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Abuzz over bangs; Full or wispy, brow-skimming or side-swept, fringe has its benefits

A trendy crop of celebrities is sporting bangs these days.

Taylor Swift's bangs have caused some buzz. Naomi Campbell, Rooney Mara, Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Krysten Ritter, Pauley Perrette and many others are wearing them, too.

Length varies, as do the hairstyles the bangs complement: sleek ponytails, long hair, wavy shoulder-length hair, bobs and pixies. Many are natural, but wigs and clip-ons are there, too.

At Tresses Styling Salon, 133 Pine St., Hamburg, bangs are big, said hairstylist Elle Sebastiano.

"From 4-year-olds to 64-year-olds, everyone is wearing them right now," she said.

"Heading into spring and summer, a softer bang is really fun -- something fringy you can swing over to the side or clip back if you are digging in the garden or exercising and you want them out of the way," she said.

Done well, bangs can do myriad things -- beginning with enhancing the color of your hair and eyes, Sebastiano said.

For example, "dark bangs can make a blue eye look incredibly bright," she said.

Bangs also can help camouflage the forehead, particularly on women who are self-conscious about the size of their forehead or their complexion, Sebastiano added.

"They can hide behind bangs but still be stylish," she said.

Younger clients are having a lot of fun with bangs.

"They're playing with color and doing interesting things with length -- wearing punky, choppy bangs or the longer kind of boho lash-skimming bangs -- a la Taylor Swift," Sebastiano said.

Bangs are hardly new, of course. Through the years, famous bangs-wearers have included silent film star Louise Brooks; Audrey Hepburn; Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary; Marlo Thomas as "That Girl"; and, more recently, Anna Wintour, Vogue's editor-in-chief.

Girls and women who never made their bangs their signature style have taken a different route, one that is oh-so-familiar to many: Growing them out, cutting them, growing them out and cutting them again.

"I've had bangs on and off my whole life," said local interior designer Laura L. Wax, of L2K Design.

She wore them as a little girl. She wore them again after being inspired by Mayim Bialik's hairstyle in the 1990s television show "Blossom."

About a year and a half ago, she again went for bangs.

"I wanted a change, but instead of a drastic color change I went for bangs," she said.

At first, she wore them down and curled them under with a round brush.

More recently, "I've been putting them to the side, just to switch it up," said Wax.

While she and others have been known to trim their own bangs in between professional cuts, Wax made a final observation.

When she first got bangs, she noticed right away when they got too long and fell into her eyes.

"Then I got used to it -- but other people would always notice when they grew too long," she laughed.