Would YOU Wear a Micro Fringe?

Deconstructing 2016's dark horse.

Rewind to this past summer: What hair trend stood out for you the most? For me, it was the resurgence of the micro fringe, which, if we’re being honest here, is one thing we never really saw coming. Admittedly starting out as an acquired taste, we’re now seeing more and more designers incorporating this grunge-era style of the baby bang on their latest runways and actually—actually!—changing the way we perceive this tricky look.

Since we were quite throwback-happy this year—braids, the blunt bob, the shag—it probably comes as no surprise that this ’90s hairstyle has found a renewed place in the hearts of many. Make no mistake, it’s still not the best look for everyone (as no one trend is perfectly universal), so we’re going to try to deconstruct it for the curious yet still very afraid (i.e. me).

The Micro Fringe: Let’s Discuss This

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You’ve got bangs, for better or for worse: With a micro fringe, there is no cheating around the look. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. It’s kinda scary… but in a good way

Think about the tiny panic attack you get when getting regular bangs… now triple that. Forget about maybe sweeping your bangs off to the side, or clipping them up when you’re having an off day (or sweating it out in the gym). There is ZERO of that leeway with a micro fringe—it’s all or nothing, which is, you know, kinda awesome. It doesn’t care if you’re feeling especially puffy, or oily, or just-not-in-a-bang-wearing-mood; you must face facts, as they’re literally front and center. It’s kind of like having a high-maintenance cat, but on your face: It just begs to be noticed, with absolutely no regard for your feelings. Which brings us to my next point…

2. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Confidence is required. A lot of it. To make up for maybe not having a perfectly symmetrical, oval- or longer-shaped face that can pull of a micro fringe without a hitch. Or maybe for actually having the cheek to bring something back that you thought was perfectly happy living in your 1990s yearbook picture. Either way, it’s not a look that sits well with everyone, as not everyone can pull off having their forehead bisected in half and still have it work for daily life. I must say, a lot of fans of the look though have managed to integrate the micro fringe and its nuances pretty seamlessly: Covered via a fabric headband at the gym, worked to the hilt at the club, and ruffled à la French ingénue in between. It’s challenging to work around if you’re a bang conservative and are used to a bang-conservative lifestyle (acknowledged, but not shouted from the rooftops), but for those who have the guts to go where angels fear to tread… you do you, boo.

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A longer version is a tad more forgiving (and looks charming with a ponytail!). Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

3. It takes twice as long to grow out.

Every girl who’s contemplated getting bangs (a.k.a. every girl, full stop) has had that fear, right at the artist’s chair, that she might regret the look and just cry for two months till it grows out. And with a micro fringe, there’s just no escaping it—if you get cold feet or sick of the look a few weeks in, you have no choice but to wait-it-out, achingly, painstakingly, like a long-suffering sailor’s wife. And since some of us can’t deal with that drama, this is also why a lot of women opt for clip-on bangs as a compromise—they get to try out the look sans commitment, because although hair grows out, it only grows around six inches a year, so that means you’re left with a semblance of a fringe for the next year and a half of your life. Like, till August 2017. Just saying.

4. But it’s life-changing.

We’ve had friends who’ve taken the micro fringe route with #NoRegrets, saying that it’s the total look upgrade they’ve wanted all year. It’s undeniably directional and refreshes your facial shape like no other—you will appear different to other people, as well as to yourself even, for sure. More than that, the micro fringe is a statement too: that you’re not afraid to commit or to look different from the pack, that your hair is no one else’s business but yours and that you dress up just for you. That I think is the best part of getting this gamechanger of a hair look—it’s less about a trend than it is about having a totally original mindset, enough to make the rest of us look twice. So yes, I’ve actually graduated to a “maybe,” and maybe that’s good enough for now.

Looking to make the cut? Check out our hottest bang trends for more inspiration.