When it comes to French style signifiers, there are some that immediately come to mind. Breton stripes is one, basket bags is another, and feline eyeliner flicks also have an undeniable je ne sais quoi about them. But when it comes to hair, there’s one style that feels more Gallic than the rest, and that’s long hair with fringe. Of course, the look isn’t just popular with the French, but there’s something about tumbling lengths offset with a sweeping fringe that feels very Parisian. Regardless of its origin, it’s a hairstyle that looks incredibly chic and is becoming increasingly popular in beauty circles.
For those with long hair, going for the chop is the ultimate commitment. After all, it can take months, if not years, to grow your hair back out should a shorter style not be to your liking. Cue the fringe—a small tweak that can make all the difference in your look without you having to sacrifice your long hair in the process. That said, there are a few things to consider before having a fringe cut in, especially if you intend on keeping length elsewhere. We consulted Chloe Mckiver, a stylist and colour technician at top London salon Taylor Taylor London’s Portobello Road location, who revealed everything we need to know about long hair with fringe.
“First things first, it helps to understand which face shape you have, which will then allow you to better visualise how certain fringes will actually look on you,” says Mckiver. Handily, we already have a fringe face-shape guide for you to peruse. Now, read on to discover Mckiver’s point-by-point style analysis.
1. “Before you opt for a full fringe, make sure you are prepared. If you’re willing to work on the upkeep, then fringes always look stunning. Fringes also take a while to grow out, so once you go for the chop, that’ll be your hair for the foreseeable.”
2. “One of the biggest bonuses of a fringe with long hair is that it presents the perfect excuse to skip a full hair wash. Pull back your lengths and just wash and style the fringe to freshen up your hair between washes.”
3. “Think carefully before embracing super-short bangs, as they can’t be swept back or hidden. You have to wear them with pride. In my experience, I’ve found that short fringes suit oval, heart, and round face shapes best, but when it comes to fringes, one rule doesn’t fit all. It’s completely down to the person.”
4. “Discuss your fringe style carefully with your stylist to make sure you go for the one that best suits your face shape and brings attention to your favourite features. For example, longer bangs can draw attention to your cheekbones or nose and can also work to shorten a longer face, whereas a side-swept fringe will work to elongate rounder face shapes.”
5. “If you’re nervous about going for a full fringe, I recommend trying the ‘curtain’ fringe, which sits either side of your forehead. It’s easier to maintain, as it falls softly below the eyes and can be tucked behind the ears. Think French-girl vibes.”
6. “There can be a lot of styling involved for fringes if your hair doesn’t sit naturally the way you want it to, so always consider if you have the time and patience to style in the mornings. This is all the more important when it comes to long hair, too, which takes longer to style than short or mid-length hair.”
7. “Make sure you have the time to pop into the salon for fringe trims. The kitchen scissors should be off limits. I can’t tell you how many fringes I’ve worked on since lockdown.”
8. “Curly hair can look great with a fringe, but make sure you have the right products and techniques for your hair to ensure it sits how you want it. I would always start off with something soft to see how you like it. Then, we can build the density if you decide a full-on fringe is for you.”
9. “Do your homework. Look at pictures of celebrities who have a similar head shape or hair texture for inspiration. It’s a cliché, but we hairdressers love a little guide, and we can help you decide if that look is right for you and help you to adapt it. A magazine cutting or an Instagram pic will help us fully understand the look you’re trying to achieve.”
Now that you know everything you could possibly need to about long hair with fringe, below, we’ve collated some of our favourite looks to inspire you. Then, shop our essential products for fringe maintenance.
Next, We asked an expert how to trim your fringe when a salon visit isn’t an option. You can thank us later.