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We’re Obsessing Over Wispy Korean Air Bangs—Here’s Everything About the Viral Style

Korean air bangs are the best way to lean into the wispy fringetrend in 2023. A pro stylist breaks down everything you need to know.

Everyone has their own reaction when they hear a word like ‘bangs.’ For some, it may be a memory of when they accidentally got a blunt bang resembling a bowl cut (which, for the record, is totally coming back in style). For others, it might be a flashback to an experimental DIY quarantine chop. Regardless, bangs have steadily increased in popularity over the past few years, and many of us have tried the look at least once.

Thanks to social media, wispy bangs are now the fringe du jour, with one style dominating in particular: Korean air bangs. The ultra-thin, minimalist style adds a layer of softness to your haircut without taking up too much real estate on your face. We asked hairstylist and L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador Sabrina Bias to tell us what makes Korean air bangs so desirable, what to ask for at the salon, and her must-have styling tips. Here’s what we learned.

What are air bangs?

Also known as Korean air bangs or see-through bangs, air bangs are a more delicate and understated way to embrace fringe, especially if you’re on the fence about committing to full-on fringe.

“Korean air bangs have been popular for years, maybe even decades in Korea, and it’s exciting to see them make their way to the mainstream American market,” says Bias. “Think ‘straight across bangs,’ but a lot more wispy and thin—that’s how you should describe it to your stylist!”

These extremely piece-y strands of hair end somewhere between your eyebrows and your eyelashes, allowing most of your forehead to peek through. Depending on where you want the ends of your air bangs to hit, they can strategically accentuate your favorite features, like your eyes or cheekbones.

“They look best with layers and updos,” notes the pro hairstylist. “If your hair is too thick, it can look unbalanced without layers.”

Are air bangs high maintenance?

Since air bangs are a slightly longer style of bang to begin with, you’ll want to stick to a strict upkeep schedule to ensure they don’t reach the point where they’re constantly falling into your eyes. Bias recommends trimming your see-through bangs about every four weeks to ensure the wisps maintain their shape.

No time to make it to the salon? Manage your split ends between appointments with a system that acts like a liquid bandage for frayed ends. Our pick is Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate. Using the line’s Intensive Treatment along with its shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in can result in a 63 percent reduction in breakage, so your bangs (and hair!) look and feel their best.

Good hair day by

What are curtain vs. air bangs?

While both curtain and air bangs are softer versions of the full-on blunt bang, there are some key differences. Wispy Korean air bangs skim most of your forehead, lending softness to your haircut that won’t overwhelm your entire style. Contrarily, curtain bangs are parted down the middle and swept to the side of your face like drapes, gently framing your features. Plus, air bangs are usually the same length, whereas curtain bangs are typically shorter in the middle and gradually get longer on the sides and temples to blend in with the rest of your haircut.

Good hair day by @teppei_kuwabara.

Are air bangs good for round faces?

The great thing about Korean air bangs is that they’re a pretty neutral style, so they can complement any face shape. Cut long enough, their feathery layers can draw the eye down to help elongate and slim a round face shape if that’s your preferred outcome.

“They definitely can be worn on everyone, but if you have a shorter forehead, you might prefer to transition them more into curtain bang,” adds Bias.

Regarding haircuts and bangs, we always recommend visiting a professional who can best help tailor the look to your unique face shape—this is not a look you want to DIY at home!

How do you get air bangs to stay up?

Thanks to their piece-y nature, air bangs look best when styled straight. You can do this using hair rollers or passing a flat iron over them, then running through them with a comb and locking them into place with hairspray. Pick L’Oréal Professionnel’s Tecni.Art Infinium 4 High-Hold Hairspray for medium-hold without stiffness or crunchiness. The spray helps lock in styles, provides shape and memory, and leaves hair feeling so natural that your bangs can be combed and re-combed.

Prefer a more pinched-together appearance? Use a paste like Redken’s Pliable Paste. Formerly called Rewind 06, this lightweight formula is ideal for shaping and molding your bangs into your desired style while adding texture and grip.

“If you do get Korean air bangs, your hair might feel like it gets greasy faster because there is less hair for the oil from your scalp to travel down,” says Bias. “Dry shampoo will be your new best friend!”

Dry shampoo can also add extra texture to your hair, pumping up your bangs so they don’t fall flat against your head. It’s a win-win.

Now, what are you waiting for? Make your appointment for Korean air bangs ASAP—and promise you’ll tag us in your latest Instagram story when you show them off!

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