Fringes (European) or bangs (American) really got going in the 20s. Introduced by silent movie stars like Louise Brooks, they were striking and blunt. Then came pin up girl Bettie Page, who in trying to conceal what she regarded as a big forehead, cut, and popularised microbangs. (They soon became known as Bettie Bangs, and to this day you can buy clip-in pieces to emulate them.) In the 1940s, bangs were sculpted into what we know now as rockabilly fringes, and in the 50s, by way of Audrey Hepburn and her ingénue charm, baby bangs returned. From then, whether swept under a beehive or accompanying a pixie cut, in one way or another, they remained. The 70s heralded a fringe that still resonates now. Yes, according to Google, searches for the curtain fringe were up 600% in the last year alone.
Fringes communicate something about their owner. Michelle Obama attributed hers to a mid life crisis in 2013 – a precursor to the internet trope about emotional-distress fringes (not too dissimilar to that of the break-up chop.) But no-one can deny that they’re an excellent addition to just about every style and texture. While curls don’t sound like the most compatible bedfellow for fringes, the opposite is true. Whether picked out for a fluffy ‘fro fringe, or defined in kinked and corkscrew curls, it’s a fresh and flattering approach to soften and frame.