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Bangs: Straight Bangs



Bai Ling At The ESPN Magazine's "Summer Fun" Party.

Celebrities with bangs often make the media headlines. 

In the past, celebrity hair watchers made a big to-do about Katie Holmes who'd arrived at the Gemany Bambi wearing brand new bangs

The star's bangs were most noteworthy because they were identical to the fringe worn by Katie and husband Tom Cruise's 18 month old daughter Suri.

The type of bangs Katie was wearing is known as a full bang cut straight across the forehead.  

A few hair experts might refer to the look as blunt bangs.

Louise Brooks Straight Bangs

Katie's straight bangs were introduced back in the 1920s.  They were immortalized by actress Louise Brooks who paired straight across bangs with her iconic short bob haircut. 

Some hair historians might claim that the straight bang has roots in the flapper era when some of the dancers favored the forehead-hugging style.

Bai Ling Is A Poster Girl For Blunt Bangs

This blunt fringe is nothing new in the current hair world.  The celebrity poster girl for straight bangs is Bai Ling

The straight or blunt cut bang offers many advantages.  They help to make the eyes pop while also assisting with balancing a more narrow face shape.

Bai Ling frequently wears a fringe of some type.  The majority of her forehead-hugging hairstyles are the classic straight bangs worn in a China Doll line right across her forehead. 

Straight Bangs With A Twist


Bai Ling - 2007 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Day 1 10-14-07

One of the great characteristics of actress Bai Ling is the fact she is willing to experiment with many different hairstyles.

At the 2007 Mercedes Benz Fashion Show, the sassy model turned up with her trademark blunt fringe.  Her face-hugging bangs were flanked on either side by long cherry red strands.

It was a stunning look that instantly transformed Bai Ling's look from soft, sexy China Doll to fun, fabulous, and edgy. 

Shaking Up Her Hairstyle

Bail Link really knows how to shake up her style and have fun while looking amazing.

I had the great fortune to interview the lovely Bai Ling after one of her famous haircuts.  She was getting ready to fly to the Orient to star in a film.

The star was delighted with the addition of the unique hair color to offset her famous straight bangs.

Besides her cherry red panels of hair, Bai Ling has been known to offset her blunt bangs with an array of hair braids or twists.

How Straight Bangs Are Traditionally Cut

Blunt cut bangs are typically designed to hang slightly past the eyebrow from 1/8 to 1/4th inch.

Although some hair and beauty experts recommend that only some types of face shapes should wear the straight across bang style, other experts believe every face shape can benefit from the look. 

Blunt Bangs Draw Attention To The Eyes

Blunt-cut bangs naturally draw attention to the eyes, nose, and cheeks. 

While the blunt cut fringe is best for thinner faces which helps to minimize wide foreheads, it's less ideal for round or square face shapes.

Types Of Hair Compatible With Straight Bangs


Bai Ling
Los Angeles Premiere of "The Tripper"

Just like long eyebrow bangs, straight bangs can be stunning when combined with any type of hair length from super short to super long or somewhere in-between. 

Straight bangs work best on hair that is naturally straight.  Cuticle shapes with any type of bend, wavy, or curl will be much more difficult to style. 

When the cuticle shape isn't straight, there may be more challenges in wearing any type of fringe. 

Straight or blunt cut bangs pose the largest problem.

Naturally Curly Hair With Straight Bangs

How do people with naturally curly hair achieve stick-straight bangs?

There are a number of methods employed by naturally curly-haired people although they can be quite time-consuming and have as many disadvantages as advantages. 

Wavy, curly, coily, or kinky-haired people may be able to achieve straight bangs by taking the following action:


1.  Blow dry hair straight after prepping with straightening balms or anti-defrisants.

Once the hair has been dried, it can be touched up with irons.

2.  Lightly comb a relaxer through the bang area to keep the forehead hair straighter. 

A relaxer may not completely straighten the curliest of fringes.  However, it may help relax it so that it is easier to style straight.

There are disadvantages to relaxing just the fringe versus the entire head of hair.  A relaxed or straight fringe may seem disproportionate to a head of otherwise wavy, curly, or coily strands.  Root regrowth can also be an ongoing challenge. 

3.  Have the fringe chemically straightened.

This offers a stronger guarantee of a straight fringe for the majority of hair types.

Chemically straightened bangs may still need to be blow-dried straight to avoid any curves or waves.  There are also the issues of curly root growth. 

Another issue is that the rest of the hair may look unbalanced due to the extreme difference in textures consisting of stick straight bangs attached to naturally curly hair.

Always Do Your Own Research


Bai Ling
Black Enterprise Magazine's 50 Hollywood Power Brokers Party

Note:  For more tips on achieving straight bangs read  Bangs - The Straight Scoop.  Before you take any steps to relax or straighten your hair be sure to do extensive research since either method can provide long-term hair challenges.

Straight across bangs like Bai Ling's may not look as dramatic when created on hair that is naturally thin, wispy, or baby fine.

Straight bangs also appear more stunning when worn on darker strands, since they reflect light. 

They also look best when the tresses are shiny, either from being super healthy or from the assistance of shine serums, sprays, or similar.

Bang Hair Extensions

Another option to achieve full, thick straight across bangs is to have tiny human hair extensions applied to just the bang area.

Another option is clip-in bangs which are less viable in most cases because they look unnatural and may create the dreaded 60s mall bang look.

To be considered classic, straight bangs must be cut straight across from side to side. 

Some people prefer to mix it up a bit.   They opt to have their straight bangs cut so they angle from the end of the eyebrows towards the ears creating a more triangular effect. 

This is a departure from classically straight bangs.

Highlighted Straight Bangs

If the goal of straight bangs is to highlight the eyes, strategically placed ribbons of highlights and/or lowlights can have a spectacular effect.

If the highlights and/or lowlights are added to thin, fine hair worn in straight bangs, there is an added benefit of instant plumpness and volume.

Straight Bang Styling Options


Anita Pointer - Love Letters Performance Benefit

Wear long eyebrow skimming bangs that stick straight or in a jagged line across the forehead. 

Sometimes eyebrow skimming bangs are worn swept to one side with the bulk of the hang draped over one eye Veronica Lake style.

Straight bangs can be worn without any type of adornment or they can be partnered with a wide range of hair accessories. 

Headbands Are An Ideal Accessory

Headbands are an ideal hair accessory since they can be worn a few inches back from the bangs with actually maximize the beauty of straight bangs. 

Experiment with ultra-thin or super-wide headbands to create a wide range of different looks. 

Clip-in extension bangs in a rainbow of hues are another great accessory for blunt fringes. 

Hair or either side of the fringe can be adorned with jeweled bobbies or sassy sleeper clips. 


Blunt straight bangs were popularized by Louise Brooks who wore the style with her iconic short bob.  As a result, they become very popular with flappers,

Famed actress, model, and star Bai Ling is known for her never-ending array of gorgeous and classic straight bangs.

Do straight bangs look good on everyone?  In the world of 2021, it doesn't really matter.  If you love blunt bangs, wear them and enjoy them.

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