Thinking about getting bangs? This guide is for you. 

By Erin Lukas
Updated Apr 14, 2020 @ 9:00 am
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So, you want to get bangs. Maybe you're getting over a huge break up or you just landed your dream job. Whatever momumental life event you're going through, you're ready to seriously change up your hair. Bangs can instantly transform any haircut, but they're notoriously a high maintenance look. Yes, it takes some practice to perfect styling freshly cut bangs, but first you have to figure out what type of bangs to get.

What you define as soft textured bangs might actually be curtain bangs. And what's the exact difference between blunt bangs and choppy bangs? Getting the bangs you want comes down to using the right lingo during your pre-cut consultion with your stylist.

Thankfully, the confusion ends here. With the help of Erickson Arrunategui, stylist at Bumble and bumble in New York City, we've created an encyclopedic guide to every single type of bang, so you'll leave the salon with the look you really want.

VIDEO: These Are the Best Bangs for Every Face Shape

Baby Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: Also known as "micro bangs," this style hits above the brow and can be cut blunt or textured. Baby bangs work well across a number of hair types, because shorter bangs tend to lay flat most of the time. "With longer bangs, there's more length for them to get unruly," Arrunategui explains.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: "There's variations of baby bangs," says Arrunategui. "For a punk look, you can go shorter which would take the hair higher above the brow, but if you don't want that much of a statement, ask for bangs that hit at the center of the forehead."

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Curtain Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: Like the name implies, this bang style is like a curtain that frames your face. The center is cut shorter and cascades into longer pieces on the sides. Typically, hair is parted down the center, giving the look a retro '60s vibe.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: Curtain bangs shouldn't be one length. "You want them to blend into your hair so there needs to be a variation between the center and the outer corners," Arrunategui says.

Bonus: Curtain bangs are ideal for anyone growing out their bangs or are too nervous to commit to a full fringe. "They easily grow out into short layers," the stylist explains. "For anyone who wants to ease into bangs, curtain bangs are long enough so that you feel like you have a bang, but the length is long enough to tuck behind your ear or pull up into your ponytail."

Choppy Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: These bangs typically hit right above the brow bone and run straight across the forehead. What sets the style apart from blunt bangs is that the ends have an effortless piecey finish.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: Choppy bangs should be the same length overall but should be cut with various lengths within them to create that piecey texture. Arrunategui says to ask your stylist to point cut your bangs. This means that they will cut the hair holding the scissors vertically instead of horizontally across your forehead.

Soft Textured Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: Think of soft textured bangs like a shorter curtain bang that's closed. This style is more of a full-on bang, because it's typically not parted down the center.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: "The center should be at the high point or directly on the brow," explains Arrunategui. "The outer corners of the bangs should hit at the eyelashes."

Curly Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: There is more than one way to do a curly bang. Curl patterns look amazing with baby bangs and longer styles like shaggy soft textured bangs.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: No matter what variation you decide on, curly bangs should be cut dry. "Come into the salon with your hair styled in the way you normally wear it," suggests Arrunategui. "This way your stylist can cut your bangs dry and position them into place with your natural curl pattern."

Blunt Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: These bangs are cut straight across your forehead and usually hit at the eyebrows or right below them.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: Bangs with the weight kept into the hair. "Blunt bangs don't have any texture, layers, or movement cut into the hair," says Arrunategui.

Side Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: This popular early '00s look consists of a side part with a layered bang that cascades down one side of your face.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: A side bang with soft ends to keep hair from looking clumpy. "Your face shape should be used as reference points," Arrunategui explains. "The brow should be your starting point and the lower eyelid or high cheekbone can be used as reference points for the longer pieces."

Long Feathered Bangs

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WHAT THEY ARE: A modern, subtle take on Farah Fawcett's classic feathered bangs.

WHAT TO ASK FOR: A grown-out bang that falls at the lip and jaw line. "Use the lip as a starting point and ask for the bang to cascade down to the jaw line," suggests Arrunategui. "You can blend the bang into the rest of your hair with a few layers or have it stand out on its own."