Bang bang
June 10, 2018 2:08 AM   Subscribe

I increasingly wish for bangs, but I'm incredibly low maintenance and have curly hair. What do?

My hair isn't exactly curly, but it's not straight. Most of my hair is probably a 3a pattern, but the front is like a 3b. My hair is super hydrophobic and knots itself very easily. Just a few days and it will start to form clumps that are like dreadlocks in the back. But the curliest part is right at the front, so I've always felt bangs were just out of the question. And yet... I think they'd look better with my face. I somehow have the idea that my forehead is too large and feel like bangs would fix this? And I often wear it clipped up in an octopus claw and think that would be cuter with bangs.

I don't really use product, although sometimes I put in a thickening cream when I remember. I only wash my hair twice a week. I don't own a normal hair dryer but do have a standing dryer I use in the winter. I live in New Jersey and like most other humans I sweat in the summer. I worry bangs would just look bad, all the time, and would be a big headache.

Is there some way to make this happen? I am willing to throw money at it but probably won't change my lifestyle much or at all. I'm not going to become a person who spends more than five minutes thinking about my hair every day. Are bangs out of the question for me?

If not, how do I find a good stylist to help me with this? What kind of bangs do I ask for? I'm happy to go to the city (NY or Philly) to make this happen.
posted by sockermom to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Could you talk to a good stylist if it's possible to do a straight perm (Brazilian or Japanese) just on your bangs?
Alternatively, maybe you could do straight extensions for bangs? Not sure how really straight bangs would look with curly hair, though, but maybe google for it and decide if you like the look?
posted by LoonyLovegood at 3:56 AM on June 10, 2018

I would not do this unless you got your hair permanently straighted with a keratin treatment or Brazilian blow-out. Even if you can straighten just the bangs, the texture difference will look strange.
posted by quince at 4:13 AM on June 10, 2018

I have huge wavy mixed-textured hair and I don't do much of anything with it (apart from play with it a lot) and probably the best decision I've made hair-wise in my adult life was to cut in bangs a couple years ago. I think the key is that my hair grows very fast so I'm able to shrug off a screw up because I know it'll grow out in only a couple of weeks, if that. If your hair grows slowly you might want to do something more gradual, like shorter layers in front that creep up to your cheekbones and then become a long fringe that you feather in some additional shorter pieces until boom, you've got bangs. But for me it was just a matter of grab, twist, chop at eyebrow length, because if it was a huge mistake it would only be one for a month or two, and hey presto it was great.

My bangs have what I call an "anime flip" to them, it's like an inverted coma situation and is my bigger waves forming. They get fluffy and weird if they're too short, and heavy and broken up if they're too long, so I've taught myself to trim them at home. The thing is, wavy and curly hair isn't going to hold a straight edge and you don't want it to, so actually, trimming bangs in wavy hair is easier than for straight hair - you can do it one errant curl at a time, if you like. You will go through a period of figuring out the right length and part of your hair to cut shorter, and again, depending on your speed of hair growth that will be longer or shorter. But really all I do to "style" my bangs when they are wildly out of control is comb them and apply a little oil or serum, whatever I'm using lately. Very rarely I'll take a mini travel curling iron I have (it's like four inches long) and guide the waves and curls to be more where I want them to be. I definitely prefer having slightly long pieces to either side that hit my cheekbones so when I put my huge hair up my bangs have some additional perceived length to them, but these are the parts that need the most attention (when I give a damn).

I think bangs look good on a lot of people and give framing to a lot of more simple hairstyles (like things with clips and ponytails.) Curly and wavy hair isn't supposed to fall flat or look the same from every angle - find a stylist who has naturally curly hair themselves and go for it. We should have fun with our hair - it's no good for anything else!
posted by Mizu at 4:23 AM on June 10, 2018

Have you ever gone to a curly-hair salon? If not it's worth it to go to one and get a consult re: bangs - a place like Devachan cuts your hair while dry, to see what your curls do, so you can go in showing them what your hair looks like after you style it and they can advise on the bangs accordingly. They have locations in NYC, but depending on what part of NJ you are in this curly-hair salon might be easier to get to and has good reviews. The amount of hair you have at the top of your head could indicate how successful you'd be, I think folks with lots of hair look fantastic w/bangs but my hair is so thin my curls look like little worms decided to randomly attach themselves to my scalp and I frighten small children.
posted by wheek wheek wheek at 4:28 AM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have had side swept bangs that I flat ironed. It was added about 5 minutes.

I am currently considering Bardot/ curtain bangs and leaving them wavy, but am still deciding whether to risk it. You can find some pictures where those are worn wavy. I have slightly finer, looser curls than you.
posted by typecloud at 4:31 AM on June 10, 2018

3b? Don't do it. Get clip-in bang hair extensions.
posted by windykites at 5:37 AM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have sideswept bangs on one side. My hair mostly curls at a certain length, so the bangs stay a bit straighter on their own. Sometimes get a weird Clark Kent curl in the middle of my forehead, but that's it. I don't really do anything to them product-wise or styling-wise, though I use product on the rest of my hair.

I went to Mousey Brown in Brooklyn when I lived in NJ and they did a good job with my hair. I'd go back if I lived in the area!
posted by marfa, texas at 5:38 AM on June 10, 2018

I've been to curly hair salons. I went to the Devachan salon in NYC and got, unfortunately, the worst cut of my life and paid a lot for it, so I don't want to go back. I've never had luck with any stylist, ever, even after only going to places listed on the naturally curly site, so I rarely get my hair cut. The last cut I had was in November 2017 and it made me cry!

Side bangs and some length to them sounds like it ... might work? Any other recommendations for places to go in NYC or Philly are super welcome.

I also don't want to get a keratin treatment on my whole head. :)
posted by sockermom at 5:40 AM on June 10, 2018

Also, are you sure about your hair type? 3a and 3b are both definitely, unquestionably curly. You say your hair is "not exactly curly", so I wonder. Seconding the suggestion to visit a curly salon, not just for bangs but for a deep treatment/ style and to confirm your hair type and best practises for your hair. There are stylists who are both Ouidad and Deva trained, that's what I suggest.

On preview, what was it you disliked about past experiences?

I know finding a curly stylist is miserable which is why I suggest going somewhere and getting a deep treatment and style or something where no cutting will happen, to ensure that you like the stylist with low risk to your hair.
posted by windykites at 5:48 AM on June 10, 2018

It would mean a train ride but if you’re willing to venture to NJ I have a red for you. I have literally never had a bad hair cut at Panico (and I have weird wavy/curly hair). I don’t even go to the same person each time I just ask for a high level stylist and someone who is good with curls.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:29 AM on June 10, 2018

Yes, I have weird hair. It's curly, not really curl curled, but the front section is like corkscrews. The back is almost straight or big waves. When I'm in the rain it curls up like crazy.

I've gotten the $200 Ouidad cut, I've gone to the original Devachan salon in the city, and I've gone to many curly stylists over my 20 years of being solely responsible for my hair. I end up with a triangle on my head, almost always, and it's always way shorter than I wanted OR they cut like, a centimeter off and I still have a ton of single-strand knots.

I actually live in Jersey so Panico or other stylists there are easily doable.
posted by sockermom at 9:47 AM on June 10, 2018

I have mostly wavy, thin hair but a lot of it. If I could go without bangs, I would - but I have a huge (huge) forehead. Bangs are a lot commitment and maintenance. Every day I have to mess with my bangs even when I don't wash my hair.

The easiest to maintain for me was a blunt cut (or slightly rounded) that I could just flat iron. It gets boring after a while.
posted by getawaysticks at 6:02 PM on June 10, 2018

I have 3a/b hair and bangs. I wash my hair 1 or 2 times a week. Curly bangs are great!

They're actually not high-maintenance at all, as long as you dry your bangs before the rest of your hair using a diffuser (or let your hair air dry with bangs in place). Honestly, I can sleep on them and they still look good (if a little touseled, which I like) the next day. I still wear the rest of my hair in a pineapple (ie. loose ponytail on top of your head, like Pebbles) at night. The hairdresser who did my bangs is a "curly" hairdresser at a "not specifically curly" salon. She did them using the Deva method, very loosely. Agree with you that the expensive Deva cuts at Deva-official salons usually look terrible. If you can find a stylist with curly hair at a good salon, that might be a better bet.

As for the single strand/fairy knots--those just happen with certain hair types. You can clip them out, if you'd like, or just let them be. Pineappling can help prevent them.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 11:11 PM on June 10, 2018

I cut my fairy knots. And pineapple! A lot. What length are your bangs, Miss T.Horn?
posted by sockermom at 5:54 AM on June 11, 2018

I have curly hair and recently got bangs for the first time. I was inspired to do so by the instagram account of hair dresser Jayne Matthews who does shag cuts with bangs on just about everybody and they always look good. I showed some of these pictures to my hair dresser and she knew what to do.

I've found my bangs surprisingly versatile. I often wear them down and curly, but they're long enough that I can kind of twist them into the rest of my hair and pin them back.
posted by toby_ann at 9:33 AM on June 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

Sweet spot for curly bangs is right about at my eyebrows, I find. Hair ends up looking sort of like this Stevie Nicks photo from the great instagram account toby_ann shared.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 6:46 PM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

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