Fringe (hair)

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An example of a "fringe" or "bangs".

A fringe or bangs (North America), is a shaped cutting of the front part of the hair so that it lies over the forehead. A classic fringe is cut fairly straight at or above the eyebrows, but they 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 fringe. It is probably related to bang-tail, a term still used for the practice of cutting horses' tails straight across.[1]


Types of fringes:

  • Straight: Hair combed straight down with no interference.[2]
  • Blunt: Hair cut straight across the forehead in a blunt manner.[3]
  • Sideswept: Hair is cut longer than a normal fringe and swept across one side of the face.
  • 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 center and gets shorter the farther it goes out from the center
  • Parted: Hair parted down the middle or off center slightly
  • Choppy aka 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
  • Wispy: Hair that "sprinkles" over the forehead lightly.[4]
  • Power: Sometimes referred to as power bangs in the U.S., 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]
  • Shaved: The hair at the front (the part that makes the fringe) is shaved off. It can also be used to undercut fringes or bangs.

History and development[edit]

A short-cut fringe or bangs.

A fringe occurs naturally in many styles of short hair-cuts.

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

In the 1980s and early 1990s, curly, teased fringes were in fashion. In 2007, the fringe 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.[6]

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


See also[edit]