Ask Miss Caro-chan: Lolitas Without Bangs

As always, I've been neglecting my Ask Miss Caro-chan feature. I've been answering questions over on my formspring, but I haven't really be going into in dept blog posts about some of the questions, even though I've been getting a lot of really good ones that have made me want to blog about them! Well, maybe one day I'll go through my backlog of questions and make really awesome blog posts answering them, but until then, here's a pretty relevant question from E. Etherington who asks:

Dear Miss Caro-chan,

I refuse to wear bangs! I have have hand bangs my entire young life, and by highschool I was sick of them. I now have a head of beautiful, long, unlayered hair. I love my hair, and it is probably my favorite part of me. :)

However, I have been searching endlessly for Lolita hairstyles for people without bangs. I am well-versed in historical hair coiffures, which is where I draw a lot of my inspiration, but I was wondering if you knew any photos, tutorials, or looks that give a Lolita look to someone without bangs.
Plus, I feel that bang-less hairstyles are much more elegant, and give a more mature look to Lolita that some people may desire. I am interested on your opinion of this!

I have to admit, I was bangless for a very long time! When I was really little I used to have bangs and I used to hate them. Well, not actually the bangs themselves, it was the hair cutting that I used to hate! I was quite little and I was pretty terrified of the big pair of scissors my mom used to use to cut my bangs, the cold feel of them against my forehead as she tried to get my bangs nice and straight, and the awful sssshhhhhhhhnip noise as she cut them. After a few times of that I would only let my hair be cut at a salon by a trained professional with teeny tiny scissors. Sometime in second grade I put my foot down and decided "No more bangs! Ever!", well, until about 4 years ago.

But, the question from E wasn't "Dear Caro-chan: How completely afraid of certain hairstyles are you? What's the scariest hair style?" so I wont go into more blood-curdling details about the irrational fear of bangs I had when I was 5 and instead just say that there are indeed different ways of styling bangless hair in the Lolita world! It sometimes take some digging around but you can often find pictures of girls without bangs among the various Lolita mooks out there.

The braided bangs
A cute little french braid along your hair line is a good style choice for the bangless, either in a longer length to almost create faux bangs, or tight against your head to just add some interest to your hair. The braided bang creates a very elegant look that is quite suited for Classic Lolita. There are tons of tutorials for this hairstyle on youtube, search around and pick the one that you think will suit you best and try it out!

Side swept-bangs and the side part.

Definitely the most popular bangless Lolita hairstyle! Simply part your hair a little to the left or the right and either pin it, tuck it, or just leave it free. Some of these pictures might actually be side-swept bangs, instead of long straight hair, because it's sometimes nearly impossible to tell the difference between perfect side-swept bangs and a nice side part. This is an elegant looking hair style that can be used with any of the Lolita styles, as the pictures above show, Gothic, Classic, and Sweet Lolita all go great with the side part.

Fake bangs
And I don't mean a pair of clip on bangs! I'm talking about the extreme side part. Where you take a chunk of hair from one side of your head and basically just pin it to the opposite side so that it gives a bangs-esque shape to your face. I think this is a cute look, like a grownup version of bangs, and is good for when you want the shape of bangs, but you're not going to cut your hair just for them, but I imagine that it's a bit difficult to get this style to stay in place for a long period of time.

The plain old down the middle part
A very natural looking and girly way to part your hair. It's a little younger and a little less formal looking than the side part, but is cute just the same and goes very nicely with just about any Lolita style.

Pulled back

Another simple look for the bangless. I think that this is quite possibly one of the youngest bangless looks you can do and is very nicely suited for Sweet Lolita.

Headwear Without Bangs
The biggest downside to not having bangs is always being afraid that your particular choice of headwear just isn't appropriate without bangs. I really do think that anything that works with bangs can work without bangs, but sometimes hair needs to be styled a certain way to make it work. As you can see from the examples above there is a wide variety of different Lolita head pieces being worn, from bonnets, to big bows, to tiny bows, to mini hats, to crowns, to flower corsages, and they all look very nice. Because of all the different ways to style bangless hair, you might want to experiment a bit to decide which one works for you.

For me, it's hard to say that bangless hair styles are always more mature and elegant than hair styles with bangs, but they definitely can be much more mature and elegant than plain old blunt, eyeball length bangs. But, on the flipside, there are ways to style your hair that can look just as youthful, and even more so, than bangs.

I do definitely think that bangless hair styles are often overlooked or taken for granted in Lolita and should definitely not be mandatory for the style. With bangs, you pretty much decide on what look you want and cut your bangs to suit that, then they're going to be that way for at least a couple months until they grow out long enough to cut them again, but without bangs, you can change your look day by day. One day pulling them back into perfectly curled pig tails for a sweet and girlish look, the next parting them on the side with a gentle wave for a natural and mature look.

What about the rest of you? Bangs or no bangs with Lolita? Did you decide to take the plunge one way or another specifically for Lolita? Do you have any bangless Lolita hairstyles of your own to share? Personally, I did get bangs specifically for Lolita. For a while I was nervous about getting them because I was afraid it would make my face look too wide (And, I was determined to stick to the "Never again!" promise I made with I was 7) so I had lots of layers around my face in a sort of half-bang for a year before I finally took the plunge and just got regular blunt bangs. Now that I have bangs though, I really do love them, except for when I'm too lazy to trim them and they grow too long and they drive me crazy.

30 comments:

  1. When I cut my hair a few years ago it was about 1,5 centimeters long. When it grew I natrually got bangs in a sort of boyish way. I kept the bangs because it made the short hair look better on me. Now I'm keeping it because I can't stand the way it splits and get in my eyes when it gets too long.

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  2. I had bangs until my freshman year of college. Then I discovered that the combination of thick hair and a low hairline is perfect for bangs and meant that my bang-less hair got in my face all the time! I re-cut bangs a couple years back, partially because it suits my hair well and partially because I think they look cute with lolita. I love seeing lolitas without bangs though, I think side parted hair is so elegant and pretty!

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  3. I hated (hated!) bangs for years--I had some terrible ones as a kid.

    A few years ago I started thinking about them again because I became interested in lolita, and then I noticed more of my friends getting them...and I went and took the plunge about two years ago. And I love them!! I was 29 then (31 now) and suddenly I started getting ID'ed for alcohol again (although that's stopped, oh well). I love how I can pull my hair back, into braids or ponytails, and not look severe.

    I also learned to trim them myself--I can do it better than a salon can now, because I know my hair better than they do. I have a pair of fabric scissors in the bathroom that I use every few weeks or so.

    I was afraid they'd make my forehead break out and get greasy. I do have to wash them every day (I was the rest of my hair twice a week, tops), but if anything my forehead is clearer than it was before!

    The only negative, is that I ride a bicycle everywhere and wear a helmet, and if it's raining or I get sweaty, my bangs get really weird. But I just keep my hat on (if I was wearing one) or I go into a restroom and get my bangs damp with water so they'll dry the way I like them, and I'm fine.

    They've been a blessing too, I got in an accident a few months ago and now I have a scar on one temple that my bangs cover! I don't mind the scar, honestly (I have one on my chin now too, and it doesn't bother me) but it's nice that my bangs cover it and make it even less conspicuous.

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  4. I also have bangs when I was little, around second grade, and developed such a fear of letting anyone touch my hair, I didn't get it cut again until high school.
    But the lure of lolita bangs took hold and so I got soft, asymmetrical bangs until I was brave enough to just cut them blunt.
    Now I regularly stand in front of the bathroom mirror and chop them into all sorts of shapes!
    Though sometimes I miss the simple elegance of straight, parted hair.

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  5. I have semi-bangs? They're side swept, and definitely not just straight cut across my forehead. My hair is always parted on one side, so I always have the side-swept side-part look going on, lol ... I like how I look with bangs than without

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  6. I have a chin-length 1920's styled bob with bangs that I wear parted to the side. It's cute without looking immature, and it's very managable, so I don't think I'll be getting rid of my bangs any time soon :) Lolita definitely influenced my decision to get bangs, but it wasn't my sole reason; I just really like the look of bangs, especially with a lot of the headbands I wear.

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  7. I have some funky bangs right now because my hair's in that awkward growing-out phase. Eventually, they'll be gone, but I've trimmed them into a sort of angled fringe for the time being.

    I really like vintage hair dos with lolita, and a lot of them don't require bangs at all! I also really like the extreme side-part hair styles. They look super cute.

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  8. I'm so glad you made this post! I'm an aspiring Lolita, and while I love them on other people, I look HORRIBLE with bangs. Honestly, I probably would have just done without anyway, but it's very comforting to hear someone who I respect and look up to in the Lolita world say that it can be done well, and shouldn't be considered a rule of Lolita to have blunt bangs.

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  9. I am also a bangless Lolita! I usually wear my hair straight down or in pigtails :P If I have time I do the braid-along-hairline style, which is an interesting style, I think!
    Wish there were more bangless lolitas :D

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  10. Thank you SO much for this fantastic article! I think I have hope for my hair! It's nice to finally see some Lolita images of girls without bangs. I can't wait to try some of these styles on my own.
    You are fantastic!

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  11. I have a cowlick in the front on mu head so I can't wear bangs. This helps a lot! thanks!

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  12. Dangit, I JUST got bangs for the first time in 6 years a couple weeks ago! However, I think they look a lot better on me. When I got home and looked in the mirror (after flattening the pouf the stylist gave to my bangs alone o_o;) I felt like me again somehow...like I'd been gone for a while and all of a sudden I was back. It was weird XD

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  13. Oh yeah, and I wanted to say, I personally think bangs look much better with loli in general. I honestly haven't seen any bangless styles I really liked with it, except a simple side part. Anything else, like the things in pictures you've shown, is difficult to accomplish without experience or a wig.
    And you can still style bangs! It depends on how you dry them:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qidqCxN5bUE

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  14. I got bangs again, after long years, specifically for loli. They suit me since I have an oval and thin face but they're always ruined when I sleep. Still, headbands would never sit without them. And anyway, I continue to just have a bun or a queue when I hurry. But when I use a curling iron I can look perfectly doll-like.

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  15. Thank you for this post.
    I don't like bangs -- I think they're the girl version of a moustache, i.e. ugly as a rule and something only very few people can pull off successfully, especially with the blunt, straight, long variety that seems so popular with lolita nowadays.
    That said, there's so much variety out in lolita -- we have lolitas with curly or kinky hair, people with cowlicks, people who have very little and/ or fine hair, oily foreheads -- any number of reasons why people wouldn't want to or couldn't wear bangs. Toting bangs as the +~*essential*~+ for any aspiring lolita's hairstyle is baffling to me ... but I suppose that's what the fashion is at the moment.

    Personally, I go with the side-part, though I try to keep my hair out of my face.

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  16. I decided to get bangs for lolita when I was about 18, after having awful bangs as a kid - they made my puppy fat look awful! Now I love them, but keeping up with long bangs means that I'm learning to do different things such a sweep them to the sides or pin them back. AMO does a very cute pinned-up style with her bangs in a magazine I have, where she twists them on a diagonal to one side and then adds a giant hairbow - it seems super retro and I love it for when my bangs won't cooperate ;o;

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  17. I used be a bangless lolita for a very long time! I finally got some blunt bangs about a month and a half ago because I prefer to wear hairstyles that tend to look better with bangs (large headpieces, soft curls). My forehead seemed huge without bangs, anyway. Now I think I look a bit strange, but I'm slowly getting used to the bangs. They are a bit of a pain to style, though.

    I was always afraid to get bangs because I have fairly thin hair, and the bangs took up maybe a quater of my total hair (and I can use all the hair I can get!). They are a little thin for my tastes, but I really can't go any thicker unless they started halfway back onto my head, which would be terrible. I think it's worth it, though. They seem to really compliment my heart-shaped face.

    Now if I could figure out how to make a headbow that doesn't flop over and look terrible... then my bangs will be worth it!

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  18. Oh dear, this post made me laugh so much! :D
    The way you so vividly describle the hair cutting process as if it was the most terrifying experience in the world, it was so funny! I swear I could hear music from "Psycho" while I was reading... XD
    Don't get me wrong, I love your blog and this post is great and very informative like always, but I just HAD to say this!;)

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  19. I just like bangs in general, so it's convenient for me now in Lolita.

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  20. I've had blunt bangs for a little over a year now. I'd never had them when I was younger so I was afraid of how it'd look (and my hair is past brastrap, that's a long way to grow back!). Plus when I got them I went for a himecut right away in stead of just bangs at first so I was freaking out a little xD I love them though, they hide my large forehead ^^;

    Sometimes I see sidebang looks or bangless looks that I adore and would love to have, especially in Gyaru, but I just can't pull them off >_< I hate how they get greasy so quickly though, and having to straighten them (and have them ruined when it rains D=)

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  21. To be honest, I really like them even though I don't have them myself. I've got a couple of wigs with straight bangs though and I think they work for me because they frame my face a lot better.

    I love some of the examples you posted. I wish I had longer hair to pull off some of those styles XD I miss being able to plait my hair.

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  22. Thank you for posting this! I've been thinking of going lolita for quite some time but I'm still researching the lifestyle and clothing styles; it's a very wide field, with so many different types of loli and all that. Anyways, one of my concerns about being a lolita was my hair and your post has really cleared it up for me. I didn't really want to get front bangs because it would make my naturally round face even more chubby looking. I've had a left part and angled fringe for most of my life, and now that my fringe is growing out I can just part my hair over a little more and my hair will look perfect for lolita! Thanks for the help!

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  23. This was such an informative post. And as always, you give great example pictures! Though, I wonder if you can do a post that gives tips on finding the right hairstyles for the right shaped head or facial features. I've looked it up elsewhere, but always found not-so-great tips. =/
    As always, wonderful post! =D

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  24. I don't have bangs/fringe and have not since I was quite little. I had curly hair, so it always took a lot of fussing to make them behave properly.

    I used to have longer hair and wore my hair in pigtails quite a bit and they were sausage curled. Now that I have short hair, I typically part my hair on the side. I sometimes pin it back on one side (the side with more hair) with a cute barrette or hairpin. Other times I wear a headband...sometimes with a bow, sometimes without, depending of the style of my outfit. I also have a hair piece that I made for a cosplay a while back (because the character required bangs/fringe and I did not want to cut my hair). I made this hairpiece from my own hair when I had cut it significantly. I had put my hair in several small ponytails and had the stylist cut just above the bands so I could save the hair. It was just long enough to make my hairpiece. I can curl the bangs/fringe just like my own hair because it IS my own hair. To cover up the messy nature of my hairpiece (it was my first try) I wear a wide headband or something.

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  25. When you have curly/wavy hair bangs are impractical unless you straighten it (which i won't do because of the heat damage) so thanks for the post...even though it didn't address my hair texture....

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  26. I remember that exact feeling when my mom cut my hair too. And yes I remember the forehead feeling and sound very much now, thanks to your vivid description. This is a really great post for someone just trying to slowly dip their toes into the lolita ocean. I've been looking to lolita-style my hair more but was quite worried about my side bangs. But now all that is cured! Besides, if I want straight bangs I can just wear a wig!

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  27. I don't have bangs, but this post has finally made it clear to me why some headdresses just look terrible on me--no bangs! (I got tired of hairdressers complaining that I didn't come into the salon to get my hair coloured and of bangs growing out and into my eyes--my hair grows very fast, so bangs and/or salon colour would mean going in every 2-3 weeks and I can either do that or buy loli clothes.)

    I usually do one of the following in loli:

    1) Part my hair on the side. Wear a headband.

    2) Pull my hair straight back, put it into a high ponytail, and put a fancy bow or clip on it, either using a bow on elastic or a bow on a barrette, sliding the bar through the ponytail just above the elastic so that it doesn't slide out.

    3) Pull my hair straight back, put it into a high ponytail, braid it and wrap the braid around itself into a bun, which I secure with lots of pins, then add a bow underneath or above in front.

    4) Do 3, but cover the braided hair with a mini-hat.

    5) Pull my hair straight back, put it into a low ponytail, braid it, curl it into a bow at the nape of my neck. Add a bow or snood to the bun in back, or combs/clips in front.

    6) Part my hair in the centre, make two ponytails, put fancy bows/clips on them as in 2.

    7) Part my hair in the centre, make two ponytails, braid them, curl and pin them into odangoes, add a bow or clip on each.

    None of these styles is really friendly to the giant head-eating bow on a hair band made out of the same print as your dress or dripping with 3 kinds of lace, but I'm afraid those look much better on my Poupee than they ever did on me.

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  28. I have long curly/wavy hair so what i did last time (after not wearing lolita in ages! Can't ride a bike to work in loli) was put my wet hair into two low ponytails and let it dry as is. I left the front soft, framing my face a bit, and let them friz out just a bit to give them some poof. Worked great for a more toned down look. I did put old fashioned ribons over top the elastics, but other than that i left it as is.
    If you have long curly hair it works great cause drying it wet on your head prevents frizz and you can always put a bit of mousse in to help it stay in ine shape.

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