by Kate Sullivan
They can be adorable, regrettable, or a cheap alternative to Botox. Here, why we keep on clipping.
2500 B.C. Century that the wife of Mitry, an Egyptian province administrator, wore curls on her forehead.
3 to 4 Number of locks that Greek women in the sixth and seventh centuries B.C. wore on theirs.
1: Number of inches above the eyebrows that European men and boys wore their fringe in the 1500s; women were known to avoid such hairstyles.
15th: Century that conservative clergymen in Europe said that women cutting and curling the hair on their foreheads was a sign of vanity and "a slide into mortal sin."
3 Approximate number of years it took Michelangelo to create his statue of David; to accentuate the biblical hero's profile, the artist gave him an unusual hairstyle with a long forelock.
1860s: Decade the term "bangtailed" was used to describe horses that had had their tails cropped.
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10: Approximate number of years later "bangs" was used to describe human hair.
16 Apprentice hairstylist Sydney Guilaroff's age in 1923 when he gave a walk-in client a style he called the "shingle." The woman was silent-film actress Louise Brooks, and her severe bob with bangs became a national trend.
5 Years later that actress Claudette Colbert sat in Guilaroff's chair at Antoine's salon at Saks Fifth Avenue for bangs that The New York Times later called "her trademark for the rest of her life."
1934 Year a hair curler became a promotional tie-in for Colbert's movie Cleopatra; ads promised the curling iron would give users "Cleopatra bangs."
29: Years later that Elizabeth Taylor also wore bangs as Cleopatra.
50 Approximate number of years that First Lady Mamie Eisenhower wore short, curled bangs. She'd gotten them cut in the 1920s during a high point in her marriage and kept them out of nostalgia. During her husband's 1952 presidential run, his campaign office got so many letters criticizing the bangs that they created a form response letter.
$15 to $25: Cost of clip-in bangs in the style of Eisenhower's that were sold in Washington, D.C., shortly after her husband took office.
1930 Year an exhibition of Italian paintings came to London, prompting hairdresser Gilbert Foan to credit it with setting a trend for long, center-parted hair; bangs abruptly fell out of fashion in the city.
1950s: Decade that a Scotch Tape ad recommended using the product when cutting bangs at home: "Fix fringe to forehead with Scotch Tape and cut across top of tape. Fringe cuts straight, hair trimmings stick to tape-won't fall in eyes."
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1950 Year Bettie Page met amateur photographer Jerry Tibbs on the beach at Coney Island. She says it was Tibbs who suggested her oft-mimicked hairstyle to hide her "very high forehead."
1980s Decade Candace Cameron Bure said of the popular teased-bangs look that she and other Full House cast members wore: "You know, in ten years, we're going to look back on this and think this is horrible."
104th: Placement of "girls with bangs" on the blog Stuff White People Like. The post featured a picture of singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis.
2008 Year that Eiji Salon in New York City started offering "Bangtox," bang styles specifically meant to hide forehead wrinkles.
$29.95: Cost of Baby Bangs, a hairpiece attached to a headband meant to indicate the female gender of a bald infant. Pieces are sold for babies up to nine months old.
2012 Year that NBC's The Body Odd blog assured readers that side bangs would not cause a lazy eye. (A fake news story from Australia making this claim had circulated widely on the Internet.)
40,151: Approximate number of YouTube views for the Comediva parody song "Bangs Like Zooey," which is set to the tune of "Moves Like Jagger" and name-checks many famous women who have bangs.
2012 Year Zooey Deschanel told allure, "I'm bangs and eyes. It's who I am."
22 Rank of Marianne Faithfull's "As Tears Go By" in 1965. She copied her long bangs from Paul McCartney's girlfriend Jane Asher: "I was 17...prone to hero worship."
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