Cutting fringe is quite possibly my favorite way to personalize a person’s look. Bangs are great for people who want to open a face, draw attention to features, or make a statement. For a long time, I was afraid (as most hairdressers are in the beginning) because I had no idea how to cut fringe bangs. The margin of error is high and the recovery is long and excruciating (not to mention the stress of styling bangs.) What I've found, though, is that approaching with order and purpose makes cutting hair fringe an entirely predictable and controlled process. Here is my process for cutting hair fringe that works for you rather than against you.
The first step is to choose an appropriate width for your fringe. I choose, as a default, a width no wider than the corner of the eyes. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule but for most situations, I find this to be most complimentary since it does not take away from the density on the sides and framing of the face. I'd say this is the most common fix I make with new clients unhappy with their current bangs.
Next, you want to choose how far back into the hairline the fringe will go. As a rule, I can go as far back as is necessary to get the look I need, but the heavier the bang is, the more important it is to properly teach my client how to prep their fringe so that it will fall like it is supposed to. Styling bangs is just as important as the cut, and this step will determine how future styling will affect the client's overall look. Hair that lives in the frontal bone will typically fall forward unless influenced by texture, formation, growth patterns, etc. The further back you go, the more it will fall in the direction of the hair stream of which it is a part of. This means that if you cut hair as part of a bang and the client does not know how to style, it will look like an accidental isolated layer smack in the middle of their haircut. What good is a killer fringe if it only looks good after they leave the salon? Remember our clients are our advertisement.
Now comes the prep work. My preference is to cut fringe bangs in the wet stage of my haircut. I do this if I'm confident about the texture, formation, density, etc. otherwise I will wait until the hair is dry to see how these variables will affect the movement of the hair at such a short length. This is crucial to cutting hair fringe! When prepping the hair, I will flat wrap the hair in a downward motion using a wider tooth brush or comb to encourage a controlled canvas. It's important that during this part you educate your client on what you're doing as they will need to follow your directions to get it to look the same. Styling bangs takes practice, and you'll want your clients to be equipped to duplicate the look long after they leave your salon. Most of my time is spent here. I never rush because I want my client to know how important this is if it is to be maintained.
Next, you want to consider your overall approach to the cut. I've learned that the best way to get the fringe you want is to treat it the way you would a normal haircut, except miniature and on the forehead. How do you want the weight to sit? Choose your elevation accordingly. Where do you want the weight to move? Choose your over-direction accordingly. Use tension and cutting angle to further control the result. A soft, light and layered fringe needs to be elevated high in order create the effect. Graduating the fringe will produce a more beveled effect. Heavier or blunt fringes need to be cut at natural fall. There's no need to complicate it any further. Remember to work with purpose and intent when cutting hair fringe.
Lastly, focus on the refinement. Once the overall shape has been cut, decide if any additional texturizing or softening needs to happen. Refinement should be minimal if the right controls were used to cut. Point cut into the bangs to create negative space if you want a more shattered effect. When cutting bangs dry, I find it helpful to rewet and dry again to complete the style.
Follow these steps and you'll learn how to cut fringe bangs effortlessly. Remember: cutting hair fringe is just as important as styling bangs so spend plenty of time walking your client through each step. Stay focused and you'll become a fringe pro in no time.
Photos: Courtesy of the author
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Proud hairdresser. Passionate educator. Follow me on insta - Christianawesome