When actress Zooey Deschanel attended the 2013 Met Gala in New York City, she appeared to be a “New Girl.”
READ: The Strangest Looks at the 2013 Met Ball
The 33-year-old hit the red carpet without her trademark bangs, leaving most people confused and, well, scratching their heads. It was no mistake and Deschanel’s new look didn’t win many over.
“Zooey threw everyone for a loop when she arrived with her signature bangs pulled back,” says Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist Julia Papworth. “Although they may not be the easiest style to maintain, bangs are being seen everywhere we look. A reason why they never go out of style is that they are universally flattering. It is a fantastic way to revive a hairstyle or hair color that you may feel is getting a little tired. It is a simple way to make a bold statement.”
Not only can the right fringe make anyone look younger, but it can also hide imperfections without going under the knife and, minus curly-haired ladies, it works for nearly every hair type. Stylists also say bangs never go out of style and can make any outfit look chic enough for day or night.
Want to get the best bangs of your life and make heads turn for the right reasons? Check out our expert tips from renowned celebrity stylists on creating your signature fringe:
Get an Instant Face Lift
If you’re looking for a hairstyle that will shed years off your face, stylists insist you opt for bangs, which they describe as an "instant face lift” and “eye-opener.” South Beach-based celebrity hairstylist Danny Jelaca, who has worked with famous supermodels such as Naomi Campbell, says this is a look that can enhance your natural features and mask imperfections. "It’s a great solution to hide an imperfect hairline, wide forehead or scar,” explains Jelaca. "It can also help balance nonsymmetrical features. They help frame the face, like eyebrows do. They can also soften hard or weathered features."
Get a DIY Makeover … With Caution
All stylists agree that when it comes to getting perfect bangs for your face, it’s crucial to visit a professional. However, if you insist on giving yourself a makeover, there are some important tips to keep in mind. "Use your natural growth pattern and cut the bangs to that pattern," says Jelaca. "Do not make an even triangle parting to cut bangs. The front hairline in the bang section almost never lays that perfect." Also, don’t forget your hair should be wet before grabbing the scissors for a face-flattering cut. "Cut them at the bridge of the nose for that perfect bang length," adds Jelaca. "Remember, they will shrink when dry right at the eyebrow."
Ask For the Perfect Cut
Want to add definition to a new haircut? Make sure your stylist creates the right bangs for you. "You can get the best bangs of your life if the hairstylist holds the bangs up towards their chest while cutting them," says Pasquale Caselle, international creative director for IT&LY HAIRFASHION. "This gives it a textured look and not a hard edge." Also, make sure your bangs are cut to enhance your specific face shape.
For those with strong facial features and a prominent jaw, get a straight-lined cut that will soften your face. "Opt for a nice strong blunt bang, giving it a classic geometric feel," says Mark Williamson, a stylist at Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in Miami Beach. "It’s a look that will always be timeless."
To enhance sculpted cheekbones, skip too-short fringes. "Oval faces are best suited for a fringe that sweeps longer at both sides, creating an illusion of a rounder face," says Williamson. It will balance out your features, giving you a more youthful appearance.
"Rounder faces are generally better opting for more of a side-sweeping bang to break up the dimension of the face, creating an angle," says Williamson. Side-swept bangs also give a loose summer bun a romantic feel that can be worn for day or night.
To balance out a wide forehead and a narrow chin, get a long fringe with face-framing layers touching the chin.
If your face is long, stylists say bangs are perfect for you as it will shorten your shape’s length. Avoid chin-sweeping fringes as it will only elongate your natural features. Instead, look for stylish round bangs to minimize a wide forehead.
Afraid of Commitment
Need a makeover, but weary about getting that dreaded cut? Fortunately, bangs are still doable if styled right. "If you’re scared of making the commitment, you can always add a longer ‘swoopy’ bang with long layers for a fun, flirty look without being extreme," says Eric Rosado, senior stylist for Ted Gibson in New York City.
There’s no doubt that bangs require daily maintenance to keep them oil-free, but the work is a lot easier than you think. Avoid too-sticky hair products that will weigh you down, and instead, minimally use dry shampoo to keep your fringe clean. "Use a paddle brush when blow drying and good flat iron to keep them polished," says Rosado. "See your stylist every three weeks for a trim to keep your bangs looking fresh in between cuts" On days when you don’t feel like rocking bangs, simply pin them back.
Keep Frizz at Bay
"If your hair frizzes easily, consider a keratin treatment or always utilize products that are infused with the natural protein," says Williamson. You’ll especially want to make use of this treatment during the steamy days of summer when frizz could be at its worst.
The Hottest Fringe
When asked which bang look is currently the most popular, many stylists said it's model Alexa Chung’s "messy" cut. As opposed to a blunt cut, the "Chung fringe" is easy to maintain and requires minimal products to keep it looking its best.