What to Know Before You Cut Bangs

April 18, 2012
BANGS!  If there is one thing my clients are the most back and forth about, it's their bangs.  We've all been there.  There are a few things to consider before you decide to cut your bangs.

1.  What type of bang you want
2.  You hair texture/type
3.  Your face shape

Before you cut, know exactly what kind of bang you want so you can tell your stylist.  Here are a few options:

1.  Straight across - blunt

2.  Straight across - textured

4.  Side swept - short

5.  Side swept - long

Some of us will never have bangs like this, including me:

I just don't have the right hair texture! 

1. If you have thick hair -
Blunt, thick and heavy bangs work well on thick hair.   If you want more of a feathered or soft bang, be prepared for a lot of texturizing and thinning.

2. If you have fine hair -
Soft and feathered bangs work well on fine hair.  Don't bring in a picture of Zooey Deschanel!  It's just not gonna happen.  If you want your bangs to look thicker, ask for blunt bangs, or try pulling a lot of hair forward in your bangs like Carrie Underwood:

You can also try clip in bangs.

1.  If you have a round face:
The goal is to use your bangs to break up the roundness of your face.  Long bangs that sweep the cheekbone work great on round faces.  Avoid center parts and volume at the sides.

2.  If you have an oval face:
Since the oval is the most balanced face shape, nearly any type of bang will look good on you.  If your face is more oblong, try a wider straight across bang to add width to your face.

3.  If you have a square face:
Go for a softer bang.  Blunt or heavy bangs will only make your face look more square, while razored bangs will soften a strong jaw line.

4.  If you have a heart face:
Use your bangs to balance out your face shape by making your forehead look slimmer.  Side-swept bangs or straight across bangs work well.  Keep your straight across bangs at least to the brow, and try to end them before your temples, making your forehead look more narrow.

A few more things to consider:

Cowlicks - the best way to deal with a cowlick in bangs is the keep them long or thick.  Short, thin bangs + a cowlick = a disaster!

Styling  - A lot of how bangs look on celebrities depends on how they are styled.  Are they curled?  How are they blow dried?  Do they piece them out with hair product?  Pay attention to those details so your bangs can look just like the picture you brought in.

Be realistic - I love these bangs-

But think about it, is it really the actual bangs that I love?  Or is it the whole look - the cute side braid and how it's curled and the hat.  Or is it just the fact that it's Rachel McAdams and she always looks amazing.
When you look for pictures of bangs, looks for pictures of celebrities at public appearances or doing real things, rather than from photo shoots.  This will give you a better idea of what bangs really look like and how they'll look on you.

Happy bang cutting!  


  1. Can I just tell you how much I love your blog?! I found it yesterday and it's AWESOME!!! I feel like I need to print this post out and keep it at the salon with me so when I have a client making the ultimate bang decision, they can read it while we cut and then decide!

  2. I'm going through this bang issue right now! You should do a post on how to do the side swept short bangs...mine just never turn out right or they fall in my face or I just get so frustrated with them I end up tucking them behind my ear and my big ol' forehead shows. LOL Sorry, can you tell this is an issue right now?

    1. I am having the same problem! Have you found anything that worked? I have had straight across bangs for four months and don't like them! I don't have enough volume on the sides to make it work. It looks like I have a helmet of bangs. :( Thinking of going back to side swept short or just growing them out again and dealing with my big forehead.

  3. this is such good bang advice!! :)

  4. You made my bangs look fabulous! Thanks Steph! Oh, and I need to come in and have them trimmed soon! :)

  5. I'm a hairstylist and I love your advice!!!! I can tell that you do this for a living. I've pinned about a zillion pictures from this site LOL

  6. this is such an awesome list of realistic expectations for a client to take to their stylist. I need to have my husband refer to this page for his clients before their bang trim/cuts :)

  7. I would love to see a post on wedding styles with bangs!!!! I have a fringe and I am really unsure about what updo will look good with it!

    1. I actually already have a post on that!

  8. Be wary before you decide to get straight bangs! When I got them, my forehead had so much acne it looked like pizza. Hair right next to your face builds up oil a lot faster than the rest of your fair, and the same with face right next to your hair!

  9. I love your blog!! And I'm thinking about getting bangs this was so helpful - Thank you! :)

  10. I have the 80s side feathers how can i
    fix my Hair to look good I've tried short
    hair and don't Like it
    Its shoulder length with layers i need help i
    Have my sons weddi.g in 3 months

  11. I would love to have Zooey's bangs! The problem is, I do have a sensitive skin, and letting my hair loose on my face would bring out pimples. That would not look beautiful! Facial is fine, but I'd still love to keep my natural skin.-Allison

  12. Great advice, so helpful! Thank you!

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