‘The Climate Is All Wrong.’ And Other Daily Fringe Frustrations

It's the high maintenance hair cut. That comes with a lot of moaning.

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by Eleanor Doughty |
Published on

Last year I asked my hairdresser for Françoise Hardy’s cool French sexpot, brow-sweeping fringe. I had spent two years studiously growing my last one out, but it was time to change. Again. I didn’t tell anyone about it until after. But I wish I had - because maybe someone would have talked me out of it.

You see the thing is, I had forgotten, as one does, about the fringe benefits. Namely, that there are few. In great supply, however, are the specific anxieties and terrors of having a fringe. No one talks about them because, well, them’s the rules. Which is why I'm breaking those rules - and revealing the things you'll only really appreciate if you've had a fringe. And daily frustrations, such as:

The climate is always wrong

Despite having blow-dried your locks in the best, most haphazard manner it still looks rubbish when you get to work because of the weather. There’s no meteorological scenario adept to cope with the cool fringe. It is purely for show.

You have a built-in late excuse, as if you really needed one

There’s a lot of talk about girls that wear liquid eyeliner and how their tardiness is excusable because it is a truth universally acknowledged that two perfectly even flicks are impossible on any given day. But no one thinks about the girl with the fringe in the morning.

You have to bring your A-Game, every single day

That includes Sunday – traditionally the day of rest. Your fringe isn’t missing out on brunch, oh no. It’s coming with you and it has to look great. Always. Because if your fringe fails, you fail. It’s a cruel world.

Hairdressers aren’t to be trusted

They don’t tell you when you’re in the hot seat – right before the scissors squeeze together and your nicely grown out hair drops to the floor – that having a fringe invites a whole host of issues to camp like paparazzi on your dressing table.

You will develop a complex about your forehead

It’s normal during a trim to sit in a mild shiver, the horror of a Cleopatra makeover flashing before your eyes. There’s nothing worse than a fringe too short. It’s like when your boyfriend has his hair cut; men never get their hair cut just right, it’s always an inch too far. But too long and you can’t see and your trip to Josh Wood’s ‘Bang Bar’ – and momentary princess feeling – has been wasted. You’ll be ringing up again in a fortnight when your mane has obscured your peripheral vision.

Contrary to popular belief, a fringe cut is not a readymade ‘do’

The low maintenance look is a myth. You only remember the daily fringe frustration a week after the chop. When Andrea Sachs had her makeover in The Devil Wears Prada, they never showed you her morning routine. That fringe takes some handling.

Every glass surface is an opportunity to check your fringe’s behaviour

And it’s not because you’re vain, it’s self-preservation. Visions of 'The Gap' irk me daily. Just when I’ve artfully mussed up my hair for maximum ‘I just woke up’ points, suddenly there’s an awkward gap happening further up. It’s not dead centre – and therefore cool, 60s and Jane Birkin-esque – so must be vanquished. And then checked up on, every few minutes.

Your fringe needs a stylist of its own: suddenly clothes are the easy part

The Greasy Pole is a factor too: even if your hair is clean your fringe tells another story. Washing it every day makes little to no difference, and although a little natural shine is nice on a sunny day, on dark hair it can look the wrong side of grease lightening. I bet Birkin didn’t have this problem.

You have unwittingly become an addict

A fringe addict. Partly because you’re too lazy to have a topknot for two years again growing it out and partly because underneath it all, you actually like having something to moan about. Something else, I mean.

Follow Eleanor on Twitter @brushingboots

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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