Bangs have a bad rap for being an irrational move when we’re craving change. However, they’re a quick and easy way to switch up your look, and when cut correctly, they can elevate your style entirely.
Case in point? Almost every Korean celebrity out there, including the likes of IU, Song Hye Kyo, and Park Shin Hye. Whether your hair’s long, cropped, wavy, or straight, you can make a subtle or impactful change to your appearance with Korean bangs.
Ahead, we’ve gathered the most popular Korean bangs and shared some tips (and tutorials) on how to cut and style them. Keep reading to find out which fringe is perfect for you.
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Korean bangs: Curtain bangs
Curtain bangs typically go past the eyebrows and are usually cut at an angle. These Korean bangs are short in the middle and gradually get longer towards the ears. Plus, they can hide protruding cheekbones and make your face appear smaller.
They’re great for all face shapes, with the exception of square or wide faces as they may accentuate sharp angles.
How to achieve curtain bangs at home
If you’re trying this style for the first time, start with a cheekbone-grazing length before going any shorter.
For a visual guide, watch this tutorial by YouTuber Ivy Li. There, she explains everything you need to know, from the tools to the technique.
As with all fringe styling, it’s important to cut on dry hair as opposed to wet or freshly washed hair. Wet hair is heavier than dry hair and can distort the actual length – a crucial fact when it comes to designing bangs.
To start, brush your hair to get rid of any tangles before sectioning the front portion of your hair with hair clips. You should end up with a triangle-like shape, where the shortest part of your bangs will be, and two pieces at the sides of your face for bangs that will stop at chin-length.
She starts snipping at the ends, working on one small piece at a time. You’ll want to point the scissors at an angle instead of shearing straight across – this will give you a softer line. Then, blend the two pieces of hair at the side for a natural gradation.
How to style curtain bangs
Thanks to their soft, wispy texture, curtain bangs can be worn in many ways. Besides being extremely versatile, they are also universally flattering and can work with any face shape. You can swoop them to the side for a romantic look or part it in the middle to channel your favourite unnie.
If you have poker-straight hair, grab your hairdryer and a big round brush. Lift your Korean bangs up from the front with the brush and rotate inward towards your forehead, aiming the nozzle of your hairdryer at the hair on the brush.
Korean bangs: Air fringe or see-through bangs
Air fringe, or see-through bangs, are thin, wispy Korean bangs that show a bit of your forehead through gaps in the hair. They’re great for all face shapes and frame your features subtly without blocking your forehead as denser bangs do.
However, what you need to consider is the height of your forehead. When it comes to these Korean bangs, you can afford to create any fringe length you like if you have a larger forehead. But if you have a smaller, shorter forehead, it might not look as flattering.
How to achieve air fringe at home
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To execute this style yourself, hairstylist @haum_h from Instagram-famous Haum Hair Salon, recommends using a hair clip during the cutting process to achieve an even trim.
First, take a small triangular portion of hair at the front of your head and tuck the rest behind your ear. Then, clamp it flat with a clip so that the bangs are spread out evenly, and then twist the section around while moving the clip downwards.
You can also fix another clip at your desired length as a guide. Take a pair of scissors and trim the ends into a triangle shape – this keeps your fringe angled down ever so slightly on both sides.
How to style air fringe
Once you’re done with your cut, blow it out with a round brush or hair roller to give your new bangs more volume! You can wear your Korean bangs straight, part them in the middle, or swept to the side.
When it comes to styling Korean bangs that cover your forehead, you have to be very mindful of moisturising. You don’t want your skincare products transferring to your bangs and making thin strands look greasy.
So, keep your bangs off of your face until your products have fully absorbed. To be safe, blot your forehead with blotting paper before releasing your bangs.
Korean bangs: Long side bangs
If you want something a little more fuss-free, take a page out of Park Shin Hye’s book and go for elegant, long side bangs instead. This subtly layered style frames all face shapes perfectly and looks especially great when you have your hair tied up in a bun or ponytail.
How to achieve long side bangs at home
Long side bangs are the easiest Korean bangs to achieve, as demonstrated by hairstylist Austen Thomson. To make things even simpler, you can invest in a pair of layering scissors. Start by giving yourself a middle part, then lift the triangular section at the front of your hair with a comb. If you have layering scissors at hand, you can start taking some length off the ends.
Next, use a point-cut method, snip away at the ends of your hair to create a lived-in texture. From here, you can tailor the length of your Korean bangs.
How to style long side bangs
Long side bangs look ultra-flattering when worn up in a bun or ponytail. Simply tie your hair up as usual and tease the sides to bring some of the fringe down.
You can blow it out with a round brush or hair roller to give your new Korean bangs a gorgeous curl.
Korean bangs: Micro bangs
Micro bangs are notoriously hard to pull off, but they’re seriously stylish – just look at Red Velvet’s Seulgi, who has paired it with a fiery orange hue for a head-turning look. These super-short bangs barely stretch an inch or two down your forehead, so it can be an intimidating length to rock.
Those with small, oval-shaped faces are best suited for these Korean bangs. It works even better if you have large eyes – this style can really accentuate those peepers.
How to achieve micro bangs at home
Thanks to this quick and simple tutorial from Vogue Korea, achieving micro bangs has never been easier.
First, section your fringe and comb it forward. Use a comb to lift the middle portion of your fringe up, position the scissors vertically, and start snipping the ends of your fringe. Keep cutting until your bangs sit just above your brows. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go a little higher until they stop at the middle of your forehead.
Trim your fringe on both sides to make sure the length is consistent, and there you have it!
How to style micro bangs
To give your micro bangs a little curl for volume, use a flat iron to pull them up then curve them down towards your face – be careful not to burn yourself! Since these Korean bangs are a lot shorter than regular bangs, it can be pretty difficult to clamp them with a flat iron.
Instead, invest in a mini flat iron. The small, slim shape allows you to reach the shortest, tiniest hairs. Remember to use a heat protectant spray before straightening.
Korean bangs: Curly bangs
Curly bangs are a great way to draw attention away from a wide forehead. It’s not a style most people are on board with, but it actually suits all face shapes. These Korean bangs also add dimensions to your face, creating a sweet look that makes you appear younger.
How to achieve curly bangs at home
This style works best for those who have medium to long fringes. Here’s how YouTuber Q2HAN does it.
To start, apply a heat protectant and part your bangs into two equal sections. Using a curling iron or hair straightener (like she did in the video) and curl your bangs inwards towards yourself. This will create a bouncy curl.
While your hair’s still hot, use your hands to shape it into any style you prefer. Scrunch it for tighter curls or stretch it to create effortless waves. Repeat the curling and shaping steps on the rest of your fringe.
You can also complete the look by curling the hair on the sides of your face, which help frame your face better for a slimmer visage. For the finishing touch, mist some hairspray over to secure your curls.
How to style curly bangs
For a romantic vibe, create long curly bangs like Song Hye Kyo. If you’re already rocking air bangs, you can curl them slightly for a wispy, doll-like look.
Korean bangs: Blunt bangs
Blunt bangs may not be a new hair trend, but they certainly haven’t lost their top spot as one of the most fashionable Korean bangs. In fact, Lisa from BLACKPINK has made it her signature look! They’re cut straight across your forehead and don’t have any layers.
As far as hair types go, a blunt fringe works best with naturally straight or thick hair. If you have an oval face, you’re in luck – blunt bangs will look amazing on you!
Those with round faces can also look great with a blunt fringe, but instead of opting for a straight-across cut, have your stylist create an arch by making them curve upward slightly in the middle to create the illusion of an elongated face.
How to achieve blunt bangs at home
First, determine the section of hair that’s going to be part of your blunt bangs. Hairstylist Jesse Linares (above) says that a good reference point is the corner of the eye, which lets you know where your bangs should stop across your face.
Next, pull down a few hairs from both ends and the centre of the section so you have three guiding points. Pin the rest of your fringe back, so you can start with the three thin sections. Decide where you want the length of your fringe to stop and snip those three points accordingly.
Let some of your fringe down and start snipping the hair, connecting the three points. Once you’ve got an even length across, let the rest of your fringe down and repeat.
How to style blunt bangs
Just like micro bangs, blunt bangs can be styled with a hair straightener. You can wear your hair up in a chic bun as seen here on Taeyeon, and pull down wispy strands of hair on the sides to frame your face.