Tips for Better Bangs

Woman wearing her hair with long bangs
Photo: Shutterstock
Bangs are largely a personal preference issue. Some women prefer a hairstyle that features bangs because they have a high, broad forehead and need to camouflage the excess area in order to create balance in the face. The length of the bangs in this case is determined by how much of the forehead needs to be covered or obscured.
However, many women prefer to wear bangs simply as a matter of fashion, or because it is the current trend. In these cases, the length of the bangs must take into consideration the overall balance of the features since bangs that are too long or too short can create emphasis on features that otherwise would not be so pronounced.
Bangs Length:
As mentioned before, the length of the bangs has to take into consideration more than just the length or width of the forehead. You must also consider the other features of the face.
If, for example, a woman has small, close-set eyes and wears her bangs short (covering less than half the distance from her hairline to her brows), then the excess forehead area may cause the eyes to appear even smaller. On the other hand, if the woman has large, open, and expressive eyes, having the bangs hang far over the brows and onto the upper cheek will make the face look crowded.
Cutting bangs
Photo: DSI Productions/Getty Images Signature via Canva
Another example would be the effect of long bangs on a woman with a prominent nose. If the bangs obscure the forehead and eyes, then the most immediately visible facial feature will be the nose, which in other circumstances might not be that noticeable, but becomes out of balance without the counterpoint of the eyes and brows.
Bangs Shape:
Another important factor in creating the proper bangs look is taking the facial shape and features into account, as well as the shape of the bangs, or the cutting line of the bangs. The most common shapes of bangs are blunt-cut horizontal, tapered horizontal, curved blunt-cut, curved and tapered, and staggered or textured.
The horizontal cut bangs - basically those where the bangs are created by cutting a straight horizontal line across the forehead - tend to be only appropriate for those individuals who have longer or narrower faces. People with wide faces often find their faces look too wide with horizontal bangs because of the way such horizontal lines draw the eye outward.
Bob with horizontal bangs
Image: AI illustration
The variation between blunt and tapered bangs comes into play depending on whether the individual in question needs concealment of the forehead for whatever reason, or simply needs obscuring - or perhaps if a softer look is desired.
Curved bangs are generally most appealing when worn by those individuals who have a square face shape and/or angular features in order to soften the appearance of the face. This style is not recommended for those who have a round face, as the repetition of the curved line only exaggerates the roundness. In addition, if the individual has widely-set eyes, the lowered sides of the bangs can make the eyes appear crowded, exaggerating the width.
Bob with curved bangs
Image: AI illustration
Bob with side-swept bangs
Image: AI illustration
There is a variation to the curved bangs style that has become increasingly popular in recent years. This variation is side-swept bangs. This bangs style is created by cutting the bangs to taper in length from one side to the other. Typically, the bangs are cut so that the longest length is long enough to be combed across the forehead and tucked behind the opposite ear. This allows the hair to be styled into a smooth sweep of bangs without an excess of bulkiness. The bangs can also be styled in the opposite direction to create a softer effect.
The staggered or textured bangs look is actually a variation of the two other main styles - these styles being heavily razor-cut or point-cut to create wispy or tendril-like bangs that do little to cover the forehead area, but rather add some visual interest to the hairstyle.
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