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Just like every other hair trend in history, bangs come back in cycles, becoming the “it” look about twice a decade. And right now, it’s a bangs moment. The red carpet is jam-packed with face-framing fringe, on everyone from Emma Stone to Kerry Washington to Lea Michele. Even First Lady Michelle Obama has caught the fever.
Want the look? Getting bangs can be scary (You’re chopping off HOW much?!), but they can also do so much for your face, beyond just showing how trendy you are. “Bangs have such an impact on the overall frame of one’s face,” says Rodney Cutler, hairstylist and owner of New York City’s Cutler Salon. “They can accentuate and highlight natural features that you want to bring to life or balance out imperfections.” By finding the right style to complement your specific facial structure, you can up the impact of your haircut and flaunt your most gorgeous features.
Read on to find out which fringe will frame and flatter your face shape!
Face Shape: Heart
Your face shape is defined by a broad forehead and cheeks, which round down into a pointed chin.
Best Bangs: Full Fringe
Use bangs to establish balance, says Cutler. Lucky for all you heart-shaped beauties, bangs, by their very nature, draw you into the center of the face. This creates a harmonious balance in your proportions, and brings the focus to your most memorable feature: your eyes. “You’ll want a good proportion between the hair at the nape and the hair at the front,” Cutler suggests. “I recommend full bangs that reach around and sit behind the ears.”
Face Shape: Square
Your have a strong, prominent jawline and your face is slightly longer than it is wide.
Best Bangs: Side-swept
Your cut should contrast with your prominent jaw line for a pretty, softening effect. Avoid a blunt look, Cutler says—it could make your face look boxy. Instead, go for a feathered, side-swept bang paired with a deep side part. “A sideways movement will soften the harshness of the square face,” Cutler adds.
Face Shape: Oval
Your face is longer than it is wide, with a softly rounded chin and forehead.
Best Bangs: Every style works!
“Oval shaped faces are the lucky ones and can wear anything!” Cutler says, since it’s the most balanced of all the face shapes. So go crazy! Try whatever type of bangs you’re into. Long bangs like Lea Michele’s are a great option because they’re extremely versatile. They can be worn straight down, just skimming the eyes, or swept off to the side for a wispy look. This allows her to keep changing her hairstyle, since the bangs can change right along with it. And since oval face shapes can’t really go wrong, it’s easy to experiment with risky, bold hairstyles, whenever you see fit.
Face Shape: Round
Your face is as long as it is wide, with full, gorgeous cheeks and a small chin and forehead.
Best Bangs: Side-swept layers
For a look that flatters the fullness of your face shape, you might assume a contrasting, squared-off cut would work best. But Cutler says that isn’t the way to go. “Actually, you don’t want harsh lines. Compliment the roundness of the face by creating movement through softness and feathering.” This translates to wispy, side-swept, layered bangs that emerge from a deep side part. Avoid typical, straight-cut bangs that cover the forehead—they can visually shorten your face and make it appear wider.
Face Shape: Long
Women with long faces are blessed with a bounty of gorgeous features—usually the forehead, cheekbones and jawline are pretty prominent.
Best Bangs: Rounded
Along with layers, bangs are the perfect accessory to help add fullness to your face and visually shorten it. “For these bangs, you want the right proportion to the length of the hair and to connect the bangs to the outline of the cut,” Cutler says. “Avoid square corners, but rather round them out on the ends to tie it all together.”
Face Shape: Rounded Square
The trademarks of each of these shapes, a rounded top and squared-off jaw, come together to create this beautiful facial structure.
Best Bangs: Wispy and side-swept
Overall, go for soft, layered bangs to complement the roundness of your face. A side-swept style will add movement to the top of your head and offset your strong jawline. You can even try straight, wispy bangs that fall straight down to the tops of the eyebrows. Softness and feathering is key—avoid a blunt cut.
Face Shape: Long Square Shape
Your face is long and narrow with a squared off jaw.
Best Bangs: Side-swept layers
The right bangs can add fullness to your face while softening your angles, and your best bet is longer bangs that are also layered. A feathered, side-swept bang will complement your structured jawline, while adding a variety of lengths that draw the eye to your elegant and regal features. Try a deep side part to really show off your face shape.
Face Shape: Rounded Heart Shape
A rounded heart shape combines quintessential heart features, like the pointed chin, with full cheekbones. The key to a harmonious face is bangs that balance out these two aspects.
Best Bang: Layered to the side or long and feathered
A layered side bang will accentuate your bone structure and define your cheekbones (instead of making them look rounder). You can also try a long, feathered, fringe paired with a layered cut for the rest of your hair. This will help balance your face shape, while highlighting your structure.
Face Shape: Long Heart Shape
A full forehead and a pointed, long chin mark your face shape.
Best bangs: Wispy and long (or blunt for short hair)
Long bangs will bring focus to the center of your face; make them wispy to fall between your eyes and eyebrows. If you have longer, layered hair, try a side-swept bang that angles over one eye. Or, if your hair is very short, opt for a pert, blunt fringe.
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