Sammy Nickalls
Updated Apr 22, 2015 @ 6:54 am

Let’s talk about fashion’s newest beauty trend: Lady sideburns. I know, I know. We raised our eyebrows too. But seriously, this is happening—and we’re kind of digging it. We’re not talking muttonchops here—we’re talking chunky side wisps.

Some of us may have them by accident when we put our hair in a top-knot—you know, those loose hairs that tumble in front of our ears because they don’t make the cut (which, IMO, have always been adorable). Some may have been ahead of the trend from the get-go, rockin’ their lady sideburns. But now, you’ll be seeing them much more often.

The ‘burn made its official fashion comeback on the catwalk back in February, on the Balenciaga runway in Paris. Models showed off the look with looped locks greased in front of their ears:

But no one really mentioned the models’ slight ‘burns until Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine highlighted them in an article two weeks ago, suggesting they are an empowering new trend. “Could it be that after years of sublimating our sideburns, trying to shake off the inner-seven-year-old pulling at them, it is finally appropriate for us to celebrate the patch of hair typically galvanized by our chromosomal counterparts?” Medine writes.

Of course, most of us wouldn’t wear the extreme versions of the trend, but pulling a few extra strands in front of the ears—hey, we’re all for it! TV presenter, Vogue contributor, and model Alexa Chung gives us the perfect example of the toned down lady ‘burn:

We likey. Chung’s hairdresser, George Northwood, explains that this softer version is easy to pull off. “If you pull some strands out in front of the ear it has the opposite effect to the catwalk hair in that it softens the face,” Northwood told The Guardian.

Previously, thousands of woman have shaved their ladyburns, thinking that it was too “masculine” a trait. “Traditionally women with visible sideburns . . . have had them removed in fear of looking ‘masculine,” beauty expert Anita Bhagwandas told The Guardian. “But it’s empowering if it’s one less thing that women feel they should get rid of.”

This isn’t an entirely new trend. In fact, as the The Guardian points out, Victorian women were all over the trend, as well as women heavily into fringe in the ’60s and ’70s. Even Barbara Streisand was into the look:

Google “women sideburns” images, and the very first thing that comes up is “Before and After,” displaying women who have shaved their wispy tendrils away. But now, we’re celebrating those ‘burns. Any trend that makes a woman feel more comfortable in her natural, beautiful skin is a win with us—and plus, it’s seriously cute, and brings a whole new element to fringe and bangs. Men, you no longer get sideburns all to yourselves: the ladies are rockin’ em in 2015. BRB, gonna go call my hairdresser.

Images via, via