We get it, change is hard—especially when it comes to your hair. So how can you be expected to jump headfirst into a new look when it comes to something as bold as bangs? For anyone feeling particularly gun-shy in this arena, meet your new best friend: the wispy bang. Not quite as daring as the Bardot bang, the wispy look is an extremely low-maintenance alternative to fall’s hottest hair trend.
“Wispy bangs are great because you can blend them into your hair,” says Colleen Duffy, stylist at Sally Hershberger L.A. “They’re easy to grow out and aren’t as full as normal bangs.” In essence, think of them as trial bangs: They’re there when you want them and gone when you don’t.
The semi-bang is a popular choice among celebrities, who often seem to go from bangs to no-bangs in a snap. Although all iterations of the look include textured, piecey strands as a crucial element, there are a number of ways to individualize the look.
Take Dakota Johnson, who keeps her bangs layered at the brow to complement her bob.
And Hailee Steinfeld, who keeps her wisps on the longer side, opting for a lash-grazing chop.
Model Behati Prinsloo prefers a swooping look so she can transition into a glam side-bang seamlessly.
Although this particular style works well on most hair types and face shapes, it’s ideal for those with straight or wavy hair. Curly-haired women might want to stay away from trying the look, as bangs are typically more difficult to style with curls. Yet even so, the very low-maintenance nature of wispy bangs will still cut down styling time for those with curls who are simply dying for fringe.
Even though wisps are entry-level bangs, they’re still bangs, so Duffy recommends starting out longer—around the eyebrow—and then deciding if you want to go shorter from there. Remember: What works for Dakota Johnson might not work for you.
Once you’ve made the chop, ensuring your new bangs retain their cool-girl status day in and day out is actually surprisingly easy. Simply blow dry your bangs downward, separating pieces as you go, advises Duffy. Then, use a dry shampoo such as Sally Hershberger Supreme Stylist Voluminous Dry Shampoo ($32) to give lift and hold at the roots and add a texturizing cream on the ends to create defined pieces.
Of course, if you ultimately decide bangs aren’t quite for you, just push your wispies to the side and, voilà, you’ve got a new hairstyle. Commitment avoided.