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Bang Dos & Don'ts


Image from Clairol

Clairol All Rights Reserved.

In the United States hair that is combed forward and cut short on the forehead are known as bangs. They are referred to as fringes in other parts of the world.

Bangs or fringes can be worn by men and women or all ages, races and races. For more information refer to Hair Bangs - Types & Face Shapes

Although no two hair types, textures and styles are the same, most people can wear some form of bangs or fringe if they wish to do so. Bangs can actually be quite flattering in a number of situations. For more details refer to Bangs Instead Of Botox - Simple Snips Hide Brow Lines

Considering going for a full or partial forehead fringe? Consider the following options:

Note: For more bang details check out: Bangs - The Straight Scoop

1. Sideswept Bang - Side-swept bangs add instant sleekness and sophistication to any hair style. Side swept bangs work well with just about every hairstyle although they look stunning with a sassy or sophisticated ponytail, bun, updo or twist.

Starting back 1 1/2" - 2" from the hairline and extending down between the eyebrows and the tip of the nose (depending on personal preference) sideswept or angled bangs, as they are sometimes called, can be worn to the right or the left

Side-swept bangs can extend from a center part or a range of deep, shallow, crooked or short parts.

A side swept fringe can be worn stick straight or with a soft wave or curl. The sideswept bang can consist of just a small amount of hair or can be full and completely merged into the side of the hairline.

2. Angled Bang - There is no right or wrong to the creation of a side-swept fringe. It can be positioned at a variety of angles and degrees across the forehead. Which leads into the concept of an angled bang.

These bangs are cut so that have longer angles at either end near the ear lobes but slope shorter towards the middle and generally end right at the eyebrows or slightly longer. They are cut approximately 3/4" to 1" from the hairline and often are softly curled through the edges.

Often the angled bangs, which are obviously different lenghts from the middle to the ends, have separation so that the forehead may peak through. Sometimes these bangs are referred to as Boho bangs.

3. Triangular bangs - Similar to the angled bangs where the edges are longer and slope down towards the ears, the triangular bangs form a soft triangle shape with the point forming between the two eyebrows.

(Pictured: Kandi Burruss - The Real Housewives Of Atlanta -- Bravo Photo: Quantrell Colbert - All Rights Reserved)

They are cut approximately 3/4" to 1" from the hairline and often are softly curled through the edges. Often these triangular bangs are combined with asymetrical or dramatically angled short or medium length hairstyles.

Triangular bangs can also be cut so they are inverted with the point the opposite direction from the middle of the eyebrows.

4. Full Forehead Bang - A full forehead bang also known as Blunt Cut Bangs extends across the entire forehead from each side of the hairline to the opposite side.

For more information refer to Blunt Bangs Create Hair Drama For Lindsay Sloane

A key question involving a full forehead fringe is how far back to cut into the hairline pointing towards the crown to create the base of the bang. The end of the bang is the area that extends above, equal to or below the eyebrows.

Another option is whether to select a fringe where the tresses are all cut to one length, unequal lengths or a combination. There are a number of variables.

Whether you wear your full forehead fringe curls under at the ends or straight, the advantage to this type of bang is that it maximizes the beauty of eyebrows, if cut above, or eyes, when cut below.

A full bang look should be longer at the edges near the sides of your hairline and shorter in the middle of the bang. A bang which is cut straight across will be too hard and severe.

5. Baby bangs - These bangs are very short generally ending halfway between the hairline and the top of the eyebrows.

Baby bangs also known as super short bangs can be cut straight in a mini-blunt bang or cut wispy, choppy, layered or angled with the ends longer then the middle.

(Pictured: Sharon Gless wearing short baby bang that are touseled as Madeline Westen on Burn Notice - USA Network - Photo: Justin Stephens - All Rights Reserved)

These types of bangs tend to follow fashion trends more than any of the other types of bangs. They are also most flattering on round faces since they tend to create a more elongated and slimming look. The baby bangs are cut 1" to 1 1/4" from the hairline.

Baby bangs are often combined with super short pixie haircuts. They can be choppy or tousled depending on whether they are cut all the same length or with angled ends and shorter middle.

6. Layered bangs - Layered bangs are similar to blunt cut bangs by the fact they usually cover the majority of the forehead area but different by the fact the hair ranges from lightly to extremely layered. Layered bangs are intentionally cut at various lengths to allow them to be worn either straight or shattered, texturized or super choppy.

Some layered bangs will have a slight separation throughout the bangs so that parts of the forehead peek through.

Layered bangs are usually cut 1 1/2 to 1 3/4" from the hairline and often the bang edges are carefully cut into little V shapes to create subtle or stacked layers resulting in a tousled look.

7. Long Bangs - Long bangs can be side-swept or a full forehead fringe but they generally extend either to the middle of the eye or even longer down towards the top or middle of the nose. Long Bangs are sometimes referred to as Shaggy Dog Bangs.

They are extremely long extending 1" to 1 1'2" from the hairline down to either the middle of the eyeball or even to the bottom of the eye socket.

Shaggy Dog bangs may or may not be parted to give the person wearing the bangs an easier view to the outside world. Shaggy Dog bangs can be worn stick straight, with texture, choppy or even wispy. The key to these types of bangs is their extreme length and their full coverage across the forehead.

Long bangs may or may not be intentional. When short bangs grow out they first transition through a phase where they are long.

One of the most difficult aspect of any type of bangs that are not clip-on involves the growing out process. For more information on growing out bangs refer to: Hairstyles: Growing Out Bangs

8. Curly Or Wavy Hair Bangs - Some curly hair experts and girls disagree about the appropriateness of forehead fringes worn on the curl endowed. However, if you dream of having a well mannered fringe, curl expert Barbara Lhotan offers tips from her curly hair client bag of tricks.

Note: For more information refer to: Hair Gets Into Your Eyes - Challenges Of Wavy/Curly Hair Bangs

According to Barbara, who practices her curl magic by traveling to select salons in Dallas, New York and Washington, DC the biggest mistake curly girls make when trying out a fringe is going way too short. Barbara explained “curly hair can be cut into a forehead fringe when the section is long, side-swept and appropriately layered.”

When the bangs are “cut too short, they will naturally shrink and creep up towards the hairline. If the bangs are longer, they’ll likely shrink less and can be finger styled to merge seamlessly with the rest of the curls.”

She explained she has “several curly girls as clients who understand “fringes aren’t easy to create and manage on their hair textures” but Barbara has “figured out some methods to create unique fringes for them.”

Note: For detailed information refer to: Barbara Lhotan Talks Naturally Curly Fringes

9. Mohawk And Other Extreme Style Bangs

American Idol contestant Sanjaya wore his hair in an extreme Mohawk style while participating on NBC's 2009 I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Sanjaya had Mohawk bangs with a type of triangular bang extending down towards the top of his nose in a triangle shape.

Bangs can extend down over the forehead as part of a full or faux Mohawk. They can also be styled in a number of other artistic and creative waves. Bangs are not just limited to sideswept, blunt or fore forehead. They can be just about anything you want them to be.

10. Clip-On Bangs - Creating bangs were a surefire way to instantly change up a hairstyle or a look. However, the biggest problem with cutting bangs into a hairstyle meant that they either had to be maintained or they required a long growing out process.

Over the past year the clip-in hair market has introduced very lifelike synthetic clip-in fringes. The clip-in bangs are also available in human hair. Many celebrity stylists are utilizing clip-in bangs to instantly change the looks of celebrities.

Note: For more information on celebrities with bangs check out: Ken Paves Created Nelly Furtado’s Big Bang Ponytailed Hairstyle At AMAs

Clip-in bangs have become a very popular option that allows anyone to have temporary bangs but not have to suffer through the bang grow out stage, which can be challenging at times.


Bangs can also be multi-colored, multi-textured or interlaced with a variety of materials including feathers, yarn or even bits of string.

Fashion models on the runways will often have very unique bang styles which are often clip-ins. Bangs can also be created temporarily from other section of hair so they are actually faux bangs. Anything is possible with an active imagination.

Bangs can also be cut into just about any desired shape from a rounded bowl with the shortest section at the middle to inverted bowl shapes with the longest section in the middle. The only limitation to extreme bang styles is the imagination.

For more information on this topic refer to:

Bangs Instead Of Botox - Simple Snips Hide Brow Lines

Blunt Bangs Create Hair Drama For Lindsay Sloane

Hair Bangs - Types & Face Shapes

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Original Publication Date: 2001 - Revised Date: 11/28/09

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