Dr Claw is MAD about her hair
June 9, 2011 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Summertime, and the livin's easy... except for sweaty clumpy bangs! Perfectly-fringed hair people: what is your f&*%ing secret?

This is not a question about whether or not I should have bangs - I do and I love them! The world is better for not having to see my big honking forehead and bangs work for my face and general global geopolitical and philosophical outlook.

But in the summer, through a combination of heat, humidity and a forehead that has a relatively normal population of sweat glands, I end up with clumpy stringy looking bangs within a few hours of the day. And then it just looks silly and kind of dirty and what was once an even, cute fringe of hair looks like... like hair claws on my forehead.

How do you keep your bangs looking pleasantly heavy and full and Zooey Deschanel-like throughout the day? Is my only recourse to carry around a can of dry shampoo everywhere or do you have other secrets? Is hairspray involved?
posted by sestaaak to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Can you use those oil blotters throughout the day to help keep your forehead (and therefore your bangs) dry?
posted by litnerd at 7:25 AM on June 9, 2011

Best answer: i live in a non-humid non-sweaty area (northern california), so this may not be as effective for you, but i keep my bangs from clumping by dusting a liberal amount of translucent powder on my forehead before going out for the day.
posted by apostrophe at 7:30 AM on June 9, 2011

These are my three tricks, and sometimes they're defeated by the triple-digit days of Texas summer:
1) Bangs as short as possible
2) Wash every day, and blow them dry with a round brush, they seem to remember that :]
3) Carry a comb

I wear a bike helmet, and they still aren't too bad as long as I have a comb with me.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:36 AM on June 9, 2011

Dry shampoo and loose powder on my face is the best thing I've managed. It's also helpful to wipe your forehead (under your bangs) with a tissue when you first come inside and your body hasn't stopped sweating.
Long-term, I plan on just moving back to somewhere with dry heat.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:44 AM on June 9, 2011

Brushing and blotting are good preventative measures. Also, I carry a travel can of dry shampoo spray to spruce up my sweaty scalp on humid days. And I don't condition my fringe.
posted by dumdidumdum at 8:46 AM on June 9, 2011

Best answer: Thicker bangs! The underneath layer gets sweaty and stuck to your forehead and the top layer stays light. (I learned this from The Hairpin, but have found it to be true with my own thick bangs, even after wearing a bike helmet.)
posted by kyla at 9:11 AM on June 9, 2011

I have thin hair and bangs so clumpy is the name of the game for me most days. I agree with blotting papers, a round brush and not conditioning my bangs. The not conditioning is a big one for me, it's what makes the difference between cute and Ms. Crabtree. I try not to put any hair product whatsoever in my bangs.
posted by ridiculous at 9:30 AM on June 9, 2011

I live down in Texas and the summer is brutal for my bangs. To combat the humidity I use just a dab of mousse (currently TRESemme 24 hour foaming body mousse) and use my flat iron to set it in. That usually does the trick and keeps my bangs thick and full looking. Worse comes to worse I use some blotting cloths and keep a small round brush in my bag for those extra humid days
posted by RubyDoom at 10:04 AM on June 9, 2011

Best answer: I blowdry mine down flat every day and they seem to survive my oily forehead pretty well. I walk briskly to work and sweat, so without the blow drying they clump like yours even if they were dry to start with.

For the drying I don't mess around with a brush (which makes them weirdly bendy anyway). I just take a fine tooth comb and stick my fringe flat to my forehead, point the drier downwards, then dry until the hair unsticks and is perfectly straight and smooth. I use the comb to hold the ends down while doing this. It takes about two minutes. Sometimes I put mousse on there too since I'm using it in the rest of my hair anyway, but it often makes them more sticky rather than less which is the opposite of what you want.

Stopping your forehead from sweating or being as oily will also help, but properly straightened and dried bangs is the secret you're looking for.
posted by shelleycat at 10:11 AM on June 9, 2011

Response by poster: Oh this is so helpful, thanks everyone. Thicker blow-dried bangs, powder and blotting paper, dry shampoo - got it.

Bang-havin' is apparently a widespread concern. Not too long ago the Hairpin linked to a Craigslist post looking to cast for a show: "Are Your Bangs Ruining Your Life?"
posted by sestaaak at 10:20 AM on June 9, 2011

layers layers layers.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 10:57 AM on June 9, 2011

Aveda has an anti-humectant hair product. Repels moisture!
posted by Feisty at 11:31 AM on June 9, 2011

Carry a pillbox of loose powder and a pocket-size brush.

Wash hair daily, first thing in the morning.

Under your hat, sweep bangs off forehead and secure with bobby pin. When you take off the hat, stow the bobby pin in the inside band of the hat.
posted by tel3path at 12:39 PM on June 9, 2011

Best answer: I've had a fringe for years, with my lank, thin and tending towards oily hair.

Things that help to keep my fringe looking good:

Never skipping the makeup powder on the forehead in summer/humid climates.

On extra humid days, I rub a bit of baby powder onto the scalp area where the fringe is - this helps a LOT towards keeping things non-oily and non-sweaty throughout the day as it soaks up all of it.

I get my hairdresser to cut me an EXTRA heavy fringe, coming from at least the centre of the top of my head. Sometimes this is more than hairdressers are comfortable doing - but in my case, it helps to keep a heavy, hanging down fringe more than anything else I do.

If I'm in the middle of the day and sweaty/feeling hot and bothered, I go to the bathroom and grab a hand drying paper towel, and blot my forehead and scalp - this helps a lot too.
posted by shazzam! at 6:19 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I live in Florida. I don't do any blow-drying, blotting, etc, mostly because I'm too lazy most of the time.

My secret: dry shampoo! spray a little on the roots and underside of your bangs, work it into your hair, and it will eliminate all greasiness and humidity! It's a miracle product, seriously. I also flat-iron my bangs every day, but that's because they wave in the humidity.
posted by kro at 8:28 AM on June 10, 2011

First, a disclaimer: I have given up on bangs and am growing mine out. So I may not be the best source here. (But it was not because of clumping behaviour, it was because my hair is wavy and my bangs were prone to curl in weird and not-so-wonderful ways.)

I always found that blow-drying had a negative (poofy) effect, and I flat-ironed my bangs from wet to dry.

I have also had success with a longish swept-to-the-side look. I found it a lot easier to maintain. Plus, doesn't have to be cut so often! Bonus.
posted by equivocator at 6:43 PM on June 10, 2011

I find the clumpies are much worse when my fringe is a bit long and hangs in my eyes; moving it out of the way all the time (with my hand) makes it very greasy and yuck.
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 11:18 PM on June 10, 2011

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