Like many other things we Americans romanticize about the French, I’ve always been in awe of how these ladies seem to keep their fringe bangs looking effortless and fresh. My personal experience with bangs is that they look effortless and fresh for all of 10 minutes, and then they end up stuck to my face, swept to the side mixed in with the rest of my hair, or just generally unruly.
After many, many trials and errors, I came to the conclusion the trick is in the styling itself. It’s not like French women don’t experience the same wind, heat, and humidity that we do, so it must be something they’re doing differently from the start that keeps their hair intact. With this in mind, I reached out to one of L.A.’s top hairstylists Linet K. to find out where I’m going wrong—and how to turn my regular fringe bangs into effortless French-girl bangs.
Linet walked me through a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve said fringe bangs, so today I’m sharing the same routine with you below—and it’s actually much easier than I imagined. The key is all in the blow-dry technique, and being as uncoordinated as I am, if I can do this, so can you. Promise. Keep scrolling to learn the easiest way to style fringe bangs, plus see the recommended products you’ll need to ensure they stay put all day.
After showering, spray wet hair with a lightweight heat protectant and comb through evenly. This will prevent as much damage as possible from your blow dryer. Linet recommends this one, but any heat protectant will help.
Blow-dry your hair as normal until it’s about 75% dry. Then part your hair down the middle and section off the front of your hair—from the arch of your eyebrow up is perfect. I find it helpful to loosely clip the rest of my hair back so I can focus on the front pieces.
Using a round brush, pull your bangs forward away from your face at a 90-degree angle with your blow dryer underneath, about an inch away from the hair. Then, in the same motion, pull them all the way back away from your face (toward the back of your head) for volume. Keep repeating this motion until your bangs are just about dry.
Now, reclaim your middle part and take just the right side of your bangs and repeat the same motion out to that side so that it flairs. Then, do the same thing on the left side.
Finally to set your hair, use a texture/finishing spray to hold it all in place and add just a bit of grit. Linet recommends holding the spray bottle 12 inches away from your hair so as not to overdo it and make your strands feel crunchy—less is definitely more here.
Violà—your French-girl bangs are complete! I personally spray a lightweight hairspray all over my hair at the end (I have fine hair, so if I don’t it will be flat in a few seconds), but this step is totally up to you. Everyone’s hair is different and your desired hold is unique.
Now, let’s say your hair is already done from earlier in the day or the previous one, and you don’t have time to re-wet and blow dry your hair again but you want to refresh your fringe bangs. Linet says you can achieve the same effect using a curling iron—just curl outward on each side using the same motion you would with a round brush. She recommends a larger iron for this so they don’t end up too tight (1.25 inches is ideal).
Source: Who What Wear – Caitlin Burnett