Described as small curls of hair trained to lie flat on the forehead, or as locks of hair curling onto the face and usually plastered down, the kiss curls represent the fashion industry’s sleek and edgy way to redefine current beauty. Controversial at best, the baby hair edges are not everyone’s game but they sure gift that “je ne sais quoi” to all the women who dare embrace their peculiarity, flat-out.

The new kiss curls ushering in their comeback for the past couple of seasons are bold, unapologetic and strangely beautiful, made to stand-out and be rocked with fearless attitude.

Below, a look at the hair trend’s origins, muses and revival, as it continues as a hairstyle trend for fall 2015 and beyond.

Kiss curls: the origins.

Made popular as a hair trend worldwide back in the 1920s by American-born French dancer, singer and actress Josephine Baker, the kiss curl, also referred to as a “spit curl” at the time, was deemed the jaw-dropping hairstyle every woman, black or white, wanted to recreate for herself.

Sported during her legendary debut at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris in October 1925, the short, straightened and smoothed hair with Medusa-like curls framing the face left the audience in awe.

And it’s the same strong emotional reaction that the kiss curls generate to this very day, on and off the runway, their unexpectedness stirring up some kind of creative magic.

kiss curls hair trend
Josephine Baker via

The revival of the kiss curls.

It’s been almost a year since the gelled baby hair’s revival quietly began building momentum on the fashion scene. And if 2014 saw every celebrity in between Zoe Kravitz and Jennifer Lopez giving the kiss curls look a go, the fall of 2015 only serves to highlight everyone’s growing infatuation with slicked-down baby hair.

FKA Twigs – the ultimate muse.

Style icon, muse, trend-setter, FKA Twigs is the major catalyst to influence the revival of the trend, her signature slicked-down baby hairs and intricate braids securing the superstar’s massive cult following.

The cover of i-D‘s pre-fall 2012 issue featuring the word love spelled out across FKA Twig’s forehead in baby hairs made it practically impossible for the kiss curls to be further overlooked, as their unbending resurgence was about to take over the entire fashion industry, starting right then and there.

kiss curls hair trend
FKA Twigs in i-D. The Just Kids Issue, no. 320, Pre-Fall 12

Playing it ahead of the game, FKA Twigs’ S curls also borrowed their inspiration from Josephine Baker. And just as the trend is about to take off in fashion, Twigs is ready to give the kiss curls a rest, her entire view on the whole baby hair revival summed up in one sentence:

On the right person they can be really beautiful, but on the wrong person they can be really bad.”

Kiss curls hair trend
FKA Twigs by David Burton

Kiss curls on the runway.

DKNY S/S 2015.

An “homage to the “multicolored, multicultural, multitasking” women of New York…“, the intricate rippled fingers of baby hair rocked by models during DKNY’s spring / summer 2015 runway show were used as a reference to traditionally black and Latina hairstyles.

Eugene Souleiman‘s muse was the “African-American-inspired street girl from the ’80s and ’90s“, the look envisioned for her a mix of something strong with a definite point of view, celebrating racial diversity and bearing a slightly ‘old school’ feel to it.

Kiss curls hair trend
Gelled baby hair at DKNY S/S ’15

Givenchy F/W 2015.

Intricately braided loops and gelled baby hairs made their way on the fall 2015 runway via Givenchy, where the look traditionally worn by chola girls was brought up to date with extravagant facial adornments. A mix of strange and wonderful, the eccentric styles made for the fiercest runway statement of the season.

Kiss curls hair trend
Kiss curls at Givenchy, F/W ’15

Caitlin Price F/W 2015.

Those ’90s garage kiss curls at Caitlin Price looked anything but innocent. The rebellious gelled statements were described as “knotted buns sticking out of the head at an angle with gelled-down babyhairs.”, the inspiration behind the look a mix of sci-fi and manga-meet-street-style influences.

Kiss curls hair trend
Baby hair at Caitlin Price F/W ’15

Stella McCartney F/W 2015.

The influence of the kiss curls was felt even at Stella McCartney, where subtle wet-look baby hairs escaped from equally sleek ponytails.

kiss curls hair trend
Baby hair at Stella McCartney, F/W ’15

Kiss curls: styles & inspiration.

From serious center parts to intricate braids, plaited buns to sleek wet-hair looks, the kiss curls came to complete a myriad of unique looks during the past couple of seasons, and nothing like a bit of editorial inspo to further spark up the creativity.

Below, Kendall Jenner rocking the kiss curls in the “Bass” editorial shot by photographer Phil Poynter for LOVE magazine:

kiss curls hair trend

Dyspnea’s spring / summer 2015 collection also used quirky FKA Twigs-inspired baby hairs to complement the brand’s signature feminine-but-edgy silhouettes:

Kiss curls hair trend

Gold jewellery, sporty denim, red lips and a dash of kiss curls: Anais Pouliot does the edge-up ’90s grunge for Style for Flaunt, lensed by Stevie and Mada:

kiss curls hair trend


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