Two things that give me anxiety: debating whether or not I want to be that person who takes the last slice of pizza, and the idea of getting a fringe. Sure, I would love to emulate Brigitte Bardot via vintage curtain bangs or have the guts to pull off a baby fringe à la Emma Roberts at the Critics' Choice Awards. But alas, if there's one thing I'm sure of in this ever-changing world, it's that I will always be afraid of the notorious commitment that is fringe.
Or maybe not! Lately, I've seen wispy fringes floating around Instagram, and I have to say, I'm rethinking some things. Is it just me, or is feathery fringe having a capital-M "Moment" right now? To answer that question, I reached out to Kathy Benghanem, a hairstylist at NYC's Gemini 14, whose clients include fringed beauties Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens.
"Wispy and unruly bangs are definitely in right now," Benghanem confirmed. "Call it more of a natural, French look." To achieve this ethereal, prime-for-hair-flipping style, she advised asking your stylist for an unformed fringe with a little bit of texture. "You want it to feel light and fall naturally," Benghanem said.
Wispy fringes work best on someone who has at least a three-inch-long forehead, but it's not a total dealbreaker if yours is a little shorter. "I don't have a rule of thumb, I kind of just look at the person," Benghanem said. "If the forehead is too small, I just have to dedicate more hair and cut higher to make things more symmetrical."
When it comes time to style, Benghanem said her motto is "let the hair do what it wants." There's no catch-all product for keeping your fringe in check. Instead, you'll want to reach for a different formula depending on your hair type. For fine or superstraight hair, Benghanem recommends spritzing fringes with an alcohol-based texture spray to add volume.
If your hair is naturally unruly or wavy, "You'll want a lotion-cream texture to add a bit of weight to the hair and help it stay down." But air-drying is not your friend. "Blow-drying is the key," she said. "I like to style a fringe from a very wet state. Blow-dry it in opposite directions to work out the hair pattern, so that it falls straight down." You don't need to bust out the round brush for this process. "Just finger through the ends to style, and if a piece is too curly, gently hit it with a hot tool such as a flatiron," she advised.
Here's the kicker: Benghanem said wispy fringes are "definitely easier" to maintain than classic blunt, straight-edge ones. "We can cut it in the direction away from your face, and make the length short to long. It's light and moldable rather than heavy. It's easier to work with." That means if you want to grow it out, you're not going to be stuck bobby-pinning the awkward bits back. "You can just push it to the side," Benghanem said.
Read on for more wispy bang inspiration, but be warned — it's going to make you want to call your stylist and make the change!