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What are Bettie Bangs? They are specific fringe shape inspired from the 1950s pinup model Bettie Page. They have a distinct rounded U shape which is considered an 'extreme' fringe style by some.
(Photo Credit: Bunny Yeager)
So who is Bettie Page? Now if you do a simple 'Google' images search for Bettie Page you will stumble across some risque pictures (you just Googled her didn't you?!) She was a very well known pinup model who specialised in bikini, nude and fetish modelling.
(Photo Credit: Bunny Yeager)
Bettie Page definitely has had a lasting influence on today’s Pinup and Rockabilly culture. Not only is her face instantly recognisable to many, Beyoncé also recently paid homage to her in the ‘Why don't you love me’ video clip recreating Bettie's dancing/posing films of the 1950s. Bettie Bangs are a very common hairstyle within the pinup community, you only have to look around at any popular car show event and you'll spot a few ladies rocking the style.
When I first started embracing the pinup culture, I had a short blonde bob haircut that gave some classic Marilyn vibes in a curl set. Then I let my hair grow, dyed it to a very dark brown and eventually cut in Bettie Bangs - after many months of weighing up the pros and cons.
In late 2017 I decided to grow out my bangs and my hair length became shorter and shorter until it was finally in an authentic Middy Haircut. I have now recently started what might be a forever 'Grow out bangs - Cut bangs back in' cycle, and the Bettie Bangs are back!
As I am sure there are some of you on the fence about this hairstyle, I have compiled my personal list of pros and cons:
Apart from the fact that on most people, you do have to style these bangs into place pretty much every day, it is a relatively easy hairstyle to achieve. I simply use a mini travel hair straightener to give them a little curve, comb them and spray, spray, spray - hairspray is your friend. I have found that if you have your bangs set, you can pretty much do anything or nothing to the rest of your hair and it looks like you have made a real effort into your hair.
(Photographer: Jill Kerswill Photography)
Unique look (outside of alternative community)
Not such a unique look to the pinup community, as it is admired and recognised as being a part of the pinup/ rockabilly culture. To the 'general public' this hairstyle gives you a unique look that gives you an edge and is a great alternative to modern hair trends.
(Photographer: Francis Lous Mendoza)
Great for Headscarfs
Headscarf lovers rejoice! Because the bangs are a style in themselves, headscarfs can be your best friend as it can add that instant touch of retro without any need to do much to your hair.
Depending how fast your hair grows, you may have to trim your bangs every 2-3 weeks, maybe even every week! You can go back to your hairdresser for this and negotiate a fringe trim rate. But I trim my own at home using clippers, there are heaps of Bettie Bang maintenance videos on YouTube if this sounds daunting.
All weather - wind, rain, heat, can all make you seriously regret cutting in your bangs. I actually always carry around a rat tail comb in my handbag so I can quickly comb any mischievous strands of hair back into place after a wind gust. Rain will also seriously dampen your day and the forehead sweat (especially from the heat trapped through black hair!) is next level.
It can be a somewhat restricting hairstyle. When I first had my Bettie Bangs I thought there was nothing else I could do with them and that I was stuck to this hairstyle. However, as I was growing them out I taught myself new ways to style them up off my face and into other hairstyles. No, it's not the easiest task in the world to create a modern pinup front swoop within a full curl set using Bettie Bangs - but it can be done. In the below picture I just tightly rolled them under off to the side.
(Photographer: Wonderlane Photography)
Have you ever considered cutting in these bangs, or have them and suffer the constant urge to grow them out? I hope weighing up my Pros and Cons has helped you, in that you can see it is a clear split for most people. We love them, and we love to hate them.
Good news for you other bang lovers, I have developed an online course which features video tutorials on how to get Bettie Bangs into many other pinup and vintage inspired hairstyles, to show you that they are not as restricting as I once thought. Check out the promo video here.