To Bang or Not to Bang
Get your mind out of the gutter….
Bangs are pieces of hair shorter than the overall length of a haircut.
They are created using the hair from the hairline above the forehead.
Hair can be cut into various lengths to create different kinds of bangs.
There are various options for bangs including Blunt Bangs, Baby Bangs, Side Bangs and Curtain Bangs.
Most anyone can find a bang that is appropriate for them.
For those of you who know me in real life, especially if you are my client, you know my opinion on bangs.
For those of you who do not know me in real life you should know that I usually put up an argument, and any request for bangs comes with some kind of negotiation and compromise, usually on my clients end.
However, let me clarify some of my opinions and let’s go over some options for bangs.
Different kinds of bangs or for the fancy folks out there, different kinds of “fringe hair”
The words fringe and bangs are essentially interchangeable.
Fringe is just another word for bangs.
Depending on where you live in the world you may use one term or the other. It’s like the difference between soda and pop.
Since I’m from Chicago (where we say pop) we are going to keep things simple and refer to bangs as bangs not “fringe hair”
It is the bang you rocked from Age 0-10, it is the bang you went back to because it is less expensive and less painful (maybe?) than botox.
It is the bang that was a result of taking your Fiskars Safety School scissors and trying to cut your own hair in 3rd grade.
It is my least favorite bang.
Maybe I will get criticized for being so open about my opinion, maybe this is politically incorrect, and maybe some of you out there live by the fact that all bangs matter.
See that face I’m making…that face happens when your bangs are created using 2/3 of your hair, and make you look like Toad from Mario.
These bangs atop my brows can be referred to as classic bangs.
The classic bang can be blunt bangs, or even choppy bangs.
They are the fullest of the bangs, using a section that covers your forehead straight across.
Classic bangs require a fair amount of maintenance.
To keep them looking their best, you should really wash and restyle them daily.
Depending on your hair and oil production, your bangs may need a refresh throughout the day.
If you are anything like me, you understand that classic bangs, baby bangs, and even some kinds of curtain bangs are a commitment.
Deep regret can come from cutting bangs- resulting in using bobby pins, headbands and a lot of hairspray to keep those bad boys out of the way.
There has been an evolution of side bang options through the years. From the heavy Carrie Underwood side bangs, to the Jennifer Aniston effortless side swept bangs.
Depending on your age, you may also remember the “emo bangs” which required you to learn to function through everyday life with only one eye.
Side bangs have many benefits including being low maintenance.
Side bangs can be flat or have some extra volume, whichever you prefer.
You can usually get away with waiting to have them trimmed until your next haircut which is also a bonus.
Some bangs require regular trims, we will get into that later.
What I like about the side bang is that even when they grow out they just add nice framing to your face.
Putting your hair in a ponytail looks super cute and put together when you have these bangs framing your face.
Washing your hair or bangs daily is not a complete necessity with side bangs as you can just sweep them over into your hair and move on with your day.
The Side Sweep
AKA the baby step to a side bang.
A side sweep can add some framing to your face, and also allow for some subtle wispy pieces to fall out of your ponytail for that effortless “I’m active but cute” look.
You may have heard some buzz about the “curtain bang”.
The curtain bang is a longer-ish full bang split in the middle creating light framing on both sides of the forehead- think of a curtain splitting in the middle over a window thus exposing said window, and you have properly visualized the curtain bang.
It looks best styled with some curve towards the ends, otherwise you risk looking like your classic full bang is just not cooperating.
Some celebs rocking the curtain bangs are Mandy Moore, Selena Gomez, and Dakota Johnson.
Keep in mind you will probably want to keep up with trimming these in between cuts especially if your haircut schedule is less frequent than every 4-5 weeks.
Baby Bangs (Micro Bangs)
It really is the “baby” of bangs.
It is meant to be short.
The choice is yours- blunt or choppy, but that’s the only choice you get because once they are cut, you are stuck… for a while, so I hope you like them.
Baby bangs are traditionally only a few inches long.
They should lay flat on your forehead.
If you hair parts weird, or you have some funky cowlicks going on in your hairline, you probably want to stay away from the baby bang or you run the risk of sporting a “Something About Mary” kind of look.
If you do decide on a baby bang and want to rock them for a while, you will need to wash them daily to insure they are cooperating with the style you had in mind.
Trimming them frequently will also be important.
To rock a true baby bang you need to commit.
This kind of bang is no joke.
The day you decide to grow them out you will be facing a couple months of looking like you trimmed your own bangs and maybe went too short.
Once they get to an acceptable length you will be rocking a regular classic bang look.
Face Framing Layers
Face framing layers can sometimes be considered the gateway drug to bangs.
You have come to the realization that you want something different near your face, but are not ready for a full on blunt bang, a great option for you can be some face framing layers.
Do not feel like you have to go full blown Jennifer Anniston 90’s hair to incorporate face framing layers into your do.
Invisible layers are trending! What makes them invisible you ask?
They are simply light, soft framing incorporated into your long hair – a little something to create movement. This kind of face framing can be hidden or emphasized.
Just make sure to mention to your stylist that you want invisible face framing layers vs. 90’s hair face framing layers.
Trying bangs does not require you to start out with any specific haircut.
You can have a bob with bangs, a long bob with bangs, a pixie cut with bangs and even a pixie cut with long bangs.
An inverted bob with bangs is also a nice look.
Some people even have curly bangs (whether that be natural curls or a perm).
If you have the guts, and don’t have commitment issues like I do, you can really experiment and try all different kinds of bang hairstyles.
Should I Get Bangs?
You might also be wondering will I even look good with bangs? Will they look good with highlighted hair?
If you aren’t sure you can always try on a wig with bangs.
I did. It was Halloween, and one of my employees brought a wig to work, so I tried it on.
For a moment, just a moment I was like, “Hm? I kind of like this.”
And then the hair started tickling my face so I took off the wig and went back to my basic straight hair.
Clients have told me they love their bangs, and decided to add them to their cut because it is a cheap alternative to botox (the only types of bangs that wouldn’t work for this are see-through bangs, wispy bangs and thin bangs).
Now that you have chosen the kind of bang you want, you may be thinking to yourself…
How to Style Bangs?
Every kind of bang is going to require a different styling technique.
One thing that is true across the board is that you have to keep your bangs looking fresh.
Dry shampoo can help if you are not an every day hair washer.
However, if you do have the time, washing and freshly drying your bangs keeps them looking their best.
Depending on the kind of bang you have chosen, and depending on your personal style, you may utilize different styling techniques.
For a regular bang, if you want a more modern look, you can keep them straight by flat ironing them.
For a fuller more voluminous effect, utilize a round brush to style them.
For side bangs or a side sweep you can use a flat brush with the dryer to sweep them over your forehead.
You can also round brush this type of bang for added volume.
If your bang of choice is the curtain bang, it is important to keep your curtain bangs looking fresh and styled.
You will want to get really good at blow drying them in the direction you want them to lay- curving them away from each other with a split in the middle is the best way to style this kind of bang.
Another option is carefully using a flat iron or curling iron to direct your hair on what to do.
Baby Bangs are best styled by using a flat brush while directing the air from a dryer downward to help keep them flatter and in place.
To style your face framing you can curve in the hair towards your face, or wear it straight down.
To curve it towards your face you can dry it this way with a round brush.
A curling iron or flat iron can also help you style a curve into the front of your hair by using the tool to direct the hair inward “framing” your hair.
Maybe the fact that I give my clients such a hard time when they ask me for bangs is my own personal PTSD.
I want you all to know I am just looking out for you.
All I want is for you to be happy.
I do not want you to feel regret, I do not want you to spend the next 6 months trying to grow them long enough to tuck behind your ears so they are less annoying and less obvious.
Maybe it stems from my own personal commitment issues.
That is probably why my hair is two feet long, one length and unlayered.
Before making a serious decision like getting bangs, please consult with a professional.
I beg of you, please do not finish reading this article and hop on youtube looking for DIY videos on “how to cut bangs on myself”.