Bangs are too much of a commitment to settle for anything less than face-flattering perfection. From no longer being able to swiftly pull your strands into an updo to having to curate a new skin care routine, you certainly don't want to jump into the chop. But taking a one-size-fits-all approach could be standing in your way. The truth is that certain styles of fringe look great on some faces but fall short (so to speak) on others—which is where this guide comes in handy. Before making a trip to the salon with an inspiration picture of a cut you found off of Pinterest or saw on your favorite celebrity, read up on the best bangs for you.
Below, get expert advice on the best bangs for your face shape, from round to oval, so that you can head to the salon with the knowledge that you're making the right snip.
Face Shape: Heart
Style 1. Wispy and Layered
You know how Reese Witherspoon looks amazing with a piecey, razor-cut fringe? It's also no coincidence that her face is often used as a quintessential example of "heart-shaped." Bangs are incredibly versatile, as you can part them in the middle or push them off to one side. To style, use a pomade to encourage your natural texture while still giving you some flexible hold (and frizz protection). Try Bumble and Bumble's Semisumo ($29).
Those with this kind of angular bone structure benefit from thinner, layered bangs since they help soften the face, says Marco Santini.
Meet the Expert
Marco Santini is the owner of Davines's Ion Studio in NYC. His work has been featured in Vogue, Marie Claire, Glamour, and more.
Meet the Expert
Rebekah Forecast is a celebrity hairstylist at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon. Throughout her career, she has had the honor of working with Victoria's Secret, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, and more.
Style 2. Curtain
As Santini suggested, those with heart-shaped faces look best with thin, layered bangs. No wonder these curtain bangs on Cheryl Cole look so amazing! These forehead bangs are also super flattering due to the fact that they'll help minimize the larger forehead that comes with your face shape. Be sure to keep a texturizing spray on hand to give your fringe the perfect amount of movement. We love Living Proof's Full Dry Volume Blast ($29).
Face Shape: Square
Style 1: Rounded and Side-Swept
"Here you want to stay away from a straight-across, squared-off fringe," advises Santini—they will just make your face look boxier. But channeling Brigitte Bardot with a soft, flirty fringe isn't exactly the worst alternative, right? To style, you'll need a great rounded brush. This is essential for that smooth, curvy shape. Cricket's Tourmaline Thermal Round Brush ($24) is a crowd favorite and wallet-friendly, too.
By taking the ends of the bangs just above your brow line, you elongate your face even more.
Style 2: Eyebrow-Grazing and Piecey
Like Santini said, blunt, straight-across bangs are a no-no for those with square faces, but if you're keen on a full set of bangs instead of side-swept, opt for a piecey, textured fringe. This will keep your bangs from accentuating your angular features. To play up the texture, style with a hair pomade, like Ouai's Matte Pomade. The matte finish will ensure your bangs don't look greasy, even if you accidentally go a little overboard with product.
Face Shape: Round
Style 1: Blunt Bangs
Using the same logic as you would for a square face, you want to balance things out—in this case, avoid a rounded fringe and go for that blunt cut. "A rounded face works well with a sharp-line bang that's straight across at the sides to sculpt the face," explains celebrity hairstylist Rebekah Forecast at Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon. Keep your fringe looking sleek with a shine spray that won't weigh down your locks. (We like Oribe's Shine Light Reflecting Spray, $54).
Style 2: Long and Side-Swept
If you're not sure you're ready to commit to straight-across bangs, long, side-swept bangs also flatter round faces. This fringe style help create the illusion of an elongated face. To style, make sure your bangs have lift and volume to avoid them hanging across your face. We love the L’Oréal Professionnel Volumetry Anti-Gravity Effect Volume Spray, $28.
Face Shape: Oval (With a Long Forehead)
Style 1: Middle-Parted Bangs
Oval-faced gals are lucky since pretty much any kind of fringe will work with their proportions. However, there is one distinction that could be the difference between a good cut and a great one: forehead length. "Splitting the bangs apart exposes the forehead at a lower point than your natural hairline, which shortens the area," says Forecast. She also advises choosing a "narrower" bang—that is, a fringe that roots close to the forehead rather than further back on the hairline. When it comes to styling, you'll want to make sure your bangs stay put. Use a lightweight mousse, like Aveda's Phomollient Styling Foam ($23).
Style 2: Long and Wispy
Another option to flatter your long forehead is a long, wispy fringe. The sparse bangs will still allow your forehead to peak through, without its entirety being on display. To style, use Amika's genius Blowout Babe Thermal Round Hair Brush ($100) is a round brush with a blow-dryer built-in so you'll never have to wrangle both tools at once again. Cue the perfect, lifted fringe.
Face Shape: Oval (With a Short Forehead)
Style 1: Micro Bangs
"I usually suggest clients with a short forehead forego fringe because it emphasizes the smaller space between the eyebrows and hairline," says Santini. "However, you can rock a really short, pin-up style fringe that's über-cool." We couldn't agree more. As far as styling goes, make sure to keep a strong-hold hairspray in your arsenal. You don't want your fringe to budge midday! Bumble and Bumble's Strong Finish Hairspray will do the job.
Style 2: Choppy Fringe
Scared of going too short? A choppy fringe will have the same effect as short bangs thanks to its varying lengths, without the commitment to a high-maintenance look. With a short crop of hair sitting against your forehead all day, you need something to cut any greasy buildup. R+Co's Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($32) should do the trick.
Now that you know the right bangs for your face shape, go ahead and take these inspo pics to your stylist and make the chop. Don't worry, if you aren't sold on your new 'do, bangs grow out fast.