Beauty Beat: All About Bangs


Use these silhouettes to explain to your stylist what kind of bangs you want.

Ashley Evert, Assistant Managing Editor

Whether you’re from the States and call them bangs or a neighbor across the pond and call them a fringe, cutting or growing them out is one of the things that women really struggle with.

Once they decide, it’s even more difficult for them to explain the image they have in their heads to their stylist, so I wanted to share an informational guide on bangs and hopefully end the miscommunication from client to stylist.

Blunt or straight-across bangs are bangs that are literally cut straight across the brow. Most of us had this cut as little girls, but it can be very sultry and mature when done correctly.

The trick is not to cut them too short and to add some longer pieces on the sides to frame the face so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing a wig. When chatting with your stylist, drop names like Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel and Lea Michele.

If you’re attempting to grow out those blunt bangs, transition bangs are a great in-between. This cut is also great for those gals who want a change but can’t decide between blunt or side bangs.

Reese Witherspoon is the perfect example of this type of fringe because she can wear her hair in front of her face like long blunt bangs or push them off to the side like a shorter side bang. Ashley Simpson and Jennifer Lopez occasionally rock this style.

Once that awkward transition from growing out shorter bangs is finally over, side bangs are possible. Gorgeous examples of perfectly side-swept bangs include Carrie Underwood and Emma Stone.  Side bangs may be your end game, but they might also be a transition to what I like to call “Barely there bangs.”

Barely there bangs are seen on the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Lauren Conrad, and, before her dramatic short haircut, Jennifer Lawrence. These are those bangs that are so grown out that they’re “barely there” and they give a very soft wavy frame to the face.

Some lesser known bangs don’t really have names so I’ll call them pixie bangs because they’re super short, like a pixie cut. They can be styled very piecey and straight or swept to the side. Some outrageously attractive women model pixie bangs including actresses Rooney Mara, Emma Watson, Shannyn Sossamon and Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

Like pixie bangs, it requires a certain boldness to really rock a set of Bettie Bangs.  Bettie Page, a pinup model famous for her outlandish, taboo photographs in the 1950s, made this look famous. Bettie’s are shorter than blunt bangs and have very rounded corners.

Katy Perry looks phenomenal when she wears Bettie bangs, as did Beyoncé in the “Telephone” video. Actress Kristen Ritter opts for a more modern, piecey Bettie bang. These bangs are perfect for ladies with heart-shaped faces, like yours truly, because the triangular parting slims the top of the head and balances out a narrow chin.

When in doubt of your ability to vividly explain what you want, bring a picture! Photos are a stylist’s best friend because they bridge the gap between what we think you mean and what you actually mean.

My final piece of advice when choosing a game plan for your hair is this: don’t sweat it too much. Hair grows back. The difference between a bad haircut and a good haircut is two weeks.