As Y2K plays muse for many fashion trends, some of the era’s most recognisable hair trends are also enjoying a renaissance, including the fringe. A staple of the 90s, the present incarnation of the trend reflects contemporary society’s attitude towards diversity. Best of all, when chosen carefully, a fringe can be tailored to suit anyone.
“The best fringes can dramatically play up your features, as well as lend symmetry and balance to your face,” says Ruksher Malik, Co-Founder of Pastels Salon.
Inspired by French Girl style, the side swept fringe is on mood boards globally and this is because of its versatility, says Malik. “This side fringe looks good on almost any face. It can be worn in different ways, and on different hair types, including curly hair to add volume and energy.”
Sam Carpenter, hair artist and educator at Eideal, agrees. “Side bangs are especially flattering on round faces, which are soft around the edges and often wider in the cheeks. This is because the angle of the bangs creates more length in your face and thus a more oval shape.”
According to Carpenter, fringes are all about illusion and this is especially true for square or oblong face shapes, as effortless French beauty icon Violette understands. “These face shapes are wider at the cheeks and more angular, especially around the jawline, so a soft A-shape works best for women with square faces, as the tapered ends create angles, which help to soften your jawline and bring attention to your eyes. Another option is a long, layered fringe which will help to soften and balance your features.”
Longer, layered fringe styles can also be used to channel either a Bohemian vibe as Camila Cabello and Alexa Chung have proven or to give a stylish update to the once-lampooned mullet as Billie Eilish and Miley Cyrus bravely continue to demonstrate.
On the other hand, micro-fringes, seen on Emma Watson in her debut campaign for Prada, lend what Pastels Salon’s Ruksher Malik describes as “a kooky, 60’s feel” to any hairstyle. But, she warns, it’s not a fringe for everyone. “If you have a long face, cropped bangs should be avoided as they will draw attention to your forehead so those with this face shape should always the fringe line low right around your eyebrows.”
As catwalk stalwart, Naomi Campbell knows, crescent fringes are perfect for heart-shaped faces. “A soft, crescent-shaped fringe, defined by being longer at the outer edges and slightly shorter in the middle, with long and feathery wisps is incredibly flattering,” says Malik.
Of course, there are some die-hand fringe fanatics amongst A-listers, including Dakota Johnson who has arguably become the poster girl for the perfect fringe. “Her fringe happens to be the perfect length and manages to tow the fine line between choppy and blunt,” says Malik.
The hegemony of the fringe is undoubted for Fall/Winter 2022 but ask any hair expert and they will tell you the key to embracing the trend, is to consider your face shape and choose a style that will highlight your face’s most beautiful features.
Words by Maria Stapleton