3 Gorgeous Ways to Style Bangs

Bangs are the easiest way to change up—and youth-ify—your whole look. But they can also be frustrating to maintain, especially if you have curly hair or cowlicks. Here are the most flattering types of bangs, and the tricks that make styling them a breeze.

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Side-Swept Bangs

reese witherspoon with side-swept bangs

Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Tapered, side-swept bangs are so versatile, and flatter any face shape. Because they’re on the longer side (ending around the eyebrows), they’re also easy to clip or push back off your face on the days you don’t want to bother. Ask your stylist to cut them a half-inch longer on each side. That way you can wear them flipped to either side.

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How to Style Side-Swept Bangs

round brush for styling side-swept bangs

Photo courtesy of Olivia Garden

Photo courtesy of Olivia Garden

Use a medium-size round brush when you blow-dry these bangs. Direct the blow-dryer nozzle down, and place the brush on top of the bangs, not underneath, then pull downward in the direction you want your bangs to go. Finish the blow-dry by running your fingers through the fringe in the direction that you dried your hair. This adds a little separation and prevents an overly coiffed look.

Buy: Olivia Garden EcoCeramic Soft Bristle Thermal Collection, store.oliviagarden.com, $32.95

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Brow-Skimming or Straight Bangs

kerry washington with brow-skimming bangs

Photo Jon Kopaloff / Contributor / Getty Images

Photo Jon Kopaloff / Contributor / Getty Images

Brow-skimming bangs that are cut straight across do wonders to play up your eyes and cheekbones—and they’re cheaper than Botox for hiding forehead lines. Ask your stylist to point-cut them (by holding scissors vertically and chipping into the ends). This creates softness, so your bangs don’t end up looking too blunt and child-like.

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How to Style Straight Bangs

Cricket Smoothing Brush, flat brush for styling straight-across bangs

Photo courtesy of Cricket

Photo courtesy of Cricket

Always blow-dry bangs when they are soaking wet. Once they begin to dry, your natural texture will take hold. To avoid a ‘70s-era bubble bang, direct the blow-dryer nozzle straight down as you use a flat brush to go back and forth at the roots in a windshield wiper motion. This relaxes any natural cowlicks and creates smooth fringe.

Buy: Cricket Smoothing Brush Board Mix, cricketco.com, $17.50

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Curly Bangs

sandra oh with curly bangs

Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Yes, you can rock bangs if you have wavy or curly hair, and you can embrace your natural texture. Your stylist should not cut them blunt, or your bangs will look like a curtain. You want them to be slightly layered, and a little longer (just past the eyebrows), which allows for them to shrink up when they air-dry.

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How to Style Curly or Wavy Bangs

Verb Curl Cream

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Apply a pea-size amount of styling cream or mousse onto your bangs, such as Verb Curl Cream. This will bring out the natural curl pattern and combat frizz. Now, finger-comb bangs into place and let them air-dry. When they are completely dry, gently scrunch and go! The look, and the styling, should be effortless and fuss-free.

Buy: amazon.com, $16

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Touch up Tip

IGK Swipe Up Charcoal Dry Shampoo Hair Blotting Tissues and Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder Dry Shampoo

Photos courtesy of Sephora

Photos courtesy of Sephora

Because they sit right up against your face, bangs tend to get greasier than the rest of your hair. It’s a good idea to have a quick fix on hand: Dry shampoo. A blotting paper for your bangs is a perfect on-the-go option that absorbs oil without messing up your style. And a dry shampoo powder not only de-greases, but also adds oomph and texture to flat fringe.


  • IGK Swipe Up Charcoal Dry Shampoo Hair Blotting Tissues, sephora.com, $18
  • Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder, sephora.com, $28