French bangs, or French girl bangs, are a classically chic way to add a little effortless style and shape to your current ‘do.
We’re explaining all the basics in this guide: What French bangs are, examples of the style, how to incorporate them into your look, tips to perfectly style them, and who they’re a good fit for.
Find out if French bangs are the best way to instantly upgrade your style and get inspired with examples of this timeless, feminine fringe style below.
What Are French Bangs?
French bangs, or French girl bangs, are a long, full, angled fringe that typically hits below the eyebrows at the shortest point and around the cheekbones at the longest point on the sides.
The are typically:
- Full with lash-grazing length
- Split near the center
- Angled with longer sides
You’ll see French bangs worn open with a central split to divide the fringe and keep it from fully obscuring the forehead. Usually, a slightly wavy texture is part of the look to achieve the effortlessly sexy, undone vibe that is French girl bangs.
French bangs aren’t quite as heavy as a blunt bang, but they’re also far from wispy. French women prefer a full bang (as opposed to a light and wispy Korean air bang, for example).
The fullness helps boost and accentuate the curving shape of this bang while making styling a little simpler, too. French bangs are really similar to curtain bangs, but they’re a little shorter and don’t feature the clean split of curtain bangs.
They’re usually split down the middle or slightly off-center (like bottleneck bangs) with a few strands hanging freely between the two split sides. It’s all about creating that casually sexy, tousled-yet-polished look.
Who Looks Best With French Bangs?
Known for their chic and effortlessly sexy vibe, French bangs put your eyes in the spotlight and help create a more flattering shape to accentuate your best features.
Since they hit around your lashes and the top of your cheekbones, French bangs will highlight these areas to visually sculpt your face. If you love to spotlight your eyes or make your cheekbones pop, you’ll love how you look with French bangs.
With the open split, they don’t conceal your forehead (which can make your face look wider – a problem for women with round or square faces). Their angled, curving shape is flattering on all face shapes, including oval, round, square, and heart.
While it can be tough to make French bangs work on very curly or coily hair, they’re a perfect fit for straight and wavy textures. In fact, our favorite French-inspired bangs feature a slightly wavy texture or prominent swoop to nail the effortless, casual look.
Celebrities like Bridgitte Bardot (the OG), Lily James, and Alexa Chung have all famously rocked French girl bangs, and this split, sexy fringe has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram in recent months.
Getting French bangs is like an instant makeover that can totally transform your current hairstyle into something a little more chic and feminine.
These bangs will have you peeking through your strands seductively, batting your lashes, and purring phrases en français because they are, in fact, an entire vibe. Let’s check out some photo examples of French bangs styled a few different ways!
7 Trendy Examples of French Bangs
French bangs definitely have a general shape and pattern, but there’s actually quite a bit of versatility in this look. You can part them straight down the middle, slightly off-center, or off to the side.
You can cleanly part them or let a few strands hang freely in the center for a sexy, undone look. Rock them with pin-straight texture, a prominent swoop on each side, or tousled waves for different looks.
Once you get French girl bangs, you’ll be able to switch up the ways you style them as often as you want. Here’s a look at some of our favorite examples of this fringe on different hair types, lengths, and styles.
1. Chic and Sleek
These French girl bangs aren’t quite as full and voluminous as other examples we’ve seen, but we’re loving this style for fine, straight hair. Keep a sleek silhouette with perfectly slide-cut shaping to angle the bangs and a little point-cutting through the ends to cut out bulk.
2. Heavy and Full
A heavier bang takes on a different look with more volume and fullness to support the curving shape. We love a heavy French bang paired with a shorter haircut to really bridge the gap between the two lengths and blend the fringe right into the style.
3. Tousled and Brow-Grazing
Straight hair looks best with French girl bangs when it’s slightly mussed up with a little texturizing spray or dry shampoo. We love how the brow-grazing length leaves the eyes unobscured while the longer length on the sides slims and narrows the face.
4. Effortless and Piecey
The angled, curving shape of the French bang is really apparent in this example. The fringe is a little wispier than traditional French bangs, but the overall shape is on point.
Piecey texture and soft volume are the perfect complements to this type of fringe, so use a little volumizing mousse or root lift spray and pinch the ends of your bangs to create that piecey texture.
5. Casually Stylish
French-inspired bangs should always be worn split or open in the center with a natural, effortless look. Separated pieces in the center of the bang shape nail that natural, carefree aesthetic you want in French bangs. Let your strands fall as they want, or create the look with a little wax or pomade on the ends.
6. Straight and Lightweight
Straight hair can be a challenge with French girl bangs, which usually needs a little wave or texture to achieve that casual, carefree look. Make it work with wispy texture at the ends (point-cut for the best results) and a slightly off-center split.
7. Short and Chic
We love this shorter take on French girl bangs with brow-grazing length that really opens up the eyes. If you want to put your eyes front and center (or just avoid having your fringe in your face all day), a shorter version like this would be perfect.
How to Style French Bangs Like a Pro
Styling French bangs might be the intimidating factor that’s holding you back from getting them cut. You’ll be thrilled to know that styling tousled, chic French bangs is actually a lot easier than it looks!
We’ve got some really simple shortcuts you can use to nail the perfect texture and shape for your bangs. Here’s how to style your fringe like a French girl!
How to Style Natural French Bangs
Styling your bangs au naturel in true French girl fashion is the easiest way to master this look. All you’ll need is a little volumizing or texturizing mousse, a couple small hair clips, and some lightweight hairspray!
- Create your part (middle or off-center)
- Work a small amount of mousse into your bangs
- Scrunch or “rake and shake” to encourage slight waves
- Clip the very ends of the bangs to the sides for added curve
- Allow to air dry, remove clips, and spritz with hairspray
This shortcut style is a lot better for your hair because you won’t need to use heat to achieve the look. You’ll get a messy, tousled style using this technique – it’s not supposed to be perfect, so have fun with it.
The mousse will do most of the styling work here, so let your bangs adopt their natural texture and focus on keeping the split open with some slight curvature at the ends for the classic French bang shape.
How to Style Salon-Perfect French Bangs
If you prefer a smoother, more polished look, air drying your bangs may not give you the results you want. You’ll need a round brush, hair dryer, optional volumizing mousse, and lightweight hairspray for the perfect salon-quality result.
Tip: Before you use any kind of heat on your hair – hair dryer, curling iron, or flat iron – spray some heat protectant on and comb it through. This will protect your strands from heat damage while you style your bangs to perfection.
- Create your part and add product
- Dry each side with a round brush
- Tug to release some of the curl
- Tousle with your fingers to create the perfect shape
- Spritz lightly with hairspray to finish
For salon-perfect French girl bangs, start with damp hair that’s been gently towel-dried. Separate your bangs and secure the rest of your hair in a scrunchy or clip while you work your magic.
Work a very small amount of mousse in and comb through. Create a middle or slightly off-center part in your bangs. Position your round brush under one side of your bangs and point your dryer downward from above to dry.
Turn the round brush and direct the section slightly over to the side as you move down the length of the bang. Alternatively, you can use an all-in-one styler/dryer like the Dyson Airwrap or Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer to make things easier.
Tug on the section while it’s still warm to release some of the curve from the round brush. Repeat for the opposite side, making sure to direct the hair over to the side to keep that open split.
Tug on the section to flatten the curve a bit and relax the volume. Use your fingers to gently tousle both sections while zig-zagging downward.
This will encourage some of the shorter pieces in the middle to fall naturally for that classic, chic outline. Finish with a quick spritz of hairspray to hold, and you’re finished!
Things to Consider Before Getting French Bangs
Before you make a quick trip to the salon and ask for French girl bangs, there are a few things we need to talk about.
- Know how to ask for French bangs. In salon-speak, French bangs are lash-grazing, textured bottleneck bangs that hit at the cheekbones at their longest point. Ask your stylist to point-cut the ends for added texture and to angle the bangs downward from your lashes to your cheekbones. Mention that you want a soft and choppy look that tapers and curves gently. Make sure to bring inspiration photos to make your specific preferences clear!
- They will get in your eyes. French bangs are longer than basic blunt bangs, and unlike side-swept bangs, they typically open up in the center. This means your super-chic French bangs are going to get in your eyes despite your best styling efforts. If you can’t stand bangs obscuring your vision or touching your lashes, you’ll want to opt for shorter brow-grazing bangs or forgo the trend altogether.
- Tons of styles look great with them. You can rock these bangs with your hair up, down, or half-up with equally gorgeous results. Since French bangs are longer and tapered for that gentle curve around the edges, they are perfect with updos and half-updos that can look a little severe or harsh without some face-framing pieces left down. We really love a French bang with hair worn down and loose, on lengths from short to ultra-long.
- Practice styling them a few different ways. You can air dry, blow dry with a round brush, use a one-step dryer/styler like the Dyson Airwrap, or style them with a curling iron or flat iron to create the signature, gentle curves. Practice a few different styling techniques to see what’s easiest or looks best on you!
- Nail the classic French girl look. Once you’ve got your bangs on point, you can go full-on French girl by styling the rest of your mane with a chic, classic shape. Gentle waves with a tousled, slightly-messy texture and tucking your hair behind your ears will complete the look.
Will French Bangs Work for You?
French bangs, with their split, angled shape and soft-yet-tousled texture, can work for almost anyone. If your hair has a straight or wavy texture, you can rock French bangs like it’s nobody’s business.
Very curly hair and coily hair won’t be able to easily adopt the gently curved shape, but the general split-bang look can work very well for more textured hair types! French bangs are universally flattering for all face shapes.
Oval, round, square, and heart shaped faces all benefit equally from the soft and tousled silhouette French bangs create.
Since this type of fringe leaves a little open space in the center of your forehead, it won’t visually shorten your face or make it look wider (like straight-across blunt bangs can).
French girl bangs are pretty simple to style, especially if you have a little natural wavy texture and don’t mind air drying them instead of heat styling. They’re generally low-maintenance and only require a trim every couple of months to stay the proper length.
The best part is that once French bangs begin to grow out, they won’t look bad or need to be pinned up. They’ll easily blend into the rest of your hairstyle for a smooth grow-out transition.
Overall, the French fringe is a perfect fit for almost everyone. If you’re thinking about getting bangs but feel a little unsure, this in-between type is going to be perfect for you.
With the longer, gently tapered length, flattering shape, and tousled silhouette, you’ll find that your hair looks totally transformed with the simple addition of classically chic French bangs.