Bangs are too much of a commitment to settle for anything less than face-flattering perfection. 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.
We asked experts to clarify the best bangs for every face shape. We touch on different bone structures—square, oval, round, etc.—so that you can head to the salon with the knowledge that you're making the right snip.
The best bangs for you: 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." Those with this kind of angular bone structure benefit from thinner, layered bangs since they help soften the face, says Marco Santini, owner of Davines's Ion Studio in NYC. (They're also incredibly versatile, as you can part them in the middle or push them off to one side.)
Your must-have tool: A pomade encourages your natural texture while still giving you some flexible hold (and frizz protection). Try Bumble and Bumble's Semisumo ($29).
The best bangs for you: rounded and soft
"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 thick, flirty fringe isn't exactly the worst alternative, right?
Your must-have tool: A great rounded brush is essential for that smooth, curvy shape. Cricket's Tourmaline Thermal Round Brush ($13) is a crowd favorite and wallet-friendly, too.
The best bangs for you: 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.
By taking the ends of the bangs just above your brow line, you elongate your face even more.
Your must-have tool: Keep your fringe looking sleek with a shine spray that won't weigh down your locks. (We like Oribe's Shine Light Reflecting Spray, $39.)
The best bangs for you: parted at the center
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.
Your must-have tool: Amika's genius Bombshell Blowout Thermal Brush ($100) is a round brush with a blow-dryer built-in so you'll never have to wrangle both tools at once again.
The best bangs for you: super short
"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.
Your must-have tool: With such 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 ($17) 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, bangs grow out fast.