Zendaya, Emma Watson, Halle Berry, Alexa Demie and Zoe Kravitz have all sported the micro bang look in recent years. Well, get ready to see more baby bangs around town because Pinterest recently predicted that it will be a trend in 2023. The short fringe that sits at about one or two inches in length is “a bold, fun statement piece to add a kick of personality to your hairstyle,” says hairstylist and head of product development at Goldie Locks Devin Graciano. However, she notes that the look isn’t for everyone.
After years of “suppression of the fringe,” Graciano says these bangs are trending as personal expression moves through a new phase with people ready to show “more of their daring personality through the fringe.” While micro bangs may be an upcoming trend, they’ve been around for ages. “Style always repeats itself,” says creative director, master stylist and colorist Paul Labrecque with Paul Labrecque Salon and Skincare Spa. These baby bangs “started in the 1950s with glamour girls like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor.”
Celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel notes that the women who wore a micro fringe in the 1950s, including Natalie Wood and Bettie Page, “were great examples of how diverse a micro bang can be.” Since there is so much variation in bangs, it’s important to have a clear image in mind of what you want before heading to the salon.
Micro bang hairstyles explained
The term micro bang covers a lot of ground, including essentially anything that’s a shorter bang than is standard, thereby exposing the eyebrows. These bangs are an excellent option if you want the look of a fringe but your hair to sit out of the way. The best bang for your will depend on your hair type and face shape. “Whether they are cut straight across, at a curve, choppy, angled or blunt, they all can accentuate the best part of our features when done correctly,” says Abergel.
If you want these bangs, make sure you’re confident in your decision
“Micro bangs are a style you should feel confident about prior to getting them as they can get quite exposing,” says Abergel. Standard bangs are already a commitment, but experts warn that a micro fringe are an even more serious commitment, so really contemplate if you’re ready for them.
What to ask for in the salon if you want the micro fringe shape
Experts note that there is a variety of lengths and hairstyles of the micro bangs, so it’s important to be clear with your stylist about what you’re looking for. “Micro bangs have more aliases than the modern-day convict—baby bangs, micro fringe, etc.,” says Labrecque. “Are they messy? Are they blunt? I always say that you can’t ever go wrong by showing your stylist a photo of the look you want for inspiration and to make sure you’re both on the same page.”
While pulling a reference, Abergel suggests considering “what you are attracted to” and then, “take strong images to your stylist.” If they have a faux bang piece in the salon, he recommends playing with that at a variety of lengths and shapes to see what you and the stylist think.
While you can and should go in with a confident idea of what you want, ultimately the expert might have more insight than you into why a haircut may or may not work. “The consultation will be key to ensure that you don’t have a strong natural growth pattern that will prevent your micro fringe from becoming too unmanageable,” says Graciano. “Be sure to consult the density of your hair to help guide your choice in what type of short bangs will work best for your hair type. Whether you choose loosely chopped and lived in or a strong, thick, heavier fringe.”
As for the rest of your hair, you can take it in almost any direction. “In today’s age, we can break out-of-the-box and pair these bangs with styles like the wolf cut and the modern shag, which results in an elevated, edgy look,” says Labrecque.
Styling tips and products for bangs
Good news, if the cut is right, Labrecque says you shouldn’t need much more than a quick swipe of the flat iron to head out the door, but of course, there are other style options and a plethora of products you could use. For a piecey fun look, he uses Paul Labrecque Matte Pomade ($28) to finish the bangs off and keep them soft to the touch.
Abergel recommends starting with a root that’s wet with water or Virtue Labs Volumizing Primer ($38). “Then take a Denman Brush and swipe the hair side to the side while blow drying it with low heat. To finish, add a bit of styling paste to your fingertips and polish the ends,” advises Abergel.
Graciano says you’ll want to avoid going out with a wet fringe “to prevent growth patterns or natural parts from setting.” With any styling, she suggests prepping hair with products like Goldie Locks Smoothing Cream ($38) for a longer-lasting, more manageable mane. “Those with curly or wavy textures can either embrace their texture or opt for a brush that provides enough tension to assist you with the blow dry,” says Graciano.