At least once in your hair life, you've probably thought about going big and getting some bangs. Whether or not you took the plunge (and were potentially scarred by the results), bangs are deservedly back in a big way. When done right they can be a huge upgrade to your style without getting a full hair makeover. Here, celebrity hairstylist Derek J tells you how to choose the most flattering bang cut for your face and dishes out other advice that will save you from a teary salon ride home.
Sandra Bullock's Blunt Bangs: FAIL
"This bang on Sandra hides her face way too much," says Derek, who regularly styles The Real Housewives of Atlanta. "The blunt cut and hard lines around her face are too severe against her prominent features, making her look harsh."
To avoid getting an overly-intense look like this one, opt for bang styles that flatter your face shape. "Bangs cut straight across the forehead are best for oval faces," he explains. "Side-swept bangs and softly-parted fringes complement a round faces - both looks elongate wider face frames. And heart-shaped faces look best with full bangs that start at the crown."
Olivia Wilde's Frayed Fringe: SCORE
The reason Olivia Wilde's bangs work so well is because they bring out the features not distract from them. "A good trick to help make your eyes pop is to get your bangs cut just above the brow," advises Derek. "And if you dont want to accentuate your nose, avoid bangs that are too thick or too long."
Another thing to consider when you're styling your new bangs? Not using a ton of product. Only apply gels, mousses, and root sprays to your longer strands and blow-dry with low heat (Derek recommends the Smart Heat Professional Ionic Dryer, so you can adjust the airflow and reduce damage). To finish, add a teeny-tiny touch of pomade to ends once bangs are completely dry to get texture and holdwithout looking like a character on Full House.
If you have curly hair, Derek says bangs aren't off limits just make sure your stylist cuts them went in their natural state (not flat-ironed) to see how and where they lay. Otherwise, they might end up shorter than you bargained for. "The most important thing about bangs, regardless of how thick, thin, or long they are is to maintain them! Otherwise you'll look like you're in a constant grown out phase."
Want more ideas for how to wear bangs?