There's a certain je ne sais quoi signature that makes the style we think of as "French-girl hair" so aspirational: not just one hair length or texture, but rather the feathery fringe skimming the forehead just so. That breezy, effortless touch — also known as the wispy bang — isn't only the chicest haircut around, worn by fashion's most recognizable street-style influencers. It's also surprisingly versatile, and flattering on just about everyone who asks for it.
For proof, we've rounded up the best wispy-bang inspiration to bring to your upcoming spring salon appointment. Scroll through to find the style that matches your hair thickness, curl propensity, and aesthetic, then bring it to your stylist. Plan to walk out with the most stylish cut you've ever worn — sure to inspire a killer black blazer and red-lip moment.
Celebrity stylist Laura Polko tells us that wispy bangs can be tricky to cut, but the key is to focus the scissors toward the center of the forehead to keep the bang from getting heavy. "Your stylist should start by cutting a small triangle-size section at the middle of the bang to achieve that wispy effect," she explains. "The key is to start with very small sections of hair, and work your way back from center slowly."
Hairstylist Carolyn Aronson references another cutting technique known as "slithering," which involves slicing into the hair, and not straight across. "Take the scissor in a stationary position — blades slightly open — then slide it down the hair shaft from top to bottom, never fully closing the blade," she says.
Cutting wispy bangs on curls of any pattern requires a dry cut to make sure the dry curl doesn't bounce up short. "Curly hair needs to be left longer to make up for the spring-back of the curl," Aronson says. "I recommend cutting them dry with just a spritz of leave-in conditioner
, which then helps the curl maintain its elasticity to prevent over-cutting."
If you have short hair, Aronson says that a heavier wispy bang can give nice dimension to the cut. "If you have shorter hair, you can ask for a blunter bang with a little less wispiness, then style with a pomade
to piece it out just right," she explains.
If your hair is longer
and on the blunt
side, consider a thinned-out bang that skims down to your eyelashes. Aronson tells us that a longer bang is super low-maintenance, and can be tucked behind the ear to blend with the rest of the cut.
For styling, Polko recommends stocking up on texture spray
and a multi-speed blow dryer
. "Put a little texture spray into your damp hair, and then direct the hair downward with the heat of the blow dryer on a low-speed setting — this ensures that the bangs are smooth," she says. "Then you can use your hands as opposed to a brush to style them, so the strands fall haphazardly with curtain frame that appears super natural."
If you're looking for a bang with shine that flutters away from the forehead just a smidge — like Jeanne Damas' — Aronson recommends using the It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Balm
to get the glossy finish with a little bit of movement and body.
If you're considering a layered shaggy cut
, wispy bangs parted softly in the middle keep the attention on the strands framing the profile of the face.
The feathered bang was basically invented for a short curly cut
, to put all the emphasis on the individual curls bouncing on the forehead.
The choice to go blunt or sparse and thin with your bang is up to you — you just want to make sure that there's always a sliver of your forehead visible through the hair to keep the bangs truly wispy.