Bangs (hair)

Bangs (North American English), or a fringe (British English), are strands or locks of hair that fall over the scalp's front hairline to cover the forehead, usually just above the eyebrows, though can range to various lengths. 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.[1]

An example of bangs (2006).
A woman with bangs (2013).


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.[2] The term fringe refers to the resemblance of the short row of hair to ornamental fringe trim, such as those often found on shawls.[citation needed]

Common stylesEdit

  • Straight-across or full bangs: The most common fringe style where hair is combed straight down with no interference, as opposed to the side-swept style. Can be a bit wispy or blunt depending on the cut.[citation needed]
  • Side-swept bangs: The hair is cut slightly longer than straight-across bangs, usually to a chin length that if it were not brushed to flow to one side of the face, would cover the whole eye area. It may be as thin as see-through bangs or as thick as blunt bangs. Mostly trimmed using a point cutting technique, in which hair is cut using the tip of the shears rather than its blade to achieve a more feathered or uneven or natural look.[citation needed]
  • Blunt bangs: The hair is cut straight across the forehead in a blunt manner. Similar to straight-across bangs but thicker and sometimes heavier looking.[3]
  • See-through or wispy bangs: A type of bangs regarded as the opposite of the blunt style. It is a style that mainly originated in South Korea and some East Asian countries as a trend. Usually, it acts as a versatile, less commitment fringe style and is considered by some[who?] to suit all types of faces. It can be worn as a full fringe or as a side swept fringe. Commonly, it is done by the point cutting technique, in which the shears are held vertically or slightly at an angle rather than a horizontally blunt 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, or styling, see-through bangs need just a simple light combing with a narrow-toothed comb after a shower and light blow-drying.[citation needed]
  • Angled or asymmetrical 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.[4] It can also be cut into a side-swept style and brushed back to enhance the effect.[5]
  • 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.[6] Usually, this style is thicker and looks heavier than straight-across bangs.[7]
  • Curtain 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. It flows outwards the sides of the face and is commonly longer as it goes on the sides. Similar to arch/rounded fringe in structure yet longer in terms of length.[citation needed]
  • Baby or statement short bangs: The hair is usually cut above the brows, normally bluntly across the middle of the forehead, but may be shorter. It usually complements a child's short haircut or a bob cut.[citation needed]
  • Brow-skimming or textured bangs: A style that falls below the brow and can look "heavy" or "light" on the face which is more of the uneven, choppy looking fringe to make a peek-a-boo effect on the forehead.[8][9]
  • Curly bangs: A hairstyle where the bangs are curled from the hair’s naturally curly texture.[citation needed]


Bangs occur naturally in many styles of short hair-cuts.[citation needed]

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 (since the 19th century) have included silent movie actress Louise Brooks, 1950s glamor model Bettie Page, the Beatles, and actress Elizabeth Taylor in the title role of Cleopatra (1963).[citation needed]

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 late 1980s and early 1990s, curly, teased bangs were in fashion, often held very big or high in place with copious amounts of hair spray. This style was called "mall bangs".[citation needed]

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]

Fringes also had another revival during the 2020s, particularly self-styled curtain bangs, mainly on social media apps such as TikTok.[11][12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Simbiat (3 July 2021). "How to cut curtain bangs and other bangs hairstyles". Sidomex Entertainment. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "Image: large-bangs-27.jpg, (283 × 424 px) – young stare at camera close-up". 6 June 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Photo". Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Photo". Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  6. ^ Sam Villa (5 February 2016). "Cutting The Perfect Fringe Using The Twist Bang Cut Technique". Sam Villa. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Photographic image" (JPG). Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Image: b4040ff9e1c6f05d_Lauren-Conrad.preview.jpg, (550 × 425 px)". Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Photographic image". Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  10. ^ Braukamper, Tania. "Kate Moss gets a new hairstyle, with fringe -". Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  11. ^ Decker, Megan. "The Curtain Fringe Is Trending & Here's All The Inspiration You Need". Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  12. ^ Schild, Darcy. "You can watch people on TikTok cutting their own bangs at home so you don't have to do it yourself". Insider. Retrieved 21 January 2021.


External linksEdit