Ever since Taylor Swift got bangs on the set of her February 2012 Vogue cover shoot — back when her hair was still way past her shoulders — she's been sporting full-on fringe with varying degrees of volume. But Swift is beginning to leave that look in the past now that she cut her hair into a short, of-the-moment bob and her bangs have started to grow out. Instead of simply straightening them all the time, Swift has been styling them in a wave that falls perfectly down the center of her forehead and then veers towards her ear in an effortless swoop. It's a soft and loose update of the classic old Hollywood curls.
Ruben Colon, a stylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown, gave me some expert advice about how to copy the look. He credits the success of this style on the way the bangs are cut. "It's lighter, not heavy," he says. "When you cut it at an angle and it's a little shorter in the front area, it's a lot lighter in texture. It will flip out a little bit and you can flip it under. You can wave it and it will stay."
As for the way the hair drops over her right eye, Colon says it's all in the way the hair is parted. "It has to be a strategic part. [Stylists] usually use the eyebrows as a marker, either the right side corner or the middle of the right eyebrow."
To get the look (even if your bangs aren't cut the right way, technically) you need a big barrel curling iron of 1 1/2 or 2 inches, a clip and dry shampoo. "This style always looks better the day after," says Colon. "That's why I use dry shampoo, it gives a little texture, or what I call 'gut,' to the hair."
Start by curling the bangs forward with the iron into a large wave. Set the wave by clipping it in place into the side of the hair, as if you were doing a finger wave. "Make sure to use a cloth tissue when you clip it, because if you don't, you're going to get an indentation," says Colon.
The last step is to set it with a light spray or dry shampoo. If you decide to use hair spray, go light. Part of the charm of the look is that it isn't a helmet — it just needs enough support that if you find yourself shaking it off, your bangs will stay out of your eyes, no matter how emotionally intense the performance. (See below.)