And it’s that sense of freedom – perhaps needed more than ever following lockdown after lockdown – rather than any desire to knock actual years off, that is seeing more of us in our fifties request one. At least if my casual survey of those gracing Goncalves’s chair is anything to go by. “Two yesterday and another later today,” he says.
Dare I say it, with a fringe, you’ll never need Botox in your forehead, which might be why some women are trying it for the first time at a later stage of life. “Not only is this fringe very youthful,” says Goncalves, “but a lot of women who have fringes don’t have Botox in their foreheads.” If you’ve never tried it before, it’s worth revisiting the notion – your face shape may have changed slightly over the years – something a good hairdresser can identify and make the most of. “It’s all about where the hair lands on brows, cheeks, and jaw. A soft fringe shows off the cheekbones, the jawline and expands the eyes,” says Goncalves. “If you cut a bit further back from the eye it can make the eyes look a little wider – it has a very strong impact on bone structure.”?
His preference is to aim for the sort of fringe where the centre, just above the bridge of the nose, is quite short, and the rest fans out towards the sides and cheekbones. This way, the longer bits also blend into the rest of the hair as it grows out, meaning the fringe lasts longer between trims. “A square fringe will just grow into your eyebrows and attack them, all at once,” he explains.?
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Colour is also critical. “It’s important to think of the fringe as a part of your hairstyle and connect it to the rest of the haircut,” says Nicola Clarke, colourist and founder of the eponymous salon Nicola Clarke at John Frieda (where Goncalves is artistic director), who added a few light pieces in the actual fringe and left a little dark root showing. Elsewhere, it was balayage. “It’s a good way to wear a fringe when you’re older because it keeps it soft and more feminine,” she says.?
The other all-important detail is how you dry it. A hairdresser at David Mallet’s chic Parisian salon once taught me a great trick: rough dry the fringe, then blast it with the dryer first to the left, and then to the right, keeping it close to the forehead. If your hairdresser picks up one of those round brushes and starts lifting your fringe away from your forehead, curling it upwards and out, head to the sink and politely ask them to start again. “Do not try and blow dry the fringe under,” says Goncalves. “This is all about using your hands, or a paddle brush. Fringes go wrong when people overdo it.”