Liberty is my favourite department store in the whole world – I love nothing more than wandering up and down those wooden stairs, furnishing my fantasy home with colourful crockery, elegant stationary, bags, perfumes, clothes and, of course, those iconic bolts of floral-sprigged fabric. And now I have yet another reason to visit the shop that looks like a ship: the Bang Bar.
Actually it’s not really a ‘bar’, it’s a service offered by Josh Wood’s chic salon, or ‘Atelier’, tucked away up on the third floor (past fabrics) overlooking Carnaby Street. They’re offering a new express fringe-cutting service that costs £10 and gives you more of a consultation with a stylist than the normal in-and-out quickie trim that you get in most hairdressers.
I’ve had a fringe for over a decade, apart from about six months last year when I grew it out just to see what I’d look like without one. I didn’t like it and it was with huge relief that I had my fringe cut back in at the beginning of this year. Since then my usual combination of laziness and stinginess has seen me trimming my fringe at home rather than having it done professionally.
It doesn’t look too bad, if I do say so myself – I blow dry it as straight as I can and snip away cautiously, but there is a slight wave to the hair so it never turns out perfectly precise –but then that would be boring, wouldn’t it? [Hmm actually now I’m looking at the ‘before’ picture below it looks decidedly wonky – oh dear...]
I was relieved to find that my stylist Jack didn’t laugh or tell me off when he assessed the state of my fringe. It felt nice to have the time to ask him what he thought of it – was it too thick? Too heavy? Should I have more cut in at the sides to make it mesh better with the rest of my hair (truly, this is the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night...) Basically, what can I do to have hair exactly like Lou Doillon’s?
The sign of a good stylist is when they are observant – noticing how your hair goes with your general style - and unafraid of dissuading you from ideas that won’t work with your hair, no matter how much you want them to (I wish the hairdresser who agreed to my request for a bowl cut back in 1999 hadn’t been so feeble).
Jack was spot on. He approved of the general shape and style of my fringe, liking how it complemented my red lipstick, so he was reluctant to change it too drastically – such as adding more at the sides as I’d initially wanted. He was happy with the weight and didn’t think it needed ‘thinning out’ (so many hairdressers do this and I always end up looking like a Hoxton hipster circa 1998).
He cut it to just above the eyebrows – slightly shorter than normal, because it grows so quickly so this gives me longer between trims – and said I should embrace the natural kink, not fight it – a sentiment I thoroughly approve of (I don’t like hair that’s been ironed into oblivion – don’t fight its natural state, work with it!)
Now for those of you who don’t have fringes, all this might seem like pointless splitting hairs (ho) but really getting something so basic exactly right is a fine art. If I’m happy with my fringe, the rest of my hair makes sense and I feel more comfortable in my own skin. It’s one less thing to waste time fretting about so I can devote myself to more noble pursuits like TV-watching and novel-reading.
Do you trim your own fringe? Got any tips? Tell me about the worst haircut you ever had so I can feel better about my bowl cut!