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How to Style Side Bangs | Step-by-Step Guide

If your side bangs have had one too many run-ins with your eyes, you’re undoubtedly ready for a change. We’ll teach you how to style side bangs that’ll give you confidence no matter how long or active your day becomes.


Styling Side Bangs: A Summary

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The best way to style side bangs involves some water, heat, and a blow dryer. Best of all, the steps below apply whether you want high, wispy side bangs or side bangs that stay close to your forehead. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Gather the materials
  2. Wash your bangs
  3. Blow-dry your bangs before your hair
  4. Dry your bangs in the opposite direction
  5. Flip your bangs to the side of your part
  6. Use a flat iron
  7. Add hair spray

Although these steps may appear straightforward, there are nuances and tricks that we’ll be sharing with you to help you master the side bang style that so few people achieve.

How to Style Side Bangs in 7 Easy Steps

After following the steps below, you’ll never again have to worry about leaving your house with a strand of side bang hair out of place.

1. Gather the Materials

You likely already have everything you need to start styling your side bangs. So, raid your bathroom cupboards and pull out the following:

  • Shampoo
  • Blow dryer
  • Brush
  • Clip
  • Flat iron
  • Hair spray

We have specific recommendations to look out for in these products in some cases. We’ll talk more about them as they appear in the steps below and our reasoning for recommending them.

2. Wash Your Bangs

If you thought that hair is hair, think again. Side bangs have an embarrassing predisposition to getting greasy fast, given that they spend the day—and night—clinging to your forehead. 

The official name for the oily layer on your skin and bangs is sebum. Unfortunately, there’s no escaping sebum, as your face has up to 900 sebaceous glands per square centimeter. Before you get too grossed out by it, though, know that sebum plays an essential role in moisturizing and protecting your skin.

Nevertheless, sebum isn’t an attractive feature on bangs, as it weighs them down and creates an oily shine. Therefore, before beginning to style your bangs, give them a good wash with shampoo made for oily hair.

If you use a shampoo made for normal or dry hair, it’ll come with extra moisturizing properties. In turn, your side bangs could end up even more oily.

There’s no need to wash all your hair, though. On the contrary, this can be an unhealthy practice, as it can encourage your sebaceous glands to produce even more oil.

So instead, make it a routine to shampoo your bangs every morning when you wash your face. It shouldn’t take you more than a minute or two to quickly wet your bangs over the sink, scrub in some shampoo, and rinse them off.

Read Next: Best Shampoo for Oily Hair

3. Aim the Blow Drier at Your Bangs First

One of the tricks to learning how to style side bangs is to know that bangs need blow dryer treatment before the rest of your hair. Of course, if you’re doing a bang spot wash as we described above, you’ll automatically do this.

But if you just get out of the shower after washing your whole head of hair, make sure to use the blow drier on your bangs first. You likely don’t need us to tell you why—since your bangs are shorter and thinner than the rest of your hair, they tend to start drying first.

Furthermore, if you have a cowlick by your bangs, it’s even more of a reason to dry your bangs first. Otherwise, the cowlick could work against your side bang style if you tend to the rest of your hair beforehand.

We’re not about to tell you that you shouldn’t style your side bangs every day. However, we recommend not overdoing it with your hairdryer. According to a study on hair shaft damage, excessive hair dryer use can cause dryness, hair color loss, and roughness. 

4. Dry Your Bangs in the Opposite Direction

It seems counterintuitive, but start your side bang blow-drying endeavor by blow-drying your bangs to the opposite side that you want to wear them.

To do this, use your hands or a brush to move your bangs in the opposite direction of your part. Then, take your fingers and work them through your hair as you point your blow dryer towards the floor. You should also tilt your head so that your bangs face downwards.

The amount of heat you use doesn’t matter. Instead, your goal is to get your bangs nearly dry in this position.

Should you wish to achieve the sleekest look possible for your side bangs, use a brush during this step. Although it may feel odd to use a brush on wet hair since your hairstylist has likely told you how it increases the chance of breakage, bangs are a different story.

Since bangs dry so quickly, you need to use a brush on them right away, should you choose to use it.

To brush your bangs, approach them from below, with the back of the brush facing your forehead. Then, beginning at the root, use the brush to curl and pull your bangs upward simultaneously. Meanwhile, you use your other hand to point the blow dryer at the brush.

Don’t emphasize the curl too much if you want a flatter side bang appearance. In contrast, if you want your side bangs to have a lot of volume, accentuate the curl. 

5. Flip Your Bangs to the Right Side

By “right” side, we mean flipping your bangs to the right or left according to how they follow your hair part. You’ll know that it’s time to move your bangs with your part when they have minimal dampness remaining.

Ideally, you should flip them when they’re about 90% dry.

Continue blow-drying your bangs in the position that you’ll be keeping them in all day. Make sure you always keep your blow dryer pointed downward during this process—you don’t want to undo all the hard work you’ve done up to this point!

If you’re trying to figure out whether your hair looks better parted to the right or left, a study from 2019 should help clear your doubts. Sparked by the theory that a left part is more masculine and a right part is more feminine, the study found that the side on which a person parts their hair doesn’t impact how people perceive them. 

6. Use a Flat Iron

The last thing you want to do with a flattening iron is to straighten the volume you worked into your side bangs with your hairdryer. Instead, a flattening iron will help to offer an added lift if you follow our instructions here.

To start, split your bangs in half. Then, clip half of your bangs to your hair. With the other half, place your flat iron at the root and move it through your bangs, gently turning your wrist as you move from the roots to the tips.

The movement should create a consistent bend from start to finish. Do the same for the clipped portion of your bangs, keeping in mind that you should gently tug the hair closest to your part in the opposite direction as you apply the flat iron.

Your flat iron temperature matters even though the amount of heat you use when blow-drying your hair won’t impact your side bang style.

According to L’Oréal Paris, fine and thin hair require less heat than thick, curly, or coarse hair. So, if you have fine hair, play around with setting your flat iron to 350 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, 400 450 degrees will be a more suitable setting for you. 

If you need to make a trip to the store to get a flat iron, try to buy one with titanium plates. Not only is titanium strong and lightweight, but there’s less of a chance of it burning your hair compared to ceramic coated plates.

7. Add Hair Spray

It may feel like cheating, but using hair spray is the surest way to keep your side bangs styled in place for the entire day.

However, just like sebum can make your bangs look greasy, it’s easy to overdo it on the hairspray for a similar oily effect.

Therefore, we recommend putting a bit of hair spray on your hands. Then, taking your thumb and index finger, work it through your bangs. Be sure to wash your hands before doing this to avoid getting any grime on them.

When choosing a hair spray product to use on your hair, look for a variety that offers an all-day hold while remaining brushable and flexible. That way, you’ll avoid the dreaded crunchy and shiny appearance that some hair sprays create.

As a bonus, purchasing a hair spray that protects against heat can help give your hair strength for the next time you style your side bangs with a blow dryer and flat iron.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gorgeous woman in a tan swimsuit for a piece on how to style side bangs

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Are you still curious about how to style side bangs? We’ve got the answers to your burning questions here:

How do you style side swept bangs without heat?

To style side swept bangs without heat, twirl your damp bangs and pin them to the side where you want your bangs to fall. You can also do this with hair you haven’t washed for a day or two. After 30 minutes, you can unpin your hair and enjoy an attractive side bang look.

How do I get my side bangs to stay in place?

The best way to get your side bangs to stay in place is by adding a little hair spray after you style them. Getting them 90% dry against your part is also helpful.

How do you train side-swept bangs?

You can train side-swept bangs to stay in place by using a blow dryer in a downward fashion on the opposite side that you want your bangs to fall. Hair spray will also train your bangs to remain to the side.

How do you keep side-swept bangs out of your eyes?

You can keep side-swept bangs out of your eyes by teasing the roots of your bangs. Make sure to tease them towards where you’d like them to sit.

Are side bangs in style?

Yes, side bangs are in style. Whether you want to wear your side bangs short or long, with or without a clip, there are many ways to make this style trendy and unique to you.

So, How Do You Style Side Bangs?

Side bangs take time to master, as the coordination of holding your hairdryer in the right direction and managing a brush and flat iron is an art. But once you learn the ropes, you’ll see how quickly you can style attractive side bangs.

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