Fringe benefits: how the right fringe will take years off you
Forget facelifts, back away from the Botox. There's a quicker and easier way to (literally) snip years off your look
It took me three-and-a-half years to grow out my fringe. I might have only been 11-years-old, but I remember it well. As someone with thick, unruly, frizz-prone hair, I can vouch for the fact that having one can be hard work. Even the slightest hint of drizzle caused it to curl and leap an inch up my forehead, which wasn't ideal given that a winter day here can involve rain, sleet, hail and snow. By evening, it might as well have been a quiff.
While I'm not the only one who has been tainted by a past experience with a fringe (it's a style most women have experimented with at some point or another), there are those otherwordly sorts who have always had one and pull it off with minimum fuss. Felicity Jones and Helena Christensen are perfect examples, while 'New Girl' star Zooey Deschanel has made hers her trademark. "I'm bangs and eyes," she has said. "It's who I am. There have been periods when I've grown my bangs out, but I always cut them back."
There's no denying it, though: fringes are the Marmite of hair. You either love having one or, like me, it couldn't grow out quick enough. However, if the spring/summer 2017 catwalks are anything to go by, over the next year we'll all be rethinking our views. From the wispy, platinum blonde fringes seen at Alexander Wang in New York to the fuller, longer bangs at Versace in Milan, and the wavy, micro ones at Rochas, there was an array of lengths and styles across all four fashion cities.
"It's a trend that will catch on," says Guido Palau, global creative director at Redken and the man responsible for many of the fringes on the catwalks. "There are so many different types to choose from and while it might feel radical when you first have it cut, it is empowering. The right fringe can give you a real sense of style."
Nadia Dean, senior hairstylist at John Frieda salons, agrees. "Fringes are a great way to update your look without affecting the length," she says. "Having one cut is also a good way to take out some bulk if you have too much hair."
There is another benefit of having a fringe that for some is more alluring than making a statement with your hair. Namely: no more visible forehead wrinkles. And as Palau says, "There is something youthful about having a fringe. When I gave Carmen Kass bangs at Versace, I took five years off her with a quick snip."
While I might still be recovering from fringe-induced post-traumatic stress, all the experts I spoke to were in agreement that there is a perfect style out there for every woman. It's just a case of finding the right one for you. © Telegraph
Find the perfect fringe for you
If you want to look younger, this is the style to go for. "It suits all face shapes, except round," says top hairstylist George Northwood. It's also the most age-defying style as it covers your forehead. If you have thick locks, it's worth investing in a Brazilian blow-dry to control the frizz and cut down styling time.
As seen on Jane Birkin, Felicity Jones (above).
This is the safest fringe to opt for as it can be as soft and subtle as you want. "When it just brushes your cheekbone it can be incredibly flattering as it enhances your natural bone structure," says Guido Palau. It's also versatile: you can wear it long and full, or discreetly pulled to one side if needs be. As seen on former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh, above.
A sharp, blunt fringe will make a statement and it's a style that works best on those with finer, straighter hair. "Essentially, if you have softer facial features, a blunt fringe can make your hair look more dynamic," says Northwood. "However, if you have more chiselled bone structure it can make you look harsh."
As seen on Bella Hadid and weatherwoman Jean Byrne, above.
Soft and gentle fringe
"If you have curly hair, opt for a soft shape rather than a structured fringe, as it will be easier to maintain," says Nadia Dean. It is a cross between the side-sweeping and full-bodied fringes, and can be adapted to suit you. As Palau says, "Any good stylist should be able to cut in a fringe that works for your face shape and your hair routine."
As seen on Miriam O'Callaghan, above.
"The micro fringes seen at the spring/summer shows were the catalyst for this trend, but they're not the most wearable," says Northwood. The short cuts at Rochas and Moschino can be too much on some face shapes, but "it's a look that you can pull off if you have a quirky sense of style," he adds.
As seen on Marion Cotillard, above, and on the models at Rochas S/S 2017.