The 50 most memorable bangs ever

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Top 50 most memorable bangs
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The 50 most memorable bangs ever

Louise Brooks
No one personified the Roaring ‘20s as much as Louise Brooks in her flapper bob and bangs. They are razor-sharp and perfectly pressed in almost every picture of her, which is pretty impressive for those pre-modern-flat-iron times.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Bettie Page
Bettie is responsible for single-handedly sexing up baby bangs. Thousands of hipster girls and dominatrices (and Katy Perry) are forever in her debt.

(Photo by Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Getty Images)

Reese Witherspoon
Reese spawned the phrase “divorce bangs” after she showed up on the 2007 Golden Globes red carpet looking hot in a bright-yellow Nina Ricci dress, red accessories, and the now-infamous “Go f*** yourself, Ryan Phillippe” fringe.

(Photo by Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Zooey Deschanel
Because she is completely unrecognizable without her “adorkable” trademark blunt, heavy bangs, Zooey is going to have to keep them forever.

(Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)

Alexa Chung
Alexa is to bangs as Gisele is to beach waves. That "It"-Brit fringe is perfect and will never look as good on you as it does on her.

(Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

Taylor Swift
Taylor’s bangs are as much a part of her persona as her perfect red lipstick. Sometimes they’re straight, sometimes they’re swoopy, but they’re always there.

(Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)

Emma Stone
Emma doesn’t always have bangs, but when she does they elevate her even higher than she already is on the global beauty pedestal. She knows how to make the long bang work for her.

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Michelle Obama
For her 49th birthday, and just ahead of her husband’s second Presidential Inauguration, Mrs. O. decided to shake things up and get some midlife crisis bangs. They became an international sensation and helped everyone forget about Mitt Romney.

(Photo by Vallery Jean/FilmMagic)

Susie Bubble
The British blogger is rarely without her signature topknot and never without her long, straight bangs.

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell
Occasionally someone will give Naomi a center part on the runway, but she usually favors curtainlike, brow-grazing straight bangs.

(Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)

Sophia Amoruso
The Nasty Gal founder’s bangs prove that a #girlboss no longer has to have a practical, respectable hairstyle. Baby bangs are now totally appropriate in the C-suite.

(Photo by David Livingston/FilmMagic)

Beyoncé
The internet generally fawns over everything Bey does, but her recent experiment with baby bangs showed that even she is human and occasionally blinded by the siren call of the bang.

(Photo by Keith Hewitt/GC Images)

Freja Beha Erichsen
Freja is a little bit Patti Smith, a little bit Alexa, and the queen of edgy model bangs.

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Rooney Mara
The nipple piercing probably helped Rooney get into character for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but those extreme bangs surely secured her the Oscar nod.

(Photo by Anita Bugge/WireImage)

Audrey Tautou in Amelie
If you look up the phrase “French ingénue,” Audrey in this film — with her shiny, too-short bangs — will pop up every single time.

(Photo by Moviestore collection Ltd / Alamy)

Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction
Mrs. Mia Wallace accessorized her coke habit with a mean Cleopatra-style blunt bang.

(Photo by Pressefoto Kindermann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Princess Diana
Princess Di’s bangs were a feathery, curling-ironed symbol of the ‘80s, and a true testament to the strength of the hair spray of the time.

(Photo by Jayne Fincher/Getty Images)

Baby Spice
Because the two high ponytails she always wore weren’t enough to convey that Lolita look Emma Bunton was going for during her Spice Girls days, she also added a wispy fringe.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

Shannen Doherty, the 90210 years
Brenda Walsh’s bangs were such an integral part of her character that Doherty was fired from the show when she got rid of them. (Well, that and all the fights with Tori Spelling. Allegedly.)

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Kate Middleton
Remeber when Kate had bangs? They're baaaack.

(Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Courtney Love in the ‘90s
Grunge bangs were the best. One has to assume that no styling products were needed. That messy, greasy separation was probably achieved by good old-fashioned personal neglect.

(Photo by Terry McGinnis/WireImage)

Suzanne Somers
No one has seen Suzanne Somers’s forehead since the '70s. What’s under there?

(Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Debbie Gibson
Obviously one could fill up an entire slideshow with examples of memorable '80s bangs, but Debbie Gibson’s “Only in My Dreams” gravity-defying bangs were pretty emblematic of what an entire generation of girls actually looked like.

(Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

Mia Farrow
Mia’s Sassoon pixie cut included pixie-length bangs that served as a cute juxtaposition to her devil spawn in Rosemary’s Baby.

(Photo by Terry O'Neill/Getty Images)

Jane Birkin
Birkin isn’t even French, but she’s become the poster girl for effortless French-girl bangs. It’s not fair that she has perfect hair plus arguably the world’s most famous handbag named after her.

(Photo credit should read RALPH GATTI/AFP/Getty Images)

Lou Doillon
Proving that great bangs — her mom is Jane Birkin — are genetic.

(Photo by Pierre Suu/WireImage)

Marianne Faithfull
The '60s and '70s were the golden age of cool-girl bangs, and none were cooler than Marianne Faithfull’s heavy, blonde version.

(Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

Peggy Moffitt
She may be famous for modeling that topless Rudi Gernreich swimsuit, but it’s much more impressive that she’s kept her original five-point Sassoon cut, complete with curtain bangs, since the '60s.

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Penelope Tree
Iconic '60s model Penelope Tree generally had two points of view when it came to her forehead: heavy bangs or severe forehead exposure. Both were always accompanied by Twiggy-esque lashes.

(Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)

Françoise Hardy
Pretty sure women still take old pictures of this French chanteuse to their hairstylists to copy her bangs.

(Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Brigitte Bardot
Everything about Bardot in the '60s was larger-than-life: Her teased hair, her lips, her boobs, and, yes, her heavy bangs.

(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Jane Fonda
Her groovy shag and bangs, which she sported for her role as a prostitute in Klute, put an awesome exclamation point on her 1970 mugshot. (Model Edie Campbell is this generation’s reincarnation of this shot.)

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Farrah Fawcett
Farrah’s puffy, feathered '70s bangs and bouncy hair was an obvious precursor to the era of Victoria’s Secret Angel sexed-up hair.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Beatles
Let’s begin the “Mangs” section of the roundup with the Beatles’ bowl cut beatnik bangs.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Shaun Cassidy
Dreamy Shaun Cassidy and his '70s feathered bangs were essentially the male version of Farrah.

(Photo by Andrew Putler/Redferns)

Justin Bieber
Many a think piece — and tween love poem — has been written about Bieber’s combed forward, faux-windblown bangs.

(Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

Harry Styles
Harry likes to wear his bangs in a pompadour or held back in a headband, but ultimately, nothing can contain them and gravity will win.

(Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)

Zac Efron
Zac and his bangs have never met a gel they didn’t like. Like Harry, he favors an occasional bang updo, but it’s best when he wears them resting gently and boyishly on his beautiful forehead.

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

George Clooney
Hey, Amal, Mr. Clooney once had a Caesar cut when he was on a TV show called ER. It was the best.

(Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)

Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber
Great. We get to relive this bowl-cut monstrosity again, thanks to the sequel.

(Photo by New Line Cinema/Getty Images)

John Stamos, the Full House years
Squee, Uncle Jesse and his bangs were soooo cute, and OMG that mullet. No decade will ever be better for hair embarrassment than the '80s.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Felicity Jones
Felicity is a dark-horse contender for the “Alexa Chung Lifetime Acheivement Award for Best British Bangs.”

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Audrey Hepburn
Everything about Audrey was gamine, including her adorable short, curled bangs.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Ronettes
The Ronettes proved that the Beatles weren’t the only musical act that could make history with matching bangs.

(Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

Joan Jett
Joan’s wispy punk-rock bangs are full of stale cigarette smoke and secrets.

(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Tina Turner
Tina’s many wigs — always with massive bangs — could surely tell some tales.

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Linda Evans
In her '80s glory days, the ends of Linda’s bangs curled up like a giant, blonde mustache.

(Photo by Jim Britt/ABC via Getty Images)

Nicole Richie
She’s had many hair colors, but one thing stays consistent: Nicole’s bangs are a work of art.

(Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

Kerry Washington
Bangs are not a signature of Kerry’s but they really should be. She looks fantastic with them.

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Miss Piggy
The pig’s gone through the same bang trends we all have throughout the decades: She’s had the Farrah, the Linda Evans, and the Reese Witherspoon.

(Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz)

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Nothing can provoke a spirited discussion quite like announcing, "I'm thinking about getting bangs." That's because the five minutes of snipping required to create a facial fringe can change your entire look, for better or worse. The name even sounds dramatic: BOOM, I got BANGS!

Bangs can disrupt a presidential inauguration (Michelle Obama), help you get an Oscar nod (Rooney Mara), or cause the Internet to focus on nothing but your head for one entire day (Beyoncé). Bangs are also cheaper than Botox if you're into a more natural anti-aging strategy. It's not a decision that should ever be made lightly, though. If you or your hairstylist make even a millimeter misstep, you're stuck with weeks of fighting with bobby pins during the painful growing-out phase. So make an educated decision before you embark on the bang.

To prove how monumental this little facial valance can be, the Cut found the 50 most memorable bangs ever for your consideration. Take a look at the gallery above!

Watch more below:

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