Beauty

“I cut a new fringe with nail scissors during lockdown – this is what happened”

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Hollie Richardson
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Cut my own fringe

Thinking about cutting in a fringe during lockdown? One Stylist writer shows off the results of what happened after she snipped her own hair, and shares the expert tips she has since learned. 

It’s week five of living on my own during quarantine. I walk from my bedroom to the bathroom, picking up the nail scissors on route. I look in the mirror, brush my hair over my face, pull out a few strands and… snip… snip… I am cutting a new fringe into my hair with zero hairdressing experience.

How did I get here? 

I’ve never been adventurous when it comes to beauty, I just don’t have the creativity, patience or skill. But I was always a tiny bit more adventurous with my hair at school.

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I home dyed it every shade of ginger one year, in a failed attempt to go ice blonde with my pocket money. I’m adamant that I made boho waves a thing before Sienna Miller. I even had a mullet at one point and, somehow, didn’t get bulled for it.

I’ve had pink hair, dark brown hair, peroxide blonde hair and accidental balayage hair (because highlights are just too expensive to maintain). I’ve had a full fringe, side swept fringe and pixie fringe. I’ve had a short bob, midi-cut and long layers.

But a few years ago, I seemed to make peace with my hair, thanks to a great hairdresser (something I had never actually found before).  

Cut your own fringe
Hollie's hair in January, when we were free to visit hairdressers and party.

He gave me the exact shade of blonde I’d always tried to achieve. And he cut my hair into a January Jones-inspired blunt bob that I, for once, wanted to maintain. It just made me feel instantly cooler and my friends and mum told me this style was “the one”. 

But in the weeks leading up to lockdown, I started getting itchy feet yet again. Should I grow out my bob? Would a fringe be nice for summer? Ah yes, change was in the air. But then the pandemic put a stop to that.

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I’ve been left with what I can only describe as bloody shit hair in lockdown. My mop, with all its split ends, is down to my shoulders. My dark roots exposed down to my ears. Any remaining blonde highlights are a murky blonde. And everything is just so wispy and “meh”. 

I know there’s no one around to see it and there are far more important things to be worrying about right now. But I’ve been losing my sense of identity. As a single woman in lockdown on my own, I sometimes need to remind myself that I’m still me, I’ve still “got it”. 

So, during week three of lockdown, my thoughts turned to a fringe. “That would show the world I’m still here,” I smiled. “I was going to go and get one anyway. I will not let this shit storm stop me.”

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I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I finally picked those scissors up. We’d been told that lockdown would be extended another three weeks, I was particularly bored and in all honesty, yes, probably feeling a little manic. 

Reader, I would love to share a genius method behind the madness, but I really did just blindly go for it. 

You’d think I’d utilise the expert knowledge of Stylist’s brilliant beauty team, right? Maybe watch a video tutorial or something? At the very least, I should have looked for some proper scissors in the flat? But no.

Here was the result:

Hollie's first selfie after cutting in her own fringe during lockdown.

Yes, it’s a little bit wonky and maybe even “forky” — but I think it could have ended up a lot worse. One cruel friend shouted “Joe Exotic!” when I video-called her afterwards. My mum, trying to offer some comfort, said it was “very Taylor Swift!”

The Taylor Exotic — I’ll take that. 

Friends and colleagues have also been very complimentary about it on Instagram and I’m pretty sure they’re being sincere in what they’re saying. However, I’ve still not gone onto video mode during the work morning meetings — I’ve made such a big deal out of my DIY fringe that I can’t deal with the big reaction to it . 

I’ve also since been inspired to touch up my roots, although unsurprisingly I wouldn’t exactly say I found the perfect colour match (read: my roots are now coppery but at least they’re lighter). 

So would I advise you to cut in your own fringe? I’ll hand you over to the experts to answer that one…

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How to cut your own fringe at home

Celebrity hairstylist and Color Wow ambassador James Johnson sets out five steps:

1. Separate and pull your fringe from the rest of your hair. It should be sectioned in an imaginary line from the middle parting to the top of each corner of your forehead (a bit like a triangle).

2. Now is the time to decide how thick you want your fringe. Once sectioned make sure it doesn’t take contain anymore hair than necessary.

3. To start with, comb all the hair forward, before taking a small section (roughly an inch) of hair in the middle of the parting.

Just to be clear, if this is a side parting, still take an inch-wide section, still combed forward, still wet, just making sure it’s parallel to where the parting is.

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4. Making sure this is all combed forward, trim this inch section with the scissors using a point cut method - cutting the hair piece in small movements keeping the blade pointing up, as opposed to one blunt slice across.This becomes your foundation and minimum length, so make sure you’re happy with this length before proceeding.

5. Now, with the either sides to your fringe, either match these up to the middle (the piece you just cut). For a full fringe, match these up so they’re even horizontally, and for a more graduated fringe, pull them out with your index fingers, rotating your fingers towards you, cutting them at a 180 angle (pointing towards your head). You should be left with a softer triangle, being shorter in the middle and elongating either side from the parting… remember to follow the original shape if unsure.

To check it’s even, hold each side of your new fringe in your fingers at the root. Pull each side down simultaneously all the way to the end to check they’re the same.

If one side finishes first, this means it is slightly shorter one side. If so don’t panic visually trim the longer side more to match them up until symmetrical.

6. Finally, to check it’s ok and to style blow-dry the hair again with a round brush to check it sits fine. Use a Volumising product like Color Wow’s Raise the Root (£19/150ml) to add volume and hold the fringe.

Images: Hollie Richardson

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…