How Bangs Totally Transformed These Celebs

As every woman knows, getting bangs is a risky move. While they look great on some people, they can look — well — not so great on others. While chopping off your hair may seem like a great idea, sometimes, it backfires. After all, we all know someone who has taken it upon themselves to grab the scissors and start cutting. Just look at Emily's "trauma bangs" in Season 3 of "Emily in Paris." 

But while bangs aren't always a change for the better, they are almost always a changeWhether you go for a wispy barely there fringe, a thick set of bangs, or a '70s-inspired curtain bang look, no haircut or style can transform the way you look quite like a fringe — and plenty of celebrities' bangs transformations prove our point. 

Are you curious to see some of the most dramatic celebrity bangs looks of all time? Here are the bang trims that completely transformed some of our favorite celebs.

Dakota Johnson

Think of celeb bangs and chances are, your mind will immediately bring up an image of Dakota Johnson. Few actors can boast a fringe quite as iconic as Johnson's. The "Fifty Shades of Grey" star has had a thick full fringe for almost as long as we can remember — however, there was a time when she went fringeless. For instance, in the film "The Social Network," she is practically unrecognizable without her famous bangs.

Johnson's hair is typically styled by Mark Townsend. In 2023, he posted a series of photos showing off her iconic bangs. In 2022, he even shared with Vogue how he gives her perfect fringe. 

"You have to start with very wet bangs," he said. "Dakota has a strong cowlick so I hold the blowdryer directly over her bangs and blow them straight down, using just my fingers at first, and roughing up the root a little bit." Then, he uses a round brush to give that effortless swept-to-the-side look. We will definitely be adding this technique to our styling routines!

Zooey Deschanel

If Dakota Johnson has Hollywood's most famous fringe, Zooey Deschanel is a close second. The "New Girl" and "500 Days of Summer" actor has had her signature thick set of bangs for years. In fact, even as a child, she was a "bangs girl." "I remember, when I was a kid, looking at my forehead and noticing it was about five shades lighter than the rest of my face because it was always covered in a thick layer of fringe," she told Bustle in 2022.

However, even though Deschanel has always had her bangs, she has done a few roles where we got to see what she'd look like without her famous hairdo. In "Elf," for instance, Deschanel was almost unrecognizable with blonde, fringeless hair. She also went sans bangs at the Met Gala in 2013. Many fans couldn't recognize her, which Deschanel thought was hilarious. "It's truly shocking to me, but I mean, it's funny," she told BuzzFeed. "Well, and I, a lot of times, just have my hair out of my face in my life, so that's what's funny. My family recognizes me without bangs."

By the sounds of things, Deschanel will be sticking with her bangs for the foreseeable future. As she told Bustle, "I just feel more like myself when I have them; it's a part of my identity."

Kim Kardashian

Most of us probably know Kim Kardashian with her signature slicked-back hair, no bangs in sight. However, in 2023, Kardashian stepped out with a brand new set of blunt bangs while at the This Is About Humanity's gala in Los Angeles. Suffice it to say, she looked totally different. Most people guessed that the bangs were in fact a temporary clip-in hairpiece.

This isn't the first time Kardashian has experimented with bangs. In fact, in 2019, she chatted with her stylist Chris Appleton for Gay Times, who reminded her that he had once given Kardashian bangs during a trip to Paris. "You gave me bangs?!" she said. He replied, "I was like, 'Let's go for it,' and you were like, 'We cannot do this!'" Kardashian went on to recall another time she had tried bangs. "There was a time we were doing a photo shoot for Vogue Japan and we thought that this look with bangs would look so good," she said. "We spent so much time putting on a wig, cutting it, and doing the whole thing, and as soon as we were walking out the door, we were like, 'This is so bad!'"

Bangs definitely completely transform Kardashian's look — and by the sounds of things, she's not usually a fan!

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne is another celebrity who we usually see with long hair swept far away from her forehead. However, she has experimented with bangs in the past. In 2023, for instance, she appeared at a benefit with a choppy, shaggy fringe and matching bob. "Does this mean our choppy at-home fringe attempts might actually be ... cool?" wrote one Allure writer of the look.

Delevingne also switched up her look with a thick fringe during a runway show for Emilio Pucci in 2013. We can't lie — it's giving Taylor Swift! There was also the time in 2013 when she sported a super short choppy micro fringe at a show for Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week — don't worry, this one was almost certainly a wig. 

After seeing all of this model-turned-actor's bangs looks over the years, it's safe to say that bangs completely transform her face — in the best way!

Nina Dobrev

We all remember Nina Dobrev from "The Vampire Diaries" days — and we all probably remember that she never had bangs as Elena! In 2023, the actor made the bold move to get a new set of heavy, eyebrow-grazing bangs, courtesy of stylist Mark Townsend. 

The celebrity hairstylist posted a series of images of the new look, which was done for the premiere of "The Outlaws." She looked so different with the new hairstyle, one fan even commented on his post, "For a moment I thought it's Lily Collins" (via Cosmopolitan). Dobrev also posted on Instagram, writing simply, "Chop chop."

Of course, even though Dobrev looks undeniably chic with her new trim, she isn't afraid to get real about the reality of life with bangs. In a hilarious TikTok video, she showed what she looked like right after waking up, her bangs sticking straight up in the air. "Whose idea was it for me to get bangs," she said in the video, and even joked that her boyfriend Shaun White didn't even recognize her!

Lily Collins

Lily Collins got a famous chop in 2022 when she debuted a brand new set of bangs for Season 3 of "Emily in Paris." In the show, Emily cuts her own bangs in a moment of trauma. However, in real life, Collins' new trim was, apparently, far less traumatic. 

"Not exactly trauma bangs," she wrote in the caption on an Instagram post. "Unlike Emily, I didn't cut these myself! Big thank you to the master @gregoryrussellhair for inducting me into my fringe era and starting Emily's new hair journey ... "

Apparently, Collins ended up being a big fan of her new look. "There's a sass to them. They also do really well in humidity," she gushed to Glamour. "I know that seems weird, but they honestly do. ... There's a little Frenchness to it that I like, so I think I will keep them for a while." We have to agree — Collins looks totally different and seriously chic and is giving us some serious bangs inspo!

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o is another star whose hair can completely transform her look. Although she usually goes for a sans bangs look, in 2020, she covered her forehead with a new set of short bangs while attending the 11th Annual Governors Awards. She paired the chic bangs with an elegant updo and a pair of drop earrings.

Nyong'o's bangs were short-lived. Over the years, she's preferred to opt for styles that show off her natural hair texture. "There's been a whole revolution, led by African America for sure, where we are embracing our natural hair texture and returning to a past glory," she told Net-a-Porter. "You look at beautiful traditional hairdos from pre-colonial and colonial times and they have been erased from so much of our contemporary expression." 

Now, Nyong'o has a hair stylist who helps her recreate traditional looks with a modern spin — so, who knows, we may see another version of bangs on her in the years to come.

Kaia Gerber

Kaia Gerber, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, is one star whose bangs make her look unrecognizable. As British Vogue noted, her fringe was inspired by that classic shaggy '70s look. Her bangs were unusual as they reached all the way down to her eyes, covering her eyebrows — no wonder she looked so different! 

"Be sure you ask your hairdresser to ensure they keep the fringe slightly longer, with a little layering through the bottom to create that long, soft, and sexy effect," hairstylist Gustav Fouche told Vogue about Gerber's look. 

Apparently, you'll need to trim your hair every three to four weeks if you plan on imitating this bold, transformational bangs look. Fouche also explained that this kind of fringe also requires lightweight products. "I personally don't like to use too many products in a fringe, which could run the risk of making the hair look greasy," he said. "Instead, I prefer to use a lightweight mousse, just to give it a bit of texture."

Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner is best known for her performance in "Game of Thrones" as Sansa Stark — with her bright red hair, she's instantly recognizable. However, when the actor made the bold decision to cut bangs into her long red locks, we all did a double-take. The star debuted her wispy, feathered long fringe in 2022. It was quite the transformation!

As her stylist, Christian Wood, told Glamour in 2020, Turner was always up for a big hair change. He said, "Sophie in particular, she's one of my favorite girls because she'll trust me with anything, and I'll be like, 'Okay, now we're doing a bang,' and she's like, 'Sure, no problem." No wonder she was so willing to try such a bold new style. 

Luckily, Wood knows how to style bangs, largely thanks to Jennifer Lopez. "I worked with Jennifer Lopez once and she taught me how to blow dry bangs," he confessed. "I was blow drying bangs and it wasn't going well, and she taught me how to blow dry bangs, and ever since then I've blow dried bangs the way Jennifer Lopez taught me."

Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid usually goes for a slick look with her hair — we don't often think of her with a shaggy fringe covering her forehead. However, in 2022, she switched things up with a long, ultra-wispy bangs look that was the epitome of French-girl chic. Suffice it to say, she looked completely different. 

Hadid even shared a video with her stylist Evanie Frausto that showed their process in styling a bang look. "For so many years when I was working, I was so exhausted and so when I would be, like, doing, you know, 14-hour days, and I would have to go to an event at night, I would just, like, pull my hair back," she told Vogue of her famous slicked back "snatch" look. 

However, over the years, she's learned to experiment a little more with hair pieces — including bangs. Frausto then proceeded to attach a set of fake bangs for a bold look.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez isn't known for sporting bangs — after all, as a pop star and actor in "Only Murders in the Building," we usually see her with long layers or a shorter bob style. 

However, in 2023, Gomez surprised us all by resurrecting her look from 2008 — that's right, she cut bangs. The classic bangs look featured long wispy strands and longer pieces on the edges. Of course, that's not the first time Gomez has experimented with bangs in recent years. We all remember her famous bob with bangs in 2016.

Even though Gomez clearly enjoys playing with new looks (including high-maintenance bangs), she has a pretty low-maintenance routine when it comes to her hair. "I don't wash my hair every day, which may sound gross, but it's actually really bad for my hair," she confessed to Allure. "Some of my best friends actually can't go more than maybe two days without washing their hair, and for me, I give my mom and my dad all the credit, because I have thick hair, so it gets better the less I wash it." In fact, she sometimes goes four days without a wash! Well, with or without bangs, she always looks great, so we are taking notes!

Lily James

Lily James rarely sports bangs on or off the silver screen. However, the actor did give the look a try in 2023 at the Met Gala when she dared to wear a set of micro bangs that came halfway down her forehead. The Audrey Heburn-esque look made James practically unrecognizable. 

Halley Brisker, her hairstylist for the event, spoke to Insider about the look. "You can expect a very classically sharp, '90s nod to Chanel — early '90s," he said. "It'll be — if plans go accordingly — pretty iconic, essentially. And sharp. Very sharp." Those tiny bangs certainly were very, very sharp, in all possible ways.

While these micro bangs may not have been real (they only lasted for one night) they certainly made an impression — and completely transformed James' face. Honestly, we do not even recognize her with this look! It's yet another reminder that bangs really can turn you into a shapeshifter.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston is known for her hair — hello, we all remember the famous "Rachel" layered bob that dominated salons throughout the '90s! But although Aniston has famous hair, she is not known for ever wearing it in a fringe. However, Aniston has been seen with bangs for a few roles over the years. 

In 2015, she sported a wispy fringe in the film "The Yellow Birds in Atlanta" — and the look completely transformed her face. In 2022, she also wore side-swept bangs for the film "Murder Mystery 2," as seen in this on-set image she posted on Instagram

It turns out, if you go way back in time to her pre-"Friends" days, you'll see that Aniston actually had a completely different look, with brown hair and a super wispy set of bangs — Rachel, is that you? Apparently, her hairstylist Chris McMillan was responsible for encouraging Aniston to grow out her bangs in favor of the famous Rachel cut — and she's rarely looked back since!

Blake Lively

Did you know that Serena Van Der Woodsen herself has experimented with bangs? Although actor Blake Lively may be known for having long wavy blonde hair, in 2020, she appeared with one very, very different look for the film "The Rhythm Section." In one disguise, she ditched her signature blonde locks for a long wig complete with a retro 1940s-style pinup girl fringe. Talk about a bold look! Lively also wore a very different bangs look for the same film. In another Instagram picture, she showed off a shaggy blonde pixie cut with messy bangs.

Even though Lively has been seen with bangs for films, in her real life, she tends to stick with her famous long curls. After all, it suits her. As Rod Ortega, her stylist, told Refinery29, they tend to stick with tighter curls rather than the more popular flat iron waves, which he calls "lazy waves." 

"Way back when, hairstyling was about complementing the person's face shape, their body shape, etc. It used to be about asking what works for this person," he said. "Now, it's about what's on trend." By the sounds of things, they've found a look that works for her — and apparently, that doesn't mean loose waves, or bangs.