Written by Fiona Ward

Wondering how to cut a fringe and ensure it looks fantastic? Read on.

Fringes are having something of a moment right now. Face-framing haircuts are nothing new, it’s true, but thanks to the ‘pandemic bangs’ movement and the influence of various styles on social media, the fringe is still firmly trending, in every iteration.

The options are endless, from curtain bangs to baby bangs, the choppy fringe, the curly fringe, the wispy fringe, the flicky fringe, the full fringe – the list goes on. 

And, while the continuous inspiration snaps of our favourite celebrities or Instagram models sell the dream, the truth is that the decision to get a fringe should be a considered one. Case in point: the search term ‘regret getting bangs’ currently has over 20 million views on TikTok.

To save you the effort of scouring the entire internet, we gathered the best advice from some of the UK’s top hairdressers on all things fringes – so you can be confident in getting a fringe you love.

What to know before you cut a fringe

It’s important to think about what level of maintenance you’re willing to commit to when it comes to having a fringe. Most will need to book fairly regular fringe trims with a hairdresser, depending on the style (and whether you’re confident enough to try a careful at-home trim – though most stylists prefer that you don’t, of course).

Paige Blankley, stylist at popular Leicester salon Mewies & Co, admits that most fringes will require some level of day-to-day styling. “They require cutting frequently and styling daily. Generally, I wouldn’t recommend a fringe to someone who prefers very low-maintenance hair,” she says.

Remember that hair thickness will also alter the final result – and your own bangs will likely be a little different to your inspiration pictures. Those with finer hair, for example, will usually have a sparser fringe.

The same applies to those with texture. “Remember that the hair will spring up after washing,” says Blankley. “Usually, I would suggest cutting the fringe longer and then asking the client to see how they get on with it for a couple of weeks. This way we can reevaluate the fringe length.”

On that note, it may take a few appointments to find a fringe style that works for you – so prepare to ask for tweaks to the cut if you need to. And if you’re still nervous, you can always ease yourself in. “You can start with a longer, wispier fringe first and then gradually get thicker with it on the next appointment,” adds Blankley.

What to expect during your fringe cut

Every hairdresser will have their own process when it comes to fringe cutting, but most will leave it until the final part of the appointment. Valeria Aloisio and Francesca Rosini, senior stylists at London salon Taylor Taylor, share their guidance with Stylist.

What style of fringe you go for will determine the cutting technique, but one thing’s for sure – you’ll be asked to sit still, since the scissors will be snipping quite closely to the eye area. 

“All fringe services require a still head position from the client, as well as a very gentle approach from the hairstylist as the scissors will come very close to the face and eyes,” says Rosini.

As for the actual cut, it will be personalised depending on the length and texture – but generally, a wispier fringe will be point cut (aka chopping into the ends of the hair), curtain bangs will be cut vertically into a triangular section at the front of the hair, and curly bangs may be cut at graduating lengths to keep it the right weight.

“For blunt bangs we tend to cut freehand on dry hair in a natural fall, keeping the hair flat and smooth to the head but without any tension,” says Rosini. “We may section the hair to get the perfect symmetry, too.”

You can expect to have your fringe cut while the hair is wet or dry. “As a general rule we always pre-cut when wet but leave plenty of scope for personalisation once dry, as there are many factors in creating the perfect fringe,” says Aloisio. “Of course, with textured hair, there is always a bigger natural jump from wet to dry – all good stylists will allow for that.”

How to style your fringe at home

Nick Latham and Seán Paul Nother, aka The Hair Bros, are the go-to guys for the casually glamorous, lived-in fringe that’s everywhere right now – and if you want it too, you simply have to ask for the ‘New Wave Fringe’ at their Chelsea salon.

But once you leave the salon, the upkeep of your fringe is what will truly make it a keeper (or not). Luckily, Latham believes the less-is-more approach is the way to make a fringe work for the wearer – and if in doubt, always ask your hairdresser for tips.

“Definitely do not be embarrassed to ask a lot of questions when it comes to home styling,” he says. “There are so many different ways you can style your fringe – from air drying to blow drying, depending on the effect you want.”

For curtain bangs

For sweeping curtain bangs, Latham recommends using a round brush to pull the fringe forward and under. “It might look scary when you first take your hair out, but when you brush your fringe back it will have beautiful volume, upwards and outwards,” he says.

For a full fringe

And if you like a full, sleek fringe, make sure to use the right product before you blow-dry. “Try a little bit of Evo’s Whip It Good mousse,” he says. “The key is to just use a tiny bit and it will give you the volume that you would get from a mousse, with the softness of a cream.”

For a tousled, piecey look

Keen on the air-dried look? “Straight out of the shower, pull the fringe forward and use no-dent clips (about £6 for a pack) – one in the middle of your fringe and then one on either side – to really mould your fringe into place. It’s best to leave the hair to completely dry (or at least 85% dry) before touching it. This is regardless if you have very straight 1A, textured hair or 4B curls – touching hair excessively before it dries in place often causes straight hair to go straighter and curly hair to frizz.”

And for the laziest upkeep, he adds: “Quite often with our haircuts we recommend just simply tucking the front of your hair around your ears for slightly longer curtain bangs – as your ears are the perfect height to open up your hair around your cheekbones. This can work wet or dry.”

Main image: Getty

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