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Whether it’s sleek and eyebrow-grazing or long and feathery, a good set of bangs is beloved by those who wear them and pined for by those who have yet to dabble in fringe. Most of us go ride-or-die once we make the leap and are never spotted with our foreheads showing again, because there’s nothing we love more than a longstanding hair commitment. The best things about bangs? There are a multitude of cool lengths and styles you can choose.
Need proof? Meet the Bang Gang: they’ve been brought together by the spirit of sisterhood and a shared interest in really great hair. Let the girls show you the way to your next bang hairstyle with this original illustrated guide.
The ’70s-style bang is a great midpoint for gracefully growing out shorter bangs, but if you’re in it for the long haul, they’re basically the gateway to a sweet vintage, California-cool look—think Alexa Chung or Sienna Miller circa “Alfie.” Once your shaggy bangs fall below your eyes, you can part your hair in the middle and blow them out to the sides, feathering optional (but encouraged). This fringe looks great if you’ve got naturally thick, wavy hair. Just be sure to keep your round brush and blowdryer handy to style ’em—volume is the key to keeping this look flirty.
The V-bang calls to mind the fine line between glamorous and severe, like Bettie Page by way of Maleficent. Needless to say, they’re not for the timid, but the good news is that V-bangs are easy to snip into micro bangs if you find them to be too much look for you. With a quick fix that simple, why not have fun with them for a little while? But beware: they’re temperamental, so make sure you always have a hard-hold hairspray and a fine tooth comb on hand to keep your fringe in check.
Perfect for the bold and the indecisive alike, bangs that slope to one side make for a daring yet surprisingly wearable look. If you wear a side part, the asymmetrical fringe is already a natural extension of your existing style, and the grow-out process is pretty much the same as growing out a layered cut. Depending on your choice in length—and your vibe—asymmetrical bangs can be styled however you like, but it never hurts to have some moldable hairspray, like R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray ($29), on hand.
Also known as “baby bangs,” these shorties are the minimalist dream. Micro bangs can be cut blunt or choppy, but they’re generally always edgy and compact. They stay out of your eyes and don’t fuss up your forehead too much while still giving you a cool face-framing option, so if you want something relatively low-maintenance that’ll still make a statement, your search ends here. Cut anywhere from about an inch above your brows, and leave the fringe slightly wider than where your eyebrows end. It opens up your face in a bold way, like drawing curtains aside and letting your features shine through.
MORE: How to Style Short Bangs
Thick, bluntly cut (but often rounded at the edges), and super sleek, mod bangs often hang in lash-grazing territory for a confidently stylish look that’s equally as eye-catching as it is “don’t look at me.” This bang style works great for thicker hair—fine hair can achieve the same look so long as you make sure it doesn’t fall flat. A quick blow-dry with a boar-bristle brush followed by a fine mist of hairspray should do the trick for keeping these suckers looking their best.
Shaggy bangs are what happens when you let your mod bangs grow out, then cut vertically in to the ends to give them a slightly piece-y texture. The good thing about that is that even if they fall in your eyes, you can still see through them, making these bangs prime for flirting. The messier the better, so a bit of grit on your fingertips run through the ends of your fringe should do the trick. Try a moldable high-shine pomade like Bumble and Bumble Semisumo ($29).
Side-swept bangs generally happen one of two ways: you grow out your bangs and don’t know what to do with them (so they end up pushed to one side), or you aren’t exactly sure if you really want a fringe. Either way you cut them, side-swept bangs are universally flattering. Straight, wavy, curled, they can be styled so many ways—all of which give you a seductive side gaze. Keep that volumizing mousse on lock so your bangs stay side-swept.