Although we still love curtain bangs and bottleneck bangs, lately we’ve been captivated by another style: Birkin bangs. Named after English-French icon Jane Birkin, her signature fringe is rising in popularity again and has everyone indulging in their French cool girl fantasies. We reached out to two celebrity hairstylists, who shared everything we need to know about the trending cut, including how to style and maintain the look in 2023.
"Birkin Bangs" Are the French-Girl Hair Trend You'll Want to Try This Summer
French beauty at its finest
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
Meet the Experts:
- Castillo Bataille is a celebrity hairstylist and brand ambassador for Matrix. The Los Angeles-based stylist, who has worked on editorial campaigns for Marie Claire, Glamour, W Magazine and Cosmopolitan also counts Priyanka Chopra, Meghan Trainor and Liza Koshy as clients.
- Tom Smith is a celebrity hairstylist and a trend forecaster based in the United Kingdom. He’s previously predicted trendy styles like “bottleneck bangs,” “expensive brunette” and the “curtain cut.” His clients include Louise Redknapp and Geri Halliwell.
What Are Birkin Bangs?
“Birkin bangs have sharp corners that frame the face and are great for people who like the idea of a full fringe, but don’t want it to fully close in on their faces in a solid heavy shape,” explains Smith. “This style of bang—while short and straight enough to make a statement—has softer, choppier characteristics to it that give them an added femininity.”
While Jane Birkin herself wore fuller bangs in the ‘60s, the modern take is a bit wispier and has a piecey finish that accentuates your facial features. Regardless of how you rock ‘em, the look is universally flattering on all face shapes and textures.
OK, What Is the Difference Between Birkin Bangs and Curtain Bangs?
It all comes down to their length and width. Curtain bangs have longer pieces at the ends that lay mid-cheek to chin-length and are often fuller and heavier like regular blunt bangs. As Bataille explains, Birkin bangs “stay fairly tight to the eyes and brows, while the ends are thin and wispy.” He also mentioned that the trendy cut features less hair than blunt bangs, which leaves more room for texture and dimension around the face.
Why Are They So Popular Now?
Jane Birkin was the ultimate cool girl in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The singer, actress and model was an original influencer who inspired countless trends including the iconic Hermés Birkin Bag (which was named after her) and her chic French fringe.
Recently, ‘60s and ‘70s hairstyles have returned to the spotlight, as we’ve been leaning toward more relaxed, low-maintenance looks this year. Thanks to Birkin’s impact, we’ve spotted celebs like Lily Collins, Jenna Ortega and Anne Hathaway rocking her signature bangs, which proves this classic cut is appreciated by every generation that has come after her.
Who Can Rock Birkin Bangs?
Anyone can wear Birkin bangs, but both experts we interviewed say they’re best for thin, straight hair to add volume and texture to flat locks. “That doesn’t mean all other textures are out! Birkin bangs can be cut into any texture. And since they’re cut with less weight at the ends, they’re easier to grow out than normal bangs,” Bataille assures.
As for face shape, Smith says all face shapes can get in on the style: “Thanks to their wispier appearance, Birkin bangs allow those with rounder face shapes or smaller foreheads to wear a straighter bang without closing in their faces. Those with square face shapes can curve the outer edges of the bangs down to make them more flattering, while those with longer faces can opt for less wispiness to create thicker bangs, so less forehead is visible while keeping the characteristic Birkin choppiness on the ends.”
How to Get Birkin Bangs At the Salon
First and foremost, you always want to come to the salon with a reference photo. The photo should mirror your own face shape and hair texture, as it gives your stylist a better understanding of how you want the Birkin bangs to actually look on you.
Next, think about the length and shape of your bangs. If this is your first time trying bangs, you might want to start with a slightly longer fringe, which is easier to style and grows out faster if you end up not liking the cut. “Ask your stylist to thin out the ends a bit but not open up the face too much. The idea is to keep the bang area tight and flirty to frame the face,” says Bataille.
How to Style Birkin Bangs
Good news: Birkin bangs are easy to style at home. Start by washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner as usual before adding a texturizing spray or mousse to your fringe for some extra hold and definition. Let your strands air dry or for more texture, Smith suggests using a flat paddle brush and a blow dryer. Brush your bangs from left to right and then right to left for a subtle lift.
The beauty of these bangs is that they play well with different hairstyles. Consider pairing them with a ponytail or a top knot—or let your hair down for a tousled style. (Need some ideas? Reference the images in this story to get you started.) One more thing: If your bangs get a bit greasy, Smith recommends spritzing them with dry shampoo to reduce oiliness in-between washes.
How to Maintain Birkin Bangs
Birkin bangs are popular, in part, because of how easy they are to grow out without ever hitting that awkward phase. While you can get monthly trims to keep them in shape, it’s not really necessary, as they’ll just take on a more curtain-y shape when they get longer. “The softer nature of these bangs means that they actually grow out quite nicely, and can be swept back or evolve into bottleneck or curtain bangs as they get longer,” says Smith.
Now that we’re sporting our fresh fringe, we’re saying hello (er, bonjour) to our very own French Girl Summer.
Want more beauty tips sent right to your inbox? Subscribe here.