The Fringe Benefits
Updated: Mar 20, 2018
Why I believe every woman can wear a fringe, and which style will suit you...
Searching for a new style for the new season? I think a fringe is a classic way to update your look and so, it's the perfect time to explore the fringe benefits!
Thinking back to the sexiest French stars – Brigitte Bardot, Emmanuelle Beart, Francoise Hardy and Audrey Tautou – they all wore fringes (albeit of differing lengths!), to peek from behind with an irresistible, knowing glance. For me, if a client asks for a fringe I will happily cut one in, as everyone can suit a fringe of some description. Just like the icons I’ve mentioned above, there’s a multitude of styles to choose from, and many fringes (if cut well) can be incredibly versatile, allowing you to mix up your look whenever it suits. There are plenty of models and celebs trying out fringes, real and faux.
There is only one requirement I check for when it comes to giving a client a fringe: does she understand the commitment required to keep it looking good?!
“ Hairdressers will often talk about face shapes when it comes to choosing which style of fringe to go for, but this is only one factor to consider.”
Of course, a fringe can help balance out certain areas of the face, draw attention to and away from certain features, and give you an instant new look, but if your stylist only talks face shape – beware.
This is a very loose guide as to which fringe will best suit, dependent on your face shape, but remember to think about your hair type, the position of your eyebrows, your eye shape and your overall hairstyle. For instance, fine, thin hair will never be able to achieve a thick peekaboo bang, while coarse, curly hair will struggle to play nice in a light, swept-to-the-side style. And it’s all in the eyes – if yours are considered either too wide apart or too close together, you might wish to avoid short, straight statement bangs, irrelevant of face shape.
Long bangs that are slightly tapered on the sides are perfect for those with slightly square faces, as they can add a softness to the face. These fringes need a bit of weight to them, particularly at the sides. Have your stylist cut the hair just below the brows, and feather ever so slightly in the centre so you can see. This is my favourite fringe, so sixties and incredibly sexy. Think Bardot.
“Heart shaped faces look adorable with a cute side fringe, as this can help balance out the shape of the face and draw attention to the eyes and mouth.”
Gently layered, with the longest layer at the cheekbone and the shortest at the arch of your brow will work for most. Think Beart.
Ladies with rounder faces often avoid fringes but they can actually provide the face with needed contour. You need to be slightly braver when it comes to the cut, and plump for a more angular, possibly shorter fringe than you might have first thought. A round face can appear more oval and elongated if we cut in a choppy fringe which ends about 3cm above the brow. This diffuses the roundness. If you then style it slightly to the side and add a bit of height to the crown – voila. Think Tautou.
Long faces are longer than they are wide and ideally we are looking for a fringe that will balance that out. You can be quite traditional and go for a straight, full blunt style which does the job but I think a long side-swept fringe is really gorgeous and far more versatile. You want the fringe to taper on one side (so choose your best brow to be on show) and you want then to end, no longer than the cheekbone as it is here we are trying to give most width. Think Hardy.
You lucky things – all fringes look great on an oval face (other factors dependent) – so have fun!
Hair grows between two and three cm a month; you will need to bear this in mind when having a fringe cut, as this length can have you looking like a shaggy dog in no time. When they get too long they can be a nightmare to style. Realistically, you are looking for a fringe trim every fortnight. Didn’t I say you need to be aware of the maintenance involved?!
Set the alarm 15 minutes early as bedhead bangs are a no-no. The whole point of a fringe is to draw attention to the face – so you simply can’t let them go untamed without looking like you slept in. Pinning them back looks lazy ladies, so at the very least damp it through and blow dry each day. And try to avoid using a straightening iron as it leaves bangs standing straight to attention - which is neither flattering nor chic!
For me, hair texture and type is probably even more important than the face shape debate.
Fine Hair When you have fine hair, a fringe can make it look instantly thicker simply because the front section looks fuller when shorter. But don’t take too much from the main section or that will look thinned out not leaving enough hair for the rest of your style. Use a volumising, root-lifting spray to add oomph to your fringe and create movement.
Curly Hair I absolutely adore curly fringes. They look so fresh and untampered with – when styled well. If you have curly hair do not, I repeat do not straighten the fringe. It looks all level of 80s ridiculous. Soften and smoothen with a round brush and a loose styling cream, which will slightly loosen the curl without losing it altogether. Or another look I think looks fierce on curly girls is to cut the fringe very short, an inch from the top of the brow, to open up the face and draw attention to the rest of the face.
You will subject your fringe to lots of blow drying and styling which can really play havoc with the condition of your hair. I always use a nourishing oil on damaged fringes to restore the health. I also like using a heat protection spray whenever possible to shield strands; I spray it directly on the brush, not fringe, then comb through just below the roots and blow dry as usual.