on either side of your part, maybe even using a butterfly clip? Too far? Hey, you’re the one who got bangs during the summer.
PROBLEM #6: Your bangs cover your forehead acne, but they’re also causing your forehead acne.
SOLUTION: End this hellish cycle by limiting the number of products that touch your forehead. Let an oil-free sunscreen double as a moisturizer and skip foundation or BB cream or tinted moisturizer or bronzer or anything on your forehead, because it is covered by fringe anyway, so who cares? Wash with a face wash containing salicylic acid every morning. And get those bangs off your face whenever you can using a stretchy headband that you make by cutting a strip of sleeve off an old T-shirt.
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