Fringe or No Fringe – Bang or not to bang?

A fringe can hide a multitude of sins, and has often been worn to do so, whether that be to obscure those little lines or long enough to hide behind. However over the last few years the fringe for some has been the star of the show, up there in lights making your statement, – provocative –  sexy ,  transforming  that old hairstyle. Fringes come in all shapes and sizes from the short and sweet, to the long and side swept. You have the heavy full Bang! – a la Jessie J, or the rock chick eyelash tickler to the  more intriguing asymmetric  or a softer textured affair. There is one for everyone and so important are they at balancing the hairstyle and face shape that good salons will offer free fringe trims to their guests for fear  you will ruin their creation with your oh so handy nail scissors!

Before committing to a fringe or indeed a new hairstyle, think about your face shape.

Try this simple trick that celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton suggests:

  • Tie your hair back and stand in the mirror
  • Take an old lipstick in your writing hand and trace the outline of your face onto the mirror
  • Draw the outline of your head and neck and there you have it – your face shape revealed.

You may be surprised. –  Many guests I speak with have convinced themselves that their face shape is round when its square or triangle when its heart shape.

If you have an oval face shape this is what is known in the beauty world as the perfect face shape and almost any hairstyle will work for you. However if you haven’t don’t despair as following a few simple rules, you too can look stunning.

  • Round face: Soft ruffled layers on the top that add height and length to the face shape. Try wearing you hair sleek through the sides.  A short pretty textured fringe is the perfect choice or if you are feeling adventurous an asymmetric fringe which takes away from the often perfect symmetry of a round face
  • Square face: A side swept flirty fringe and feathered layers can reduce the angular shape of a square face. Add a few layers on the top for a little lift that will lengthen your face. It helps if you have some natural body or curl as creating a round shape on a square face is the perfect remedy.
  • Rectangle: Adding width through the sides combined with a brow length fringe will reduce the length from the face. Worn full and bouncy is the way to go. Bobs are a very good choice- just don’t wear them flat to the face or too long.
  • Triangle: These face shapes fall into one of two categories: narrow and slim at the top of the head or slim at the jaw. For those with a narrow on the top its all about getting some fullness up there, so longer sweepy fringes and layers work brilliantly. For those girls with narrow jawlines, opt for bobs and mid-length styles that have fullness around the jaw and  neckline

The texture and personality of your hair has a part to play in how easy your perfect shape can be managed at home, so make sure your stylist gives you tips on where to accentuate your blow-dry or style and more importantly the right product and where to place it. It amazes me how many people I see wandering around Boots the chemist looking for styling product and taking a chance on what they choose will be compatible for your hair, when the person who has just cut it should be advising you and able to guarantee the suitability and therefore the purchase or your money back.  If you are in need of a product to give body or to flatten your hair, be sure to only apply to the areas that require it, instead of ‘in the hands- and rubbing  it all over’!

Knowing your face shape will ensure that you choose the right earrings, the correct neckline for your shirt, length of necklace, and spectacles as all of these can affect the perceptive shape of your face.


Simon Willetts

Simon Willetts Director of Combers hair salon is the hair columnist for  the ‘Limited Edition Society’