The hair that is cut and hangs on your forehead has 2 different names and as I left Academy and my clientele I have had to lose the proper term which is "fringe" which originated in England the "Home of Hair Color and Styling" and try to get used to 'bangs'!
I just cannot get used to saying the word "bangs" ... I was taught the word FRINGE, which to me makes sense. So it is just beyond me that people continue to want to call it bangs. I'm trying to change the country on this one...one person at a time!
Here is what Wikipedia has to say..
A fringe (or bangs in the U.S. and Canada) is the front part of the hair, cut to hang or curl over the forehead.
In hairstyling it can be swept to the side, similar to the side part, except that it does not cover the eyes . The British term 'fringe' refers to the resemblance of the short row of hair to ornamental fringe trim. The North American term bangs may have come from the use of the word bang to connote something sudden or abrupt, and the idea that the hair over the forehead comes to an abrupt end after just a few inches.
There are other terms such as patch, which connotes the coloring of said overlying bangs. But the term has been around for so long I am starting to believe this last suggestion might be the authentic answer I am looking for.
Hairstyles that have a fringe have come and gone......... in and out of fashion as frequently as other hairstyles, and they can be worn in any number of styles. In the late 80s and early 90s, poof, curly, teased fringes were in fashion...the most frequently asked for style this season is the sweeping side fringe similar to what Nicole Ritchie has in the photos above.