How to Wear and Trim Your Bangs

Beauty, Home & Family
on October 2, 2011

Celebrity hair stylist Ted Gibson has beautified the manes of such stars as Angelina Jolie, Renée Zellweger, Keira Knightly and Anne Hathaway, and his work has graced the pages of Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire and Allure magazines. So it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about getting your bangs, well, bang on.

“Bangs come in and out of style every few years,” Gibson says. “From Audrey Hepburn and Betty Paige to Rihanna and Katie Holmes, bangs have graced the faces of fashion icons for decades.” That’s because, done right, bangs frame the face in a flattering way, making you look both thinner and younger. Here are his tips for getting bangs right.

Fringe benefits. If you’re in your 20s, Gibson says, you might want to grow your bangs out and go for a longer fringe brushed to one side for a more sophisticated look. Once you’re into your 40s, though, you might want to cut them back in, to hide the fine lines and wrinkles that start to develop on your forehead. The shape of your face also will determine the type of bangs that will work best for you. “If you have a wider face, you want to have a little bit more of a narrower bang, because you want to streamline the way the face looks,” he says. The texture of your hair is important, too; bangs work best on straight hair.

Quick trim. It’s probably best to have bangs cut at the salon when you have your hair restyled, as the stylist can gauge the direction your hair will fall naturally and how far back on the head to take the fringe. Once you’ve had your hair styled, though, there’s no reason to book a salon appointment just to have your bangs trimmed.

If you want to trim your bangs yourself, “First your hair must be 100 percent dry,” Gibson says. “You never want to trim your bangs when they’re wet, because when hair dries it shrinks a little, and then your bangs will be way too short.” Separate your bangs from the rest of your hair with a comb, and then use the comb to hold small manageable sections of the hair in position while you work on them. Use small vertical cuts up into the section of hair, rather than trying to cut horizontally in a straight line, he advises, to give a soft but strong finish.