Korean Air Bangs Are Gaining Popularity In the U.S.—Here’s What to Know About the Trend

It's perfect for people on the fence about bangs.


Xián Shi Líng Mù/Getty Images

With K-beauty skincare brands dominating our cabinets, it was only a matter of time before hairstyles influenced by Korean culture made its way to the mainstream. 

The latest? Korean air bangs. “Asian style is all about softness and femininity, and this look provides just that,” says Los Angeles-based hairstylist Mika Fowler. “People like it because it usually makes your face look smaller based on the forehead positioning.” 

Keep reading for everything you need to know about the piece-y trend.

What are Korean air bangs?

“Korean air bangs are very thin, piece-y bangs that have been popular in Korea for the last year or so,” Fowler says. “The air bang usually comes with a Korean side bang, like a soft curl side fringe.” She adds that they’re ideal for people that want to make a subtle statement without dominating the entire face.

When you go to the salon, you’ll want to ask for a thick section of bangs in the space between both eyebrows, with lighter fringe covering the actual brows. There should be additional thick chunks of hair on the sides. You can also ask for “see-through bangs,” which is another name for the cut, since the bangs aren’t in one big chunk that takes up the entire space of your forehead.

Which hair types and face shapes look best with Korean air bangs?

The great thing about this trend is it looks good on just about any face shape. “These are very neutral bangs,” says Fowler. “They’re recommended for people who haven’t had bangs before who don’t want to fully commit. If you don’t like them, you have the option of just blending them with the side hair.”

However, Fowler notes that the trend’s designated outcome can’t be achieved with curly hair since they’re intended to be worn straight and slightly curled under. “If you do have curls or major waves, you’ll want to flat-iron to make the strands straight and piece-y,” she says. 

She also adds that she doesn’t recommend adding Korean air bangs if you have a cowlick. “Because you use very little of the area’s hair, a cowlick might push it up,” she says.

What's the best way to style Korean air bangs?

Maintaining air bangs doesn’t have to require much effort, but you should keep in mind that because they’re a longer style of bangs, they’ll require more frequent trimming if you want the look to stay.

As for styling, some people use curlers to achieve the look, but Fowler doesn’t think you need to take that extra step. She suggests simply flat-ironing the bangs straight and then spritzing with a finishing spray (she prefers Pureology Style + Protect Texture Finishing Spray) on a rattail comb. With the wet comb, run it through the bangs to set its position.

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