Real Simple July 12, 2023

Real Simple


Waterfall Bangs Are the Fringe Trend Taking Over 2023


The effortless, vintage-inspired style is perfect for summer and beyond.

From the shag to long, loosely textured waves, ‘70s-inspired hair is having a major comeback moment. Maybe we’re still reeling from Daisy Jones & The Six or perhaps it’s simply another example of the trend cycle at work, but there’s something about these effortless, edgy hairstyles that feels undeniably of the moment. 

As for the latest revival style, we’re all about waterfall bangs, a shaggy, ‘70s-inspired take on curtain bangs. And we’re not alone—everyone from Gigi Hadid and Rihanna to Anne Hathaway and Yara Shahidi have been taking the easy fringe for a test drive. Ready to try it yourself? Read on for everything you need to know about waterfall bangs.

What Are Waterfall Bangs?

“Waterfall bangs are in between a curtain bang and a straight across bang,” explains Jenna Spino, a hairstylist at Maxine Salon. “The bang has various lengths, the longest hitting around the cheekbone, blending right into the sides of your hair.” They fall shorter in the middle, allowing you to style it as a straight across shaggy bang, and longer throughout the sides to blend in with the rest of the hair. And, it’s important to note, waterfall bangs are not blunt—rather, they have more of a wispy, textured look that’s reminiscent of the ‘70s.

The main appeal of waterfall bangs is how universal they are—the style is suitable for virtually all hair types and face shapes. According to Spino, because waterfall bangs are so layered and textured, they’re easily customizable. Plus, the inward-falling pieces and wispy fringe subtly frame the face for an ultra-flattering look.

“On finer hair they can make look fuller, because the layers can create more volume in front,” she explains. “On thicker hair, they can break up some of that weight the front may carry. Straight, wavy, curly—they all work, you’ll just end up with slightly different looks.” 

What to Ask Your Stylist For

Spino suggests doing your research before going for the big chop. Be sure to look for pictures of waterfall bangs on people with hair texture and style similar to your own. Because waterfall bangs can vary so much in length, it’s important to be specific. Bring your favorite inspo pictures to your stylist—and remember: the more pictures you can bring, the better.

Beyond that, simply ask your stylist for shaggy, textured bangs that round in the center and face-framing layers that blend into the hair on the side. 

How to Style Waterfall Bangs

Good news: Waterfall bangs are fairly effortless—they don’t require a ton of maintenance, and they look as good on natural curly hair as they do after a blow out. If you do choose to style them, Spino recommends using a round brush or rollers to add volume. For those on-the-go or low on styling tools, you can simply blow out the bangs down and away from the face to give them that extra zhuzh and flow.