January 18, 2010

Bangs or No Bangs : That Is The Question

Fringe Benefits <> Cut Your Own Bangs/Fringe

1212121fringe The proper term for that triangle of hair across your forehead when cut to your eyebrows, is “FRINGE” - - - NOT BANGS. The Sub-title was truly the Title - - I was fearful if I titled this post properly no one would read it . Some-how, some-way … years ago, the slang term for it was started by some silly Yankee yahoo thinking he was being clever. Obviously he was either mentally ill or ‘on drugs’. The entire rest of the world calls that pie-shaped area of the hair “FRINGE”. Canadians & Americans are the only morons that use the ridiculous name, bangs. Having asked various elderly Stylists and instructors along the way – who-what-why-when the term was switched, not a soul had a clue. The word ‘fringe’ makes sense…bangs does not….I know – I know >>> a lot of words don’t, but I have always had a fascination with where words stem from….so I’m always looking for the root, just a silly hobby of mine. Having spent a career trying to change the word, with this Forum maybe I can make more of a difference. Now that you know, “ Fringe” is the word I will use to finish this Post. If everyone that reads this post begins to use the word “Fringe” maybe we can reinstate the proper word . . . however small the effort, remember “change” comes from one small step.
Now, in continuing my constant theme of finding the best hair “cutter” in your town to cut your hair and sticking to that. The very best method of trimming your own fringe is by starting with the fringe cut correctly to your specifications by a professional.
To be perfectly honest, if you have a great cutter…they should offer you complimentary fringe trim touch-ups in between hair cuts. That is an age-old tradition every great Hollywood cutter I know offers regularly. I always offered it, as I changed the norm in “haircut frequency” rules: I’m sure you’ve always heard you should have your hair trimmed every 4-6 weeks, which once I got into the Salon world found absurd. Its much too frequent I felt…with the range of hair growth being from 1/4 inch to 1 inch in a months time….the average is 1/2 inch. Now in my experience a great Sassoon cut – really does last about 7-8 weeks. The only time I would shorten it is on very short hair styles & super fast growing shorter hair styles, certain short haircuts might need to be cut at 5-6 weeks but that is very few and far between. hairuk17 When I got so busy I couldn’t cram anymore people in my book, I had to begin coming up with methods of jamming more people in an already filled up book. This method, worked well – made my clients happy and truthfully I learned the standard rules for haircut frequency were made to increase business, not because it was necessary. It was the first rule I was taught in Academy that I learned to rebel against, learning not everything they taught was strict fully for the “art of hair ”… although do not take this wrong….no company on planet Earth is more into the “Art of Hair – cutting, coloring and styling” – more than Vidal Sassoon. I was so fortunate to have an education like that.killercutscolors734 So get your fringe trimmed to your liking FIRST by your Stylist, then if and when you aren’t able to make it into your complimentary trims { which btw I found no one ever took advantage of } this is how I would recommend you trim your own. Once you have it trimmed correctly, its pretty darn easy to give them a touch-up till your next hair cut. I know it scares people, but don’t let it. That’s the first thing, ‘fear’ gives people of confidence and talent -- the ‘Doctor Jekyll <> Mr. Hyde Syndrome’…I used to see it all the time as a Stuntwoman. Some of the actors that you know and admire, when confronted with a scary situation of a stunt -- would turn into whimpering yahoo’s – it was remarkable to me. So, do whatever you have to do to keep your confidence intact, maybe reading this will help somewhat.
Another misconception is when you come in for your next haircut appointment, we can tell that you have trimmed your own fringe. Nothing could be further from the truth. As your hair grows out. . .different areas grow out at different rates, have you ever noticed that? The center of the back of your hair grows the fastest on pretty much all women, as in this picture . . . 82246798
See how the hair grows longer in center-rear?
Ever let your hair grow out for a year or 2 without a hair cut? This is a mellow photo (couldn’t find a better one), most of us would have a radical dip from the side of our hair to the tip of the back. Its a little weird quirk of the hair rarely spoken about. Notice how the sides of your hair are never as long as the back? This is what I’m talking about…how the hair on different parts of your head grows at different speeds. Inevitably, every single person that has come in for that first trim after letting their hair grow for 6 months, 1 year or longer, has hair that comes to a long point in the center back. This is why a hairstylist cannot tell whether YOU have trimmed your hair or whether it was another stylist or ‘what’ {?}….DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. I learned to never expect my clients to come in for that free fringe trim… they never had the time.
Now I am going to over dissect the art of trimming your fringe to the ‘N th’ degree, please take what you need and leave the rest.
Remember my rule about parting the hair for coloring…that same rule is the “Sassoon method” of accomplishing most everything on the head of hair. Sassoon took what was a random, fairly unorganized way of cutting hair and turned it into geometry and precision. DON’T LET THAT SCARE YOU, let it comfort you. Before him there was no “plan”…there was no guide, not even a hypothesis that made sense that would work on everyone. With Sassoon came the art of dividing up the round surface ( the head) with strands that fell from it. . . followed by the use of shapes…which equaled continual successful haircuts – because it was based on science -- the science of GEOMETRY. It sounds harder than it is, I promise. Just trust in me that the Sassoon method of dividing up the head in equal ‘quarters’ before any procedure whether it be cutting, coloring, trimming and even styling…truly helps and makes each procedure easier. For all you /Stylists that follow along (btw: which there are many) I would encourage you to purchase some of the Sassoon DVD’s – I actually worked on a couple of them – although I never felt like they taught enough to really learn all the various techniques. They put on Advanced cutting classes at the Academy here in LA {only one in United States} and I always felt they didn’t teach every step of a certain haircut via the DVD’s in order to force people to attend the Adv. Classes {which are expensive – though well worth it}.
  • Resist the urge to cut Wet hair, its easier to see what you’re doing when its dry. Besides until you are used to how much the hair stretches and shrinks from wet to dry…you don’t want your first attempt to chop off way too much a la --> Katy Perry fringe. Katy Perry Bangs
  • Take the extra time at the beginning to SECTION the hair as I show here in these HEAD SHEETS:
222QUAD parting 223QUAD parting
224quad parting 226 quad parting
{ A good rule of thumb for any styling, coloring or cutting you plan to do: always begin with the QUAD sectioning }
  • Invest in proper hair cutting shears { I am planning on finding the best hair cutting shear at the big Hair Show, in 2 weeks }. the scissors don’t have to be expensive just made for cutting hair. Having found a couple pairs, I just want to make sure there aren’t any better for the $$.
Assuming you have had your fringe trimmed previously by a qualified Cutter, at this point you are going to want to section away the hair you don’t want to touch with scissors. If they cut them properly the section should look like a triangle. 121212fringe9944
  • Take the hair from the part behind your ear to the front hairline….twist it up and clip it…on both sides. This ‘should’ leave hair loose and ready to trim
333fringe trim
  • Now if the fringe hair is an inch or more, too long… the first step will be to get some of the length off. Accomplish that by turning the scissors perpendicular to the floor. In other words NOT LIKE THIS: 555fringe trim1
This way would be parallel to the floor…and is not going to give you the proper look. Therefore, with your scissors held perpendicular to the floor {like the photo BELOW} – take the tips off going all the way across the ends of the fringe
555fringe trim99
  • Now with the length of the fringe about at the length of the above photo ( or about 1/2 inch longer than your desired length) section the fringe into 3 equal sections (approximate is fine) . Grab the first one, pull it straight up into the air and twist it.
  • Snip the ends with the point of the scissors cutting diagonally,a little at a time,so that each strand is a different length.555fringetrim5
  • Drop each section to see where it falls, if necessary – redo…twisting and re-cutting.
  • Pull up the next section, matching it to the length of the first one, before snipping. Repeat until your fringe is trimmed.
The twisting helps give that choppy look that makes a fringe look natural as opposed to a straight bowl-like trim, something I find is the biggest problem to ‘you’ the client.
In styles for 2010, a bigger fringe is the new look. The bigger fringe comes from starting the point of the triangle back farther and farther on top of the head. The advantage? It gives you a very healthy – very heavy looking fringe. The Disadvantage? It takes hair away from the sides of your hairstyle. Which can be fine for some and disastrous for others. Through this blog I deal with so many of you that deal with living in a town of unqualified hair stylists, many of you have gotten so discouraged with disastrous Salon appointments you have turned to teaching yourself how to do things correctly. If this is also your case with “cuts’’ that is a much bigger animal to conquer. The only part of cutting you have power over is your fringe….otherwise it is nearly impossible to cut ones own hair…
But, at least now you have the tools to trim your own FRINGE.
Are you used to the new word yet ? ? ? ? I hope so.
3 comments on "Bangs or No Bangs : That Is The Question"
  1. Yes!! Great article! I've never heard of this method before, but it makes way more sense than the way I was doing it before.

    Thanks KC :)

  2. Thanks, KC. This is quite a helpful guide. I am not a trained stylist. However, I have tried to trim my fringe unsuccessfully many times. Since I have read this post, I now understand why I was disappointed. I look forward to giving this a go. Keep up the good work!

  3. I actually love the heavy blunt "bowl shape" fringe that curves down at the sides, as was fashionable in the mid 60's. Of course, that would be the most difficult one to do! I have tried a few times, occasionally getting it perfected, and other times have the curves mismatched in their angles! Thankfully though, the curve also keeps it looking nice as a side swept fringe til it grows out again for the next attempt.


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