Masterclass: Fringe Matters

The decision over whether to chop in a fringe is a tough one. It’s an easy way to get a style refresh without losing length or adding colour, but on the other hand, the wrong fringe can end up feeling like a bit of a mistake. For this reason, we’ve drafted in Glasshouse stylist Mia to advise on the best fringes for different face shapes, styling techniques and advice on upkeep. Say goodbye to dithering: we’re here to help you make a fringe decision once and for all.

“Should I even have a fringe?”
This is the big question, and the answer is different for everyone. Putting in a fringe is a relatively quick and easy way to breathe new life into your cut, and for longer hair in particular it’s a simple way to add structure and frame the face. It’s also a great way to change up a style that you might be beginning to find boring, and helpfully, anyone can do it: there’s a fringe to suit pretty much every face shape.

If you have a round face, Mia thinks a blunt fringe is the way to go: “to balance out a round face, I’d always go for something more square, although that doesn’t have to mean severe. A blunt fringe which has been chopped into slightly gives a soft, pretty look for rounder face shapes.”

Image: Margaret Howell
Image: Margaret Howell

If you have a heart shaped face - that is, a large forehead and a narrow chin - Mia suggests a straight, short fringe. “Something blunt works nicely with this face shape; I especially like a short, Bettie Page style that’s a little bit softer on the edges, because the aim with this face shape is to make the top of the head seem smaller, to balance out the chin.”

Finally, if your face is more angular, a side fringe is your go-to: “a swoopy, open fringe would be nice for this face shape,” Mia says. “It widens and opens up the eye area, and visually narrows the jaw.”

“How should I style my fringe?”

If you’ve decided to go for it, your styling options depend on the type of fringe you’ve chosen. “For full fringes,” notes Mia, “it’s important to blow out any cow-licks, and this is best done with a paddle brush while the hair is still wet.” Then, to shape your full fringe, go back through and wrap the hair around a round brush and dry it harshly against the face to achieve a cute, curled under look.

Image: Sophie Marceau in La Boum
Image: Sophie Marceau in La Boum

For side fringes and mid-parted fringes, your first step is to initially blow dry all of the hair forwards. Once that’s done, Mia has some styling tips to help you get the look you’re after: “for side fringes, when it’s about 85% dry, start teasing the edges over to your preferred sides. For mid parted fringes, do the same but on both sides, and with your brush, encourage the bottoms to move out to the sides for a soft lift.”

“How do I look after my fringe?”
Cuts with fringes do require a little more upkeep than regular styles, but it’s worth it to keep your bangs on the straight and narrow (plus, we offer free fringe trims to Glasshouse clients!) Trims are recommended every four or five weeks to tidy up any regrowth and to keep your fringe looking its best.

So if you’ve been on the fringe fence, maybe it’s time to give it a try - for an instant style boost (perfect as the season is transitioning) it’s hard to beat, and with our expert advice, you’re well equipped to get the best style to suit you.

Words: Lauren O’Neill

Cover Image: Jalouse Magazine

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