When Portland-based hairstylist Caroline Stahl decided to call her bang cutting technique “bangs with benefits,” she didn’t realize there was a similar Korean technique many call “Korean side bangs.” But whichever you want to call the bang style, it’s heating up and becoming more popular than ever on all hair types. But what makes Korean side bangs different from curtain bangs? We’re glad you asked. ”
When folks thought she was just renaming face-framing bangs or curtain bangs, Stahl took to TikTok to show the difference. With typical bangs, you cut a chunk of hair in the front of your head and pretty much leave the sides alone. “Bangs with benefits is kind of like an extended curtain bang but it can also be connecting into face-framing,” Stahl says. “The section is also smaller at the top so you’re not as committed to a bang.”
That way, when you wear your hair up, you have these cute side pieces that frame your face instead of “one random little bang in the front,” she adds. The best part? You don’t have to commit to a heavily layered haircut, either. You get all the look of a cool-girl shag without the commitment. Overall, the difference is you’re cutting pieces into the sides and not just the bang.
Now, you can head to the hair salon — especially a Korean hair salon — and ask for these bangs. That’s what I’m going to do. But if you’re feeling brave, Stahl actually walked us through how to cut them at home. It involves taking a small amount off from the sides and the front with a razor — a very small amount until you get them as short as you’d like. Stahl loves that they’re still long enough to tuck behind your ears. “If you’re going to do this yourself at home, remember not to go past your ear section,” she says. “You can always go back in and cut more.” Luckily, they look great imperfect.