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Hair Bangs - Types & Face Shapes

Karen Marie Shelton - Copyrighted - All Rights Reserved. 
Revised Date: 06/25/11

Introduction

Allison Mack
With
Sleek Side-Swept Bangs

Hair bangs are also referred to as a hair fringe. A fringe is a shaped cutting of the front part of the hair so that it is combed forward and hangs or curls over the forehead.

A classic fringe is cut fairly straight at or above the eyebrows, but fringes can also be texturized, heavily layered, ruffled, swept to one side.

One of the most controversial elements of hair bangs is whether to call them "bangs" or call them "fringes".  In the United States bangs are the common word for hair that fully or partially covers the forehead area of the face.

In England and other European countries bangs have a slang related meaning that is considered "off color".  For those countries the word used to describe forehead hair is "fringes".

More Info:  To see more hairstyles for Allison Mack visit her Celebrity Hairstyle Gallery

 

Regardless of what term you prefer to use, forehead hair, like everything in the hair world, has its style trends and general rules.

Although the hair bang cycles in and out of favor depending on fashion trends and other related style indicators, they tend to look good on just about anyone ranging from babies to boomers of any age.

Continued below ↓
 

Model With
Sleek Side-Swept Bangs

So why are they consider the one-stop-hair-trend for all?  Mainly because they can be created to scale from long to short, side-swept to full frontal blunt or a variety in-between.

Bangs can be worn to minimize large foreheads, help control annoying cowlicks or disguise forehead lines. They work in harmony with a wide range of hair accessories from headbands to clips.

What else should you note about bangs?  They can be an instant fix for a bad haircut or a decision that is made in haste and repented in leisure because bangs can be challenging to deal with during the sort-to-long phases.

Selecting Best Bangs

Bangs cut to enhance your face shape and when in harmony with your hair's type, texture and condition, can be wonderful.  However, there can be drawbacks in other areas.

If you wish to accentuate your eyes, wear bangs that are cut just to the brow line which will draw instant attention to your peepers.

Super thick bangs that are too long may accentuate your note which may or may not be a good thing.

Selecting bangs should encompass a wide range of factors that include:

1.  Hair type

When cut and styled correctly, bangs can actually help fatten naturally thin or fine strands. Side swept bangs might give the impression of fuller strands whereas feathered or wispy bangs might negatively highlight thinning strands.  In fact, the famous male comb over style is a form of bangs that should never be adopted by anyone trying to hide thinning strands.

More Info: Hair Tips: Trim Your Own Bangs

Jennifer Love Hewitt
With
Wispy Side-Swept Bangs

2.  Hair texture

While perfect for naturally straight hair or hair with some bend, bangs can be a living hell for naturally curly or super wavy strands.

Note:  See image of Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt to the side.

3.  Hair length

The length of bangs can range from super baby short to long.  Depending on the over look desired, bangs can be cut to blend with the overall hairstyle and cut.  Bangs can also be utilized to help blend an uneven or disastrous cut.

4.  Condition of Hair

Bangs may not work well for hair that is prone to breakage or has been chemically damaged.  Each situation would need to be addressed with your hairdresser. 

Hair which is prone to oiliness may prone difficult when worn with bangs.  This is especially true when oily strands are coupled with oily skin.

5.  Face shape

Once you have considered all hair related challenges, the face shape should be analyzed to select the very best type of style to frame the face.  After all, while helpful in minimize a myriad of lines and other facial challenges, bangs should flatter and act as a beautiful curtain of tresses.

Face Shape And Bangs

Consider the following rules of thumb when selecting bangs.

January Jones
With
Sleek Side-Swept Bangs

Oval face shapes - the oval face shape is considered to be a face shape that can wear any type of style or hair.  This includes bangs which can be worn in just about any style.  Of course bangs for oval face shapes should be chosen with an eye for hair type, texture, length and condition.

Round face shapes - the most flattering bang styles tends to be built upon long softly layered or feathered bangs (if your hair texture, type and condition support feathering) which gently hug the cheeks areas to minimize round cheeks.  When skillfully constructed, bangs can add beautiful contour to round fact shaped features.  Great bands can instantly chisel into the cheekbones and help them pop.

Long face shapes - blunt brow hugging bangs that softly drape over the forehead will help to give the impression of a more oval-shaped face.  The oval look can be strengthened by opting for long or graduated layers that softly caress the sides of the face.

Square face shapes - consider side-swept bangs that gently curve or taper inwards towards the jaw to soften pronounced square facial lines.  When well cut, side swept bangs can also help soften all the angles of the face.

Heart face shapes - depending on the ultimate goal, bangs can be selected to either minimize the general wideness of the heart shaped face or help to balance the generally prominent chin.  A side swept feathered or texturized bang style can also be another great option. 

A heart shaped face can also usually carry off full bangs cut straight across the face.  Long or short, full bangs can look really great for a heart shape.

Caitlin Wachs
Parted Bangs

Triangular face shapes - wider bangs that are feathered, wispy or texturized can help to balance the face and create more of an oval shape.

A slight wispy fringe will cover and conceal a wide forehead. It will also bring it into a better proportion with a wide chin. Avoid the flat, pageboy fringes. These can level out fullness and height.

Other Bang Tips

Bangs cut to enhance your face shape and in harmony with your hair's type, texture and condition, can be wonderful.  However, there can be drawbacks in other areas.

If you wish to accentuate your eyes, wear bangs that are cut just to the brow line which will draw instant attention to your peepers.

Super thick bangs that are too long may accentuate your note which may or may not be a good thing.

Wet or Dry Cutting

There is a lot of controversy about whether hair should be cut bone dry or when damp.  Depending on your hairdresser, their preferences and their skill levels they may prefer to cut your bangs either way.  While some hairdressers believe that there is more hair control when dry cutting is utilized.  Other disagree strongly and prefer wet bang cutting.

Lady Gaga
Asymetric Fringe

Note:  Some people prefer to cut their own bangs.   For detailed information on cutting your own at home check out HairBoutique.com Tip 18051.

Types of Bangs

It is always best when considering the addition of new bangs to chat with your hairdresser before taking the plunge.  It is always best to discuss the pros and cons along with looking at images of bangs that you might like. 

Your hairdresser can advise you whether the style you like would work well for your hair type, texture, condition, overall face and body shape.

Although bangs generally have descriptive titles and names, in essence a good hairdresser can custom design bangs that work perfectly for you. 

Some hairdressers might combine a blunt bang with tapered sides or create a side-swept bang that has creative layering built in.

Listed below are some common bang styles:

Blunt Bangs - Worn just below the eyebrow these forehead fringes are cut precisely straight across from side to side.

Justin Bieber

Side Swept Bangs - Cut so that the hair tapers from shorter to longer lengths and is extended generally from a side part with the hair brushed to sweep across the forehead.

Parted Bangs - Usually worn as a modified version of blunt bangs, these bangs are often cut so that they part slightly either in the middle of slightly to the side.

Choppy Bangs - Usually worn as a modified version of blunt bangs, these bangs are often cut with a scissors and then texturized for a choppy look.  Choppy bangs provide increased depth to the facial features.

Asymmetrical Bangs - These bangs will have widely varied lengths with one side being a lot shorter than the other side or the middle being a lot shorter than either side.

Disconnected Bangs - These bangs encompass extreme angles that often plummet drastically from side to side.  Blunt edges may be cut into the bangs at unexpected locations and lengths.

Blow Drying Bang Secrets

Ashlee Simpson - Asymmetrical Bangs

The secret to having great bangs is in the styling products utilized and how you blow dry them.

Although hair experts disagree, celebrity hairdresser Barbara Lhotan recommends that bangs should be towel blotted before drying. 

Other stylists recommend that you blow dry bangs when they are soaking wet.  Ask your hairdresser for suggestions and then be prepared to experiment.

Apply the styling product of your choice based on your hair's type, texture and condition. 

Separate bang strands into small sections of 1-2 inches.  Use your fingers to anchor the strand and then blow-dry from the roots down to the ends of the bangs.  Direct the air flow "down the shaft" to add natural shine.

If you have problems with bangs that get either too flat or too frizzy blow dry the roots of your bangs first.  Then use a small flat brush to anchor the ends of the bangs while you blow dry. 

If you prefer some movement and bend, use a small round brush.  You can also experiment with moving the air flow so that you direct the heat from up above the roots and from under the roots.

Taylor Swift
Long Blunt Bangs

If you prefer stick straight bangs, once bangs are 100% dry, use a small flat iron and run the iron over them quickly to straighten.  Remember if bangs are too straight, they might become limp or stick straight out.

Finish with a light spritz of hairspray for added control.

Summary

One of the most controversial elements of hair bangs is whether to call them "bangs" or call them "fringes"

Once you get past that initial challenge, the world of bangs/fringes can be all encompassing when you examine all the different styles and how they might work with various hair types, textures and conditioner.

Whether you embrace bangs or not, they always offer new hair options.

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Original Publication Date:  03/01/1997 - Revised Publication Date:  06/25/11

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