Fringes can mean a lot of things. They can mean you’ve come out of a relationship and think hacking off your hair to form a strange frame around your face will cure heartbreak. They can mean you’re a lesbian and want to communicate this fact without having to wear a badge. They can mean you miss being eight years old. Or they can mean you have a large forehead and wish to break up the facial space.
But it’s not just fringes that are symbolic, it’s the ~ style ~ of the fringe too (or “bangs” if you’re American). Every single fringe communicates something about the individual: what they’re into, where they spend their time, whether they’re into playing the ukulele unprompted or think jeans and brown shoes are a good look. Yep, the exact position of those frontal hair strands are crucial. Here is what your fringe says about you.
TINY BLUNT FRINGE
You spend most of your time in Dalston coffee shops, outside Goldsmiths Library or else at some sort of queer inter-generational collaging workshop, organised by yourself and friends who also have the same fringe. You say the word “space” a lot. Make people call you “Misty” even though your name’s Rachel. Invite complete strangers over for “sober Christmas” which you advertised via handwritten poster. You have around eight DIY stick 'n' pokes, three “partners” and are part of two “collectives.”
LONG FRINGE THAT COVERS EYEBROWS
You wear cardigans, mid-length vintage skirts and knee-high chunky boots while you spend your weekends embroidering slogans like “love more” in italics, on tea towels, to sell on Etsy. You've had the same barista boyfriend for seven years. Recently bought two cats: one named “Wes” and the other “Anderson”. You're 25 years old but repeatedly make jokes about being an "eccentric old lady inside really”.
GREASY FRINGE WITH INEXPLICABLE GAPS
There was always one kid at primary school who had snot dangling from one nostril at all times and once had to go to the school nurse because they swallowed a rubber. Anyway that kid is you now.
If you’re a straight guy with this hair then you like asking girls at parties what their favourite Harmony Korine film is and then not listening to their answer. If you’re a lesbian with this hair then you’re a legend, sorry I don't make the rules.
COIFFED LIKE A WALNUT WHIP FRINGE
In one breath you describe yourself as “old-fashioned” and in the next say you’re “a legs man mainly, but don’t mind a bit of arse and tits.” By day you work in “sales” (no, you’re not sure what you’re selling either) and by night you’re either at a cocktail bar in Shoreditch with the lads or being cooked chicken korma by your mum (her special way: extra cream, no spice). Your favourite song is “Pumped Up Kicks.”
OVERGROWN EMO SIDE SWEEP
You spent your teen years somewhere like Milton Keynes listening to Underoath and Funeral For a Friend and wearing two sizes too small Primark Jeans as the local “townies” threw stones at you while shouting “Grunger!”. Your fringe used to be box dyed black and scraped fully to one side alongside snakebites, except now it's un-dyed and more to the middle because you’re in your late twenties and work in advertising and you don’t even listen to emo music anymore, you’re just not sure what your identity is or how to move on.
70S-STYLE MIDDLE PARTING
You dropped out of art school because you were bored. There was a rumour going around that you went to rehab for Adderall addiction. Someone else said you have a 37-year-old boyfriend who lives in Berlin and used to know Nina Hagen. You’re in a band called Pussy Slime although nobody’s sure what instrument you play. You’re so conventionally attractive, thin and rich that you can do whatever you like until you die.
GELLED UP FRINGE
Name is Mark, Tom, Harry, Jake or Ryan. Thinks Ricky Gervais is the height of comedy. Wears Hollister polo necks and “distressed” jeans. Only ever calls wife “the missus” even though her name is Kimberly.
CLOSE DESIGNER SHAVE FRINGE
“Oi, my size!” you say to 30-something women on the bus on your way home from after school club. They ignore you. “Can I get your digits though?” One time, to your surprise, one of them said yes and you called them a paedo and ran all the way home.
TIGHT RINGLET FRINGE
You own three businesses, two of them fitness-related. Your bio on Instagram reads “entrepreneur / teacher / storyteller.” You end every relationship after two months, citing “mismatched ambitions.” Everyone advised you against getting a curly fringe, so you got one and it looks great. You possess more inner confidence than everyone I know, combined.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.