If you're like me, you grew up believing your head of curly hair meant you could never wear bangs. You spent years dreaming of fringe and all the hairstyles you'd never get to try. And then, if you're really like me, you cut them yourself and spent two full years growing them back out. Here's the thing: Despite all that, whoever told me curly-haired girls can't get bangs was lying.
In fact, there are so many different (and absolutely rad) ways to wear bangs with curly hair. Think Stevie Nicks, Dilone, and Georgia May Jagger. But the cut will change your styling process, so in order to understand everything you need to know post-chop, we reached out to a few of our hairstylist favorites—Ryan Richman, Justine Marjan, Bryce Scarlett, Laurie Heaps, and Holly Mills. Below, find 38 great, expert-approved styles of curly hair with bangs.
Curly Pixie with Fringe
This cut breaks all the curly hair "rules," which is exactly why we love it so much. This super short pixie with piece-y spiral fringe is edgy and fun. "If you have a specific length you want to keep up," Heaps says, "you will need to be on a trim schedule and see your stylist every four to six weeks (depending on how fast your hair grows). Many salons will offer free bang trims in between haircut appointments as well—so be sure to ask your stylist."
Mid-Length Shag with Longer Bangs
A mid-length shag is ideal for a curly texture with slightly longer bangs that graze the eyebrows. "Like the rest of your curly hair," Scarlett says, "the key to taking care of your bangs is a good air-dry. Moroccanoil's Treatment Light ($34) is great for curls because it's light and doesn't weigh down your hair but continues to give you volume."
If your hair is on the wavier side, you can rock some curtain fringe parted down the middle. Georgia May Jagger's bangs almost graze the jawline.
Zendaya's full head of spiraling ringlets is accented with equally curly bangs. "Ask your stylist to cut your bangs dry, while your hair holds the texture you normally wear," Richman recommends. "You can always cut them a little shorter, but there's no going back if you've gone too short."
This top-heavy style is a truly current take on the mullet. Once a relic of the '80s, today's mullets are full of volume and couldn't be trendier.
Fringe doesn't always have to be straight across the forehead. Rihanna's wet-look bob features a few shorter pieces that hit around the apples of her cheeks, adding dimension to a mostly single-length cut.
Side-swept bangs, like Sandra Oh is rocking here, are a bit easier to manage than the kind that cuts straight across. No matter the style you're going for, Scarlett says, "The key to curly bangs is to start cutting them very long—to your cheekbones at a minimum. Then, reassess as you go and watch where your natural curl falls."
We love these short, choppy bangs paired with "seamless layers," which add so much life to previously limp curls. Marjan suggests spritzing a shine serum and scrunching it into your hair if your strands tend to be lackluster. We love Kiehl's Silk Groom Serum ($37).
Rita Ora's lifted roots and dramatically curled side bangs have an old Hollywood starlet vibe. If you don't have naturally curly hair, you can achieve this look with a curling iron and some hairspray for a special occasion.
There really is no limit when it comes to bangs. If you have super curly or afro-textured bangs, you can absolutely rock a fringe, and it looks amazing. This full, voluminous cut gets a boost from well-placed balayage highlights.
Vintage Pin-Curl Waves
Janelle Monae's fluffy waves have a vintage pin curl effect. We love the soft waves rippling over her forehead, and the round, cloud-like shape the hair takes as it moves out from her head.
Wispy blonde ringlets and lifted roots give Jasmine Sanders a cool, choppy appearance. Add some grit to your curls with a texturing spray like Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray ($49) scrunched into wet or damp strands.
Loads of Layers
Short, choppy layers like Sarah Hyland has here can create the illusion of side bangs without the effort involved in styling.
Yara Shahidi's baby bangs and curly lob are so trendy yet timeless. Be prepared to finesse your bangs: "If there's one curl or piece of hair out of place, just touch it up with a curling iron to get the curls going in the right direction," Mills suggests. "I would advise doing this on a medium setting, depending on how good you are with an iron—don't forget you are super close to your face."
Kerry Washington's micro-curls look so good with bangs. "It is important to note how your curls naturally fall from day to day," Heaps says. "If a client has a lot of cowlicks, this can make styling fringe more of a challenge."
Barely There Bangs
FKA Twigs' barely there baby bangs are not for the faint of heart, but they're oh so cool. Wispy curls frame the top of her forehead, while the rest of her curls are piled up in a choppy updo.
Lily Collins' windswept bangs almost seem like a fruitful style accident, but truthfully a lot of effort likely went into getting them to look that way. Marjan breaks it down: "Diffuse your dry hair with the diffuser attachment on the GHD Air Professional Performance Hairdryer ($199) if it's necessary to style. Diffuse the front strands forward so they hang on the face, and, when ready, cut each curl individually."
For a beachy take on curly bangs, take a page from Lizzo's book. Her bangs have a slight wave to them that mirrors the loose curls cascading past her shoulders. Sun-kissed balayage adds even more vacation vibes.
Artsy Triangle Hair
This is what the stylists at Mousey Browne Salon in Brooklyn, New York call the "deliberate triangle." The dreaded "triangle hair" is often whispered about like a warning among those with curly hair, but here's proof that you can do it on purpose and have it look great.
Finger waves are a gorgeous way to cheat curls on a super short pixie cut. Rowan Blanchard's take features a delicate face-framing curl that both serves to get her bangs off of her face and adds to the vintage splendor of her look.
Trends be damned—Natasha Lyonne is pretty much always sporting signature big curls and wavy fringe. To get the curly bangs of your dreams at the salon, Marjan says: "Have your stylist hold the end of the curl and gradually cut with the shears facing downward (as they slowly open and close their shears) so the ends are lighter. This will give a more defined curl pattern that isn't too heavy around your face."
Not ready to commit to the upkeep that comes with curly bangs? Fake them by pulling your hair up into a tight ponytail with the ends of the curls positioned just over your forehead like fringe.
Tracee Ellis Ross' fluffed-up bangs contrast so well with her slicked-back bun. To achieve this look, you'll need to straighten your hair and have lots of gel and hairspray on hand to keep your strands in place. As far as the bangs go, the curlier, the better!
Curly with Straight Bangs
Channel the early '00s with a more modern take on straight bangs paired with a curly base. Maisie Williams' fun pink color and dark shadowed roots add some edge.
Super Long Shag
This super-long shag cut has adorable bangs that curl out slightly from the face. "Aim for two inches longer than you think, then work up to shorter lengths if you need to (as curly hair shrinks into itself and bounces up when cut)," says Marjan.
The center part is trending, for good reason. It's both modern and retro, and as Tessa Thompson shows us, it can absolutely work for curly hair as well as straight. We love her brow-grazing fringe and layered ends.
Messy, Textured Bangs
Juno Temple's full head of curls with choppy bangs has loads of texture. The key to keeping your bangs in tip-top shape between washes, according to Scarlett, is using a curl refreshing spray, which "will also not weigh them down, and gives them new life come morning." We recommend Ouidad's Botanical Boost Curl Energizing & Refreshing Spray ($22).
This ash-brown ombré by stylist Cherin Choi features gorgeous, grown-out '70s fringe that frames the client's face and melds seamlessly into the layered waves tumbling over her shoulders.
Cascading Short Fringe
A close-cropped pixie cut with short, curly bangs that cascade across the forehead in layers from shortest to longest looks so flirty and youthful on actor Joey King. A lightweight mousse like DevaCurl's Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam ($28) can add lift and shape without leaving behind a crunchy cast.
"Keep in mind where you live," Richman notes. "If you live in a wet or humid environment, take that into consideration as climate can alter the shape of your curls. It's best to discuss how your curl pattern changes with your stylist."
Solange's edgy curls have a wide, geometric shape with a section lifted at the crown for a totally '80s vibe that works beautifully with her natural hair. We especially love the microbangs framing her forehead.
We're not exactly sure how to describe Alison Brie's short, curly 'do. Rounded bob? Hip version of a bowl cut? Either way, her perfect ringlets paired with smudged black eyeliner are totally sultry and cool.
Betty Boop Bangs
Alia Shawkat's Betty Boop bangs require minimal styling and look so cute with a simple oversized bow tied around the crown. No matter your length, Richman suggests a lightweight primer with thermal protection if your hair is prone to damage. He recommends using the Paul Mitchell Neuro Prime ($31) and twisting the curls with your finger before using a diffuser.
Tight Curls with Fringe
These tight, layered red curls get the bang treatment thanks to the stylists at Mousey Browne. The key to most successful curly cuts, including this one, is the dry cut technique. Look for a hairstylist who will work on dry hair, when your curls are at their truest length.
We hope to have more than proven by now that you do not need to straighten your bangs by any means. But Kat Graham's cute, razored fringe with long ombré waves is a fun, modern take on the straight bangs/curly body contrast.
Long S-Shaped Fringe
Take a page from Ilana Glazer's book and embrace your texture on slightly longer bangs. "You may find you need to restyle your bangs in the morning even though you didn't wash your hair," says Richman. "Wet them carefully and pat dry with an Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban ($30) as it's less harmful than a cotton towel (it leaves the cuticle smoother as your hair dries)."
Curly Faux Hawk
Storm Reid's curly faux hawk is such a unique way to style medium-length or long curls. The choppy fringed pieces at the front create longer bangs that fall just past her eyebrows.
Curly bangs work incredibly well with a half-up, half-down situation. We love this loose, wavy triangle fringe.
This chin-length French bob is capped off by loose, wispy curls at the ends and flipped-out bangs.