I’ve never had a fringe, ever, in my whole life. Not even a sad blunt one in childhood imposed against my will. I had blonde, ringlet-curly hair as a young child that turned into brown curly-frizzy hair by the time I was around 8 years old, growing darker and somewhat more frizzy as I grew older. The idea of introducing a fringe into that equation and lumbering myself with something I had to wash, style and possibly straighten on a near daily basis seemed like a burden there was little point in entertaining, even as around me I watched almost every female peer I had get trendy sweeping bangs cut in.
Fast forward to last year and still the idea of getting bangs had always seemed too much trouble for my hair type, but since I had been dressing in a 50s aesthetic for a couple years by that point I did wonder if clip in Bettie bangs might suit me. I liked the idea of the fun and variety it could add to my hairstyles, especially as I tend to stick to the same style most of the time. I don’t particularly like wearing my hair up, but throwing it up in a big bun is so convenient that I thought adding Bettie bangs might make my buns look less modern and more vintage to fit the rest of my outfit. Having no experience with a fringe, though, I wasn’t sure if bangs would suit me, especially such a blunt style, and I didn’t want to shell out a large chunk of change for something that might not work for me. Finding a cheap real hair pair in that style though was–it became quickly apparent–not easy, and perhaps not possible. If I wanted sweeping side bangs, sure, there are cheap options aplenty, from dozens of eBay sellers to hundreds of online hair and beauty supply websites. But no budget Bettie bangs. I would have to look at less thrifty options.
My search brought me to ClassyRebel, a one-woman operation run by owner and hairdresser Jessi B, who hand makes and cuts each hair piece she sells. Classy Rebel offer a range of hair pieces and accessories, from ponytails and hair wraps to berets and, of course, clip in bangs. She offers said bangs in a range of hair colours and more than one style, but it was the Deluxe Clip In Bettie Bangs I opted for.
The Deluxe Bettie Bangs differ from the standard Bettie bangs in that they have full crown coverage, with a length of hair extending towards the back of your head to help seamlessly blend in with your natural hair. As a fringe newbie, I thought these would probably be easiest for me to learn to style to achieve a natural finish, so I chose the Unprocessed Brown colour option that would allow me to dye them to match my box-dyed dark red hair, as that shade wasn’t (and rarely ever is) offered.
When the bangs arrived, they did so secured in a hairnet for travel with a care instructions card that told me how I should wash, style and care for my hair piece. The hair was bent in odd directions from travel but they were safely packed and in good condition. I excitedly tried them on right before bed to check how close they were to my hair colour.
Yeaaaah, they weren’t really going to be a match, at all. I was actually surprised by just how dark the unprocessed shade was, as I had expected more of a mid or dark brown, while these were almost black. Below, you can see just how dark they were compared against the colour of my clip in hair extensions (Remy 99J) and the Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Colour in Fiery Red that I use to dye my own hair. I have zero experience dealing with bleach or lifting so I had to take the bangs to my hairdresser for professional lifting.
My hairdresser was really concerned that lifting the hair would result in it being much too bright blonde for me to dye right over it with my own dye, as she didn’t want me to end up with the bangs being an obvious mismatch to my own hair in flaming red. Had the bangs come out too light, we would have had to bring the colour back down to a mid brown before I could dye over them with my dark red shade, but thankfully they lifted well to a warm mid-blonde shade as below.
One standard dye session with my usual Garnier box dye resulted in an almost perfect colour match to my hair and my clip in extensions–although my toilet seat now has burgundy streaks all over it, because who knew an old plastic bread bag isn’t guaranteed foolproof dye coverage? Learn from my mistake, kids, cover everything important and use an old towel.
While I got the bangs to the shade I needed them to be in the end, I would definitely advise anyone who needs to reach a similar colour as I did to contact Classy Rebel to discuss the best shade option for you so you can work towards your colour from there at less effort and cost. I also suggest you buy a dye brush from your local beauty supply store or even cheaply online (I got mine from Poundland!) so you can make sure you apply your dye shade thoroughly to your bangs when dyeing them, working through the set in layers, as you don’t want to miss a spot.
That’s all you need to know about the custom dye process, so that just leaves the application and styling of the bangs themselves. I’ll admit I’m still getting used to styling them, and I tend to wear them a bit messier, rather than as pristine shaped Bettie bangs, with my more tousled, longer hairstyles. When I look at pictures on Instagram of other ladies wearing their Classy Rebel bangs they always seem to be able to style them perfectly, something I don’t think I’ve managed even once yet, but maybe with a bit of practice I’ll get better at it.
They’re very easy to use. There’s two clips, one facing each way towards the front and back of your head under the crown of the hair piece, so all you need to do is apply the clips for a secure hold. If you wear your hair down, you just style the tail of the clip-in along with the rest of your hair to blend it in, and if you wear your hair up in a bun or ponytail you use a bobby pin to secure the tail close to your head, then wrap the remainder of it around your ponytail holder/hair band. If your updo is more intricate like a poodle do, etc, you would just treat the tail as any other lock of hair and incorporate it into the styling.
My hair stubbornly refuses to form a sleek S shaped wave to frame my face nicely when I wear my hair up, so having these clip in bangs have been a great way to help vintage-up my hairstyles that might otherwise have felt out of place with the rest of my outfit. Plus, because they’re so fast and easy to style, they’ve become a huge part of my after-work quick-out-the-door routine for nights that I have social plans but don’t have the time or energy to set pincurls ready to be brushed out and styled before I go out. If I’ve got a brutal day at work ahead of me and dinner plans to see my best friends afterwards, it’s been a saving grace to be able to wear my hair in a messy bun all day then get home and quickly throw these onto my tousled waves to look cute and a bit vintagey without the pressure of trying to look fully polished.
As these bangs are made from real hair, it means you can use heat to style them without any problems, just make sure to apply heat protection spray as you would do to your own hair to help protect the health and longevity of the hair piece.
The real bonus of these bangs is obviously that they don’t require the commitment of cutting your own hair, so you can change up your look in an instant whenever the mood strikes you. Whenever I wear mine people comment how much they love me with bangs, which is interesting after a lifetime spent shunning them, so I’m tempted to invest in the V shaped set as well for my sassiest of days.
Classy Rebel is based in the USA, so ordering them internationally can add extra cost to your total order investment depending upon the customs laws of your country. Shipping to the UK was only $6 and took just one week, but the Royal Mail randomly check UK packages and any goods with a value over £15 will be charged import VAT fees and a £8 Royal Mail handling fee, so those fees added an extra £20-ish to my order. My bangs cost $65 at the time of purchase and they’ve now increased in price to $80, so be aware that import fees in the UK on the same item might now be a little more than mine were, and anyone ordering outside of the US might face similar fees depending on your country’s own import fees and tax law thresholds.
Deluxe Clip In Bettie Bangs are available in 6 colours and cost $80, but Classy Rebel offer a 10% discount code on first orders to anyone who signs up to their newsletter, and they often do 10% or 15% off discount codes during holidays or events.