Why are bangs such a controversial decision? Because they have the power to change your whole look, says hair expert Philip B. “Done right, they can make you look chicer, cooler, sexier, and even younger,” he says.
Bangs have the magical ability to transform and frame the face, and have long been a staple in the world of hairstyling. From soft and wispy to bold and blunt, bangs offer a quick and effective way to refresh your look and express your personal style. “Bangs can make a narrow face look wider, and a rounder face look narrower. They frame the eyes and bring out your bone structure. Bangs can also camouflage a high forehead, thinning hairline, or simply add balance to a haircut,” adds Philip.
If you're looking to add a touch of glamor, create a playful vibe, or make a bold statement, there is a bang style out there for everyone and every desired trendy look.
But like all beauty hacks, there are a few rules to keep in mind when considering bangs, and they mostly have to do with your face shape and how you style your hair on the day to day.But don’t fret, because like all beauty “rules,” they can be broken. These are merely guidelines if you’re looking for a place to start. Beauty would never put us in a box!
Round face: Opt for softer, wispier bangs, which will draw more attention to the angles of your face.
Oval face: Go for blunt, straight-across bangs or shorter side bangs to draw attention to your eyes and cheekbones.
Heart face shape: Wispy bangs and longer side bangs that sweep across the forehead will bring attention to the lower half of your face.
Square face shape: Go for longer or side-swept bangs to balance your strong jaw and cheekbones and bring attention to your eyes and forehead.
About the Expert:
For a French-girl bang look like Bella Hadid, the bangs will barely graze the eyebrows, says Philip B. This look is easier to pull off than the typically shorter style of French bangs, but still gives a chic, put-together look to any hairstyle. Blow-dry bangs straight after the shower, and before you do spray them with a heat protectant, like IT’S A 10 Miracle Blow Dry H20 Shield spray.
Who says bangs have to be straight? If your hair is curly all over, like Zendaya’s style above, you can still rock bangs, and you’ll always have a bold style to match your bold outfits. “If you have naturally curly hair, be careful, as bangs may take on an odd shape—in that case, you need a gifted stylist to help get the cut, proportions, and shaping just right,” says Philip B. To keep curls moisturized and bouncy, nourish them with a hair mask, like the SHEAMOISTURE Curl-Enhancing Smoothie.
Philip B says this style (seen on Zoë Kravitz) is harder to pull off, but works well with pixie cuts and short bobs. You will have to keep up this style and either go for trims every two weeks or learn to trim them yourself. It’s easier than you think!
This style is perfect for bang lovers who are a bit timid, as it’s a great way to ease into the look, says Philip B. They’re “easy to grow out and they work well with shorter and longer styles,” he says. Wear them styled across your forehead for a vintage glam look, or sweep them to the side for side-swept bangs (like Dakota Johnson) that will grow out easily into the rest of your hair. Use a round barrel brush, like the F.A.R.A.H. Round Hair Brush, to keep these bangs bouncy and full in between haircuts.
Philip B says these soft and youthful bangs a la Taylor Swift or Jennifer Garner are highly requested by clients. If these bangs get greasy throughout the day or in between washes, try using a dry shampoo, like the LIVING PROOF PhD Dry Shampoo.
Curtain bangs, like this style seen on Halle Berry, are another easy way to try bangs if you’re scared of committing, since they are a bit longer and off to the side, and will grow out quicker if you decide not to keep them. “Curtain bangs require taking a center section and cutting it shorter, then taking sides and over directing them to the center and cutting them,” says hairstylist Wes Sharpton. He notes the over direction will create the curtain effect that flows on each side.
When styling, we recommend using a curling iron—like the SLEEK’E HAIR Tourmaline Titanium Curling Wand—to curl your hair all over. Then, curl your bangs into the strand of hair closest to them so they wave seamlessly together.
These bangs might be short, but they instantly transform any haircut you pair them with. Also known as “micro bangs” or “baby bangs,” this style is irresistibly striking yet fun and playful at the same time (exhibit A: Joan Smalls). If you choose to rock this look, be prepared to frequent trips to your stylist to keep their length–depending on how fast your hair grows, you might have to get a trim every two to three weeks.
If you find your bangs curl when they’re this short, we recommend using a straightening spray–like R + CO Mood Swing Spray–to make heat styling a breeze.
These bangs are edgy, chic, and definitely require the attitude to match. If you’re not into committing to a hairstyle, these aren’t for you. However, if you do decide to rock them, they add a modern edge to any look and they’re easier to maintain than one would think.“If you’re having them cut by a hairdresser, then have them start a bit shorter for a longer grow-out. For blunt bangs, usually a month or two is good before you’ll need your next trim. Curtain bangs can usually go three months before needing a trim,” says Sharpton. Constance Wu has great edgy blunt bangs here. When styling, use the FOXYBAE Straightening Brush Set for a quick straight hairstyle you can wear day or night.
These highly-requested bangs rocked by Hailey Bieber mimic the shape of the letter “M” by being short and jagged in the middle, and extending longer on either side of the forehead. It’s important to keep these bangs clean and grease-free, so if you have naturally oily skin, you might want to avoid this cut. Since the bangs are sporadic and not cut straight across, any oil on your skin will be directly absorbed into these few strands. But, if you can keep up with dry shampoo or washes, we say go for it. It’s an easy way to look chic and a little edgy when you just want to throw your hair up and hit the grocery store or run errands.
Somewhere in between a front bang and a side bang, these bangs (a Camila Cabello staple) are long, soft, and easily adaptable. Grow them out for a balanced side bang, or cut them even shorter for a sweeping fringe bang. Use a strong-hold hairspray, like the EVA NYC Shapeshifter Flexible Hairspray, to keep these bangs in place without looking crunchy.
The mullet is back, baby. Well, if you can rock it like Doja Cat, that is. “Fashion folks are going for the mullet-bang combinations, which are also catching on,” says Philip B. “It’s daring, edgy and fresh—and you definitely need to have some attitude to pull it off.” Before styling bangs, spray them with the BIOSILK Hydrating Therapy Maracuja Oil to leave strands silky, shiny, and frizz-free.
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