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The Hair Report: How To Get Bangs
By: Amy Arnott
Date: 2006-12-04 00:40:58
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There’s no way of getting around it. Bangs are still hot, hot, hot!!! They also serve a purpose: they can perfect a less-than-ideal face shape and draw some serious attention to the eyes. You can instantly change your look by adding bangs or by switching them up. And those of you who cling to your long hair like a lifeline can breathe easy because you get the makeover you’re looking for without actually losing any length in your overall hair.

for some reason or another, hair in the eyes equals sexy

Like footwear this season, it seems like every type of fringe is in (except, of course, those 80’s pom-pom bangs... please may they NEVER, EVER come back!). Bang styles range from long to short, blunt to wispy, and straight to asymmetric. It can be a little overwhelming, but it’s actually a great thing because every girl can find a fringe that’s exactly right for her.

How to choose the right bangs...

Mod Bangs

What are they: This punch-packing bang is blunt and wide and sits just below the brow. It can be straight across or rounded (down at the corners). It takes a strong personality to pull off this strong bang, but it can make a good face transcend to goddess potential.
Who can wear ’em: The mod bang works amazingly well for long faces, to disguise the length of the face by totally covering the forehead. It also creates a strong horizontal line which can balance out a pointy chin on a heart-shaped face. You lucky, lucky oval-faced people can wear this and absolutely every other style.
Who should stay away: This style is not for round or wide faces, as it widens them even more. Square or rectangle-shaped faces should also steer clear, as it tends to emphasize the corners and angles. Girls with super-curly hair: don’t even try it. Unless you want a hedge on your forehead, this just won’t work for you.
Styling: If your hair is not already stick straight, this style requires daily straightening. With most hair textures, that means a once over with a large round brush going from slightly damp to completely dry and possibly finishing with a flat iron, curling under slightly at the ends.
Caution: Before plunging in, you should know that if you don’t like this bang, it is the hardest to grow out because it is cut so deeply into the sides of the hair, and so far back at the top. This is definitely what you’d call a commitment cut.

Peek-a-Boo Bangs

What are they: This sexy fringe gets its name because it is long enough to fall into the eyes, but wispy or textured enough to allow you to see through it. I don’t really know how it came about, but for some reason or another, hair in the eyes equals sexy. It can be worn strait down (for a true peek-a-boo) or swept to the side.
Who can wear ’em: This style flatters most face shapes. Long and heart-shaped faces should wear it straight down to shorten the face or balance out a pointy chin. Round, square and pear-shaped faces should wear it swept to the side to create length, soften the corners or balance out a wide chin. Again, you oval or almond-shaped faces, do what you will. You can’t mess it up.
Who should stay away: This style isn’t really for people with extremely fine hair as it can tend to make it appear even finer.
Styling: Blowdry with a round brush slightly curling the ends under or to the side, depending on how you want to wear it.
Caution: Throw it to the wind. This bang is easy to grow out as it is not cut too deeply back onto the head, nor too short.

Baby Bangs

What are they: What these super-short bangs lack in length, they make up in attitude. They draw major attention to the eyes and are youthful and funky. This "true fringe" can be cut blunt or more textured and piecy.
Who can wear ’em: Anyone with great eyes will most likely look fantastic with these minis. They serve to lengthen a round or wide face, but should be kept piecy as a strong horizontal line will make you look wider.
Who should stay away: Generally, this fringe will make long faces look longer and square faces look more angular, although it really depends on the person so this is not a hard and fast rule. I’ve actually seen it work really well on these face types and I’ve seen it bomb. If your hair is curly, don’t attempt these bangs unless the rest of your hair is just as short (i.e. unless you’re sporting a pixie). Otherwise, you will end up looking very third grade. Sure you want to look young, but not that young.
Styling: Start with wet hair and blowdry, angling the air flow straight down. Smooth the hair down with your hand as you are doing this. Bangs should be dried before the rest of the hair, so they don’t get the opportunity to do their own crazy thing. It’s amazing how quickly cowlicks and whorls can take over if you don’t get to them straight away. Remember, you wear the bangs... don’t let them wear you.
Caution: Before cutting supershort pieces in front, CHECK YOUR HAIR GROWTH PATTERN. Some people have hair that flows straight down. They can go as short as they’d like. Other people have hair that grows sticking straight up. If this is you, stay away from baby bangs unless you’re going for spikes. Also, this bang is pretty high maintenance and needs to be trimmed the most often.

Asymmetric Bangs

What are they: These angled bangs are currently the most commonly seen, probably because they are the ultimate in versatility. They can be cut blunt or textured, light or heavy, at a sharp or a soft angle, and to the right or the left.
Who can wear ’em: Who can’t? Here are some guidelines as to how to get the right asymmetric fringe... The angle should be more toward the vertical for round, square and pear-shaped faces to slim the cheeks, and more toward the horizontal for long and heart-shaped faces to reduce the forehead factor. If the face is angular, cut texture into the bang to create softness. If the face is rounded or bulbous, go for blunt ends in order to create some angles. Also, the angled bang should be poinky (my grandmother’s term that I have affectionately adopted) for thick hair and blunt for fine hair in order to balance out the texture.
Who should stay away: This style does work with very curly hair. Just make sure that the shortest side is not too short. Keep the whole thing a little longer, so it doesn’t shrink up too much when it curls.
Styling: Take your pick. You can diffuse for a wavy texture, blowdry to the side while smoothing with your hand or a brush for the classic sweep or flat-iron stick straight for an edgy look.
Caution: Caution-smaution. This bang is absolutely a cinch to grow out if you get sick of it. And it looks great long or short, so maintenance is on an as-you-feel-like-it basis. What more could you ask for?

Getting your bangs cut
ALWAYS HAVE YOUR STYLIST CUT YOUR BANGS DRY. Because this hair is shorter than the rest, it responds to hair growth patterns much more, causing it to fall (or stand up!!) in ways you can’t really see when wet.

Bangs need to be cut 2-3 times more often than the rest of your hair, so that means two things.
1) They are a little higher maintenance and require you to see your stylist more often, but most stylists will do bang trims for free. If you call in advance, they should be able to fit you in for a 3 minute quickie.
2) They can change with your mood. Since you’re getting them cut more often, you can change them slightly each time. If you keep your goal in mind, it only takes 3-4 bang trims to get to a totally different bang. Also, this means if you make a spontaneous bad decision (which has happened to the best of us, especially post-breakup), it won’t be too long before the pain is over and the problem is rectified.
Remember, its not rocket science. Hair grows.

Any hair questions? Send them to me at and I’ll answer
the best ones in my next column.

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