Learn about Life in the 1920s

Selecting and Creating the Correct Type of Bang

Bangs can make or mar a forehead and the entire appearance of a person. One has to study the different foreheads; if high or low, if narrow or wide; including the hair lines and cowlicks. Some foreheads lend themselves to short hair treatment and others do not. Then again some hair lines interfere with short hair over the forehead. Before cutting bangs, make sure which type of bang is needed, whether to cover a bad hair line, to shorten a forehead that is too high, to add softness to the whole face... or only to certain parts ... to give more width or to give more height. There are still numerous other reasons why bangs should be worn. Yet bangs can detract from, as well as add to, the appearance of the coiffure and the whole person.

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The cutting of bangs depends on what type of bangs are to be worn. In cutting straight bangs great care should be taken not to cut into the hair line. Therefore it is more advisable to start the cutting above the eye, going towards the center, than to start in the center and cut towards the hair line. In cutting bangs which are to be turned, waved, or curled, the ends should be tapered so they will be uneven, otherwise they will not remain in the position in which they are dressed. It is advisable to cut or taper bangs while they are damp. It is very important before cutting bangs which are combed or waved downward, to study the hair line first, to see if the growth of the hair will allow the cutting of downward bangs, close to the forehead. In cases where the hair grows straight up out of the hair follicle, you will find it almost impossible to keep the bangs close to the forehead.

If there is not more than one cowlick present, and downward bangs are desired, the bangs should be parted, starting in the center of the cowlick, and shaped slightly sidewards. Even with so-called "Dutch" bobs, where straight bangs are worn and the hair is usually parted in the center, the part should be changed to the position of the cowlick, if there is one present. In order to break or soften a line it is not always necessary to cut a bang; you can fill in here and there with a few short hairs. This does not mean the forehead alone, but includes the temple and the spaces over the cheek or cheek bones. Here again there is need for artistry. Study the woman herself, as well as her features.

The following photographs and sketches will give a number of outlines, ideas and fundamentals to assist you.

• Fig. 91

Sections which are marked are thinned and tapered, the same as explained under Thinning and Tapering.

It is necessary to thin and taper to avoid a heaviness of the bang, which in most instances is unbecoming.

This sketch shows the hair as it grows naturally. Note that this hair is combed straight down from the crown of the head.

Arrow 1 indicates the crown.

Arrow 2 shows where the hair should be parted if so desired.

Line 3 is the natural hair line.

Line 4 indicates the cutting of an oval bang, to be worn straight.

Line 5 shows a round cut bang, also to be worn straight.

• Fig. 92

Measuring the distance between the eyebrows and the hair line. You may apply this measuring treatment to one hundred foreheads and you will find each forehead different. Not alone will the distance from the eyebrow to the hair line vary, but some foreheads slope while others are perfectly straight; some are even and rounded while others are squarish, and so on.

• Fig. 93

Measuring for the width of the forehead. Again you will find many, many different types. Some foreheads are wide, others are very narrow, some foreheads extend, still others taper off and down at the sides, etc. Every forehead needs a different hair treatment for the most becoming results.

• Fig. 94

This sketch, made from life, illustrates two hair lines above the ear and above the eyebrow. (Note arrows). These natural hair lines will form natural and beautiful waves with a little assistance.

Notice the almost squareness of the forehead above the arrow. This space would be an excellent one to fill in with short hair.

• Fig. 95

Note arrow pointing from the end of the eyebrow to the hair line. This type of hair line is always very beautiful and should not be covered with waves or disturbed by cutting short. If desired the hair line across the forehead could be arranged in a bang effect.

• Fig. 96

A sketch from life, illustrating the exceptionally high cheekbones which are so prominent in the Slavic and Polish races.

If the low forehead, eyes, nose, mouth and chin are attractive, the hair may be worn straight back to expose the high cheekbone.

If preferable, the cheekbone may be made less prominent, especially when a hat is worn, by covering a small portion of the space, indicated by the dotted lines and arrow, with an arrangement of soft curls or short hair.

• Fig. 97

A deep, heavy curly bang effect in combination with the shingled, tailored hair cut, to give a feminine long hair effect.

• Fig. 98

Side view of a straight round bang. Broadness is added to the face by this bang, but this illustration shows how its effectiveness is lessened by the long sides. A popular hair dress during the year 1925.

• Fig. 99

Illustrates a tailored bang worn in 1925 and known as the "Sweetheart" bang, as the hair was cut into a heart shape. The hair has been thinned but not tapered very much.

• Fig. 100

The "Streamline" crown bang. Especially suitable for brunettes and for rounding out thin faces.

• Fig. 101

The "double bang" ... a rather unusual type of bang. It is parted lengthwise; one part is dressed up and the other dressed down. This bang gives softness and height at the same time.

Notice that the up-turned part of the bang covers the straight part of the longer hair on top, thereby making this bang quite distinctive in itself. Suitable for a medium forehead.

• Fig. 102

Notice where the bang was forced down over a cowlick on the right side, indicated by the arrow.

It is utterly impossible to give the bang or any short hair or wave a flat appearance.

• Fig.102

• Fig. 103

There are two fundamental methods of arranging a bang for a wide forehead. One is shown in this illustration and the other in Figure 104.

Here we see the three-quarter bang for a low, wide forehead. If this bang were to cover the entire forehead, it would add to the width.

If the bang is worn to extend across the entire forehead, the hair may be left a trifle longer in the center. This arrangement will give a more slenderizing effect.

• Fig. 104

Illustrating a side bang with finishing touches. The cutting of bangs has been explained in Figure 91.

The ends are finely tapered, thus giving the soft, ringlet Fig. 104 effect suitable for an extremely high and wide forehead.

• Fig. 105

The half tailored bang for a medium forehead, with the ends tapered to a feathered edge and turned into a half circle. This bang may be worn across the forehead as you see in the illustration, or it may be parted on the side or in the center. It is especially suitable for brunettes.

• Fig. 106

A bang or fringe with upturned ends, suitable for a straight back hair arrangement and a low, narrow forehead.

• Fig. 107

Front view of Figure 87. This is the same model who posed for illustrations 108 and 109. A comparison will show graphically how bangs can change a person's appearance.

• Fig. 108

Fluffy bang . . same model. Front view of Figure 88.

• Fig. 109

Straight bang . . . same model. Front view of Figure 96.

• Fig. 110

Side view of the same model of Figure 78, showing the three-puff bang.

• Fig. 111

The side hair in this sketch can be combed straight back. Notice how the ends of the hair turn into the wave again. This avoids straggly short hairs indicated by the arrow in Figure 112.

• Fig. 112

Notice how a part that is too long interferes with the back line of the head. The back line of the head is also broken into three lines again: the lower one straight hair, the second is the longer top layer curled up and the third is the longest outside layer waved.

The wave itself, could be more graceful. Notice the line of the wave running vertically, making the head look longer.

• Fig. 113 and Fig. 114

Note how much more elegant this wave and line appear than in Figure 114. First we have shortened the part; then we have swept the hair next to the part back. Next we have turned the short hair in over the ear to give a more finished effect when the curl is combed out. Thus we have avoided the straggly short hair which you see in Figure 114 indicated by the arrow.

Also notice how much more smooth and finished the back hair appears. It gives a longer effect than in Figure 114 and eliminates the unnecessary ripple behind the ear, indicated by the arrow.

• Fig. 115

Here is a coiffure which was designed especially for a Public Fashion Review in 1935. It was featured in many daily newspapers.

This transformed shingle has been camouflaged into a long hair coiffure with the aid of an extra hair piece. This hair piece consists of two connecting flat strands which are arranged in a ribbon-like effect, the ends of the strands placed on the top of the head, finishing in open puff curls. The entire shingle is left perfectly smooth and slick, with the exception of the side hair which is arranged in soft ringlets.

A tiny garland of Forget-me-nots finishes the beauty of this blond hair arrangement.

See Index below for next Chapter


How to Create 1920's and 1930's Hairstyles

1. 1920's Hair Styling and Design

- Foreheads

- Cowlicks

- Neck Lines

2. Hairdressing Tools

- Combs

- Razor Comb

- Scissors

- Thinning Scissors

- Clippers

3. Thinning and Tapering

4. Cutting and Thinning the Hair for Permanent Waving

5. Scissors Hair Cutting

6. Shingling

7. Razor Hair Cutting

8. Hair Form and Structure

9. Layer Hair Cutting

10. Alteration Hair Cutting

11. Bangs