(Hair)

The Evolution Of Bangs Proves They Have Always Been On Trend

Fringe forever.

-/AFP/Getty Images

Trendy hairstyles come and go, but bangs are forever — literally. Bangs in some form have been around since humans first started getting haircuts. From Cleopatra’s famous fringe to 2022’s bottleneck bangs craze, the evolution of bangs has been one wild ride. Click on for the history of bangs.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Back in 3000 BC, the ancient Egyptians were already wise to just how stylish bangs can be, accentuating their own hair and wigs with straight-across fringes.duncan1890/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
Zendaya’s Joan of Arc look at the 2018 Met Gala was right on the money — the French saint famously wore a pageboy cut, the hallmark of which is cropped bangs, for years. The look was a common one among knights at the time.Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic/Getty Images
This year’s been full of Gilded Age-themed media, and almost all of them have characters sporting the curly fringe and sculpted updos so popular in the final years of the 19th century. clu/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images
1920s flapper hair routinely featured gelled, standout swirled bangs and dramatic parts — sometimes multiple parts at once, like Josephine Baker in this famous photo of the decade-defining entertainer. General Photographic Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
In the ‘40s and ‘50s, bangs were often either short and thick (like the type Audrey Hepburn famously wore) or the retro-style bumper bangs associated with pin-ups and screen queens of the era.Apic/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Bangs of the 1960s took their cues from down-to-earth hippie fashions of the time, favoring a relaxed, natural look and a home-cut feel. A precursor to contemporary curtain bangs, the wispy fringe of the era was a signature of it-girl Jane Birkin.AFP/Getty Images
Big, bigger, biggest! Like so many popular hairstyles of the ‘70s, ultra-popular Farrah Fawcett-inspired bangs were all about major volume, texture, and height. Feathering, layering, and lots of hairspray helped nail the look.Wikipedia Commons
It would be remiss to discuss iconic ‘70s bangs without touching on the decade’s most polarizing movement: disco, baby. As demonstrated by Donna Summer, Queen of Disco herself, dance floor bangs were all about fluff, that all-important center part, and plenty of movement — especially while twirling.Jack Mitchell/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Ah, the ‘80s. It seems like every major star took a page from the (again, polarizing) hair metal movement, including Tina Turner. 1980s bangs were all about hardcore extremes: spikes, gels, colors, curls, and tons of length for tossing, throwing, and flipping around onstage.Icon and Image/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Much of the ‘90s featured slightly updated holdover styles from the decade prior — just look at Tiffani Thiessen’s delightfully feathered bangs. But as evidenced by her otherwise-loose blowout, things were starting to calm down aesthetically.Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images
Are things looking familiar yet? If your memories of the early 2000s are filled with side-bang-accented celebrities (like Brenda Song’s enviable fringe), you’re not alone — virtually every young star of the era experimented with the eye-skimming side bang craze.Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images
By the 2010s, bangs were a relatively straightforward affair. While some went for a retro-inspired, take on curtain bangs, the most popular choice were ultra-straight, ultra-long bangs marked by seamless blending and tons of shine — just like Naomi Campbell’s now-signature cut. John Phillips/Getty Images
Arguably the biggest beauty trend of the (admittedly still very new) 2020s, curtain bangs incorporate different attributes of the bangs of yesteryear to form something thoroughly modern — especially when coupled with a modern color technique like shadow highlights.@chrisappleton1