All you've ever wanted to know about bangs
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Fringe Festival1 of 9
By Laura Vogel
To cut or not to cut: For many women, the decision to go for bangs is one fraught with angst and indecision (and a traumatic childhood memory or two). Glo surveyed top hair pros across the country—including Oprah's mane man in Chicago, George Gonzalez—and discovered what you need to know before you make the cut.
Face-Framing Fringe2 of 9
New York City–based stylist Tom Gallagher of Oribe Hair Care says, "Bangs are like boyfriends, everyone’s had a bad one." To avoid hairdo heartbreak, Gallagher advises letting your face shape be your guide when deciding on a cut. "I say people are either Ernies or Berts. For those with longer, Bert-shaped faces, short, geometrical bangs work. Ernies, on the other hand, should go for longer fringe. If you have a wide face and a fullness to your cheeks, you should do a rounder cut à la Zooey Deschanel."
Styling Secret3 of 9
If you choose rounded, face-framing bangs, proper styling is essential. According to George Gonzalez, owner of George The Salon Chicago, "Having a great paddle brush is key; the Mason Pearson junior-size brush is perfect." What to avoid? "A round brush is a bad move. It will give you puffy, '80s-style bangs—not good," says Gonzalez.
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Baby Bangs4 of 9
A gentle caution: All of our experts agree that super-short, Bettie Page–esque bangs are very hard to wear. "Baby bangs are good for a more artsy woman," says Gonzalez, who notes that having delicate bone structure (like Rooney Mara) doesn't hurt, either. Gallagher concurs, saying, "Super-short fringe looks better on a more angular face: You have to be a pretty edgy person to pull them off, and people with darker hair look more dramatic with this cut."
Styling Secret5 of 9
If you go for the extreme crop, know that statement bangs must be meticulously maintained to look good. George Gonzalez says, "Unless you have super-fine hair, you definitely want to use an oil-based product like Moroccanoil when blow-drying baby bangs; you want to totally defrizz the hair and amp up the sheen."
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Blunt Bangs6 of 9
"Straight-cut bangs work best for straight or wavy hair," says Beverly Hills–based celeb stylist Mika Fowler. She adds, "Lighter-color hair is good for long, bold bangs. Those with dark hair need to be careful on length and boldness of the cut—it may overpower the face." Take a cue from Jessica Biel, whose caramel-colored, lightly textured locks are perfect for this easy-to-wear cut. A key bang tip? Philippe Barr, creative director of the Fekkai Palm Beach Salon says, "No matter what, don't take matters into your own hands. Your stylist will be glad to take a few minutes to give you a trim."
Styling Secret7 of 9
Unless you have stick-straight hair, blunt bangs are going to require upkeep. In general, says Fowler, "You need to take some extra time and really give those bangs some TLC as they are front and center, a focal point." Gonzalez swears by Kiehl's Creme With Silk Groom for slightly wavy hair, saying, "A great styling cream is crucial when styling long bangs; just apply a small dab before blow-drying."
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Side-Swept8 of 9
"I recommend longer, swept-to-one-side fringe for anyone who has not tried bangs before," says Fowler. "As they grow, they are easy to sweep all the way off the face, blending in with the rest of your hair." The look is also ideal for women like Alexa Chung who are growing out more blunt bangs. "Go into the salon and have your fringe cut into an angle, shorter hair towards the part, so it'll be easy to push them to the side," recommends Gonzalez.
Styling Secret9 of 9
"A small straight iron is ideal for touching up bangs," says Fowler. Just angle the bangs to the side as you pull the iron through your hair to get a side-sweep that will stick. Also, says Fowler, "Make sure to use a thermal-protectant product and keep the thermostat down—it's not necessary to use the high heat that you would use on the rest of your hair." An iron like this, with nourishing-oil-infused ceramic plates, is a great way to protect your locks while styling.
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