From lengthy fringe that saucily tickles the eyelashes to feathered versions that scream disco-era glam, few other hairstyles are as versatile and beloved as statement-making bangs. For those looking for an edgy variety, it’s all about micro bangs right now. Also known as baby bangs, these short lengths typically land well above the eyebrows, sometimes just an inch or two of the hairline. It’s a look Garnier celebrity hairstylist Ashley Streicher says is having a major moment — just look at the recent lineup of cool-girl celebs who have been spotted with micro bangs, from Bella Hadid to Zoë Kravitz and FKA Twigs. To help you get in on the trend, Bustle called on Streicher and a few other hairstylists for their tips on how to style baby bangs.
Streicher credits the resurgence of micro bangs to Y2K-era nostalgia. “They are making a comeback from the late ’90s, early 2000s when — in my opinion — Gwen Stefani made them so popular,” she tells Bustle. They require a fair amount of confidence to pull off, but cosmetologist and celebrity hairstylist Sunnie Brook says that, with a little consideration paid to styling and your face shape, baby bangs can work for most hair types and textures. She particularly loves cutting micro bangs on longer face shapes, and “especially on my clients who don’t want to lose length but want to give the appearance of a short haircut,” she says. Trey Gillen, hairstylist and creative director of education at SACHAJUAN, recommends checking photos of different micro bangs styles, and then noting the models’ face shapes and whether they’re similar to your own. “Bring pics of your favorite types of micro bangs with you to the hair salon. You and your stylist can talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly to find which is right for you,” he suggests.
That said, if you’ve got strong cowlicks at or around the hairline, then baby bangs may not be your friend. Gillen says to also remember that cutting bangs will add at least a small amount of maintenance time to your grooming routine. “Bangs must be styled each day — if you don’t wear your bangs, then your bangs will wear you. So bangs aren’t something to take lightly,” he tells Bustle. Also, Gillen adds that because micro bangs are, well, micro, the grow-out period will be longer, so be sure you’re ready to commit. With all that said, keep scrolling for expert advice on cutting, styling, and wearing baby bangs.
1. Blunt & Wavy
Gia Wendt, hairstylist and cutting specialist, says that micro bangs are traditionally seen on straight hair types, but modern versions can be worn on wavy and curly textures. “I would err on the side of making them a bit longer,” she advises if your hair falls into one of those two categories. Wendt also recommends starting slow and cutting your fringe when your hair’s dry. Brook echoes that sentiment: “Be aware if you have wavy or curly hair that the hair will bounce up a lot, so start with less and take shorter as you desire,” she says. If you’re styling them straight, use a blow dryer and brush till your fringe is smooth — otherwise, enjoy the natural texture you get from air drying.
2. Blunt & Sleek
When it comes to products used on micro bangs, Streicher says less is more. She recommends Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Glass Hair Water as a go-to for added shine. “I like to comb micro bangs straight forward, and flat wrap them with a flat brush and blow dryer to give them the perfect, not-too-straight bend,” she explains.
3. Textured Fringe
For round faces shapes, Streicher says messier micro bangs work well. To enhance your textured look when styling, Gillen likes to apply SACHAJUAN Leave In Conditioner to wet hair and then, while using a blow dryer, work the micro bangs in different directions with a Denman brush. “This ‘overworks’ the hair and causes the bangs to lay down and behave,” he says. When the hair is nearly dry, he likes to blow dry and brush the bangs straight down and into place. Then, he recommends applying hair wax to your fingertips and using your fingers to piece out and separate your micro bangs for a less-than-perfect, didn’t-do-much look.
4. Shaggy Bangs
If you’re going for a shaggy look, Brook says you can air dry or go in with a dense brush when ou blow dry. If you’re doing the latter, she has a pro tip: “I like to use a ‘windshield wiper’ technique with the brush as I blow dry to give the most natural finish and movement.” This way, your fringe will look polished enough for the day but still have that laissez-faire vibe.
On diamond-shaped faces, Streicher recommends going with a curved micro bang to balance out your cheekbones. Then, if your face is square-shaped, she says a side-swept fringe is the way to go. “You’ll want more of a curved micro bang to balance out your cheekbones.” She adds that side-swept bangs are great for square-shaped faces. When styling, work a styling gel or pomade into your fringe and sweep them to the side as you blow dry.