Bangs have a bad rap for being the first (hopefully, not of many) irrational moves we make post-breakup. Understandably, they’re a quick and easy way to switch up your look when you’re craving a major makeover. But there's a very rational argument for why fringe bangs are a smart move when you're looking for a big change.
"I think the great thing about a fringe is that you can use it to really change up any haircut," says Ashley Streicher, a celebrity hairstylist. "Long, layered, bobbed, and shaggy can all add to a fringe to really change the look. It's like an added accessory."
Unlike a traditional bang, a fringe bang is longer, hitting either right above or along the brow line—and it doesn’t require months of growing out your hair to get them tucked back behind your ears, should you have a change of heart.
Meet the Expert
We’ve rounded up a solid group of 25 fringe bang reference photos for you to browse through, below and included tips from Streicher and fellow stylist Alisha Leela of Bob + Paige Salon in Toronto.
Penelope Cruz keeps her fringe soft with a classic blowout. Use a paddle brush to direct your bangs and add soft, touchable volume. When it comes to styling bangs, using a round brush can go wrong very fast.
Alexa Chung has always had bangs to lust over. Here, she lets a side part naturally peek through her fringe. If this isn't a natural occurrence for you, you can assist your fringe by placing it in the desired position with no-crease clips while wet. We like Harry Josh Pro Tools Pro Makeup & Wave Setting Clips ($14).
Shay Mitchell’s fringe lays down stick straight over her brows, but her smoky eye keeps us from noticing her brows are completely covered.
Girlboss Sophia Amoruso traded in her infamous micro-bangs for a long fringe. For a similar look, Leela says to ensure the cut and length of fringe frames your face well. "The best cut with a fringe is something that harmoniously blends the cut and fringe together," she says. "Stay away from solely asking for a fringe without cutting the rest of the hair, as the stylist will not have the opportunity to marry the two."
As if this texture wasn’t something we’d want to replicate on its own, these long textured bangs on Carey Mulligan have us swooning.
To help set your bangs, use a wet texture product like surf spray, pin your bangs in the desired position with no crease clips, and very lightly blow-dry with a diffuser.
Kirsten Dunst wears her long fringe split down the middle, cascading down gradually into her face-framing layers. Check out our guide on how to cut your own hair for a slide-cutting technique that can help you get face-framing layers from the comfort of your home.
A long fringe looks great with this mod-inspired, half-up half-down ‘do on Bryce Dallas Howard. When you go see your stylist and request a fringe like the one seen here, be sure to wear your hair in its natural state (or, if you’re someone who under no circumstances will leave the house without straightening or blow-drying your hair, then so be it). Point being, you want your stylist to see you as you always are.
Since a good fringe is long to start with, it can give you more versatility than your average bang. Try pushing them over into a side swoop a la Karlie Kloss when in between trims.
Freida Pinto’s feathered fringe gives way for effortless movement. To keep this style from becoming high maintenance, showing up for your appointment with clean, dry hair, styled the way you always style it, will enable your stylist to give you a quick, dry cut and provide the immediate gratification you’re looking for.
Keep Things Light
If you have thicker, heavier hair like Constance Wu, ask your stylist to cut into your bangs for a lighter, piece-y look. Mist with a product like Aveda Brilliant Damage Control ($23) to keep hair shiny.
Worn with a heavy set fringe, these beachy waves on Jessica Biel make us want to go running into the nearest ocean (reaching for the salt spray will also do).
Shailene Woodley keeps her fringe prim and proper with this ballerina bun. To style this look, try dry shampoo rather than washing hair from scratch. "Dry shampoo and texture sprays will definitely be your friend," says Streicher. "Because bangs lay on the forehead, which tends to be oily, you will want to keep this hair as oil-free as possible." Streicher recommends R+Co Balloon Dry Volume Spray ($32), which she says keeps bangs "full with fluffy volume and absorbs any oils from your forehead that could possibly cause separation."
If you’re unsure about making the leap and cutting a fresh fringe, try grabbing some clip-ins first. Kendall Jenner’s faux fringe had us fooled.
Winnie Harlow’s look was one to watch on the CFDA red carpet, pairing her fringe with a slightly flipped-out lob. It's a statement look, though, so if you're looking to replicate something similar, there are some things to keep in mind. "Important things to ask your stylist or keep in mind are things like: Do you wear glasses, and where should they sit with frames on?" says Leela. "How much maintenance is involved and how to style it? What products will I need? Which length is suitable for my face shape?"
A good fringe doesn’t have to lay straight down. If you have a natural side part, you can still opt for a fringe that caresses the brow line, as seen here on Taraji P. Henson.
To keep it styled throughout the day, keep a bottle of texturizing bang spray handy. "It’s great to have on hand for volume and stay ability—for bangs to keep from separating or getting too flat," says Streicher.