To fringe or not to fringe?

At any given time, 75% of women are asking themselves, "Should I get bangs?"

If you've ever had bangs in your adult life, then chances are that you have a love-hate relationship with them. You probably cut them, loved them for a little while, then started to hate them because they were growing awkwardly or because styling them was frustrating you. So you decided to grow them out, which is a ridiculously painful process because you either had to wear them down and feel like your hair looked terrible or pin them back and feel like your hair looked terrible. You may have even given up on trying to grow them out and cut them again, starting the process over again.

I know the story! I cut my bangs and grew them out for years until I finally realized that I was cutting them again — even knowing how hard growing them out was — because I liked having them. So I decided to just keep them. For the rest of my life. :)

I'm happy so far (it's been 7 or 8 years now), but as a hairstylist I see people come in to the salon every day trying to make a decision about their bangs - whether to cut them, grow them out, keep them short, keep them long, wear them straight across, sweep them to the side, etc. Nearly every haircut consultation involves a conversation about the client's fringe area.

What to consider before you chop

Do you style your hair in the morning? You will have to style your bangs. The nice thing about bangs is that as long as they look good, you will look mostly pulled together; but you have to style them, or else they'll just go back in a bobby pin (and then what's the point?). So if you're a wash-and-go type of gal, the fringe is probably not for you.

Do you touch your hair a lot? Chances are, if you do, your bangs will get pretty greasy. This is not a "don't chop" situation, but you may need to use some dry shampoo halfway through the day to keep your bangs from separating.

Do you want them straight across or swept to the side? Before you brush off the straight-across look, consider that this "indie fringe," which is a chunkier, piecey-style bang like this:

Photo by SharonCobo/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by SharonCobo/iStock / Getty Images

Notice that her bangs aren't blunt, and she's got longer pieces on the outsides to blend the bangs softly instead of having a hard corner between the bangs and the rest of the hair. This is important, because I think a lot of people think "straight across" and picture blunt, kindergardener bangs. While there's definitely a place & a face for blunt bangs, it's not your only option. Don't be afraid!

Thinking about side-swept? This is the most universally flattering style of bangs. They can require some coaxing to do what you want them to do (for example, if you have a cowlick), but there's not the same level of crisis when they get a little long. Some flattering lengths to consider are cheekbone (if you're a little nervous about the chop) or just below the eyebrow.

Photo by Tuned_In/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Tuned_In/iStock / Getty Images

Last thing: do you tend to feel like you have a round face? Straight-across bangs will probably add to that feeling of roundness - you might want to opt for side-swept.

If there's one thing that's so important for you to remember, it's this: the world is not going to end because you cut some hair off of your head. Hair grows! And if you decide that bangs were a bad idea, find some creative ways to pull them back (bobby pins!), and be patient until they grow out. You'll be okay.

Have you ever had nightmare bangs? How bad were they? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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