Short, long, or wavy? How to style bangs with any type of hair

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Whether you call them fringes or bangs, one thing's for certain -- there are even more ways to wear them, and working a new set of bangs into your cut can often provide the perfect solution for injecting fresh life into tired styles. That's why we've decided to take a look at which fringes best benefit key hair types, so that from here on in, you can be sure of getting more bangs for your buck.

Bangs are not only low-maintenance and simple to achieve, there's a style out there to suit every face shape, and every age group. However, when you're dealing with a styling element this versatile, you should keep in mind that for every set of bangs that work with your hair length and face shape, there are some styles you'll do best to steer clear of.

Bangs for short hair

Aside from those radical quiff and pompadour looks, there aren't many short cuts that don't place fringes front and centre. Pixie cuts are perfect when paired with face-framing side swept bangs that elegantly taper away in front of the ear. You can cut bangs extra short with your pixie to add some edge to a cute, cropped style, or wear them long enough to blur the line between fringe and side-parting (a la Anne Hathaway): short haircuts were made for bangs, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Even more popular, and arguably more versatile when it comes to working bangs, is the classic bob. Having fun with your fringe is when you make this ever popular style all your own. A bob can take the full eyebrow-grazing flat fringe, which delivers serious impact whether twinned with super straight sides or a bouncy beach wave, but looks equally lovely with the most feathery soft-textured fringes. Better yet, run a sleek finger wave through longer bangs complementing a bob cut and you've created yet another dimension: a sexy old-school twist that delivers instant 1920s Hollywood glamour for special occasions.

Bangs for long hair

Many of us with long hair get so used to simply sweeping it to the side or tying it back that we completely forget how flattering fringes can look with longer locks. For the ideal example right now check out Taylor Swift, who's blunt, straight bangs grazing the lashes have virtually become her trademark style. Just right for oval faces, Taylor's trick of accentuating her full fringe by tucking long hair behind her ears or into a ponytail is one we highly recommend.

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Helga Esteb

Meanwhile arched bangs, starting at mid-brow and lengthening out to create face-framing heavier pieces towards the sides, are a flattering way of working fringes into longer hair, and are just right for round, and square shaped faces. Go one step beyond and you're into the territory of long, side-swept bangs -- possibly the most popular fringe style for long and shoulder length hair -- chiefly thanks to the way they create an all-natural look by seamlessly flowing into the rest of your locks.

Never one to take on a look half-heartedly, we've also seen Kim Kardashian embrace full-on bangs, sweetly styled to drop into wide sections softened at the edges, and worked down from near the crown: creating a striking, cheekbone-enhancing complement to long flowing hair.

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Bangs for wavy hair

Bangs look great with all hair types, but those with wavy curls need to approach their fringes with a little more caution. Straight-cut fringes against soft curls could be regarded as boldly fashion-forward by some, but to many more they look just plain wrong. Instead consider a set of softly-curtained bangs with wispy side layers, for an elegantly feminine look that complements wavy hair to stunning effect, especially when swept back.

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Generally speaking, curly and wavy hair needs length to weigh it down. Needles to say, the same conditions apply to fringes for wavy hair, which is why, once again, long, side-swept bangs become the curly girl's natural go-to. Fringes for wavy hair need to be cut in layers, and in this instance the shortest layers should come through somewhere down at mid-ear level. Check out Pixie Lott's fine example of super-long side swept bangs blending beautifully into her tumbling natural waves, or Alexa Chung applying the same technique to work the front of a wavy short bob.

Don't forget...

When thinking about bangs, remember that old maxim: quality over quantity. Regardless of your hair length, getting your fringe right hinges on assessing what works with the quality and texture of your hair. Once again, we recommend discussing this with your trusted local stylist, and before you know it you'll be sporting a fringe that puts your hairstyle back at the cutting edge.

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