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The Curse of the Childhood Fringe

As far as I can see, there are two types of women in this world – the forehead fringer, and the no-fringer. There is no middle ground with this, you either have hair draping across your forehead, or you don’t. Most parents in their ignorance and naivety do not realise that they play a strong part in what category their daughter will find herself in. And then facing the difficult if not impossible transition to the other. If only you knew mother, if only.

The start of the end, right here, aged 5.

I am such a woman – a forehead fringer. What a tale I have for you, my dear friends. Let me take you back to when I was 3, barely just grown myself my first crop of hair and BAMN that fringe gets cut in. Curse of the 90’s child. The fringe. Sigh. It’s all I’ve ever known. Fringes are there to frame thy face, to create a ‘look’ and a style that will always suit you, or possibly to hide bad facial features. They come best with a middle parting, a parting that has been embedded into your hair since you first grew it, and now your hair knows nothing else.

But what if I don’t want a fringe anymore? I cry. No-one can hear me scream. My fringe muffles the sound.

I am comfortable with such a fringe. I can deal with life this way.

You see, my friends, you can’t just go ‘well grow out your fringe then’ because as all fringers now, it ain’t that easy. To hell it’s not. Fringers have tried before, and failed, to transition to the no-fringer. Ahhh, the no-fringers. Those girls…well I envy them. They have the middle parting, the side parting, nothing to distract from their face and long flowing hair that blows in the wind and then immediately falls into a sexy style afterwards. They go on holiday and they do not, I repeat do not, need to bring Kirby clips or a headband. They laugh in the face of humidity. Beach hair is their friend. They can just pull it all up into a top knot, or a plait, and not a hair is out of place.

We fringers, well it is quite a different story. We have to either avoid getting the straightened and perfectly styled fringe wet in the pool or sea, or accept its fate and bring a headband for the splashing aftermath. And don’t even get me started on the face tan. It’s like that classic sunglasses tan error…except your entire upper forehead is white and your nose and cheeks are burnt. You also get to look forward to the joys of the hot evenings, where, after straightening it a billion times, you still grow side wings after 5 minutes of sweating.

Fringes, albeit cute and individual, are fucking hard work. They are a high-maintenance hair do. So why did so many of us grow up with them? And why, now we’re all intelligent grown ups, can we not just get rid of them?

Because of many, many issues. Firstly, cows lick. They lick your hair all over the damn place. If you have a fringe that has been a fringe for you it’s whole life, it knows what to do. Once you try part it or push it to one side, the fringe embarks on a ‘she’s trying to get rid of me’ quest and turns in on itself. Hence the cows lick. You give up trying to style it and accept the fringe is still there. Fringe wins.

The growing out phase. What are we all to do with that? When the fringe gets long enough to cover your eyeballs and impair vision, but not long enough to do much else with. You either roll it up like a 50’s pin up girl, or part it like a 90’s boyband with curtains. Either way, it’s not the look you were going for. You want beach beauty not Boyzone. Fuck. So, guess what, you just leave the fringe as is. Fringe wins again.

If, and you must be strong my friends, you eventually grow it enough to almost look like you’ve transitioned. What then? You feel NAKED. You look in the mirror and all you see is FOREHEAD. It’s there, massive, staring back at you. You’re not used to that. Where is your fringe gone? It’s weird. It’s all you’ve ever known. Now you just look…like a boiled egg. You do the only thing you can do here, and that’s rush back to the salon to get your old faithful cut back in. Fringe wins again.

Boyband curtains? No. Just No.

And here, as you see, you end up in a forever fringe cycle that means you’ll have that damn fringe for the rest of your life. That beach hair will never be yours. And all because your damn mother decided from your birth which category you belong to. I curse this day. I curse the cows lick.

And don’t even get me started on a side fringe!!! This is the land all fringers dwell in, once we’ve attempted a grow-out but lost our balls, we decide on a sider. A sider is just as much of a nuisance as the full fronter fringe. It gets greasy SO QUICKLY from you continually pushing it to the side that you end up washing just your fringe in the basin or resort to dry shampoo daily. It’s like, always in my goddamn eyes. Sider…go to the side, not my eye. Do you not understand your role here or what? And low and behold, as soon as the decent stylish sider has been cut in, it’s suddenly growing out and tucking itself into your hair again, revealing the boiled egg forehead. So, annoyed with the sider’s lack of cooperation and your bare forehead with greasy thin strands masquerading as some sort of head-gear, you go and cut that front fringe back in again.

When you next walk past a woman with a fringe, smile and nod in understanding. Her life ain’t easy.


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