Monday, June 6, 2011


Bangs or No Bangs: The Eternal Hair Question

Do you want bangs this summer? Maybe you do because they are so cute! But then also maybe you don't because they get in your eyes and sometimes make your forehead breakout. Argh, what's a girl to do? [Via]


hair, bangs

74 Comments / Post A Comment

Charity Nagy@facebook

I have bangs, they don't make me break out any more than normal (I break out easily, as in, I will probably break out from talking about it). If anything I break out less because I don't touch my forehead since I don't want to mess up my bangs.


Oh, Monica Vitti. :sigh:


Sigh of envy from the curly-haired side of the aisle.


@Ophelia Yes, this. Although if the mid-80's big fluffy poodle bangs ever come back into style, we will be totally set.


@Ophelia I am of the thick and curly and while I know bangs would look great when I straighten my hair I'm worried that on the days I want to go natural it'll look dumb. Annnnnnnd my work has lost me to a few hours of googling "curly hair with bangs".


@Ophelia Ladies, there is a solution! I, too, have curly hair and it is the curliest right at the bangs area. Some days, the most humid ones, I just pin them back and be done with it, maybe some teasing at the crown to get sort of Bardot-ish. But if I want to wear them down, I use a wide-barrel curling iron to straighten them, rather than a flat iron. You can create little waves and flicks on the ends this way, so it matches the texture of the rest of your hair. It can work, trust.


@Ophelia I have curly hair and long-ish bangs (long enough to tuck behind my ear when straight, but not long enough when curly. I wear them side-swept when I straighten my hair, but when I am curly, which is most of the time because I am trying to rehabilitate my poor, tortured strands, I part my hair on the left and then twist all my hair in different-sized sections, depending on the natural curl. For my bangs, I separate them into a giant clump and then twist just the ends loosely. Usually, at some point, I get tired of them falling into my face, so I braid them to the side and pin them under the rest of my hair. Depending on what kind of bangs you want, it's doable! Talk to your stylist about it.


@hungrybee yes, this is pretty much what I do, too. Although when my hair gets damp I do end up looking like the protagonist of a bad 80's horror movie.


@Ophelia Curly-haired girls don't need to abstain from bangs. I've had them for the past few years new and wear them straight or curly. I apply gel to wet hair, diffuse, and let them fall into whatever place they may. It works much better with longer, side-parted bangs, however. When they're first cut, I usually straighten them. There's hope, though! You just need good products (or whatever ones work for you) and a great stylist.


@Ophelia I'm a curly girl who had bangs! Long sideswept ones. They were really cute when I straightened them, but I got tired of the upkeep. Nine months later I don't have bangs anymore.


@Ophelia I have very curly hair and bangs, and I get compliments on my hair ALL the time, but maybe people are just being nice? here are two not-very-good pictures of what my hair looks like (it was drier in the picture on the right, which is why the bangs are higher and kind of pushed to one side). http://bthny.tumblr.com/post/6089151009/pretty-sure-that-i-have-this-whole-summer-dress


@bthny Oooh, I love your hair. I wish my hair would do that. Unfortunately, I have pretty fine individual curly hairs, but like lots of them? So all I can do is flat-ish product controlled curls or huge frizzy poodle frizz. Sigh. I guess I'll stick to calling the ear-length layers in the front of my haircut "bangs"...that totally counts right?

Deleted By User

As much as I wish it would look OK for me to just straighten bangs and leave the rest of my hair curly (because I want bangs!! WANT!!) It just looks ridiculous on me since the rest of my hair would be tight corkscrew curls. It winds up looking like someone clipped on these bad boys http://www.couturehairshop.com/Clip-on-Bangs-_p_61.html


Wavy haired here... I just use a straightening iron every morning, takes about 1.5 minutes...downside is you have to travel with the damn thing.


My hair line starts 1.5 inches above my brow. If I want bangs, they either have to be short and stubby, or long, sweeping, and blinding. No bangs for me!


@stalkingcat I have a tiny forehead too (a threehead?) but if you have the bangs cut at the right point, it can totally work.

Anna Marquardt

@stalkingcat me too! Shorthead. I want bangs really bad but I'm scared they'll look crazy.


@stalkingcat I have a tiny, tiny forehead and I can't remember the last time I didn't have bangs. They're necessary to hide my twohead.


@stalkingcat I also have a 1.5-head and I have some pretty awesome bangs. Just have them cut so they are longer on the sides and shorter in the middle. It gives the illusion of long bangs, but you can see.

elysian fields

argh. I think bangs are SO CUTE but I cannot STAND the feeling of hair touching my face. This means I will never be able to have bangs (even though they would probs look good on me seeing as I have a huge forehead). Sadness.


My stylist always says to wait until fall for bangs. In the summer you just want your hair off your face anyway and then you have to deal with pinning them back.


@Julianna Rose Dow@facebook I was going to say the same thing. I totally love my bangs, but if you don't have them already, wait til fall!

gin twin

I had basically the same hair look for about ten years- the long, sideswept bang. In January I took the plunge and got thick, blunt bangs, and I love them. I can't believe how many compliments I've gotten since then (humblebrag?). HOWEVER, it is now summer in humid, swampy Florida and I just want my hair off my damn face.


@gin twin - I'm in Central FL myself, and did the same thing - went from an overgrown bob to layers and bangs, just in time for summer. My stylist actually didn't get them thick enough, but that's fixed easily enough:) If they are too thin/shallow in this heat, then the sweat just plasters them to your forehead. If you cut them thicker, then the bottom layer gets sweaty and sticks, but the top layer looks ok. The things we have to think about...

gin twin

@minijen Yes! I initially had mine cut too thin as well. Cutting them thicker really does help make them last longer through a brutally humid day.


@minijen Original response sent to the wrong Floridian (though gin twin, if you are in the area...) omg omg omg I am in DeLand, my hometown, for the summer (usually a DC law student) and I have no friends here anymore and I need a social life and can we try to find other Hairpinatas or at least just the two of us + whatever cool people you know and hang out? I've never heard of a fellow Hairpin reader in CFL!!


@gin twin Tallahassee...whoop whoop!!


Tiny forehead, can't have bangs. I had micro-bangs (like, half inch) in high school once and those were kind of awesome, but not very professional-looking.


@alpelican I have a short forehead too, but I just start my bangs higher up. Does that make sense?


I can always tell it's time to get a haircut when my bangs are in my eyes.

Also: The first time I ever got bangs, I walked into the hair salon with a photo of Rory Gilmore because I really like her bangs. I still use that picture.

Lady Pennyface

@Nadia Yes! I use a Rory Gilmore picture too! (Though now I am growing them out for summer.) I recently re-watched the later seasons of Gilmore Girls though and was coveting her bangs again. So pretty!

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

I feel I should recuse myself from this discussion due to my inherent Bangs Bias (in favor of).


I love my fringe (bangs) but in summer It stresses me via a 2-pronged attack: hat-hair fringe is the worst; sweaty forehead and fringe leads to grease becoming the focus of your face.


ok reading this post made me look into the old dry shampoo post because dry shampoo is the only way I can deal with bangs. i.e. I can't wash my hair too often or the ends dry out, plus it all looks perfectly fine except my greasy bangs.

but my problem is that using dry shampoo makes my hair super dry and static-y so I've been growing my bangs out because I just can't handle dealing with that all summer. But like a commenter in the dry shampoo article, I use baby powder instead of real fancy stuff, so is that my problem?


@redheadedandcrazy I use baby powder too, it's always been fine. Plus it smells nice!

I have the same problem, hair-washing wise, so I usually just wash my bangs in the sink in the morning before work and then blow dry them instead of washing my actual hair every day. This has the added benefit of making sure my bangs are straight and not like, matted in weird sleep-directions.


You want them. TRUST ME. Nothing is cuter/more summer-friendly than a super-high ponytail or giant ballerina bun with some bang action. You will feel like a mysterious Bond girl and boys will marry you (maybe??) and it will all be very charming.


bangs are hard. i recently forgot about summer and got bangs and then 2 days later summer arrived with a vengeance and now i own 5 million headbands.


I have bangs. Always have, always will. They are the sidey-sweepy kind and I too know it is time for a haircut when they start hitting the top of my glasses. Also my hair is short (growing out a pixie takes tiiiiiime and paaaaaaaatience and a really awesome stylist), so you do not need long hair to have bangs! PREACH!


@fierce_pierce PIXIE CUTS FTW!


BANGS! I've had them since I was 2 years old. How can you not have bangs?!


@piekin: I keep thinking I'm gonna grow out my bangs, but then I get to the salon with my hair in my eyes and say, "Fuck it, keep 'em."

Yankee Peach

When I was growing up, my mother always said no bangs "you look so pretty with your hair away from your face blah blah blah" crap. So yeah, I have bangs. Originally just to annoy mom, but I do like them I feel more 'styled."

This of course doesn't prevent my mother from coming at me with a handful of barettes every time she sees me/needs to stuff a Christmas stocking/passes a dollar store.


@Yankee Peach Your mother should perhaps meet my "your hair looks so much better down" grandmother, and they can fight it out once and for all?


@Yankee Peach Add my "you really should think about getting highlights" mom and my "wow, you have a lot of split ends, honey" aunt and boom, ten years of serious hair insecurity in four sentences.


I got bangs after a boy broke my heart (le sigh) three years ago and had them for about a year. They were really fun, but I felt like they were a lot more work. I always had to blow dry my hair so they would lay the way I wanted on my forehead, and I had to get them trimmed fairly often (the length I liked just grazed my eyelashes). These weren't too difficult, but I would recommend finding a hairdresser that cuts your bangs to the exact length you like and CONTINUE GOING TO THAT ONE PERSON. What broke me and made me grow them out was going to a salon that had several different stylists and having too many of them cut my bangs too short, making me look silly.


@sarahf I feel like it's pretty easy to trim them yourself in between real haircuts, as long as you don't have some weird complicated bangs going. Or, that's what I do and nobody ever tells me it looks crazy.


I've had bangs for most of my life and love them! If you get them cut the right way, like I have finally done, you can wear them straight or to the side or pin them back on especially hot days. I just love their versatility! :)


Sadly, I have very, very fine hair and so will never be able to have a Monica Vitti hairdo without serious hair prosthetics. But I love my bangs anyway.

major disaster

@cuminafterall This is my problem. My hair is both fine and thin, and I just don't have enough hair to be able to chop a chunk of it off. And I also hate things touching my face, so it wouldn't work anyway. I have enough bad habits - I don't need to add the constant compulsion to push the bangs off my face.


@major disaster Have you tried Bumble & Bumble's Texture cream? It is the only product that has ever made me look like I have real adult hair instead of baby hair.

major disaster

@cuminafterall Hmm, no, maybe I should though. I need all the help I can get (some people have bad hair days - I joke that I have bad hair life). Thanks!


Can anyone tell me where the word "bangs" comes from? This used to confuse me when I read the Babysitters' Club/Sweet Valley High as a child. Also: barrette.

By the way I'm totally on board with this, I have a side fringe, I have become expert at cutting it myself.

Anna Marquardt

@littlevicious this website is in comic sans but appears otherwise trustworthy: "In many contexts, it is this notion of suddenness, rather than loudness, which is implied by bang...a horse whose tail ended in an abrupt horizontal cut was called bang-tailed. From this equine usage, the term bang was applied to the hair of humans (or, at least, to that of small boys). The popularity of this abrupt, horizontal cut was based largely on the ease with which it could be perpetrated... anyone with a pair of scissors and an appropriately sized pudding basin could inflict it upon a child in about five minutes."


@Anna Marquardt That last sentence is golden.

Lily Rowan

@littlevicious What is a side fringe?


@littlevicious My mom used to cut my bangs like that, but the bowl would invariably slip and they wouldn't be straight, and of course my mom couldn't have that, so she'd "just even them out a bit" and they'd end up about an inch long. Boy, did I look dorky. I have love/hate with my bangs, I think I look better with them, but in the summer they get a horrible kinky wave in exactly the wrong place and they drive me fucking nuts. Yes, i do the curling thing and the gel. And I look like a 41 y.o. virgin if I try and pin them or wear a hairband so clearly, ah, no.


So glad that so many of you are happy with your bangs... I'm not a bang girl, myself. I dunno, I feel like I wouldn't be able to pull them off and then be stuck with years of growing out bangs I'd immediately hate (if I were to get them). But I was also born an old lady stuck in her ways..


If this was any other time of the year, I would be super sad that I cut all my hair off, but I am visiting my sister in Atlanta and the temperature nears 100 degrees everyday; pixie is the way to go. I did have bangs before and when they were just the right length/I actually took the time to do my hair, I felt very stylish. I suppose I could do bangs how, but I have a problem where unless they are a long side swept or straight across blunt, they tend to just stick straight out. But yeah, I am generally pro bangs and any sort of desire to actually grow my hair again usually stems from seeing someone with really cute bangs.


My friend got her hair cut in a fringe (bangs, whatevs) recently, and the biggest compliment I could think of was 'omg, you look like Jane Feltes!!'. I am waiting for autumn to get mine done (for the first time since I was about 8, at which point my hair was so long I could sit on it) as hot summers + hair on my face = greasemonster.


ahhh, no bangs! I have wavy hair, have had bangs and/or short hair, and remember growing it out to have long hair again. Every time I gave myself bangs it looked kind of okay but then gradually became unbearable (see: puberty, acne, gross bangbreakouts) until even growing it out was more endurable than having bangs. Ever since my hair has been long enough to pull out of my face and off of my neck, I have been so happy.


I've gotten bangs after seeing a million awesome photos of famous lady's bangs and while I wish for that thick, Jenny Lewis fringe, instead I get greasy Kelly Taylor wisps that no amount of dry shampoo can tame. My bangs also do this amazing thing where they're at the perfect length for exacty 2 days, proceeded and followed by a too short/too long phase of at least one month.


this post makes me think of Laura Ingalls when she cut her "lunatic fringe", as in, "you'd be a lunatic not to have bangs!" (at least, that's my interpretation of it)

so what?

bangs forever! i've had them most of my life in some form or other. i've been way into blunt bangs for the past few years, until i pixied my long, long hair. while that ruled in it's own right, i am now growing it out, mostly so that i can do the bangs/ballerina bun that LMac mentioned. cutest! plus i'm now going through a short bob + blunt bangs phase that i'm so into. hair is fun.


As the owner of some ridiculously thick and voluminous hair, I find that thick bangs are a necessity. Although more often than not they look exactly like this: http://www.dailypress.com/media/photo/2009-01/44788601.jpg


what is the best way to cut bangs??....clearly i am poor and do this type of shit myself..i was playing with the idea of side swept last week cut sum bangs cuz i wanted something to frame my fat ass face...but im scared to "pull the trigger" and actually cut bang length...i tend to cut them VERY long as i have naturally curly hair...what a conundrum...basically my question is do i just fucking go for it and cut these fuckers above my eyebrows or do i play it safe and have them super long and kinda swept to the side??


@ThundaCunt It's probably not what you want to hear, but I would really get a professional to do it when you're first cutting them. Trimming them yourself after that is no problem, but it's really easy to mess up cutting your own bangs straight from no bangs.


@ThundaCunt Always go longer rather than shorter - you can cut more off if they're too long, but once they're too short, you're fucked. Doubly true for curly hair! Also I would suggest looking at photos of people with similar hair/face shape as you who have bangs to see what looks good. Especially pay attention to the shape of the hair that becomes the bangs - is it a triangle starting from the middle of the top of the head, or a straight line of hair parallel to the hairline? Or something in-between?


I've been doing the Marianne Faithfull ones for a while (after having thicker, more straight-ish bangs), and I'm really liking it. They're extra easy to trim, too.


I basically have Pamela Courson's exact haircut (see slideshow), and dealing with bangs in the heat of summer is far preferable to not having Pamela Courson's exact haircut.


I had Bettie Page style bangs for quiet some time, and it was the most annoying thing ever (but they looked so sassy! everyone loved them! ahh!) I was constantly snipping at them to make them PERFECT, and there was no clipping those shits back in the heat. Still totally miss them though.


I'm not sure if bangs would work well with my "Roll out of bed throw on clothes brush teeth run run run to bus stop" morning beauty routine. I usually just grab a couple of hair ties and wind my hair up into a big bun. And then get around to brushing it on my lunch break. I wash it twice a week, but before I go to bed, but it's pretty curly. Maybe I could manage bangs with hair ties AND headbands.


@Brunhilde And then the once a week that I actually "do" my hair I could have bangs. Doesn't seem worth it when I put it like this. And then I'd have to buy a blow dryer, it seems.


I've had the long, blunt fringe for about 5 years now and I love it. It's such a great look for those of us who have too-thick hair. Also, i went to the dermatologist and she told me my bangs had miraculously protected the skin on my forehead so it's aged much less than it should have by now. Bonus!

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