The Top 5 Best Bangs From Bieber to Beals

Bangs are a funny thing. You know, the little bits of hair that hang forward and opposite the rest of your hair, making you look instantly cuter and/or hipper, depending. Did you know I possess a pair? It’s true!


Someone recently had some questions for Laneia’s formspring about their bangs:

Laneia I want to cut my hair so I have bangs but everytime I ask people if I should they tell me not to. I’ve had bangs before and I miss them. Should I cut them and not give a fuck what my friends and sister think?

I went through the same thing; it even caused a me to go through a bang hiatus! That’s the funny thing about bangs, they almost feel like more of a possession than a part of your hair. But, like most things, your feelings about them and general quality of life can be greatly improved by reminding yourself that your choices are awesome and you look hot. Just in general. I don’t want any of you to go through the trauma of self-bang-hatred, and thus I present to you my top five lists of the best goddamn bangs around — although I bet yours look even better. If bangs aren’t a thing you’re currently rocking, feel free to take on one of these as your celebrity bangs doppelganger the next time you get your hair cut.

5. Jennifer Beals

Before she was the smokin’ hot art curator Mama B, Jennifer Beals was in a little movie you might have heard of called Flashdance where she sported the best pair of curly bangs on this side of 1980. For all those folks who think they can’t have bangs because they have curly hair, stand corrected in the face of Alex Owens.

4. Ellen Page

You might know Ellen Page as the girl from your dreams, but have any of us ever really taken the time to specifically analyze those adorable little wisps at the front of her face? Not everybody gets to have bangs like those. You have to have thing like straight hair and a real big forehead. I have neither of these things so I can only stare in silent admiration.

3. Janelle Monae

I’m not sure when the first time I noticed Janelle Monae’s awesome bangs was. For a while I was distracted by her chic tuxedo style. But I can tell you one thing for sure: Janelle Monae’s hair does not fuck around.

2. Justin Bieber

Perhaps the Biebster wouldn’t make just any website’s best bangs list but he certainly makes mine. Bieber pioneered the whole-head-of-bangs look where nearly every hair on the front two thirds of your head is carefully committed to being windswept forward and slightly to the side. Yup, the Bieber bangs. The bangs that launched a thousand boi bangs (pun intended).

1. Zooey Deschanel

Maybe I’m a little bias towards blunt cut bangs, but as far as I’m concerned Zooey Deschanel has the best bangs of all time. Sometimes she wears them smooth and straight, sometimes pretend-effortlessly wavy and swept to the side. Regardless, Zooey put bangs back on the map and remains my personal bangs role model. I could be that she shamelessly allows her bangs equal real estate as the rest of her face. More likely it’s just that she’s basically the real world interpretation of Sailor Mars. Either way, bangs to die for.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. I’ll have to correct you on the curly hair and bang thing. It might look good when you style it and spray all kind of stuff on it. But the moment you go outside it is ruined.

    I know this from experience and i’m still a bit damaged because of it. I was 12 and i had to bike 4 miles to school everyday. My bang was up right when I arrived at school and I wasn’t the type of girl that went to fix her hair in the toilet before class started.

    You can imagine I wasn’t popular for my looks.

    • I suppose I should have been more specific. Curly bangs are often a mistake, but not Jennifer Beals’s because she’s awesome and never has to bike ride to school.

      • I have curly bangs… the wind of course blows them around when I’m riding a bike but I tend to find things easier to handle this way than when I straighten it, because when things lay back down a bit disheveled I can’t tell the difference from how it usually looks.

        [Actually my hair pretty much looks exactly like Jennifer Beals in the image (except darker), so much so that my brother who has seen flashdance has made jokes about it)

  2. I now agree that bangs can be cute. I even have them now… of course they often make it difficult to see, but I digress. The point I wanted to make is that I don’t think I was the only one traumatized by 90s bangs. All the girls in my class had those bangs that started like in the middle of our head and then the high pony tails and the scrunchies and oh dear. This one girl didn’t have bangs and I thought she was so cool.


  4. Whoa. You look like a girl-next-door version of Lucy Lawless.
    I’m going to go die of quiet adoration now, k?

    • Truth. Xena had some pretty amazing bangs back in the day herself. And I do not know this because there is a picture of Xena on my wall. Nope!

  5. I wish my bangs looked as good as Jennifer Beals’ bangs. Mine tend to look like something that went horribly wrong.

  6. Also, bangs + long straight hair make you feel like a French 1950s existentialist. Especially when wearing a turtle neck.

    Also, fuck yeah Alison Mosshart for best messy bangs ever.

    • I have said haircut, and I totally get you on that. I may need to go buy a turtleneck now.

      And I agree with you on Alison Mosshart…her hair is an inspiration, if hair can be one.

  7. Being from the UK I don’t get this whole Bangs thing.. Why are they plural? What is just one bang?

    • Hello fellow UKer. I haven’t a clue, so have substituted in “fringe” for bangs in my head.

      • I thought about using fringe but I was worried it would be too confusing and/or I wouldn’t get the bang/bang pun.

        Also bangs are like pants. You can use the singular but only in sentences like:
        “I’m just looking for a nice white pant.”
        “I want a sleeker side bang”
        but most people colloquially say:
        “I’m just looking for nice white pants”
        “I want sleeker side bangs”

        • Lizz, it occurs to me (w/r/t your pun) that when American words are different than British words, the American ones are more closely related to fucking. Like thongs are footwear where I come from. I feel like there’s something significant to say about that, but right now I’m too distracted thinking about Jennifer Beals’ fuck-off stare and banging I mean bangs.

        • also, what is the grammatical impulse that led you to say “a pair of bangs” at the beginning of the article? Cause I totally didn’t notice until I re-read the beginning, but what in any conception of bangs can be classified as coming in 2’s?

  8. I used to think I would hate bangs, but I absolutely love them! Thanks for this post, it made me smile :) Also the picture of you and a puppy (your puppy??) is really cute!

  9. I am a massive fringe enthusiast (that’s what we brits call bangs for those not in the know)
    This is partly because I have a stupid round face which needs breaking up in any way possible, chunky glasses, blunt fringe etc; but primarily because i’ve got a patch of psoriasis on my forehead. No-one wants to go around with the shiny, flaky head patch look.

  10. My gravatar’s a bit out of date, being from last June, but I believe it makes my point: side fringes (or bangs, for you Americanos) are fricking AWESOME.

    • everyone’s face is asymmetrical! & i think bangs work on almost everyone, you just have to make sure they’re the right length for your face.

      • Can you reveal your hairdresser?! I’m moving back to Boston and when I lived there before I once spent 70 dollars (an entire student tutor paycheck!!!) on a haircut and people asked me who did it so they can avoid that hairdresser, it was so awful.

        • My hairdresser in Boston is Wendy at Revive. That woman is magic and I’m still keeping her has my hairdresser even though I’ve moved to NYC. I have long curly hair and decided to get bangs last summer and Wendy did an incredible job.

  11. “More likely it’s just that she’s basically the real world interpretation of Sailor Mars.”

    Oh Lizz. <3

  12. I just wrote an email comparing Jenny Schecter, Adele Channing and Rachel Berry. All three were crazy bitches. All had bangs… Coincidence?

  13. Agreement, fringes are awesome. But nobody mentioned the ladies of Robots in Disguise!

    They’ve changed their ‘dos by now, because that’s what you do when you’re in a band, but I loved the severe fringe + hairsprayed everywhere else look they were rocking for a while.

  14. Whoa whoa… you use a teaser of Karen O (or someone who looks eerily like her) in the pic on the main page and then nothing on Karen O’s amazing bangs?!

  15. janelle monae-beyond hot!

    zooey deschanel-hipster annoying.

    i had bangs when i was younger…they were such a tragedy. and yay for invoking sailor moon! i had the world’s biggest crush on sailor uranus.

  16. Ooh my work crush has those sexy sweepy side bang things. Super hot, especially when combined with the equally awesome lesbian hair rumple.

  17. I love bangs but everything about my hair and face conspire against me, so I just do a version of Ellen Paige’s with mad wavy hair and a short, straight forehead.

  18. who was the girl on the initial picture (before clicking to the article)? was that Karen O?
    ……speaking of which, i’d super add her to that list!

  19. Lizz I think your article is THE sign that I should really go and get my hair trimmed and not wait for it to keep nagging and just GO DO EEET!!

  20. GAH I just missed my bus because I was so engrossed in this post and the bus man zoomed past without stopping cos sometimes they are pricks like that.

    The reason I was so engrossed in this post (apart from it being cute/awesome/informative/Lizz) is because of RELEVANCY.

    You see, a few days ago I decided it would be a good idea to cut my own bangs. They were, afterall, getting long. This is the point in time were history would account for EVERYTHING in my life — EVER — going wrong.

    Word of warning to fellow straddlers – do not cut your own bangs when your hair is wet! Your otherwise lovely hair strands are out to fool you! They appear longer when wet (dirty joke, no.. but yes.) The results were horrifying; I panicked and kept cutting and I have been so traumised/self-conscious the last few days, all I can think about is my shitty neo-nazi, straight in places, short in others, sad excuse for a side fringe, as if the extra cranial attention I’ve given to the matter can somehow *will* the hair to grow faster.

    Yesterday, I cried in front of my supervisors when I got bad feedback on my thesis (so many feelings, so sensitive) when I think it was me crying in latent frustration OVER THE HAIR, insomuch as it was about the actual work. Anyway, this has already been unnecessarily long, I do apologise. I just. Arghhhh. Hair!

  21. I tried out blunt bangs for the first time when I was about seven because only one other girl in my class had bangs and they looked cool on her, so why not on me?
    It was horrible, they didn’t match with my face at all, and it made me skeptical about getting bangs ever again.

    All these years later, I got a really short haircut and I have side bangs and it looks SO CUTE and it makes me happy.

    Moral of the story: If one type of bang does not work for you, don’t lose hope and give up bangs forever.

  22. Once in the 90s I had a chelsea which is all bang all the time. It was the second best haircut I ever had.

  23. Zooey is a babe! I love how her bangs frame her face so well.

    This post is so relevant today, I just got back from my hairdresser who really really wanted to give me a blunt fringe. Looks so awesome, I’m so happy she did it! I’ve been rocking the asymmetric fringe for a while now, so it’s a great change!

    Bangs = super hot

  24. A. Your puppy is so cute. Cute animal pictures are half the reason I love autostraddle (ok, maybe only a quarter of the reason, but still).

    B. Every time I see the little cropped avatar picture of you, I keep doing a double take because you look so much like Adele in that picture (of course with brown hair). I love your bangs. They are totally awesome on you. After reading this article, I think it’s probably time for a new hair cut (actually past time since I haven’t had one in close to 6 months.

  25. I got banged three years ago and haven’t gone back. Also, I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you are really goddamned adorable.

  26. I have a really big thing for girls with any likeness to Zooey and her cutey cute bangs, I myself have that short boi messy red and brown and was once a mowhawk but it isn’t cut. Other girls should get bangs though, and turtlenecks cause then they will look like Velma and we all know she is so gay n.n (Side note- I REALLY want a great dane puppy)

  27. I have a lot of feelings after reading this article (and every comment following):

    1. I feel like Zooey’s bangs are a thing. I wanted them forever, tried to get them done last summer, am almost done growing them out now. Why can’t we all rock that adorable blunt bang situation?

    2. Do other people also have a deep attachment/identity thing going on with their hair? I still haven’t found my favorite cut, but I LOVE my really wavy, almost curly hair. My bang period this year corresponded with big life changes, and it felt appropriate.

    3. I wish I had those Boston hairstylist recommendations when I lived in Boston! Anyone have a good recommendation for someone who is good with wavy hair in NYC?

  28. Lizz – you certainly give Zoey a run for her money in the Bang Business ..

    @Mollie — seriously? you don’t get the bangs thing and you’re from the UK?? I see them everywhere here!

  29. I have side bangs! (why do i feel dirty saying this?? o.O) And i love them! My hair is pretty straight… (now i feel weird saying that im some part straight :-S) and i try to do the curly bangs to change they look like i just had a rough night.! xD

  30. I have been rocking the “Zooey” for most of my life. I never really grew out of bangs, and have always had some form of them, except for when I was 13 and let my side bangs grow a little too long.

    I love my bangs, I look better with bangs, and I don’t really have hair falling into my eyes all of the time, which is awesome.

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