Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Hair: Adding Bangs


Amber Tamblyn with long bangs at the 51st Annual Boomtown Party at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel, Century City, CA. May 15, 2004

One hair look that constantly cycles in and out of fashion has been the "fringe" which is British for the American term "bang".

Throughout recent hair history bangs have been seen in large numbers on the fashion walkways from time to time.

Whether you call it a "fringe" or a "bang", this hairstyle has once again become popular with many of the top supermodels, fashionistas and celebrities.

Some people, myself included, prefer to have bangs all the time. Although I have never managed to be plagued by those traditional 60s style "mall bangs"

I have always preferred some sort of fringe for my face shape. Other people detest and despise a forehead fringe of any kind. With everything hair related, not every type of fringe is right for every type of hair.

Note: To read how to trim your own bangs check out Hair Tips: Trim Your Own Bangs.

Why do bangs continue to cycle in and out of favor? The simple act of adding a new forehead fringe and skillfully applying some face framing highlights can create an instantaneous awe inspiring transformation.

Celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kim Cattrall, Amber Tamblyn and Jennifer Lopez have used forehead fringes to instantly create brand new sizzling looks. Many celebrity hairdressers like Ken Paves uses custom hair extension pieces to create perfectly matched bangs for their famous client.

Ken has often told me in our frequent cell phone chats that he "love bangs because they are such a great way to provide an instant tune-up for just about any hairstyle or look". And Kenny knows all about celebrity bangs because he has personally created them for Jessica, Lara Flynn, Kim and Jennifer.

Looking ahead Ken loves "bangs that are fresh, fun and sizzling. He loves particularly is fond of side swept and blunt bangs which he has created with great panache for all of his "girls" as he calls his famous group of female celebrity clients.

Selecting The Proper Fringe Style

Bangs have recently been spotted on the fashion runways showcasing 2005 designs which are still being heavily influenced by the 2004 trend of "anything goes". Fringe endowed models have been spotted wearing angled bangs, eyebrow skimming peek-a-boo fringes and an array of romantic mixed texture bangs.

Basically 2005 looks like another banner year for forehead bangs that are customized. Whether you blend in highlights, lowlights, colored tips or even partial colors enjoy the freedom to mix and match your bangs with hair flips, chips, layers, shaggy pieces, choppy pieces and panel strands.

Since fringe possibilities are mind-blowingly endless, how do you select a bang style that is best for you?

If you are interested in having a new fringe but are unsure of the best type that would work with your current hair style and face shape, read on.

Listed below is a summary of some of the more popular and basic bang types along with compatible face shapes, hair texture and styles.

Keep in mind that ultimately you have the option to work with your hairdresser to create whatever type of bangs work best for you.

Classic Blunt Bangs

A basic blunt fringe draws fantastic attention to your eyes. It adds instant drama and works well if you love to crank up your eye makeup. The blunt bang coupled with the right amount of makeup will produce big beautiful eyes.

Blunt bangs are usually very flattering for face shapes like some heart shaped and inverted triangular face shapes that feature wide or full foreheads. Blunt cut fringes will help to balance a large forehead and soften facial features including a pointy or prominent chin. While blunt bangs will usually work with oval face shapes, they may need to be modified to flatter square or round face shapes.

Blunt bangs can be updated for 2005 by mixing in a small amount of choppy or layered texture that gives you the option to play with different looks. Experiment with carefully applied highlights and lowlights to really open up your face and make your eyes pop.

Super Short Bangs

If you want to be really bold and show off your face as well as your peepers, you can wear the teeny tiny short little bangs that are the reason they have been nicknamed "the fringe". True fringes are exactly that.

The classic baby bangs work great for oval and some round face shapes, since short bangs tend to add instant face length and slimness. Long, angular, thin or oblong faces should stay away from face lengthening mini bangs. Keep in mind that the shorter your bangs, the longer your face will appear.

The good news with the shortest fringe is that it will take a lot longer to grow out than longer bangs. The bad news? If you hate them, you will have to deal with them for some time.

Straight Hair Fringes

Stick straight hair usually looks great with shorter, blunter styled bangs which tend to soften the overall effect of straight tresses.

If you want to jazz up straight bangs for special can add a little gel to slick them back. You can also add a light hair spray and a hint of glitter.

The layered highlights and lowlights as well as baylage work nicely on straight bangs as well. when adding hair color you can be outrageous or subtle. You can match your current hair color or go wild and use the contrasting lighter or darker hues.

Angled Bangs

Angled bangs can take on a lot of different forms with just a few longer hairs coupled with a lot of other hairs at different lengths. You can just let your natural curls and waves take over...or you can gel the bangs to achieve a tousled look.

Some round and diamond face shapes can instantly benefit from angled bangs which would help to add new angles and soften too-wide cheeks. Bangs that are squared off also will add new angles to a too-round face shape.

Longer angled bangs tend to be the best bet for curly or wavy hair. Longer bangs have the opposite effect of baby bangs. They will shorten your face.

Wavy Hair & Curly Hair

Unfortunately angled or any type of bangs may not work on some types of naturally curly or super wavy hair without a lot of styling time. If the hair above your forehead has a whirl or prominent cowlick or easily curls up, bangs may not be a wise choice since they may be uncontrollable and definitely time consuming to deal with.

Strong Facial Features

Side swept bangs may offer instant magic for long or thin face shapes with sharp angular or pointy features. Have your bangs cut to just one side if you want to downplay or sharpen your facial features.

Traditional square and heart face shapes may definitely benefit from angled bangs which would help to slim too-wide cheeks and jaw lines. A carefully created side swept bang can create new angles and overall facial softness.

Texturing of just the area around the bangs is also a good softening option. Feathered bangs will create a fluffy look that softens and lengthens.

Long Hair

Properly designed and created bangs may work well with any type of long hair.

Some long hair experts like the world renowned long hair expert Dr. George Michael does not believe in any type of bangs.

However, if you are tired of the same style, bangs can add a new look without requiring you to lose any length in your overall hair. Choose bangs to match your hair texture and facial structure.

Highlighted Bangs

If your hair is very dark, you may want to experiment with tiny highlighted stripes in a lighter color to draw attention to your eyes or face. The good news if that if you like the look, it is easy to maintain. If you don't, bangs will grow out in a matter of weeks.

Adding highlights and/or lowlights to thin, fine hair can instantly plump them up, adding softness.

Festive Bangs

Besides adding highlights or lowlight to your bangs, you can add tiny beads, feathers or other adornments to your bangs. You can also add the new tiny clips, barrettes (also known as slides) or be creative with gels, mousses or sprays.

If you limit your creativity with hair products to your bangs you have the added benefit of not risking any damage to the rest of your hair.

Wild Bangs

Turn up the heat on your look with mix and match textures. Models are often captured on camera combining wild curly bangs with sleek, slicked back ponytails and braids or stick straight bangs with wild curly hair that flows to their shoulders.

Bangs can be a combination of very short on one side and long, angled and even wavy on the other side. Nothing can stop you and your hairdresser from creating just the right type of bangs for your face shape, hairstyle and texture but your creativity.


Whether you go with a traditional blunt or side swept fringe style or go with a version of anything-does-for-hair, you can instantly spice up your current hairstyle with bangs.


Mall bangs are a term bestowed on heavy bangs that were very popular in the 60s. The were cut so that they would site very high up on the head. Although mostly worn by women in the 60s, some men did wear them as well.

Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks has made it a point to comment on the fact that she had her own set of Mall Bangs in 1988. She has stated publicly during her live stage shows that Mall Bangs are still a problem in "Las Vegas".

Celebrity hairdresser Ken Paves is totally against Mall Bangs which are also known as Rat-Mall Bangs. Paves has been quoted in the press and media as saying "There is no excuse for mall bangs, I am a licensed hairdresser, and if I see that on the street, I will arrest you."

Social Media Network Information

Please follow me on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets. Visit us at located at:, on Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

- Revised Publication Date: 04/23/11

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

Social Media Network Information

Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

New On
Active HairTalk Threads
Wanna talk?
HairTalk® is the place for you!
Recent Topics:
Quick Poll
What is your ideal hair length?
Shoulder Length
Extra Long
All of the Above
None of the Above
Daily Hair Tip
Always apply conditioners from the top of the ears down to the ends. Avoid the roots.
Top Gallery Images