This is the sign you’ve been looking for
If there’s anything I’ve learned from the decade-long stretch between teenhood to the present, it’s that it in fact does not take two to tango. When it comes to the persistent problem of hair styling, all it really takes is one girl and her insatiable longing for a fringe to engage in an unending dance of should-I, shouldn’t-I. I’ve wanted bangs for such a long time, so badly that I’ve scared myself out of getting them more times than I can count. As a teen, I’d read articles telling me which bangs work and which bangs don’t, only for the next lead on Google to tell me something completely different.
Bangs are tricky business. That much is clear. But despite all the BS we hear about not getting them in the middle of a crisis or after a break-up, I say what the hell—do it anyway. Bangs are a look! Bangs are great! Yes, bangs are bangin’! And if you’ve been thinking about getting them, this is your chance and these are your reasons.
Face shapes are guidelines, not the law
Despite what alternative sources might have hammered into our heads since time immemorial, face shapes are not the be all and end all when it comes to fringing. I, too, have been subject to the appeal of articles with titles that go something like ‘Find the Perfect Bangs for Your Face Shape’ or ‘Best Bangs for Round Faces,’ only to end up unhappy that the particular fringe I’d been thinking long and hard about had been deemed a bad match by the authorities.
Think of your face shape as the lines of a coloring book—a guide at best. They’re definitely worth taking into the equation, but there’s more to the fringey formula than just the canvas you’re working with. Take Selena Gomez, a fellow round face whose hair courage I’ve always envied. They say round face shapes are tricky to find a match for, and that we’re often better off sticking to an angled side-bang to create some definition. Sel has spent years throwing caution to the wind and going for just about every kind of fringe in the book, ultimately finding a couple of styles that—despite what the rules might say—work.
Is anyone going to be upset that you’re not paying heed to your square jawline or the roundness of your face? It’s possible, but we’re all bound to do a little heartbreaking in due time.
It’s all a game of illusion
A large part of why getting bangs is such an intimidating thought is because they’re transformative curtains that hang over our foreheads. Bangs have the ability to change a look completely—but it’s really about bending that to your advantage.
Take the transformative power of the fringe and use it in your forehead’s favor. Fringes typically start an inch before the hairline, but if you share my three-head woes and have an unfortunately tiny space between your hairline and brows, start further back. Cut your to-be-fringe from a section of hair that starts roughly two inches from your hairline to make the forehead look longer.
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Those with a larger area to work with have more wiggle room as having bangs—whether short and blunt or eyebrow-grazing and wispy—go a long way in shifting the attention off a wide or long forehead.
Bangs are a statement piece plastered across your forehead
Let’s veer away from the technicals a little and unpack the incredible ability of bangs to elevate, nay, create a look. In the same way that a stark hair color turns heads, a cute fringe can take a conventional blowout or pin-straight locks to a whole new, look-defining level. If you think I’m exaggerating, with a little contemplation you’ll find there’s no shortage of icons from fashion, beauty and cinema who make a case for a memorable forehead curtain.
There’s Japanese model Yuka, whose signature micro bangs you may recognize from one of her many campaigns or fellow model Fernanda Ly’s posts. There’s Jane Birkin, whose chic fringe and thick lashes still get well-deserved screen time on the ‘gram today. There’s Amélie, a character portrayed by Audrey Tautou, who carved out a moment in both cinema and the beauty world with her side-swept-meets-baby-bang situation in 2001. The latest addition to our radar is the country’s very own Hannah Locsin, who has sashayed her way down runways at Fashion Weeks all across the globe—all while sporting an unforgettable mane that makes us think “mushroom, but make it fashion.”
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It’s JUST hair
After all this hyping and hooting over bangs, let me set the record straight: it’s still possible to hate the fringe you end up with. Post-haircut regret is a very real possibility, but at the end of the day, it’s just hair. They’ll grow out into eyebrow-grazers then into face-framing tendrils and eventually into a funny story to look back on. And if you should ever feel like getting them again after that, do it and let the cycle repeat itself. Trial and error. Rinse, repeat. Isn’t that the fun in figuring our looks out anyway?
Banner Image Tophee Marquez
Art Matthew Fetalver