I love my fringe. Without it, I feel somewhat like Count Dracula with the receding hairline and extreme widow’s peak, and I have to say, thats not really the vibe I’m going for! Like most girls born in the 80’s, my mother gave me a fringe as a child. Around the time I was 8 I wanted to be like the cool girls at school and grow my fringe out, which in hindsight was maybe not the best choice. I look back at the pictures and realise that 1. I was never going to be cool and 2. People with waist length fluffy hair, receding hairlines, a widow’s peak and no hairdresser should not wear high ponytails scraped back from the forehead. Or fivehead as the joke goes. Once I started hairdressing I reverted back to a fringe and my fivehead continues to thank me.
If you have never had the pleasure of having a truly fantastic fringe you may not understand the appeal. Disastrous fringes are unfortunately quite common (not with us of course!) and most people are reluctant to try a fringe again if they have previously had a bad experience. While a well executed fringe can accentuate your favourite features, make a bold statement or even just hide the wrinkles on your forehead (a popular request) a poorly cut fringe can really ruin your whole look. When you factor in the time it can take to grow out, the many hours you spend staring forlornly in the mirror trying to style your dodgy fringe, wishing you had a time machine, it’s not surprising that so many people shy away from a second attempt. Trying something new after a previous failure can be a daunting thought, so allow me assuage your fears with some insider knowledge.
You might be thinking that your cowslick, slightly odd parting, or the amount of hair you have is the reason a fringe has never worked out for you. False. Well, mostly false anyway, those factors are certainly worth considering as they may require more work to achieve your coveted style. But. The main hindrance from achieving a spectacular fringe is actually the consultation. Consultation is the most important part of your hair appointment but studies, sourced from our colour partner Wella, show that 70% of clients feel like they did not have a sufficiently in depth consultation (obviously not with us though, we are Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way!)
Focusing so much on consultation in a piece about fringes might seem strange but you would be amazed at some of the things that can get confused! For example; A short fringe could mean just above the eyebrows or a 1cm flap on the hairline. That’s a lot of room for interpretation! Another example; ‘straight’ could mean it’s not curved at the sides or it could mean cut bluntly. No wonder everyone gets confused sometimes! You could spend 30 seconds with your stylist at the start, ask for a short straight fringe and get anything from Year 2 student on photo day to Leeloo from ‘the Fifth Element’. This is why clarifying both yours and your stylists interpretations is important.
Pictures are a great way to show your stylist what you are imagining, but keep in mind that it might not look the same on you. Story time… I once had a client show me a picture of Linda Evangelista with a fringe that was just above the eyebrows and quite blunt. At that time I was newly qualified and had only been working at BACH for 2 weeks. I looked at this beautiful woman in front of me (who happened to be 8 months pregnant and not feeling her most glamorous self ) looked at the gorgeous image and went “No problem!” And that was the end of the consultation.
Fast forward to the end of the service and I have a woman crying in front of me because, of course, she did not look like Linda Evangelista, she looked like herself with a shorter fringe. Having been pregnant twice now, I understand her distress, as I am yet to meet a women who doesn’t feel like pumpkin face at that point and a full fringe just makes it so much worse! We didn’t charge her for the service of course,feeling absolutely terrified I would get fired, I showed the picture to my boss and we debriefed. I realised that while I had given her exactly the fringe she had shown me, her expectations of what that meant were not the same as mine. Spoiler alert: I still have my job, (phew!) but I learned a valuable lesson! Visualising how your inspiration image will translate to your face and hair type is essential, and could be the difference between drawing attention to your soulful eyes and showing off the weird bump on your nose and the strange curl at your temple.
Few things give me more pleasure as a stylist than seeing a big smile on someone’s face when they catch a glimpse of themselves with their fierce new look. A fringe is one of my favourite additions to a haircut because your hair can be straight, curly, fine, thick, have a cowslick or a widow’s peak and you can still find an amazing fringe that works. The tricks to look amazing with a fringe aren’t cookie cutter guides suggesting the ‘right’ look for you face shape, blanket bans on having a fringe if you have curls or unusual growth patterns or very broad styling tips from a blog. The real tricks, in my opinion, are these two things; know your styling limitations and establish a trusting relationship with your stylist. Once you have those things, you will be more comfortable in a fringe than a 1920’s flapper, just in time for the 2020’s….
On the Fringe; your guide to beautiful bangs