Welp, This 2006 Hair Trend Is Officially Back, Baby

More soft swoop, less plastered to one side

side bangs are back universal hero image of reality tv stars
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Here’s the thing about trends: What goes around always, inevitably, in some form, comes back around. It might have a new name (yesterday’s mullet is today’s “wolf cut”) but the base of the look is more or less the same. After years of center parts and curtain bangs reigning supreme, it appears that side bangs have made their triumphant return.

Yes, the very same side-parted fringe millennials may recall wearing in the mid-2000s and early 2010s, along with our skinny jeans and heavy eyeliner (which we documented with our point-and-shoot cameras for Facebook and Tumblr). Unlike the aforementioned skinny jeans, this is one trend we’re open to trying again, but we wanted some pointers for making the look more modern, so we tapped stylist to the stars, Jennifer Yepez.

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Meet the Expert

Jennifer Yepez is an international, New York-based hairstylist known for creating looks on celebrity clients, including Jessica Alba, Zendaya, Salma Hayek, Blake Lively and Emily Ratajkowski, among others. After starting her styling career at the age of 15 in Ecuador, Yepez worked at John Frieda salon in New York, where she assisted Serge Normant. She is currently the official celebrity hairstylist for L’Oréal Paris.

side bangs are back: a red carpet photo of taylor swift
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“Most women look amazing with side bangs,“ declares Yepez. “The beauty of them is that they’re easily customizable [and because they’re longer than other bang styles], they’re also a safer bet, since you can push them to the side. They also grow out quickly, if you end up not loving them.” On that note...

side bangs are back: a red carpet photo of kerry washington
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Do: Keep Them Long

You want to cut your side bangs to suit your face and hair type. For example, “If you have a rounder face, you could go for a wide bang that’s a bit longer” and “if you have really curly hair and you’re not up for blow drying or styling your bangs regularly, cut them on the longer side, so there’s weight to them,” says Yepez.

The common denominator here is a bit of length, so just communicate that to your stylist and you're golden.

side bangs are back: a red carpet photo of meryl streep
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Don't: Cut Them Blunt

As for how to make side bangs look more modern than when we wore them in the MySpace era? Make sure they’re not cut straight across or too blunt at the ends. "You want them to gradually go from short to long to really frame the face. I think that’s what makes them look cooler—when you have those longer, softer bits that can be swept aside,” says Yepez. She adds, “Even when you throw your hair up, it still looks pretty,” (as seen here on queen Meryl at the Academy Museum Gala).

side bangs are back: a red carpet photo of natasha lyonne

Do: Use a Leave-In Conditioner

To style your new side fringe at home, Yepez recommends spraying on a little leave-in conditioner to “protect and moisturize the hair and set the foundation for your style.” Then, use a round brush and blow dry them away from your face, not forward like you would with regular bangs. Finally, if you want them to stay put throughout the day, mist them down with hairspray before heading out.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...