Bangs Are Back!

A recent article in the New York Times entitled, “The Forehead is a New Canvas” highlights the resurrection of bangs as the current popular hairstyle of choice, seen on the red carpets as well as on the street.  Thick fringes have been popular for decades.  Anna May Wong wore her characteristic face-framing bangs through the Roaring Twenties onward.  Walk down the street and you’ll see many adopters of that look. 

As the article mentions, bangs have been fading in and out of fashion since the 1920s. While the popularity of the thick fringe has been choppy over the decades, other types of bangs and hairstyles have come to the forehead.. ahem, forefront.

We dug through our photo collections in the VC Archives, and found some photos definitely worth sharing!


Although technically not a fringe, this hefty bang is created by a deep side part for a side-swept look.

Hefty bangs worn by Alan Ohashi, co-founder of Visual Communications. Left is filmmaker Patricia Lau.  Circa 1972, Griffith Park Observatory, Los Angeles.  Credit: Visual Communications Photographic Archives


Bangs don’t have to be prim and proper, this girl is sporting a spiky look that emphasizes a punk/rock style.

Dianne Ujiiye rocks bangs at a documentary class of Visual Communications’ Filmmakers Development Program. Takashi Fujii demonstrates film editing techniques. From left to right: Takashi Fujii, Amy Kato, Myron Murakami, Joan Morasaki, Dianne Ujiye. February 1985.  Credit: Kaz Takeuchi/Visual Communications Photographic Archives.


Bangs are not gender-specific!  This messy, wispy style pairs well with Ray-Bans and gives off a too-cool-for-school demeanor.

The late filmmaker Fred Tan, who filmed his UCLA Master Thesis: Lovers. Circa 1988. Credit: Courtesy of Fred Tan, Visual Communications Photographic Archives.


Fringes are classic on little kids! Super cute and adorable, children are arguably the best canvases for bangs throughout all decades. Hello, bowl cut!

A production still from Christine Choy’s and Renee Tajima’s documentary film, “Yellow Tale Blues: Two American Families.” Pictured is Christine Choy’s extended family. Circa 1991. Credit: Visual Communications Photographic Archive 

Thanks for reading our first post on From the Vault.  For more posts about the VC Archives, subscribe to our RSS feed!

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3 comments
  1. This is awesome! I’m so glad to see VC utilizing the archives as a means of original content/features vs. as an archive that’s just there for whoever wants to look at it.

    • Hi, Joseph! Our main goal as an archives is to preserve and make our holdings accessible to people, and this is definitely one way of doing it. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jean said:

    Cool idea! Looking forward to reading more posts from the VC Vault. 🙂

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