How To Cut A Fringe, According To The Pros

That's one isolation hair problem solved...

how to cut a fringe

Home haircuts aren’t something we would normally recommend. But as a visit to the professionals is off the cards for the time being, a few tweaks will help to keep your hair looking tidy. While wouldn’t suggest attempting to give yourself a lob, it is, however, a good idea to learn how to cut a fringe.

Nervous? Don’t be.

Trimming your own fringe when it’s reached that awkward nose-tickling length is a fairly straightforward process, which, if messed up, will quickly start blending into the rest of the hair.

Besides, you have the next few months to grow it out without anyone actually seeing it. (In real life, anyway).

We spoke to Zoe Irwin, creative director at John Frieda, to get her top tips on the tools to use and the best techniques if you’re learning how to cut a fringe for the first time.


First things first, try and get your hands on a pair of proper hair cutting scissors.

‘Do not use paper or kitchen scissors as they are not sharp enough,’ says Irwin. ‘They also don’t give you any control. Your hair will just slide across the blade and that doesn’t end well.’


Choose a fine-toothed comb or a tail comb. 'They give both an accurate and more natural result,' she adds.

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Take a softly-softly approach for the fringe win.

‘The best advice I can give is to add a styling product like mousse to wet hair for extra grip. Then blow-dry your fringe flat with a brush.’

Otherwise you run the risk of cutting it shorter than you intended as your hair stretches when it's wet.

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According to Irwin, the most you’ll want to trim off any type of fringe is 2mm.

If you have a blunt fringe, section it in half horizontally and use a hair clip to pin away the top layer.

‘You then take the hair in the remaining section and comb it forwards. Lift the hair upwards with a comb and cut little Vs into it.’

Unclip the section above and do the same. But leave the hair slightly longer as this is the part you tend to add height to when styling and you don’t want it to look too short.

And what to avoid? ‘Never cut straight across as it looks too severe and there’s the danger of taking too much off the sides,’ warns Irwin.

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Cute and practical, the ‘kitten fringe’ was a big look in the 60s. Think Brigitte Bardot in A Very Private Affair. In Irwin's opinion, it's also the safest cut if you're unsure of how to cut a fringe.

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‘All you need to do is take a triangular section in the middle of the fringe, in between your brows, going into a point and comb that hair forward,’ she says.

Again lift the hair directly upwards and cut little Vs into it.

‘You can make the triangle slightly wider, but never go further than the ends of each eyebrow. You want to leave the sides longer as that’s what gives your fringe a soft, sexy diffused edge.’

Soft? Sexy? Brigitte Bardot? We can all get on board with those style vibes right now.

Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10,000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.