Bangs? Fringe? Yes? No?

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Bangs! The word alone is enough to make some women shudder as they remember what happened the last time they tried to give themselves a new look. Like any decision with your hairstyle, bangs is one territory where you want to tread lightly lest you regret your new look moments after the big reveal in the salon.

Bangs aren’t really the issue here. After all, like any other look, it’s how it works for your lifestyle and face shape that’s the important point to consider. When it comes to regretful bangs, it’s often because they were done on the spur of the moment without any real planning or consideration for the long term. If you’re on the fence about whether you should take the leap or not, you’ll want to take note of some of these points.

Yes or No?
Have you ever taken a picture of a celebrity hairstyle to the salon only to find out that once you have the same cut it looks nothing like what you showed your stylist? This is often the case for bangs. Say you want wispy tendrils framing your face or you love the side-swept bangs, but your hair is curly or extra-fine.

Bangs, as do all other styles, take commitment, but it’s also important to keep your own hair texture and growth in mind. A good stylist will take your hair type into consideration when going over the consultation. If they don’t think a certain style of bangs will work with your hair type, they should be able to offer some alternatives.

If you’re still committed to getting bangs, go for it! Here’s an important tip to consider: bangs take a while to grow out, so make sure you’re not just bored with your current look and want to make a radical change. Whether you like them or not after the big chop, you’ll be stuck with them for months.

Face Shape is Important
Do you want to change the look or shape of your face? Bangs work in a variety of ways to shorten the forehead, offer a narrower appearance to cheeks and even make the face look wider, depending on the style. When selecting a style of bangs, your face shape and intention are important to consider. Let your stylist know the goals you have in mind so they can offer recommendations that will flatter your face while also giving you a new look.

Leave it to the Professionals
Nothing feels more liberating than taking a pair of scissors to your hair in the bathroom, but bangs are one thing you’re definitely going to want to leave to the professionals. Aside from the expert cut, there’s a lot more that stylists have to offer, such as experience, recommendations and tips on how to keep your bangs looking great and less shaggy.

One major tip is to never cut your bangs–or let anyone cut them, for that matter–while they’re wet. Wet hair is heavier and longer, which means once it’s dried and styled it will shrink and end up much shorter than what you may have had in mind.

Professional stylists also provide good tips based on your hair type. Thin or baby-fine hair can get away with blunt cuts for added volume or to complement the face, but curly or thicker hair looks better with layered bangs, since they’ll fall across the forehead and cheeks much differently. Are you not into blunt bangs, or do they remind you of your kindergarten haircut? Textured bangs or layered styles allow you to be more versatile with your look; you can wear bangs up or pinned back and they are easier to maintain while growing out.

Bangs need more maintenance, but if you’re used to styling your hair daily it likely won’t seem like such a big deal. If you’re more laid back in your styling approach, keep in mind that you’ll need to style your bangs with a flatiron or curling iron, depending on the look you want. Dry shampoo is also important, because bangs are easily weighed down with the slightest bit of oil. If you don’t want to wash your hair daily, dry shampoo will be your new BFF.

There are some good things about bangs, too! They have the potential to make styling your hair even easier. If you like to throw your hair up into a bun or ponytail you can easily do so and then add a spritz of hairspray or dry shampoo to the bangs for a chic style. If you don’t have time to style your whole head all the time, then bangs might be a great option for you!

Another tip? Don’t spring for bangs in the summer when sweat and heat weigh hair down. ■

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