Fixing a Bad Haircut: Six Ideas for Salvaging Too-Short Bangs
So You Got an Awful Haircut...
We've all been there. In spite of your clearest instructions, your stylist got a little scissors-happy and whacked off half your beautiful mane. Maybe she just couldn't resist trying something "edgier" than usual or she was behind on her schedule and decided to take it out on your innocent head.
Or maybe it was your own dumb fault, like it was in my case: I hated the supposedly trendy, right-in-my-eyes, weirdly uneven bangs my stylist had given me, so I decided to do a little trimming of my own. But of course I couldn't get it precisely even, so I had to trim one side a little, and then the other, and then the other again, until... well, until I had the most ghastly short, blunt bangs I have ever seen on a grown woman.
Too-short bangs are embarrassing. They're front-and-center, making them very high profile and hard to hide. They can even change the appearance of your whole face shape, not to mention making you feel a bit like a naughty four-year-old who got ahold of her mother's scissors.
Will everyone suspect you butchered your own bangs? Not necessarily, especially if you follow the tips below.
To clarify, I do not mean the hacking-and-slashing kind of action: Back away from the scissors, please, they're what got you into this mess in the first place. Instead, spend some time in front of the mirror to get creative with your wacky fringe, and before you know it, you might find a look you love, or at least you'll be able to fake a normal cut until your hair grows out.
Gather bobby pins, headbands, hairspray, and any other supplies you feel like experimenting with, and see how many styles and strategies you can come up with for camouflaging your new cut. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
#1 Curling or Straightening
Sometimes, your bangs can look a lot better with a little more body or a slightly different shape. See if you can use your straightener to pull off a side-swept look, or if your bangs look a bit better when curled. Betty Page and Katy Perry are just a couple examples of a celebrities who have rocked curly hair with short, blunt bangs. It's fashionably retro. A bit of texture and variation in the rest of your hair might take off a bit of the edge of a harsh, blunt-banged look.
If you've tried to like your bangs, but you simply must cover them up, a pompadour is one of the most popular options. Just twist your bangs back and clip into place on top of your head with a couple of bobby pins. You can leave the rest of your hair down, like Jessica Alba, or wear it with a bun or other updo. If you're not too scared of big hair, a pompadour can add a touch of volume on top.
Fun trivia fact: The pompadour is named after Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, aka Madame de Pompadour, a favorite mistress of King Louis XV of France 300 years ago.
#3 Side Twists or Braids
Not into the voluminous look? Or would you rather part your hair in the center or on the side? Try twisting your bangs to the side instead. Simply part your bangs wherever you'd like and grab a small piece of the bangs nearest to the part. Twist to the side and gather more hair as you progress. Once you get all the way over to the side, incorporate some of your longer hair into the twist and use bobby pins to hold it all in place. If you're up for something a little more ornate, you can even try French braiding your bangs along the hairline like Jennifer Aniston.
#4 Deep Side Part
A third way to hide your bangs is with a deep side part. Take a comb and part your hair far, far, far to one side. Then just pin your bangs there and pull your longer hair over to hide them. If you can get your bangs to stay back with a part in the center, you can also try taking a cue from Sandra Bullock with a similar style parted in the middle, as seen here.
If your bangs are simply too short to pin back, a wide headband or one with comb-like teeth to hold your hair in place can help sweep back even the shortest bangs. To make the growing-out period more bearable, try buying a few headbands that you really love so you look forward to wearing them. For longer wear, cloth headbands are usually more comfortable than plastic or metal ones, since they won't dig into your head.
#6 Hats and Scarves
If you don't have time for styling, hats and scarves are another great option for hiding bangs. Just toss on a hat or tie on a silk scarf and you have a unique and easy solution. As a bonus, a hat can help keep you warm or protect your face from the sun, while a scarf will give you a head-turning bohemian look.
And if Worse Comes to Worst...
You can always go back to the salon. Maybe it's the blunt cut of your bangs that's bothering you, and a stylist could help by softening it up. Or maybe you'll like the look better with face-framing layers. However, if you go back to your stylist, make sure you're clear in explaining your dilemma. Try bringing a picture or two to make sure they know what you want. Communication is key. After all, the last thing you want to do is to pay her to make things worse.
No matter what you do, try not to fixate on the problem. It can be hard when your bangs are so front-and-center, but keep your chin up, put on your favorite outfit, and smile. Odds are, no one will even notice or suspect it isn't exactly the cut you wanted. Have a great day, and happy styling!