The 50 Most Memorable Bangs Ever
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The 50 Most Memorable Bangs Ever

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Louise Brooks

Photo: Hulton Archive

No one personified the Roaring ‘20s as much as Louise Brooks in her flapper bob and bangs. They are razor-sharp and perfectly pressed in almost every picture of her, which is pretty impressive for those pre-modern-flat-iron times.

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Bettie Page

Photo: Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/Internatio

Bettie is responsible for single-handedly sexing up baby bangs. Thousands of hipster girls and dominatrices (and Katy Perry) are forever in her debt.

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Reese Witherspoon

Photo: Frazer Harrison

Reese spawned the phrase “divorce bangs” after she showed up on the 2007 Golden Globes red carpet looking hot in a bright-yellow Nina Ricci dress, red accessories, and the now-infamous “Go fuck yourself, Ryan Phillippe” fringe.

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Zooey Deschanel

Photo: Jeff Vespa

Because she is completely unrecognizable without her “adorkable” trademark blunt, heavy bangs, Zooey is going to have to keep them forever.

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Alexa Chung

Photo: Dominique Charriau

Alexa is to bangs as Gisele is to beach waves. That "It"-Brit fringe is perfect and will never look as good on you as it does on her.

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Taylor Swift

Photo: Eamonn McCormack

Taylor’s bangs are as much a part of her persona as her perfect red lipstick. Sometimes they’re straight, sometimes they’re swoopy, but they’re always there.

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Emma Stone

Photo: Jason Merritt

Emma doesn’t always have bangs, but when she does they elevate her even higher than she already is on the global beauty pedestal. She knows how to make the long bang work for her.

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Michelle Obama

Photo: Vallery Jean

For her 49th birthday, and just ahead of her husband’s second Presidential Inauguration, Mrs. O. decided to shake things up and get some midlife crisis bangs. They became an international sensation and helped everyone forget about Mitt Romney.

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Susie Bubble

Photo: Larry Busacca

The British blogger is rarely without her signature topknot and never without her long, straight bangs.

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Naomi Campbell

Photo: Eamonn McCormack

Occasionally someone will give Naomi a center part on the runway, but she usually favors curtainlike, brow-grazing straight bangs.

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Sophia Amoruso

Photo: David Livingston

The Nasty Gal founder’s bangs prove that a #girlboss no longer has to have a practical, respectable hairstyle. Baby bangs are now totally appropriate in the C-suite.

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Photo: Keith Hewitt

The internet generally fawns over everything Bey does, but her recent experiment with baby bangs showed that even she is human and occasionally blinded by the siren call of the bang.

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Freja Beha Erichsen

Photo: Donna Ward

Freja is a little bit Patti Smith, a little bit Alexa, and the queen of edgy model bangs.

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Rooney Mara

Photo: Anita Bugge

The nipple piercing probably helped Rooney get into character for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but those extreme bangs surely secured her the Oscar nod.

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Audrey Tautou in Amelie

If you look up the phrase “French ingénue,” Audrey in this film — with her shiny, too-short bangs — will pop up every single time.

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Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction

Photo: Miramax

Mrs. Mia Wallace accessorized her coke habit with a mean Cleopatra-style blunt bang.

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Princess Diana


Princess Di’s bangs were a feathery, curling-ironed symbol of the ‘80s, and a true testament to the strength of the hair spray of the time.

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Baby Spice

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd.

Because the two high ponytails she always wore weren’t enough to convey that Lolita look Emma Bunton was going for during her Spice Girls days, she also added a wispy fringe.

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Shannen Doherty, the 90210 years

Photo: Ron Galella

Brenda Walsh’s bangs were such an integral part of her character that Doherty was fired from the show when she got rid of them. (Well, that and all the fights with Tori Spelling. Allegedly.)

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Kate Middleton

Photo: Samir Hussein

Remeber when Kate had bangs? They're baaaack.

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Courtney Love in the ‘90s

Photo: Terry McGinnis

Grunge bangs were the best. One has to assume that no styling products were needed. That messy, greasy separation was probably achieved by good old-fashioned personal neglect.

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Suzanne Somers

Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen

No one has seen Suzanne Somers’s forehead since the '70s. What’s under there?

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Debbie Gibson

Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd.

Obviously one could fill up an entire slideshow with examples of memorable '80s bangs, but Debbie Gibson’s “Only in My Dreams” gravity-defying bangs were pretty emblematic of what an entire generation of girls actually looked like.

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Mia Farrow

Photo: Terry O'Neill

Mia’s Sassoon pixie cut included pixie-length bangs that served as a cute juxtaposition to her devil spawn in Rosemary’s Baby.

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Jane Birkin

Photo: Ralph Gatti

Birkin isn’t even French, but she’s become the poster girl for effortless French-girl bangs. It’s not fair that she has perfect hair plus arguably the world’s most famous handbag named after her.

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Lou Doillon

Photo: Pierre Suu

Proving that great bangs — her mom is Jane Birkin — are genetic.

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Marianne Faithfull

Photo: David Redfern

The '60s and '70s were the golden age of cool-girl bangs, and none were cooler than Marianne Faithfull’s heavy, blonde version.

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Peggy Moffitt

Photo: David Livingston

She may be famous for modeling that topless Rudi Gernreich swimsuit, but it’s much more impressive that she’s kept her original five-point Sassoon cut, complete with curtain bangs, since the '60s.

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Penelope Tree

Photo: Claire Greenway

Iconic '60s model Penelope Tree generally had two points of view when it came to her forehead: heavy bangs or severe forehead exposure. Both were always accompanied by Twiggy-esque lashes.

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Françoise Hardy

Photo: Mondadori

Pretty sure women still take old pictures of this French chanteuse to their hairstylists to copy her bangs.

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Brigitte Bardot

Photo: Silver Screen Collection

Everything about Bardot in the '60s was larger-than-life: Her teased hair, her lips, her boobs, and, yes, her heavy bangs.

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Jane Fonda

Photo: Ron Galella

Her groovy shag and bangs, which she sported for her role as a prostitute in Klute, put an awesome exclamation point on her 1970 mugshot. (Model Edie Campbell is this generation’s reincarnation of this shot.)

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Farrah Fawcett

Photo: Hulton Archive

Farrah’s puffy, feathered '70s bangs and bouncy hair was an obvious precursor to the era of Victoria’s Secret Angel sexed-up hair.

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The Beatles

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives

Let’s begin the “Mangs” section of the roundup with the Beatles’ bowl -ut beatnik bangs.

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Shaun Cassidy

Photo: Andrew Putler

Dreamy Shaun Cassidy and his '70s feathered bangs were essentially the male version of Farrah.

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Justin Bieber

Photo: Marco Secchi

Many a think piece — and tween love poem — has been written about Bieber’s combed forward, faux-windblown bangs.

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Harry Styles

Photo: Fred Duval

Harry likes to wear his bangs in a pompadour or held back in a headband, but ultimately, nothing can contain them and gravity will win.

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Zac Efron

Photo: Steve Granitz

Zac and his bangs have never met a gel they didn’t like. Like Harry, he favors an occasional bang updo, but it’s best when he wears them resting gently and boyishly on his beautiful forehead.

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George Clooney

Photo: Jim Smeal

Hey, Amal, Mr. Clooney once had a Caesar cut when he was on a TV show called ER. It was the best.

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Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber

Photo: Archive Photos

Great. We get to relive this bowl-cut monstrosity again, thanks to the sequel.

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John Stamos, the Full House years

Photo: ABC Photo Archives

Squee, Uncle Jesse and his bangs were soooo cute, and OMG that mullet. No decade will ever be better for hair embarrassment than the '80s.

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Felicity Jones

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez

Felicity is a dark-horse contender for the “Alexa Chung Lifetime Acheivement Award for Best British Bangs.”

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Audrey Hepburn

Photo: Hulton Archive

Everything about Audrey was gamine, including her adorable short, curled bangs.

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The Ronettes

Photo: GAB Archive

The Ronettes proved that the Beatles weren’t the only musical act that could make history with matching bangs.

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Joan Jett

Photo: Larry Busacca

Joan’s wispy punk-rock bangs are full of stale cigarette smoke and secrets.

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Tina Turner

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

Tina’s many wigs — always with massive bangs — could surely tell some tales.

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Linda Evans


In her '80s glory days, the ends of Linda’s bangs curled up like a giant, blonde mustache.

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Nicole Richie

Photo: KMazur

She’s had many hair colors, but one thing stays consistent: Nicole’s bangs are a work of art.

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Kerry Washington

Photo: Jon Kopaloff

Bangs are not a signature of Kerry’s but they really should be. She looks fantastic with them.

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Miss Piggy

Photo: Paul Morigi

The pig’s gone through the same bang trends we all have throughout the decades: She’s had the Farrah, the Linda Evans, and the Reese Witherspoon.


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