Choosing the Right Bangs for Your Hair Type and Face Shape

Alexa Chung’s hairstylist spills on the dos and don’ts of the perfect bang.

By: Naomi Nachmani
Illustration: Meghann Stephenson

We’ve all been there. Scissors in one hand, half-empty bottle of wine in the other, staring yourself in the mirror asking the age-old question, “To bang or not to bang?” And no, we’re not referring to your daily Who Would You Rather: Celebrity Edition playoff. (But for the record, Team Cumberbatch all the way.) We’re talking real bangsthe kind you haphazardly cut for yourself (and for your Barbie) at age five, nearly giving your mother a hernia.

Whether you’ve rocked bangs your whole life Anna Wintourstyle, or stayed away out of pure, unadulterated fear, here at Cov we’re all in favor of a little new year, new do action. But like anyone who’s shorn herself in the name of a drastic new style knows, taking the leap of fringe-fate can be daunting.

With fringe fear in mind, we asked Londonbased hairstylist George Northwood—also known as tress whisperer to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and full-time bang aficionado Alexa Chung—to tackle four of our favorite eyebrow-grazing styles. The lineup? Straight across, side-swept, middle-parted, and yes, the baby bang. We’re going for it, kids.

A little parting tip, though: Maybe stay clear of the above mentioned bathroom shears, and let the professionals take care of this one. At-home hair-cutting helpline available upon request.


“This style is not for frizzy, unruly hair or if you consider yourself to have a round face. A straight fringe will cut the face in half.

“Use a small ceramic brush, and blow-dry forward. If your hair is slightly unruly, apply Pureolog Super Smooth Relaxing Serum to tame and keep smooth. Keep a dry shampoo such as Redken Pillow Proof Two Day Extender on hand, as this style can become slightly greasy.

“With this style, you can trim a little yourself, but it’s not advised. If you do opt to DIY your bang, concentrate on the middle section, and leave the sides to your hairdresser.”

“A middle-parted fringe suits most faces. If you consider yourself to have a round face, go slightly longer.

“Blow-dry forward, curl in with a brush. Part at the end.”

“This bang is a real statement. It suits a soft face with no strong features. It will draw a lot of attention to your face, so you need to be comfortable with that. This bang works really well with a bob.

“Use a small ceramic brush, blow-dry forward, and definitely use Pureolog Super Smooth Relaxing Serum; there is no room for frizz with this style! Finish with Redken Fashion Work 12, a light-hold hairspray, to fix it in place.

“Do not trim yourself; you’ll be able to spot every mistake. DIY at your peril.”

“This style suits everyone, all face shapes and sizes. It’s very feminine and flattering, as it gives the least exposure. Great for those wanting a sexy but safe style.

“Spray Redken Rootful on towel-dried hair, and blow-dry forward with a wide ceramic brush. Part at the end to trick the hair and give it extra body.

“Ideal length is to the nose, to give it a grown-out look.”