It’s clear by now that 2019 is the year of the bang. Winter 2019, however, is poised to be the season of a very particular kind of bang: curly ones. Sandra Oh kicked things off, but the curly bang movement reached a crescendo this past weekend with the release of the Netflix series Russian Doll. People are in it and things happen to them (over and over again), but the true star of the show is Natasha Lyonne’s hair, which includes curly bangs. They’re so good that lot of people tweeted about them, including this guy who makes an excellent point.
But why are 151 people “talking about this” on the internet?, one may ask. It’s because curly bangs have long been overshadowed by non-curly ones. The majority of bangs that are idolized are flat and straight — but the tides have turned. 2019 has given us curly bangs that are the protagonist, not the quirky best friend. 2019 is telling us that despite the potential for shrinkage, frizz, and generally unpredictable behavior, if you are a curly haired woman, you should still get bangs.
To get yet another person to talk about this on the internet, I contacted celebrity hairstylist Marcel Dagenais, the man responsible for the potentially award-winning performance atop Lyonne’s head. In addition to creating her character Nadia’s red, effortlessly curly look (“Natasha wanted her to look rock and roll, not cutesy”), Dagenais was tasked with maintaining a sense of continuity via her hair. In other words, he had to get her curly bangs to look exactly the same every morning, since her character is living out a Groundhog Day scenario in the show.
Here are his reliable methods for styling curly bangs, interspersed with images of inspiring curly bangs to convince you to get some.
You Should Try Using These Products
To create Nadia’s look, Dagenais had Lyonne “begrudgingly” come in every morning with wet hair. “That’s the exact opposite of what I usually want when filming because it takes so much longer to style, but this was the best way to avoid frizz or too much bedhead.” So, start with damp hair, and try Dagenais’s trusty duo of products: First apply Hairstory Hair Balm to prep, then follow with Bumble and Bumble Styling Creme to style with fingers.
You Should Just Air-Dry If You Have Time
Dagenais only had 40 minutes to get Lyonne ready every morning, so he used a diffuser to speed up the process, but he recommends air-drying your curly bangs if you have the time. “Don’t touch it until it’s completely dry; then just run your fingers through it.” If you have places to go and things to do, he suggests using a blow-dryer like T3’s which dries with heat rather than a strong airflow. “You don’t want to be blowing curls all over the place, or it’ll become a poof-ball.”
Air drying and minimal touching are rules that apply to second or third-day curly bangs, too. Dagenais recommends misting hair and bangs with Leonor Greyl’s Algues et Fleurs (which he loves to use on Broad City’s Ilana Glazer’s curls), and again, leaving them alone.
You Should Sleep in a Silk Scarf
Sleeping on curly hair requires some sort of strategy if you want to avoid squashing everything. To preserve your curly bangs overnight, Dagenais recommends using a silk scarf to create a turban of sorts, knotting it in front to help keep bangs in place. “It really maintains the style and helps keep the static way down,” he adds. Then he tells me that he always keeps an eye out for silk scarves when vintage shopping so he can gift them to actresses who want to preserve their style one more day on set, which is one of the nicest things I’ve heard this year.
You Should Mentally Prepare Yourself
Not everyone has an on-set hairstylist to troubleshoot everything, so expect a few changes in your routine. “The grow-out period is going to take a long time — about one and a half years to two years, and it’s tedious, so have bobby pins ready to get if you no longer want them,” Daganais warns. If you do plan on keeping them for a while, just know that you’ll be spending more time in the salon for dry trims or light “dustings.”
You Should Add Even More Texture
“With straight hair, you know what it’s doing; with curls you have to surrender to the wildness,” Dagenais poetically explained. Powders can help you fully surrender in between shampoos. If everything’s looking a little flat, Dagenais recommends volumizing with R+Co’s Skyline, a powder that emits like a soft cloud to evenly encompass your hair. If your bangs are looking a little limp, hit them with R+Co’s Death Valley, a dry shampoo spray that adds texture instead of white residue. Lean into the curl.
You Should Get Your Curly Bangs Right Now
Dagenais says winter time is actually the best time to get curly bangs because humidity and sweat aren’t around to sabotage you while you figure out and eventually nail down your new curly bang routine. Oddly enough, it is winter right this very instant, so you know what to do.
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