When Katie Holmes changes up her hairstyle, women of the world usually follow suit. (How else do you explain everyone getting a bob in 2009?) The latest breaking update on the star and her chocolate-colored tresses is that she’s sporting some new bangs. But before you go and copy the actress’s latest look — because let’s be honest, you might very well already be on the phone booking an appointment — read through this checklist of must-ask questions first to ensure that the same cut will look bangin’ on you too. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
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1. Do you have fine hair?
One of the reasons why Holmes makes for such a great hair chameleon is because she has a low-density head of hair, meaning she actually has fewer strands of hair than the average person. While that might not sound like a good thing, it lends itself well to bangs, in particular, because of the style's tricky nature. Dominick Pucciarello, a master stylist at Mizu Salon in New York City, tells Yahoo Shine that the addition of a fringe to a fine head of hair can act as an illusion, making it appear thicker and fuller than it really is. For people with the opposite kind of hair (super thick) he usually urges against the look because it can give off a "wiggish" appearance.
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2. Do you have prominent features?
Just like Holmes, stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Biel look great with bangs because of their prominent facial features, according to Pucciarello. Their thick jawlines, high cheekbones, and button noses become even more striking when complemented by a straight-across fringe.
3. Are you willing to put in the time for a perfect look?
If you’re the kind of person who rolls out of bed in the morning at the last minute and then rushes out the door, or if you get frusturated with styling 90 seconds in, you might want to think twice about taking the bangs plunge. “Bangs are super high-maintenance,” says Pucciarello, "and if you don't have patience, I would say stay away." It takes work to style a fringe just right, and air-drying usually isn't an option when it comes to getting the style spot on. Additionally, bangs require daily upkeep and frequent trims, so not only is it a time investment, but also a financial one as well.
4. Do you mind using a lot of ... stuff?
For the days when the fringe just isn’t your friend, there are tools to make it disappear for a few hours, such as bobby pins, headbands, and barrettes. Those anti-bang periods come around more often than you would expect though, so embracing accessories is key, especially for those who work out often.
5. Can you live with them (for a long time)?
While the first few weeks of walking around with a brand spankin’ new look provides pure elation, it’s usually only a matter of time before the sparkle of something different wears off and it’s time to change it up yet again. Unfortunately with bangs it takes time to grow them out (no matter how many times you wash your hair with horse shampoo).
6. Do you have a cowlick?
“If you have a cowlick, sometimes bangs don’t work that well, and it takes work to get them styled,” Pucciarello warns. But if you're determined and dead-set on the style, he says, with work, they are possible. They should be cut longer so the weight pulls the cowlick (a section of hair that won't lie flat) down and makes the hairs straighter. But beware that bangs with cowlicks require even more care than those without and are only for those not afraid of a high-maintenance routine, he says.
7. Do you have a great hairstylist?
Pucciarello notes that many stylists don’t actually know how to create bangs well. Some all-too-common mistakes include cutting them too wide or using too much hair from the back. “Bangs are all tailored to the individual and once they’re cut wrong it’s a nightmare,” he says. To avoid terrible tresses, Pucciarello advises bringing in pictures of what you're looking for. It’s hard to accurately articulate the particular style that you’re asking for, but photos help to make sure nothing is lost in translation. Some celebrities to look to for inspiration, in addition to mane muse Katie Holmes, include Nicole Richie, Zooey Deschanel, and Jessica Alba. That way, he says, it’s easier for the stylist to judge the client’s hair and tweak it to the individual.
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