As if Janelle Monáe could get any cooler, she’s now a records-shattering leading lady in her latest feature film — and starring opposite Daniel Craig, no less. The singer recently made a big-screen splash with Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, the sequel to the 2019 celeb-stuffed murder mystery film Knives Out, and has utilized the press tour as an opportunity to show off her unique and incomparable style. At last night’s National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York City, Janelle Monáe’s headband with bangs is truly the stuff of campy-glam dreams.
Monáe appeared at the star-studded event looking elegant in a black gown with billowing sheer sleeves and cutout details at the waist. She paired the ensemble with a sky-high updo, black headband, and side-swept bangs, adding a ‘60s retro feel with plenty of their trademark playfulness. The style, which was sculpted into a crescent-shaped bun at the crown of her head, seemingly defied gravity, giving the look an almost cartoonish feel while still maintaining an air of chicness. It’s not yet clear who’s responsible for the gorgeous hairstyle, but it’s likely the work of Nikki Nelms, who has recently created a slew of similarly jaw-dropping looks for Monae, such as a gloriously sleek French twist and this chic bobby pin bonanza.
Aside from proving her prowess when it comes to nailing camp-inspired beauty looks, Monáe’s headband updo points to the revival of yet another Y2K trend — the ever-controversial side bang. While center parts and curtain bangs have dominated the trend cycle for the past several years, the eye-grazing bangs styles that rose to prominence in the early 2000s are slowly making a comeback — starting with celebs such as Monáe.
“Side bangs are popular because they look great on any haircut style and also look good on any hair type,” Raven Hurtado, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago, previously told TZR. “I think they’re making a come back because they add a youthful look and also, if you’re not ready to commit to a full bang, a side bang will be your best bet to start.”
As she’s known to change up her look frequently, Monae’s side bangs probably won’t stick around for long — but that doesn’t mean you won’t see them cropping up everywhere in 2023.