There’s no doubt that one of the most dynamic ways to change up your look is to add bangs—but should you really take the plunge and get them the next time you head to the beauty salon? There are a whole variety of factors to consider, so to make it easier for you, we’ve put together a no-fail guide for deciding whether to bang or not to bang.
1. First things first: What’s your hair type?
Hair type is perhaps the most important thing to think about when testing out the waters of the fringed and fabulous; whether you have curly, wavy, or straight locks will determine what type of bangs you can get—or whether they’ll work in your hair at all.
If you have curly hair, you might want to steer clear of bangs. If you’re not willing to put up with straightening them every day (or feel weird about only straightening part of your hair), they’re a no-go.
Bangs on wavy haired gals will also require some daily styling, but unlike curly hair, it won’t be quite so strenuous. Long, side-swept bangs, for example, are terrific for free-flowing, wavy manes.
If you’ve got straight hair, congratulations! Your hair type is ideal for bangs, especially of the full fringe variety (think Zooey Deschanel).
2. Where do you part your hair?
The next thing to consider is where your part is. If it naturally falls at the center of your head, side-swept bangs will be a little difficult to pull off; however, it’s perfect for a full fringed look. Side parts, meanwhile, work particularly well for side-swept bangs. If you change your part daily, go for long bangs or none at all—better to keep your fringe as flexible as the rest of your ‘do than to lock yourself into one look.
3. What’s your face shape?
Okay. You’ve decided: You’re getting bangs. Now what? Knowing what face shape you have is essential to choosing the most flattering style for you. Here’s your cheat sheet for figuring out the best bang type for every face shape:
Square: Ask the beauty salon for long, eye-grazing bangs that fall just below your eyebrows.
Round: A thick, gently arching fringe will emphasize your bone structure.
Heart-shaped: Feathered, side-swept bangs will balance your face out and draw attention to your eyes.
Oval: Lucky you—just about any bang type will work! Pin straight bangs that hit between your brow and eyelashes and lengthen out at the edges are a sure-fire hit.
Short forehead: A deep part and a steep, side-swept style will elongate your brow.
High forehead: Try side-swept bangs that start in the center of your forehead and taper diagonally to cheek level.
4. Other things to consider:
If you opt for full bangs, you’ll need to get them trimmed every three to four weeks; they’re also harder to grow out if you decide to get rid of them later on. They are, however, great for simple, straight styles, and they’ll definitely give you a dramatic change.
If you decide on side-swept bangs, you won’t have to upkeep them quite as much and you’ll easily be able to grow them out; they won’t make as ka-POW a change, though, so the look will be a little subtler.
If you don’t like having your hair in your face, you probably shouldn’t get bangs.
Trimming your bangs yourself is usually a bad idea. Get the pros at the beauty salon to do it.
Now go forth and bang—or not. The choice is yours!