Different Types of Bangs

Side-swept bangs can be worn at almost any length and are brushed diagonally across the forehead.
Side-swept bangs can be worn at almost any length and are brushed diagonally across the forehead. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

According to Karen Shelton on the “Hair Boutique” web site, in the United States “bangs” is “the common word for hair that fully or partially covers the forehead area of the face.” That is a very broad definition, and rightfully so--there are probably as many differences in the types of bangs as there are women who wear them. They are categorized mostly by the length of the bangs, the way they are cut or the way they are styled.


For basic bangs--also called straight bangs--the hair is combed down over the forehead and cut in a straight line level with the top of the eyebrows. The bangs fall in a solid sheet and cover the forehead from the outer edges of one eyebrow across to the other.


Long bangs can fall to any length from slightly past the eyebrows to the chin. Usually long bangs are worn in a side-swept style, although in 1980s-inspired cuts they are curled and sprayed to stand straight up from the forehead.


Short bangs are any bang style shorter than eyebrow-length. Often choppy bangs are a combination of short and long layers, but basic bangs can also be short.


Wispy bangs, as the name implies, are bangs of any length that are composed of a few wisps of hair. Regular bangs can be worn in a wispy style by separating it into sections that hang in separate clumps instead of a solid sheet, or you can have a few strands cut especially to hang over the forehead.


Asymmetrical bangs are not cut straight across the forehead, but at an angle, or several angles. They give an edgy, trendy look that can update a classic style.


Choppy bangs can be long, short or asymmetrical; the difference is that they are uneven. Often the hairstylist will cut the bangs to the longest desired length, then hold the scissors vertically and snip up into the hair. This adds peaks and varying layers for a casual, less-rigid look.


Side swept bangs can be achieved with all but the shortest bangs. They are brushed across the forehead to one side or the other for a carefree, more casual look.


Blunt bangs are basic bangs that are cut so that they fall straight to a bit of an under-curl at the ends. They give a classic, polished look.

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