Typically January inspires legions of us to rethink our hair – New Year, New You and all that. Except this year the zeal for radical changes just isn’t there. As we hang in the balance, so do our hairstyles, which need to be as adaptable as the new hybrid way of working.
“What women want now are easy, versatile hairstyles that look as good dressed up as they do left alone – cutting in a fringe is the perfect way to refresh your style without the high-maintenance commitment,” says Luke Hersheson, CEO of Hershesons salons and hair stylist to a roster of celebrities including Victoria Beckham, Dua Lipa and Keira Knightly.
Fringes were popularised in Ancient Egypt on wigs and were often cut into natural hair until, according to The Encyclopedia of Hair: A Cultural History, 16th century England when the church presided over politics and fashion – cut and curled fringes became controversial and were seen as sinful.
It was the 20th century Jazz-age era which made the fringe fashionable again most famously by enigmatic flapper Louise Brooks known for her ‘Dutch Boy’ haircut.
The style was first seen on actress Mary Thurman in 1921, but its influence is still apparent today – see Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who never strays from a modern interpretation of the geometric, fringed bob.
From presidential wives such as Jill Biden and Brigitte Macron to actresses including Dakota Johnson, Margot Robbie, Sharon Stone, Sienna Miller and Jane Seymour, the fringe is more prominent than it has been in years. Should you get one? Absolutely, but not before doing your research.
Hairdresser and salon owner George Northwood, who invented the choppy ‘Alexa’ bob on his friend and muse Alexa Chung says that before jumping in you should take a step back; “You can’t just decide on a fringe without assessing your full hair style, otherwise it could end up looking really out of place.”
Interestingly, says Northwood, it’s not simply a question of which fringe suits your face shape, the balance between your existing haircut and your fringe should seamlessly coexist in order to pull it off with confidence.
“People with longer hair may be more inclined towards French girl fringes, while those with shorter cuts might be better with a micro fringe,” advises Northwood, who says it is always worth discussing any restyle with your hair stylist at a consultation before committing.
In simple terms, Luke Hersheson suggests focusing on one thing at a time. “If you’re having a fringe for the first time, don’t change too many elements at once,” he cautions. “Executing one thing masterfully is the most classy way to nail a new haircut – then you’ve created a foundation to build on. You can always take the length shorter later on.”
There is a fringe for everyone no matter what your age, hair type, texture or face shape. But if in doubt, follow this guide to the four main fringe types to find out which one is best for you.