Fringe (hair)

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An example of a fringe

Fringe (also known as bangs in North America) is a shaped cutting of the front part of the hair so that it lies over the forehead. A standard fringe is fairly straight at or above the eyebrows, but it can also be ragged or ruffled, spiked up with hair gel, swept to one side or the other, or cut longer to fall over the eyes.


The term fringe refers to the resemblance of the short row of hair to ornamental fringe trim, such as that often found on shawls. The term bangs originally referred to a hair cut bang-off (straight across at the front), although the term is now applied to diverse forms of hair stylings. It is probably related to bang-tail, a term still used for the practice of cutting horses' tails straight across.[1]


Definite edge/bordered fringe styles:

  • Straight: Hair combed straight down with no interference opposite to the side-swept. Can be a bit wispy or blunt depending on the cut. [2]
  • Blunt: Hair cut straight across the forehead in a blunt manner. Similar to a straight fringe but thicker and sometimes looks heavier. [3]
  • Pin-up: Hairs are cut in a short "U" shape above the brows, which was made famous by Bettie Page and is now worn by many pin-up girls.
  • V-shaped: A type of fringe where the cut is such that the fringe is longer in the centre and gets shorter the farther they go out from the centre.
  • Choppy better known as Piece-y: Hair cut uneven and choppy finish where a set of individual strands stand out, feathered-like.
  • Brow-Skimming: Hair that hits below the brow and can look "heavy" or "light" on the face.[4]
  • Power: A hair style in which the hair is unusually large and protrudes from the top of the scalp near the forehead to up to great lengths.
  • Short/baby: Hair which is usually cut above the brows, it is normally bluntly cut across the middle of the forehead and can be shorter.[5]

Other undefined styles:

  • See-Through, better known as Wispy: A type of fringe considered as the opposite of the blunt style. It is done by getting thin layers of hair and trimming it with a thinning shears or a thinning razor. Usually it acts as a versatile, less-commitment & considered by some as the "fringe that suits all types of faces". It can be worn onto the front or by brushing it on one side. Commonly it is in the form of irregular cut rather than a horizontally-straight cut. This style was popularized by singer Taylor Swift as well as Korean actresses Song Hye-kyo and Yoon Eunhye.[6]
  • Side-swept: Hair is cut longer than a normal fringe, usually a length that could cover the eyebrow until the eye area when hair is brushed/combed forward and swept going through a one side of the face.
  • Parted: Hair parted down the middle or off center slightly
  • Peek-a-boo: A type of bang characterized by long hair falling over either eye, popularized by Veronica Lake.

History and development[edit]

A short-cut fringe

Fringes occur naturally in many styles of short hair-cuts.

Hairstyles that feature fringes have come and gone out of fashion as frequently as other hairstyles, and they can be worn in any number of styles. Influential people with fringes in modern times have included silent movie actress Louise Brooks, 1950s glamor model Bettie Page, the Beatles and actress Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Cleopatra.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, a curly, teased fringe was in fashion. In 2007, fringes saw another massive revival as a hair trend, this time thick, deep and blunt-cut. In October 2007, style icon and model Kate Moss changed her hairstyle to have a fringe, signalling the continuation of the trend into 2008.[7]

In the 1970s, English actress and singer Jane Birkin help brand the iconic look of a brow-length fringe and long hair.[citation needed]

See also[edit]