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Hair Styling Tips: Which Bangs Are Right for Your Face Shape?

Hair Styling Tips: Which Bangs Are Right for Your Face Shape?

Bangs are back with a, well, bang! They’re among the most striking features of red-carpet regulars such as Zooey Deschanel, Krysten Ritter and Rooney Mara.  

“Bangs are like this season’s ‘it’ bag — a must-have,” says Laurent DuFourg, stylist for Smash actress Debra Messing and New York’s Prive Salon. “I’d love all my clients to wear bangs.”

But can you carry off a full-frontal fringe if you’re not a celebrity? Of course — with the right hair styling tips, say top celeb stylists. From blunt to feathered to side-swept, there’s a style for everyone. Here’s how to choose the right bangs for your face shape.

· Round Face
Side-swept bangs expose the mid-forehead, which narrows your face. “Leave more hair around the chin and cheek, because when hair is pulled back your face will look even fuller,” says Angelo David, owner and creative director of the eponymous Manhattan salon.

· Square Face
Go for softer, looser and feathered fringe rounded at the sides of your face. This will create a more oval shape, says Michael Dueñas, founder of Hair Room Service and celebrity stylist to Lady Gaga.

· Heart-shaped Face
Avoid a center part, which will make a pointed chin more prominent, Dueñas says. You’ll look better with Miley Cyrus’ new spiky, side-parted bangs, which go with her new pixie haircut but would also work with longer locks.

· Oval Face
Lucky you! “You can pull off any look,” Dueñas says. “A short-cropped fringe (like Mara’s) will give you a strong look and open you up.”

· Long Face
Shorten your face with heavy, blunt bangs just beyond your eyebrows (a la Deschanel). They’re striking — and will hide forehead wrinkles without Botox.

When picking a bang style, personality can be just as important as face shape, so dare to break the rules. Vogue’s square-faced editor, Anna Wintour, makes a bold statement with her thick eyebrow-length bangs. “It’s about attitude,” David says. “Strong women command with their bangs.” That’s why working with a stylist who knows you and your wardrobe is vital.

Also consider the texture of your hair when choosing a bang style. Curls in particular can pose a challenge, especially when you’re trying for polished bangs. If you don’t want to go for chemical hair straightening, you’ll need constant upkeep to tame your curls, DuFourg notes. Trim your bangs every three to four weeks, use a straightening iron to style them, and flatten cowlicks by blow-drying hair to both sides. If your curly hair gets damp, hold it under the blow-dryer for 20 seconds or apply dry shampoo to absorb the moisture and avoid frizzies.

Keep in mind, too, that bangs take six months to a year to grow out. “You can commit, regret and be stuck between new and old styles,” says David. So before you head for the salon, experiment with your hair styling to make sure bangs are for you. Try clip-in bangs for a few days. If you have long hair, pull it into a ponytail and flip it over your forehead to see how it looks. Or just take an old photograph and draw bangs on it. Like what you see? Then go for it!

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