Fashion’s Biggest Hair Trend: Micro-Bangs

Rooney Mara with microbangs. Love them or hate them, microbangs have become undeniably trendy in the last few months, with many celebrities gracing the red carpet with the cut.

In fashion, less is more. But does this rule apply to hair trends?

NYU students are notorious for their trendy and fashion-forward style. It’s not unusual to walk into a morning lecture and be in awe of the chic looks being sported with an enviable degree of effortlessness. Some looks become campus staples — Adidas Superstar, anyone? — while others are best left to the pros and admired from afar. The look currently making a recurring appearance on campus: micro-bangs.

Micro-bangs, also known as baby bangs, are the latest hair trend to take over red carpets, runways and the streets of New York. Where traditional bangs skim right at or below the eyebrow, micro-bangs are characterized by a distinct bluntness and end much higher on the forehead. While the hairdo might seem like something only the most distinguished trend-setter can pull off, its diverse fan base has proven its versatility. At NYU, the trend was first noticed among the artsy and indie crowd — even coined as “Gallatin bangs” — but its proliferation into mainstream media has been picked up after celebrities such as Emma Roberts, Bella Hadid, Sofia Boutella and Beyonce have rocked the look.

However, with growing popularity, it becomes increasingly difficult to pinpoint the trend’s origins or why the hairstyle is associated with certain places and people.

Online beauty publications such as Refinery29 have described the look as sci-fi — a result of the reiterated idea that it is a modern concept. On the contrary, fashion’s tendency to borrow inspiration from the past should make it no surprise that micro bangs can be traced to the 1930s and are irrevocably tied to style icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Bettie Page. The trend’s origins help reiterate its longevity in beauty culture while reinforcing the temporary nature of all hair trends which come and go with time.

Perhaps the popularity of micro -bangs is best assessed within the context of the moments in time when they resurface. It is no secret that we are in a time when women are reclaiming power and reshaping femininity in all areas, including fashion. Therefore, whether one is a fan or a skeptic, the look — like all looks — must be regarded and considered as a bold statement of self-expression.

At the end of day, micro-bangs add fearlessness to anyone bold enough to embrace it. Traditional bangs are already considered one of the riskier hair endeavors so, undoubtedly, micro-bangs are a powerful statement. And because signature style has always been a product of those who have dared to step beyond conventions, sporting micro-bangs can be seen both as an aesthetic choice or as a way of saying: I’m a risk taker, and I’m proud of it.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 5 print edition. Email Zuleyma Sanchez at [email protected].

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