How to Cut The Perfect French-Girl Bangs At Home

Birkin-esque beauty.

French beauty is synonymous with joie de vivre, effortless elegance and nonchalance, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the classic French-girl bangs. Piecey, tousled and the perfect example of natural-looking beauty, bangs like these are not, however, as easy to achieve as they may appear. Just as with the barely-there beauty look, AKA "no-makeup makeup," a fringe à la française might be innate for anyone with French DNA, but for the rest of us there are a few key rules to follow. 

Channel your inner Parisian chic with these tips on how to cut and style your French fringe:

Length: The Art Of The Arc

Image: via @jeannedamas on Instagram 

The key is all in the length. Forget blunt, straight-across bangs, and consider a more subtle version, where the hem of the hair barely brushes the brows, following the curve of your forehead and giving you your very own Arc de Triomphe! This not only draws attention to the eyes, but it softly balances the structure of your face.

To achieve a seamless sweep, spritz your dry hair with water or detangling spray to make it easier to cut, then separate out the front section, taking hair from up to two inches away from your hairline. Twist this section tightly around itself but not so much that it starts to coil and, using a pair of sharp hair-cutting shears, cut the hair at the level of your eyelashes. Untwist the lock, comb through and you should have created a natural-looking arc across the bangs.

Shape: Piece By Piece

Image: via @louisefollain on Instagram 

Piecey, not choppy, is the effect you're after here. Holding your shears in a vertical position, reduce the length and bluntness by snipping ("point-cutting" as the experts call it) the tips, holding the hair in place with a comb. The further up, or longer, the snips, the more of a piecey effect you'll be left with. Aim for the ends to fall just below your eyebrows, as hair hangs longer when wet.

If in doubt, give your bangs a quick blow dry before trying this and then, if you realize you'd prefer a more textured, layered finish, wet them again and try adding some definition using the above technique. 

Texture: Wispy, Not Windswept


French-girl Bangs are immediately identifiable thanks to their effortless appeal that looks both put-together and carefree, often with a matte finish. If you hair isn't naturally disciplined, don't worry, it's actually easier to calm unruly hair than it is to add texture to naturally limp locks without weighing them down. 

A serum applied to the lengths and ends of your bangs can restore moisture and reduce frizz, followed by a texturizing spray to enhance the piecey effect and ensure the hair stays styled all day long. To add body to thin hair, use a volumizing mousse after your shampoo and conditioner, then dry the bangs while holding them vertically upwards. This will give some natural-looking texture and body that can be fixed in place with a light spritz of hairspray.

Style: Flaunt Your French Flair

Image: via @makemylemonade on Instagram 

You don't have to wear a striped shirt and beret combo with a baguette under your arm to work the French look. Remember that style à la française is all about natural-looking beauty and casual-yet-chic style. Keep your outfit simple yet sophisticated: you can't go wrong with a crisp white shirt and well-fitted pair of jeans, for example.

Ensure the rest of your hair has the same tousled texture as your fringe. French-girl bangs don't have to be worn with long hair, they also look great with lobs and bobs. The key is in the volume: we recommend a dry texturizing spray that can be scrunched in at any point during the day to give your hair instant waves and buildable volume.

Bangs are great news for those of us who wear glasses, as they act like an accessory, focusing the attention on the eyes. Opt for a thin, dark, liquid liner across the lash line, complemented with spidery lashes using a volumizing mascara. Keep the complexion and lips neutral, with just the hint of a blush on the cheeks to achieve that come-hither look epitomized by Jane Birkin.

Ready for the chop? Here's everything you'll need to cut and create the French-girl bangs of your dreams: 
Sweethearts Hair Detangler - $6
Long Aid Naturals Tangle & Twist Rescue Detangling Spray -$6
Equinox Barber & Salon Styling Series - Barber Hair Cutting Scissors/Shears - $9
Bardeau Essentials Styling Comb and Tail Comb Combo Pack - $13
Living Proof Satin Hair Serum -  $30
Kiehl's Silk Groom Serum - $18
Shu Uemura Texture Wave Dry Texturizing Spray - $39
Balmain Texturizing Volume Spray - €27
Ouai Haircare Texturizing Hair Spray -  $26
Pureology Clean Volume Weightless Mousse - $28
NYX Cosmetics Matte Liquid Liner - $7
Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Spider Effect Washable Mascara - $8

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