The No-Commitment Fringe

how to wear a fringe

Could this be the answer to (possibly) the most frequently occurring hair dilemma known to man? How many times have you heard people (including me) say things like, ‘I really want a fringe but I don’t know whether it will suit me!’ ‘I want something interesting doing with my hair but I’m scared that a fringe will be hard to style!’ ‘I need to cover my forehead lines but I look like an eight year old if I have a fringe cut in!’?

The biggest dilemma with a fringe is whether you’ll end up regretting it or not. But I think I have the answer: the no-commitment fringe. It’s basically just a new name for something that’s always been an option, but bear with and humour me: this is the ultimate fringe-that-isn’t-really-there. It’s a few wisps of hair, an amount of such insignificance that should you wish – and it’s easier if you have a bleached, wiry texture like me, because it stays where you put it – you can simply flick it into the rest of your hair and make it totally disappear.

how to style a fringe

No complicated styling techniques necessary and you won’t have to trim the blasted thing every three days – if it gets in your eyes you can easily push it to the side, but if you want it around you merely need to dry it forwards with the hairdryer, pulling it out in a stretching sort of movement with your fingertips.

how to wear a fringe

The pièce de resistance, though, with this no-commitment fringe, is this: you can get away with just styling the fringey bit! Tie the rest of it up – bun, ponytail, whatever – and just tweak around with the front bits for a few seconds, pulling them about so that they lie sexily across the eyes and frame the face. That’s it. It looks done, it looks interesting, it looks sultry: but it takes seconds.

Queen of this look is Sammi Jefcoate, who has a blog here; she has far more of a fringe, but it’s still cut in a clever, cool, non-blocky way that means it can be pushed aside or trapped beneath a headscarf or headband. Mine is around a third of the volume, which means that it doesn’t have nearly as much visual impact but is far more low-maintenance, and low-maintenance is my middle name.

how to wear a fringe

The downside? There still is one, because any fringe or piece of hair that is cut differently to the rest is going to have its drawbacks, namely the fact that it will inevitably do ridiculous things if you let it dry naturally. Like stand straight upwards, or curve into some crazy shape that makes you look as though you have a comma stuck to the side of your head. Yes, it takes mere seconds to pull it forwards and blast it with the dryer, but I have to then get the dryer from the cupboard (it has to be put away because toddlers love wires, plugs, anything that makes a noise) and then I have to plug it in and then I have to put it away again. It’s effort – minimal, but still an effort.

how to wear a fringe

So instead I do the lazy version of blow-drying, which is just sitting there in the air until it gets dry itself, which – there’s no way around this truth – never makes for hair as good as hair that’s been blow-dried. Or styled in some way. Unless it’s long, naturally wavy and looks like Gisele’s.

Also, the fringe, however commitment-free, still sits on your face. Which is mildly irritating, as though a gnat or a small house fly is continually trying to tiptoe across your forehead without you noticing. Does one ever get used to that feeling, I wonder, and learn to just blank it out? Like people who live under the flight path and manage to blank out the engine noise of jumbo jets coming in to land? Can a fringe tickle ever become background noise?

how to wear a fringe

Deep questions, people; I’d like your thoughts. I’ve tried to include some photos from different angles so that if you did want to have the same thing, it’s quite clear what has been done. I think that way the fringe has been cut should hopefully be pretty self-explanatory to a hairdresser’s trained eye. As I said before, this sort of half-fringe, or sweeping fringe, is nothing new, I’ve just given it an updated name! UPDATE: a quick Google reveals that I haven’t given it an updated name at all; about a thousand people have already written features on the no-fringe fringe, the low-commitment fringe and other variations on the theme. Oh well. Always late to the party…

Thanks, as always, to Kat at Josh Wood Atelier for my cut and Melanie for my colour.


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  1. Zivile
    May 1, 2018 / 10:31 pm

    Look good!

  2. Astrogirl
    May 2, 2018 / 2:01 am

    As a lifelong glasses wearer, this sort of hairstyle has never been available to me. I have always admired how good it looks on other people. Good job

  3. Cat McGillycuddy
    May 2, 2018 / 9:39 am

    After seeing your ‘gram on your new fringe I’ve bit the bullet and am going to try the NCF this Friday. I used to have a mega blocky, cool as funk one but with a nearly one year old, that can’t happen any more!

  4. Gail spear
    May 2, 2018 / 9:50 am

    Love the look gave been debating a fringe for ages. I have just decided to go for it. Thanks Ruth x

  5. May 2, 2018 / 12:51 pm

    I love this fringe on you Ruth! I do sometimes think about having a fringe cut in (especially every time I see a picture of Caroline de Maigret or Violette on Instagram!). However, it wouldn’t work well with my hair texture. I also agree with you, having it brush my forehead all the time would annoy me. On another note, I couldn’t help but notice your lashes in the photos. What mascara did you use there? It looks fantastic.
    Have a nice day!

  6. Jane
    May 2, 2018 / 12:52 pm

    I’ve had that fringe for the last few years, it is very flattering and so low maintenance! I love the lip colour you’re wearing in the pics Ruth, which one is it?

  7. aimee
    May 2, 2018 / 5:20 pm

    maybe next week you could get a fringe fringe? you have such a lovely face it is bound to suit you!

  8. SomeGirlMel
    May 2, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    Love it! You had a similar style before, only longer. Almost like overgrown side swept bangs. This really frames your face.

  9. SomeGirlMel
    May 2, 2018 / 6:26 pm

    Sorry, I meant to ask, is the fringe long enough to be pulled up into a pony/bun or do you have to use bobby pins (not sure what you call them across the pond)

  10. Angela Guest
    May 2, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    I’ve had a fringe like that for a while and it is easy to style whether you have your hair up or down, but I am growing it out now ..really suits you & the shorter styled Bob xx

  11. Charlotte
    May 2, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    Inspired by the photo you posted on Insta I bit the bullet and had a no fringe fringe cut in 3 weeks ago. Must agree that blow drying is an utter ball ache, particularly when I’m already running late. However I absolutely love it. It adds a little bit of oomph to my otherwise flat hair and makes my hair look done when it really isn’t.
    Doubt I’ll ever get used to it stabbing me in the eye though. Oh, and to the person who wears glasses and doesn’t think she can have a fringe, you can! I wear glasses and always thought the same but it works.

  12. Angie
    May 3, 2018 / 6:24 am

    The annoying tickling feeling will eventually turn to background noise, but it will take getting used to. And with me, there still is the odd day when everything tickles and irritates me. That said I have to admit that I can take these days now better with fringe than without. No matter how long the hair – just over the shoulders or down to the waist – I usually had my hair tied back tightly, because on most days I just cannot stand having hair in the face. Having my hair tied back sadly is not an option anymore, anything tighter than a loose braid is a no go. Enters the fringe where the most tickling and annoying part of the hair is shorter and at least for me easier to take and let the feeling sink away into the background. It literally safed me from having to cut my hair more or less radically short.

  13. Sandie
    May 4, 2018 / 12:32 pm

    Amazing how such a small change can make such a big difference! You look as fabulous as always, I really like the ‘laidback’ vibe of your hair!

  14. May 5, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    I really like the look. My bangs are longer, they end up just before the chin, so I can have them back in with or out of my bun, but now I am contemplating going shorter next time. I mean, it will grow out if I don’t like it.

  15. May 9, 2018 / 2:02 pm

    WELL! Thank YOU for the mention <3…and the fringe looks killer! xo

  16. Ella
    May 11, 2018 / 8:32 am

    This is very nice and my question is always, ‘what do you ask the hairdresser for?’

  17. May 24, 2018 / 12:35 am

    Girl, your fringe is spot on. Looks so pretty!

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