Last week we talked about bangs for the heart-shaped face; this week we're exploring its very close cousin: the inverted triangle face shape. (If you missed them, also check out bang options for round, long and square faces; next in the series will be pear, diamond and oval.)
The inverted triangle face shape is basically ideal for bangs. They can be the perfect tool for disguising a wide forehead—so that your face looks more oval—and for drawing attention to the eyes. Plus, you don't have the complication of a widow's peak, which means your bangs will behave themselves much better. The main goal for an inverted triangle person is to create the illusion of width at the bottom of the face while balancing and camouflaging the wideness at the top.
Before you commit to bangs, discuss these photos with your stylist, keeping in mind your individual hair type and what it will and will not do. Also consider that you may be a blend of face shapes (like, say, Chloë Moretz, who is both an inverted triangle and a round face shape). Go with the shape that appears the most dominant—or just choose a bang style that works for both shapes.
Do You Have a Face Shaped Like an Inverted Triangle?
Whenever people talk about the heart face shape, Reese Witherspoon comes up 99 percent of the time. But you know what? She's actually an inverted triangle, because she doesn't have the widow's peak that is a defining feature of heart-shaped faces (read more about that here). Otherwise, the lines of her face are the same: the widest part is at the forehead, and then it narrows at the jawline to a pointed chin. With an inverted triangle shape, the jaw is always the narrowest area of the face, and it can be angular or rounded.
The Best Bangs for Inverted Triangle Faces
Long, side-swept bangs: Chloë Moretz wears a bang here that works perfectly with her rounded inverted triangle shape. The hair is parted deep on one side and then sweeps across half the forehead, which helps diffuse the width at the top and creates a nice, long line.
Choppy, side-swept bangs: A variation on the side-swept bang is this shorter, choppier version on Reese Witherspoon. Its textured quality helps divert attention away from her pointed chin; it also covers most of the forehead, creating a more oval look.
Centre-parted bangs: One thing you never want to do with an inverted triangle face shape is wear a graphic, full, straight-across blunt bang—it only makes the face appear shorter and its lower half narrower. Jessica Szohr wisely breaks her hair up with a centre part and a bit of choppiness. That bit of forehead peeking through in the middle is the key here.
Floppy, straight-across bangs: The reason Rashida Jones' straight-across bangs work on her inverted triangle face shape is because they're so light and floppy. We can still see a bit of forehead in places, so they work great to camouflage her high and wide forehead, without causing her lower face to look too narrow.
Curtain bangs: This bang style is amazing on the inverted triangle. Curtain bangs can be centre-parted or just off-centre, like Julianne Hough is wearing hers here. Then the hair cascades down either side of the face, stopping somewhere around the cheekbones. Because the hair hits at a point where the face is more narrow, these bangs have a masterful widening effect right where you need it.
Short, textured bangs: Shorter bangs are an option for inverted triangles (with short haircuts); just do them like Carey Mulligan and create lots of texture and downward movement. Her bangs expose the eyebrows, but aren't TOO high on her forehead—you still want them to cover the widest part, closer to the hairline. What's also important here is all the layering, and even the colour job, to create interest and draw your attention to her eyes. Truly, an amazing haircut.
The Worst Bangs for Inverted Triangle Faces
Wondering what not to do? Here are a few noteworthy examples:
Short, curled-under bangs: Rashida Jones took her floppy bangs (which were great when they lay flat) and decided to curl them under. Bad move, Rashida. The curling action makes her forehead area look more prominent, and there's too much separation in her thin bangs for this style to work (not that I'd recommend she cut them thicker). This would be a million times better if she just left them straight.
Piecey bangs: There are thin bangs, like Rashida Jones', and then there are piecey bangs, like Brooklyn Decker's. Piecey is not good. While we don't want bangs so thick and horizontal that they bring more width to the forehead, we also don't want ones that clump together like this—they just defeat the entire purpose of even having bangs. To my eye, they put more emphasis on Brooklyn's pointy chin. If they were cut a bit fuller, and probably brushed to one side, it would be a lot more flattering. Kind of telling that we haven't seen Brooklyn in bangs ever since.
Side-swept, pointy bangs: Remember when Ashlee Simpson went through this hair phase? It was in the Pete Wentz days, and she wore her bangs thin and pointy; swept to one side but also covering one eye in a weird way. Again, there just isn't enough hair in play to make this a flattering option for inverted triangles (not to mention that the pointy, spiky bangs are kinda tacky in themselves). A fuller side-sweep like Chloë Moretz would be a lot prettier.
Rounded bangs: I'm not a fan. I actually think rounded bangs can be even worse on inverted triangle faces than straight-across bangs, because the rounding completely closes off the face—making it look super-tiny. As you can see here on Jennifer Love Hewitt, her lower face looks extremely small and narrow, and the bangs do nothing to take away from her pointed chin.
Blunt, graphic bangs: Okay, it's Tyra Banks, and she can somewhat pull off any hairstyle—because she's Tyra. But this style (wig?) probably isn't her best choice, because the horizontal line of the blunt bangs makes her face's top half look wider. Meanwhile, the rest of her face is left looking small and narrow (even more so if she weren't smiling). The long, straight hair without any layers plays this up even further.
Baby bangs: Compare and contrast Carey Mulligan's short style with Victoria Beckham's. See what a difference it makes to go a few inches shorter on the bangs? In a bad way, that is. This cut, with the bangs cropped so close to the hairline, only emphasizes the width there. Even the choppy lines can't save it.
Have Your Say
What’s your favourite style of bangs for an inverted triangle face?
If you have this face shape, which hairstyles have worked for you?
What’s the worst style for inverted triangle faces?