Updos with a few perfectly positioned strands hanging loose, delicate windswept layers – it all sounds awfully ’90s, doesn’t it? And sure enough, the wispy hair trend has proved its longevity once again, returning to the catwalks and our Instagram feeds with all its perfectly unstructured charm.
What makes it such a hit? The key to its popularity is its universality, wispiness can be worked into almost any style, so everyone can try their own take on it. Plus, with the beauty world’s continual obsession with cool, French-girl hair, wispy hair is just what we’ve all been waiting for. Here, we’re looking into the ethereal, effortless style and showcasing the best ways to wear it.
Wonderfully wispy: The wispy hair look is so in right now
1. Windswept updo
Is this Emily Ratajkowski-esque style not exactly what your Instagram feed is calling out for? And before you tell us your hair could never look like this – it can.
You don’t need a studio or glam squad to get a supermodel blowout, just call on your trusty blowdryer to emulate the wind machine look and remember to use a heat protectant and keep it on the cool setting, because heat damage isn’t chic. Credit: @asos_studio
2. Long layers
Even the most beautiful long hair can benefit from a few layers here and there, particularly around the face and jawline. They give the lengths body and lift for a bouncier and more youthful appearance. Credit: @pretty.little.wings
Editor’s tip: To really accentuate your layers and emulate the fresh-out-the-salon vibes, take your straightener and use it to gently curl the pieces of hair away from your face.
To keep your ends safe, soft and shiny, use the TRESemmé Heat Defence Spray beforehand – it protects hair from heat up to 230°C.
3. Bardot bangs
We like to think of Bardot bangs as the fringe for commitment-phobes. These soft parted bangs give you the fringe look, but without being so bold as a full-on fringe. And most importantly, you can clip them back out of the way with bobby pins if you decide to grow them out. Credit: @stefano_greco
4. Sweeping pixie
Length is no barrier when it comes to rocking wispy hair. Pixie crops are by their nature quite a daring look, but working in sweeping layers creates a more face-flattering, delicate edge which will really make your features pop! Credit: @raycheldweiner
Editor’s tip: Few of us have hair that naturally sweeps perfectly into place, so if this look has you smitten you should try using something like the VO5 Tame & Shine Spray. This’ll help work your hair into position with just the right amount of hold and shine.
5. ’70s shag
If you’re a retro queen at heart, this ’70s-inspired shag cut is your way of channelling the wispy hair look. With soft, choppy layers adding volume at the crown, it’s the easiest way to boost fine hair without sacrificing on length. Credit: @futurevanitynovelty
6. Haute combover
The side fringe gets a high fashion update in the form of this boyish comb-over. It’s a bit of an illusion in that unlike a side fringe you can actually fake the effect just by creating a deep side parting and tucking the front of your hair behind your ear to give the look of a swooping fringe. Credit: @alexlinleycairns
Next read: Discover another way to get in on the bangs trend with our faux bangs tutorial.
7. Lived-in braids
Braids always look better when they’re a little undone but who has time to wait around for them to look more lived-in? Not us. So, to replicate the effect simply pancake your braids (that is, pull gently on them from either side to make them look bigger), leaving any shorter pieces out of the braid so that it looks like they’ve naturally fallen free. Et voilà! Credit: @facesbymicah