Types of Bangs: Which Are Right For You?

Types of Bangs - woman with short hair and side-swept bangs

I grew up in an era when bangs were all the rage. If you didn’t rat them up as high as possible, you really weren’t living your best life. Thank goodness that trend ended years ago (and I’m especially thankful there wasn’t any social media around back then to document my too-thin bangs). But the want to change up our look via hair length, particularly in front, has never really left. This year, bangs are back in a very big way. 

While Prime Women aren’t typically slaves to celebrities’ latest hairstyles, there are some good reasons why we might want to follow suit.  For years now, bangs have been referred to as the natural Botox. With aging, there is no better way to conceal those frown lines than by adding those lovely little wisps of hair called bangs.

Bangs can work on any face shape, straight or curly, and long or short hair. At salons worldwide, women are told they can wear bangs if they want. However, the question is deciding which one is best for you. There are all kinds of variations but three main types of bangs (and one bonus), which then span out into a variety of styles.

Types of Bangs:

Wispy and thin bangs

If you have wispy bangs, you’ll find they can be quite versatile. You can cut them a little thinner to add a whimsical look or have them long enough to brush the top of your eyes. Depending on your haircut, you can also sweep them across your forehead or wear them straight down. This type of bang is perfect for covering forehead wrinkles or for masking a receding hairline. 

Halle Berry Pixie Haircut cropped

Wispy Bang

Angled to the side bangs

A beautiful side-swept bang can add a depth of style to your hair as well as make it look fuller and more robust. You can also play with the length of your bangs – to either look like a true bang or to get more of a layering effect, which can add volume and depth to your hair. You can also elect to angle to one side or split your bangs down the middle to frame your face. This type of bang is so versatile you could change up your look on a daily basis.  

Goldie Hawn long hair

Woman with side-swept bangs

Kate Capshaw
Kate Capshaw

Blunt Bangs

Blunt-cut bangs definitely make a statement and typically work with a wide variety of hairstyles. Again, you can play with the length and chop them above your eyebrows for a chic look or keep them down to your eyes for a more traditional look. You don’t have to cut them thick or chunky either; you can keep them slightly thinner, so they don’t overwhelm your face and simply add a touch of style to your look. If you’ve got curly hair, you can even keep your bangs curly as well to kick your style up a notch. 

Sandra Bullock with Bangs

Woman with bangs

Curtain Bangs

Curtain bangs are all the rage right now, allowing you to not quite make the full commitment to bangs while still giving you some of the styling options full-on bangs can bring. You can wear this longer look as a face-framing style or pulled back to hide that they’re even there. Or, pull your hair back into a tight bun while keeping your curtain bangs forward to give you an elegant look for a night out (or an elevated messy bun for a day out with your friends). 

Younger woman with hair pulled up and curtain bangs

All three types of bang can be used to change a style and update a look. Hairstyles with bangs quickly recreate a woman’s entire appearance, but it’s important to know that bangs look best on longer faces, especially if they are thick and heavy.

Girls with a widow’s peak or cowlick have a horrible time getting straight bangs to fall flat. For shorter, smaller faces, particularly oval-shaped, side bangs make a perfect change. The biggest faux pas in fashion is making your bangs super straight whilst leaving the rest of your hair curly. That look takes the sex right out of goddess and accentuates the myth of suburban-looking hair.

Why do we have a love/hate relationship with bangs?

Once they are cut, bangs take forever to grow out, leaving a girl in a state of panic when she wants to tie her hair back to go to the gym. An alternative and a quick fix is a clip-on bang piece – a small extension that puts bangs in when they are needed and clips right out when you want to go for a run. Don’t be shocked. Many celebrities wear them. Think of how they just change their look so quickly.

I say, if you want to change your look but don’t want to get a big cut, try a bang. Consult with your stylist first on what bang is right for you.

Read Next:

Short Hairstyles for Women Over 50

The Best Haircut for Your Face Shape

The best bangs for your face


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