With Julia Roberts and Cindy Crawford Sporting Their New Fringe, Here Are 6 Ways to Embrace the Latest Hair Trend
Julia Roberts at the opening day of luxury watch fair Watches and Wonders in Geneva. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) Insets: Hally Barry (Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images); Audrey Hepburn (Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
With Cindy Crawford sharing mirror selfies of her new fringe with her seven million Instagram followers, Gabrielle Union sporting a blunt version at Paris Fashion Week, and Julia Roberts causing a stir with a lusher style on the red carpet, bangs are the hair trend of the season.
A frame for the face that instantly transforms your look, taking the plunge into bangs can be daunting. What if you don’t like them, or get tired of them, or get tired of having them trimmed? And what about when they grow out? Fortunately, a fashionable fringe comes in a range of styles, long and short, high or low maintenance. While baby bangs and blunt cuts take commitment and are not attractive on everyone, soft face-framing layers and longer, side-swept versions are universally flattering and, with ’70s hair enjoying a renaissance, you’ll be equally in vogue with a classic, more-feathery fringe.
Start by selecting the type that best complements your face shape. For example, bangs that fall below the temples on each side accentuate the cheekbones and longer, angled bangs bring focus to the eyes. Conversely, if you have a wide forehead, full, blunt bangs may not be the most becoming cut. What’s your skin type? Bangs that lie across the forehead will get greasy if you have oily skin. That said, it’s nothing you can’t combat with dry shampoo if your heart is set on a bold, straight-cut fringe. Also, consider how much effort you care to put into it. Shorter as well as straight-cut bangs require a trim every five to six weeks. Salons generally offer this upkeep free of charge, but it’s still a time commitment on your end. On the other hand, longer, angled bangs grow out smoothly, soon morphing into a face-framing layer that’s long enough to tuck behind your ears. Whatever style you decide on, a real bonus with any bang is how complementary they are to a ponytail, chignon or any other updo. Working as their own little face=framing coiffure, even if you’ve just put your hair up with a pencil. Here are five key looks — and a faux fix.
The bang effect without the hassle, this versatile layered style, named for its gentle arc off the face, looks great on everyone and softens square faces. Shorter in the middle with longer, tapered layers on each side, the inverted V shape frames the face and highlights the cheekbones. A look that can be cut at any length, this ’70s style made famous by Farrah Fawcett has advanced from its poofy, barrel-curled original, and sprayed into place ‘80s successor, to a smoother, more natural look.
Falling anywhere between the top of the eyebrows and the tips of the lashes, this classic style brings instant attention to the eyes. They should not be too wide, or too thick in the middle. The best blunt bangs are not ruler straight but cut a half-inch or so longer at the temples for a subtle, inverted arc. Statement bangs that work best with thicker hair, they look particularly great on long faces.
Just an inch-and-a-half below the hairline, celebs from Miley Cyrus to Doja Cat have recently cropped up with uber-short bangs. Very on-trend for 2023, it’s widespread popularity hasn’t seen since its ’90s heyday when grunge-era It Girls as diverse as Gwen Stefani, Drew Barrymore and Linda Evangelista embraced the look. Audrey Hepburn made them all the rage in the early ’50s and her artfully lacquered and side-swept version is currently being channelled by Zoë Kravitz. The more relaxed and accessible 21st century update is a textured and tousled approach that pairs them with a soft shag.
Also known as Bardot bangs, this laissez-faire look is shorter in the middle with longer side layers and often styled with a split in the centre for added charm. Soft and feminine, it’s a sexy, insouciant look that’s air dried and unfussed for an almost bedhead-y appeal (how French!). It improves any ponytail or chignon and, like curtain bangs, is a breezy grow out.
Jennifer Beals made curly bangs fashionable in the ’80s with her breakthrough role in Flashdance and they became a trend all their own in 2019. A bit finicky, they can be hit or miss but curly haired women shouldn’t be afraid to try bangs. Just take a look at Natasha Lyonne who really nails this style, or Sandra Oh. They must be cut dry while overcompensating for length, so they don’t shrink back too short, and to feather the tips slightly with vertical scissors for a softer edge..
Love the look but not the commitment? Consider clip-in bangs. This mini hair extension is available in a range of colours, costs, cuts — long and layered, short or blunt — and easy to use. You want them made from real human hair and to blend seamlessly with your colour or highlights, hairdressers can match the faux fringe to the rest of your mane. Some higher-end hairdressers will even make clip in bangs for clients.