Birkin Bangs Are The Most Effortless Fringe Style

Social media posts for #hairstyleinspo needs to come with advisory tags because the perils of fringe envy are real. With so many types of bangs trending on Instagram and TikTok, it's easy to get swept up in the thrill of debuting a new, chic look with a freshly cut fringe — only to deal with the reality of having to style it on your own every day.

Birkin bangs are the type of fringe that can cause a serious case of fringe envy. Named after the late actress, singer, and activist Jane Birkin whose effortless style perfectly straddled the youthful, counterculture trends of the '60s and the bohemian glamor of the '70s, these bangs have a breeziness reminiscent of their namesake. They're flirty and girly, and although they have body and fullness near the roots, they're cut thinner at the ends so they lightly graze the eyebrows. Glamour noted, "The key [to this style] was to look a little messy, like [you'd] let it air-dry and raked [your] fingers through it for some movement on the way out the door."

That easy appeal makes these bangs fit right in with the cool and chic French vibe that Birkin herself mastered. Though born in Britain, the late star relocated to Paris at 20 years old and lived there permanently, eventually becoming a naturalized citizen. Her ease in her own skin made Birkin a fashion icon whose biggest charm is her uncontrived style — something that can also be said about her signature bangs.

Birkin bangs also work with textured hair

This fringe style has gone through a slight but key change from the days when Birkin wore them as part of her look. Hairstylist Castillo Bataille told InStyle that the late actress's version was shorter and blunter compared to its current iteration. Still, today's Birkin bangs have retained the texture and dimension needed so they frame the face in a flattering manner. "My favorite thing about these bangs is that they require less hair than normal blunt bangs," he added. 

Though thin, straight hair works best with this style according to Castillo, he doesn't rule out other hair types from achieving the Birkin bangs' look and vibe. Stylist David Toth agrees. "Any hair type, texture, and style can be inspired by them and pull them off as long as the rest of the face-framing layers are well below the chin and don't connect to the bangs," he said to Pop Sugar. Women's Wear Daily further opined that Birkin bangs are complementary to different face shapes, making them a great "built-in accessory" for different personal styles.

What to ask your stylist

The timeless appeal of Birkin bangs have endured since the '60s so your stylist might be familiar with how to cut them already. In case they're not, the description of Aveda Arts & Sciences Institute's creative director Tatum Neill (shared with Who What Wear) might help give them an idea: "They have a square shape to them much like the Hermès Birkin bag, but they do not read as geometric and blunt." Even as the bangs "hug" the face, extending beyond the corners of the eyes, its ends are wispy and textured.

Bring reference pictures featuring someone with a similar hair type and face shape as yours. These won't be difficult to find since so many Hollywood stars have sported this fringe, from Dakota Johnson and Anne Hathaway to Zendaya and Jenna Ortega. Your references should also show your ideal length for the bangs, whether they graze the eyelashes or the eyelids or remain a bit above the brows.

Neill also recommended sharing with your stylist your hair's growth patterns so they cut and style your bangs in a way that won't leave them bouncy and, instead, have them sit against the forehead. "The bangs should be cut with a little disheveled precession so they maintain a square shape but feel soft and piece-y," he specified to Who What Wear. InStyle also advised having the bangs cut a little longer at first then trimming them shorter bit by bit to allow for possible shrinkage.

How to style your Birkin bangs

They might look effortlessly chic but unless you have thin, straight strands, Birkin bangs require some styling. Nothing too elaborate, though: All you need are a blow dryer and a small paddle brush to get them to "fall" properly, plus a spritz of texturizing spray to achieve that stylishly piece-y look. Tresemmé global stylist Justin Marjan's tip (per Byrdie) is to point the blow dryer's nozzle downward. Neill also recommended to Who What Wear, "You want to follow your brush or comb with your blow-dryer with a back-and-forth movement so the hair doesn't part in any particular direction." This also works to tame cowlicks along the hairline. Finally, applying dry shampoo keeps the bangs from getting weighed down by oil during the day or on days when you forgo washing your hair.

Birkin bangs look great with any hair length, from a jawline-grazing French bob to tresses that go past the shoulders. The hair can be worn sleek and straight or wavy. Pair these bangs with an updo or do as Marjan suggested to Byrdie, which is to accessorize with a headband.

Maintaining these bangs as they grow out requires a trim every few weeks. Should you feel like growing them out completely, Bataille described to InStyle how your stylist can trim them so they get thinner at the ends. With less weight, the bangs gradually blend back into the hair as they gain length.