Bangs (hair)

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An example of bangs

Bangs (also known as a fringe) are strands or locks of hair long enough to fall over the scalp's front hairline to cover the forehead, usually just above the eyebrows, though sometimes they can even cover the eyes. While most people cut their bangs straight, they may also shape them in an arc, leave them ragged or ruffled, or give them other shapes.


The term bangs originally referred to hair cut bang-off (i.e. straight across at the front), although the term is now applied to diverse forms of hair styling. It is probably related to bang-tail, a term still used for the practice of cutting horses' tails straight across.[1] The term fringe refers to the resemblance of the short row of hair to ornamental fringe trim, such as that often found on shawls.

Common styles[edit]

  • Straight-across or full bangs: The hair combed straight down with no interference, as opposed to the side-swept style. Can be a bit wispy or blunt depending on the cut.
  • Side-swept bangs: The hair is cut slightly longer than straight-across bangs, usually to a length that, were it not brushed/combed to fall to one side of the face, would cover the whole eye area . May be as thin as see-through bangs or as thick as blunt bangs.
  • Blunt bangs: The hair is cut straight across the forehead in a blunt manner. Similar to straight-across bangs but thicker and sometimes looking heavier.[2]
  • See-through or wispy bangs: A type of bangs regarded as the opposite of the blunt style. The style is achieved by trimming thin layers of hair with thinning shears or a thinning razor. Usually, it acts as a versatile, less committed style and is considered by some as "suiting all types of face". It can be worn falling to the front or brushed to one side. Commonly, it is in the form of irregular point-cut (done by holding the shears vertically to point against the tip of the hair) rather than a horizontally-straight cut. Unlike the typical straight across or full bangs, see-through can easily be concealed by its thinness without the trimmed portion even being noticed. Unlike the straight-across or side-swept styles, which each have their respective lengths, see-through can be of eyebrow length or even as long as side-swept or peekaboo bangs, where the hair can reach eye level. Unlike typical bangs that require high maintenance, such as brushing while being heavily blow-dried, ironing, and/or styling, see-through bangs need just a simple light combing with a narrow-toothed comb after a shower and light blow-drying.
  • Layered bangs: The bangs are cut into layers at an angle, such that there are different lengths of hair overlapping each other. The hair towards the hairline is usually longer than the hair above, creating a feathered effect.[3] It can also be cut into a side-swept style and brushed back to enhance the effect.[4]
  • Arch or rounded bangs: A more rounded type of cut, in which the bangs form the shape on an arch, similar to a crescent moon shape pointing upward. The style is similar to full bangs but the bangs are longer as they approach the two sides of the forehead. Usually, it is achieved by twisting the hair on the fringe area using one's dominant hand and substituting it with the non-dominant hand to form a cross hair and underneath the fingers is the amount of hair that must be cut off.[5] Usually, this style is thicker and looks heavier than straight-across bangs.[6]
  • Parted bangs: The hair is parted down the middle or slightly off center. It is rather similar to side-swept in terms of length and to see-through in terms of styling and thickness.
  • Baby bangs: The hair is usually cut above the brows, normally bluntly across the middle of the forehead, but may be shorter. It usually compliments a child's short haircut or a bob cut.[7]
  • Brow-skimming bangs: A style that falls below the brow and can look "heavy" or "light" on the face.[8][9]

History and development[edit]

Short-cut bangs

Bangs occur naturally in many styles of short hair-cuts.

Hairstyles that feature bangs have come and gone out of fashion as frequently as other hairstyles, and they can be worn in any number of ways. Influential people with bangs in modern times have included silent movie actress Louise Brooks, 1950s glamor model Bettie Page, the Beatles, and actress Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Cleopatra.

In the 1970s, English actress and singer Jane Birkin helped establish the iconic look of brow-length bangs combined with overall long hair.[citation needed]

In the 1980s and early 1990s, curly, teased bangs were in fashion, often held high in place with copious amounts of hair spray.

In 2007, bangs saw another massive revival as a hair trend, this time thick, deep and blunt-cut. In October 2007, style icon and model Kate Moss changed her hairstyle to have bangs, signalling the continuation of the trend into 2008.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Noo Yawk Tawk, Bangs, Flabbergasted, Playing Hooky, Gigs, Pugs, Succotash, Begging the Question, Bloviating, Poms, Poodling and a Spot of Round Robin". Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Image: large-bangs-27.jpg, (283 × 424 px) – young stare at camera close-up". 6 June 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sam Villa (2016-02-05). "Cutting The Perfect Fringe Using The Twist Bang Cut Technique". Sam Villa. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  6. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-07-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Image: b4040ff9e1c6f05d_Lauren-Conrad.preview.jpg, (550 × 425 px)". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Photographic image". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  10. ^ "Kate Moss gets a new hairstyle, with fringe -". Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2015.