Quite frankly, a fringe that parts in the middle could be a terrible idea, but such swooshy fringed icons as Alexa Chung , Sienna Miller, Suki Waterhouse , Kirsten Dunst and J Lo (the list goes on) prove that a forked fringe can actually look beautifully French and nonchalant, as opposed to nerdy nineties boyband member. The French thing shouldn’t really come as a surprise, seeing as the curtain fringe first found favour thanks to Brigitte Bardot’s iconic eye-skimming style in the 70s , and there remains a je ne sais quoi, ‘who, me?’ innocence to a relaxed, sweeping face framer.
It’s the Brigitte Bardot inspired hair trend that’s not going anywhere. In fact, Pinterest searches for ‘curtain fringe’ are up by over 600%. Here’s how to look more Brigitte, less Backstreet Boy
So popular are blasé bangs that ‘curtain fringe’ is peaking in popularity on Pinterest - searches are up by over 600 per cent. Like 'no makeup makeup', however, achieving and styling a curtain fringe can be quite the art, and as Nick Carter et al prove, it can go quite sticky uppy, greasy and generally wrong pretty much as soon as you turn your back. Creative Director or Hari’s Hair Salon Craig Taylor has intel, inspo and some essential curtain fringe ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ to keep that fringe in line.
The curtain fringe. Talk to me.
"A curtain fringe is a fringe cut in an inverted 'V' shape, the shortest part of the cut is where you would wear the parting in the fringe. When being cut from the shortest point, the shape of the cut is angled down gradually, and hair is left longer towards the top of the cheek bones.”
“Note that the shape of the curtain fringe needn't always be centred. It can work perfectly well from the side, so it works if you wear your hair in a side parting, and it’s especially helpful if you have a cowlick (strong angled hairline growth), as the fringe can be placed at the shortest cut point, therefore taming the cowlick.”
So functional as well as fashionable. Ideal.
Who it works for
“This fringe can suit nearly every face shape, but it does need to be cut with consideration. The only case in which it could be difficult is if your hair is very coarse or curly and it can be tricky for very narrow or broad foreheads too.”
How to get a good one
Put the nail scissors down. This is NOT a DIY job.
“Always go to a salon if you’re even thinking about having a curtain fringe cut in. It needs to be professionally done, with careful assessment of your face shape, hair type and personal style, not to mention precision. A curtain fringe needs to blend seamlessly with your existing haircut too. A thorough consultation with your hairdresser will ensure that you’ both on the same page
“I would always suggest taking along images to show what your stylist what kind of curtain fringe vibe you’re going for (holler Pinterest). A visual representation of what you want is still the best form of communication with your hairdresser! It is important to be realistic though- try to find an example worn on someone who has a similar face shape and hair type to your own.
“A stylist then needs to asses how much hair should be sectioned out to form the fringe so that it’s easy to style and suits you. Deciding where the fringe should be placed and how short the shortest part should be requires expertise, as does cutting in the angle and where the fringe should end to flatter your face shape.”
How to style it
It looked so Parisian chic when you left the salon...here’s how to hold onto that swish:
“If correctly cut, this fringe should need very little or no styling at all, the look it is supposed to be easy and natural. If your hair is fine a little styling product is handy for hold - try L'Oreal Elnett Mousse , £5.99, to keep the parting in place. You can even leave it to dry naturally and it’ll still look cool.
“If you have thick hair or stubborn sticky outy bits, apply your styling product of choice then gently blow dry the parting into place. Don't overwork the hair as the fringe will not fall as it should. You can always clamp the fringe from the ends on either side with a hair-clip, securing hair at the temples, while you dry the rest of your hair or apply make-up. I would suggest putting tissue on top of the clamped hair under the clip so the fringe doesn't get marked (stylists use playing cards backstage- just an idea).
“Whatever you do, don’t use a round brush to dry the fringe ‘under’ at the roots. It will always make the hair sit badly (I’m envisioning Susan from Neighbours here). When drying the fringe, try to keep roots flat.”
Why it’s so hot right now
French girl style seemingly never goes out of fashion, but Craig reckons the curtain fringe craze could be seasonal:
“A post-summer fringe is always popular in salon. I think it’s because heat and humidity has moved on, making hair ‘behave’ better. Hair on the face in the summertime can be faffy and irritating- I find that clients are much more open to a fringe in the colder months.
“That said, a curtain fringe in particular can work whatever the weather. A curtain fringe is less of a commitment than a regular fringe as the gradient at the sides means it’s easier to grow out than a straighter, squarer fringe. Plus, it makes for a refreshing change without a drastic loss of hair length.”
I’m off to the salon with all the Alexa Chung tabs open. And possibly a Backstreet Boys poster as an example of what not to cut. No one wants a Nick Carter curtain.
Alongside Susan from Neighbours fringes, here are 10 styling mistakes your hairdresser is begging you not to commit