Fringes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and navigating the “rules” around them can be exhausting. Will a fringe suit my face? Should I wear it parted or blunt? What happens when it gets hot and sticky? But the instant, transformative quality of a fringe is the one thing that keeps us coming back for more. Which is why our latest Hair Trend has got us hooked.
Micro fringes are exactly what they say on the tin: short, daring and sitting high above the brow. Also known as baby bangs, these mini ‘dos were previously only sported by the bravest, punkiest of us - think Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. But there’s a change in the air. Our Instagram feeds seem to be awash with micro fringes of all kinds and suddenly they don’t seem so scary.
There’s no doubt that baby bangs are a plucky style statement by whoever chooses to take the trend on. They’ve long been associated with the archetypal ‘cool girl with confidence’ and, for the most part, they still are. But as more and more people choose to embrace their individual edge, micro fringes are starting to feel like an accessible option for those considering going for a fringe.
Although often worn straight and blunt, the micro fringe comes in many shapes and sizes and those with a bit of natural texture shouldn’t be afraid of this trend. In fact, one of our favourite styles of baby bangs is on curly hair types. A current Insta-stalk of ours is Alyssa Coscarelli - US-based Senior Fashion Market Editor at Refinery 29 and a curly, cropped fringe fanatic. Her naturally wavy and textured hair is the perfect partner for the style, as well as Alyssa’s own mix-and-match wardrobe - reminding us of Audrey Tatou’s chunky, mini-fringed bob in Amelié. Don’t worry too much about the fringe springing up - this is meant to be an imperfect look. Embrace the unreliable nature of the micro fringe.
For a slightly more off-kilter vibe, the micro fringe can be chipped into for a more uneven style - think Emma Watson’s latest just-touching-the-forehead fringe that varies subtly in length. We suggest steering clear of grabbing the kitchen scissors for this one, instead put your faith in a trusted cut specialist who knows exactly the end result you’re after.
When it comes to micro fringe veterans, VICE journalist and former Glasshouse girl Lauren O’Neill has sported her’s since the age of 16 and is forever singing the praises of the style. “It’s a very simple way to make an otherwise quite boring, one-length haircut feel a bit more spicy” Lauren told us, “Over the years I’ve worn mine in loads of different ways – super short, choppy like Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice, and eyebrow skimming and windswept. Though it might feel extreme, it’s actually quite versatile, and if you’re lazy like me it’s great because you can let it grow out as much as you like between trims, and it generally stays looking pretty good!”
In fact, Lauren has a point. The micro fringe will take a while to start falling in between your eyes so constant fringe trims are not as necessary with this style. The important thing is to get the original chop spot on and have trims every now and then to keep the fringe mini, not maxi. We also recommend a few handy styling products to get you covered. For straight-hair types, a small dollop of Organic Colour Systems’ Aqua Boost Leave-in Conditioner worked into towel-dried hair will keep your fringe looking smooth and free from flyaways. If you’re hair is textured or curly, senior stylist Ashleigh recommends Organic Colour Systems’ Control Texture: “It’s a light styling product that gives hold and a little movement - perfect for encouraging natural texture and minimising fluffiness. Apply a small amount to wet or dry hair and style with your fingers.”
For something with a bit more grit, Ashleigh suggests O&M’s Surf Bomb: “This is a great one to spritz and scrunch into your fringe for long-lasting texture. The fresh scent is really nice in summer as well.” If you want to embrace the natural texture of your fringe but still flatten out any unruly cowlicks, use a paddle brush on wet hair and brush down whilst drying with a hair dryer. This will get it sitting flatter and a feeling manageable.
Whether your hair is poker straight or feathered and mullet-y, baby bangs might just be the bold hair update you’re after. This isn’t just another catwalk style to be sneered at, but an instant hair-moderniser that’ll have you feeling radical, not ridiculous. We suggest you find out for yourself.
Words: Lucy Vincent
Cover image: Harpers Bazaar