On the fringe

NeoPunk hair collection model shot
Tina Farey, Rush

With more and more celebrities getting in on the act and going for the chop, there’s no denying the fringe is in! So, you’ve decided to jump on the trend bus and get one, too, but will it be blunt, tapered, shaggy, side-swept, long, short…? With so many different fringe styles, how do you make sure you get the right bangs for your buck?

 

Here at Hair HQ there isn’t a fringe type that hasn’t been sported by someone on the team at one time or another, and among the fabulous fringes, we’ve had our share of disasters, too. With this and the continuing popularity of fringed ’dos in mind, we thought we’d ask some of our fave hairstylists to give us their tips on finding the right fringe, so we can all look forward to buying into bangs with confidence.

A blunt fringe is so of the moment, and suits women of all ages as long as they have the right attitude (and hair type) to pull it off. If you are considering this look, take some time to determine whether or not your hair will do what you want it to. Norris Ogario, founder and Creative Director of London’s Ogario hair salon says, “Start by assessing your hair. Think about your hairline, and your hair’s thickness and texture. A blunt fringe works best with thicker tresses and if you have a cowlick where the hair stands straight or lies at an angle, this style is going to be tricky, so my advice is to have a consultation with your stylist about how this look will work with your hair. Always have the consultation when your hair is dry so your stylist can clearly see how your hair falls. A blunt fringe can work with thinner hair by combing the hair forward, but you need to be careful you don’t go too far back. Again, your stylist will be able to advise you on the options.” You should also think about the colour of your hair, as not all shades and techniques suit a blunt-fringed style. “Dark colours work best,” says Norris, “Creating a more solid and finished look. I love chocolate browns and deep reds, but dark blonde works just as well.” And what about your hair’s texture? In Norris’s opinion, “Shiny, smooth hair is essential to work this style. Try our Hydrate and Shine range to tame unruly tresses and ensure you get a super-sleek finish.”

Ogario Hydrate and Shine products

 

A fringe to suit every face shape

That’s right, there is a fringe that’s right for you! A fringe can flatter your features and help balance and enhance as necessary, like an instant facelift or cosmetic filler without the pain. Tina Farey, Editorial Director at Rush Hair, gives us the lowdown on which fringes suit what face shapes:-

Heart shaped: Girls with heart shaped faces are a lucky bunch, just about any hairstyle will suit them but when it comes to fringes they should try soft side sweeping styles. The fringe should just skim the eyebrows, which will help draw attention to the eyes.

Oval shaped: Oval face shapes can get away with almost any type of fringe, however, I would say the best look for this face shape is something long and choppy which highlights an oval’s best features without being too bulky. Something that hits just between the brows and the eyelashes is great; it adds versatility to the style. You can wear them swept off to the side or straight in a middle parting. My favourite oval shaped fringe icons are Taylor Swift and Audrey Hepburn.

Round shapes: Round face shapes need something that will help to elongate the face, so wispy fringes don’t work well on you. Instead I’d suggest something thick with a curved shape to lengthen the face, making it appear more slender.

Square shapes: Square faces need softness when it comes to fringes, something wispy that is worn to the sides, something delicate and feminine with soft curves. Keeping the outside corners of the fringe between an inch to an inch-and-a-half longer than the centre of the fringe to create a face framing effect, this helps to draw attention inward and soften the appearance of a wider face.

 

Keep it fresh

When it comes to celebs, one of the greatest modern-day fringe ‘champions’ is Alexa Chung – who has always worn a fringed-style, adapted in subtle ways to ring the changes and maintain an up-to-date feel. Gary Forde of Forde Hair in Brighton tells us, “My favourite fringe – and perhaps one of the most universally flattering shapes – is the 1960s-inspired tapered fringe. Made popular by Alexa Chung, this is cut to skim the eyelashes, with the shape growing longer as it extends beyond the eyes. Aim for soft, layered ends rather than a blunt finish which can be too harsh for many, and style using a round brush to add a hint of bounce and that all-important retro flick.”

You don’t have to be a budding supermodel to rock a fringe, but it helps to have confidence in your look and be prepared to work at maintaining your style so that your fringe stays fresh! Sandy Caird at Hair by JFK, Edinburgh, tells us, “Fringes are a great way to change your hairstyle and make a real statement so they’re not for the faint-hearted. At the moment most of our clients are asking for heavy fringes that are graded to the side, which gives you the option to grow them out quickly. It’s important to keep up to date with maintenance trims on fringes as this will help you keep the shape for longer. To refresh your fringe in the morning I’d recommend using Schwarzkopf Professional Osis+ Refresh Dust, it’s great for adding some life into your fringe.”

OSIS+ Refresh Dust product image

Once you’ve got your fabulous fringe, you’ll need a certain level of committment to keep it looking good, but don’t be daunted – a little bit of fringe TLC goes a long way, as the team at Mova in Surrey explain, “A fringe is ideal for updating your look but does require maintenance to keep it looking sharp. Regular trims are essential to get the length spot-on; most salons offer these free of charge between your usual appointment. It can also tend to look greasy and lifeless more quickly than the rest of your hair, so keep it clean by shampooing your fringe daily (simply tie the rest of your hair out the way) and then blow-dry to revive your entire style. Alternatively, a spritz of your favourite dry shampoo will help absorb excess oil.”

Three important fringe factors:

You’ve nailed down the look you’re going to go for and committed yourself to ‘bringing those bangs’, but keep in mind these final points, as advised by Norris Ogario;

  • Check your parting position. If you have been parting your hair for years in one particular way, it can become quite solid and difficult to retrain. Your stylist will need to take this into account.
  • Choose the optimum length for you. Be honest with yourself about how comfortable you are with a fringe and what length will work for you. If you’ve never had a fringe it will feel different. If you find it uncomfortable you’ll develop a habit of pushing it back, away from your face.
  • Remember! This is not a DIY ’do, so don’t try this at home! Bangs are all about balance and to get a perfect fringe you’ve got to get it centred, so leave it to the professionals, please!

 

Now you’ve got the inside track on the best bangs, there’s nothing to stop you making a salon appointment so you can start flaunting your fringe!