Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Hair: Fringe Fever


Jennifer Aniston With Soft Side-Swept Bangs The Rachel

If you want to instantly create a fresh new look for your tresses, consider adding a new hair fringe skillfully carved out along the perimeter of your face line.

Whether you select a fringe that is side-swept, crafted into sensuous layers, shattered for an edgy look or worn blunt, it will instantly transform your face and your current overall hairstyle.

In the United States, our name for this frontal section of hair that extends onto the face from the hairline is known as "bangs". In Europe it is called the "fringe".

Regardless of whether you refer to it as a fringe or bangs, the hair style has cycled in and out of popularity for many years. Certainly it will continue to be a desired hairstyle option for many more years to come.

Why does fringe fever rise and fall? Part of the cause can be directly linked to the fashion world. The other reason is the fabulous way a hot new fringe can create an instant hair makeover.

Although they can be annoying to grow out, the key point to note is all fringes are indeed temporary unless you continue to trim them. The only hair textures which are not easily compatible with a frontal fringe is naturally curly and wavy hair. For any other hair type or textures you can select a fringe in just about any length, style or design.

Many hair experts advise selecting a hair fringe based on face shape. While I tend to agree that it is helpful to consider face shape when selecting a fringe, be willing to select a style which resonates with your personality and desires. All hair rules are made to be broken as long as you select styles which make you feel beautiful.

Listed below are some specific tips on the best type of fringe for you based on your face.

Oval Face

Yes, the oval face is considered by many to be the ideal shape. While many different fringe styles will work will with your face shape, depending on the overall hairstyle you wish to support, not all fringes will offer the same advantages.

Since bangs are often added to help camouflage a variety of facial sins, consider what facial features you wish to maximize when selecting your fringe style.

Round Face

In general, fringe guidelines for round face shapes indicate the need to avoid any styles which accentuate the roundness of your face. An overly wide blunt fringe will make your face appear much rounder.

If you wish for your fringe to provide instant slenderizing for your face, select a tousled side-swept style which cascades down over your cheeks, providing instant minimization of roundness. Avoid a fringe which are worn in a straight line across the forehead which will maximize full cheeks.

Texturized fringes or those cut longer on the side and shorted in the middle will instantly give the illusion of lengthening the face.

Square Face

Side-swept fringes with longer side layers merging into face hugging strands will soften prominent jaw lines. Asymmetric styles can also add softening of angular lines.

Jennifer Aniston is a classic example of a celebrity with square angles to her face. She often selects side-swept fringes that merge with side layers to soften her cheeks and balance her chin.

Oblong Face Shape

The traditional thinking about oblong face shapes is to focus on breaking up the length of the face. Oblong faces often are thin and can benefit from added width and height.

Consider reducing forehead depth with a soft layered fringe instantly breaking up the length of the face and adding width. Asymmetrical shapes will also widen your face.

Heart-Shaped Face

The goal with heart-shaped face shapes is to create a wispy uneven fringe which will cover and conceal a traditional wide forehead. A shattered fringe will also balance out fullness in the upper face regions and help to balance a prominent chin.

Triangular Face Shape

Triangular face shapes, depending on whether the triangle is inverted or not, is a combination of different facial shapes. Generally speaking, the goal with a triangular face is to minimize wide cheeks and angular jaw lines while balancing a forehead that ends in a widow's peak or sharp angle.

To minimize angular foreheads, full fringes are a good choice. Shattered fringes or fringes that are longer and hug the cheeks will also help to minimize that area of the face while adding balance to the chin line.


Is a fringe right for you? It depends on a number of factors including your overall hairstyle goals, your face shape and designs that make you feel beautiful. Work with your professional stylist to design the optimal fringe style for you, your hair and your face.

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Original Publication Date: 3/1998

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