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Complimenting Face Shape with Fringe Design

Andrew Carruthers

Author Andrew Carruthers | Education Director for Sam Villa

Haircutting is an exercise of many different elements.  There is, of course, our technical aspect which helps us to execute the desired outcome.  This is comprised of elevation, over direction, finger angle or cutting line, the lengths we choose, the tools we choose, etc…  Then there is our artistic or creative element.  It’s much more difficult to place parameters on this as art is by its very definition, a subjective process.  Some of the areas we feel should be part of creating your artistic vision are balancing head shape, complimenting the personality and energy of the guest, developing interesting silhouettes, and possibly the most important aspect of all… complimenting facial shapes and features.

A key element of accentuating a face shape and either highlighting or detracting from certain facial features is definitely the fringe area.  A killer fringe can transform an otherwise ho-hum haircut into a show stopping design.

Scroll down and lets explore three different fringe concepts and why each one was conjured up for our models.

how to create a long layered full fringe

Our model Cat was honestly my muse for this entire collection. She is strikingly beautiful and the features you can’t help but notice are her perfect lips and high cheek bones.  The vision for her fringe was to bring as much attention as possible to these focal points.  By keeping the fringe very low and heavy it creates a frame to bring the world’s attention to this area.  By keeping the texture loose we also allow for multiple identities through creative styling.

Some days Cat wears her fringe just as it is the photo.  Other times, she adds more texture or curl through diffusing or utilizing thermal tools like the Sam Villa Sleekr flat iron.

How To Create a Long Layered Full Fringe

  • Create a triangular shaped section from the high point of the head to the top of the recession area along the hairline.
  • Take a 1” center vertical section within the triangle from the high point to the forehead and elevate this section to 90 degrees horizontal and create a vertical cutting line.
    • The length is very essential here… you want the longest pieces of your layer to fall just past the brow bone so that you still have a touch of length to cut when you refine the perimeter.
  • Now simply take the left side of your triangle, overdirect all of it to the center line, maintain the same elevation and cut to your guide.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Refine the perimeter with my new favorite tool…the Sam Villa InvisiBlend Shear.  The InvisiBlend leaves absolutely no lines in the hair and has an extremely gentle removal of weight that allows you to create a soft disrupted edge to the perimeter line.
    • The strong overdirection will create a quick buildup of weight and length towards the outside edge so be sure to maintain that shape as you refine.
  • To build upon the disrupted texture, lightly mist the dry hair with Redken fashion waves 07 sea salt spray and then diffuse with the Sam Villa Professional Ionic Blow Dryer using the diffuser attachment.  The diffuser allows you to quickly build that raw texture without the frizz.

How to create a short razored side swept fringe

As I was editing the photographs from my first photo shoot with Caitlyn I noticed that I mainly selected photos where she was straight on with the camera.  Usually I prefer a slightly angled body and head composition, but the straight on photos allowed her engaging eyes to be the center piece of the photographs.  This was the inspiration for her fringe.

The design is high enough from the eyes that it doesn’t close them down but they aren’t so cropped in that it moves your focus towards the forehead.  Also, she has really fun curly texture, so the fringe had to compliment the texture without creating more work in her busy life with complicated styling needs.

Again we followed the trend of 2015 moving towards more organic, lived in, and “vandalized” edges by utilizing the Sam Villa Signature Series Razor with the straight blade… what?!?! Using a razor on curly hair???  Forget what you’ve been taught! A razor doesn’t have to be a tool of mass shredding–which is the reason people have been taught not to use razors on curly hair.  Always remember with curly hair, “the ends need friends.”

How To Create a Short Razored Side Swept Fringe

  • The sectioning for this shape is a tilted or asymmetrically curved line.  The line begins just above the recession area on her right side, curves slightly deeper away from the hairline over the right eye, and then becomes skinnier as it drifts off to the left side just above the recession.  The approach is very simple from here…
  • Take the entire section and elevate it 90 degrees horizontal (parallel with the floor), over direction is forward towards an imaginary flat line (as if there was a wall in front of her face that you were overdirecting to), and your finger angle/cutting line will mimic your section giving you that tilted arch to the perimeter line.
  • Using the razor with a straight blade, use a circular movement and be very deliberate with the texture as you cut.
  • Blow dry the fringe with your hands to maintain some of the natural movement and then refine the perimeter with a point cutting technique.
  • Finish this look with a small amount of Redken move ability 05 to define and de-frizz the ends.

How to create a tight cropped full fringe

This fringe has a less specific target than the other two.  Annabel’s face tells such a brilliant story of her ethnicity and her individualism.  Between her eyes, lips, and unique face shape I really wanted to create a frame that made it all stand out!

She has incredibly thick hair (as you can probably tell) and she likes it long, so it has a tendency to crowd her face which is part of the reason we went as wide as we did with the fringe…it truly opens the shape to let her face shine.

How To Create a Tight Cropped Full Fringe

The initial sectioning is very important on this design.  Blow dry the hair into natural fall so you can see where the hair wants to live in the fringe.  If you bring too much hair into the fringe, you will end up with little pieces that will lie to the side and look detached (not in a good way).  If you don’t commit enough hair to the fringe, it will be challenging to style and she will end up with those pieces that want to sneak forward onto her face throughout the day.

Annabel’s fringe area was just in front of the high point and fortunately extended all the way out to the recession area.

  • Begin with a center vertical section, elevate 90 degrees to the head shape (to the planes of the head for the PBD crew), and deep point cut to follow the shape of the head.
  • Length is key here!  Be daring and go short enough to really allow the face to stand out and also leave just enough length that it’s still moldable in styling.
  • Continue towards the left side with vertical sections, overdirect to the previously cut section, and at the same 90 degree elevation following the head shape.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Again, the Sam Villa InvisiBlend Shear was my go to tool for detailing!  Take horizontal sections starting at the hairline, come in at a diagonal angle to the grain of the hair with the solid blade of the shear and be fairly aggressive with the weight removal on the first section since it will have hair lying over top of it.
  • With each section be a little more cautious so that you don’t end up with too much short hair that could end up becoming “spriggy” on the upper surface.  There is a careful balance of enough and too much here so take your time and don’t stop till it’s dialed in!
  • Once the weight balance is perfect, refine your perimeter line to compliment their face shape.
  • Finish this look with Redken wax blast 10 to create separation and to provide enough hold to make sure the “fluff” factor is under control.

Learning new haircuts, new techniques, and new color placements always inspire our creativity.  What is equally important is knowing when to use those concepts to balance, compliment, and at times even mask features to maximize our salon guest’s appearance.

We know that value is the number one thing that people are looking for when they visit our salons and finding the balance between our technical skills and our artistic vision will create maximum impact for the investment our guests are making in their image.

If you have any questions or comments about these techniques be sure to leave them in the box below.

Also, we want to see your fringe story in the salon! Post your inspiring fringes to Instagram with #samvilla so we can check them out, along with a chance to be featured on our page!

Image Credits:
Hair: Andrew Carruthers, Education Director for Sam Villa
Assistant: David Boyd, Sam Villa ArTeam
Photography: Andrew Carruthers
MUA: Amber Pearson