It is a little-known fact that along with periods, boobs, body hair and mood swings, an important part of puberty is thinking “I might get a fringe.”
One day you’ll be fine with your hairstyle; it’s healthy, it looks ok, it behaves when you straighten it OR curl it (you lucky thing, you) – but then… suddenly… BAM. “I MIGHT GET A FRINGE.”
And that’s great! Change is good! Fringes are nice! But with a fringe comes great responsibility. Some people get hamsters to learn about being a responsible human being; other people get a fringe. And I, personally, would argue that looking after a fringe is way more complicated and stressful and educational than looking after a hamster.
The difference between looking after a hamster and looking after a fringe is that you can’t grow out a hamster, more’s the pity. You can, however, grow out a fringe.
Said to the hairdresser that you loved it but really wanted to punch the mirror in the face? No problem. Can’t deal with it growing so fast and blinding you? No problem. Spend your evenings scraping it back with an old alice band you found in the back of your wardrobe so you can slather your forehead with various creams and gels to kill all the spots your greasy fringe has given you as a present? No problem. Grow it out! It’s like your fringe never existed. Easy. Right?
I had a fringe once. Multiple times, actually. Sadly, there is currently no cure for the condition of forgetting how much you hated your fringe and getting one cut in again and again and again.
When I finally hit the growing-out stage of my first fringe saga, at 13 years old, I had to experience the trauma of trying out different ways to tame it as I killed it off. I scraped it back, half-heartedly turned it into a side fringe (with lots of hairspray), and even tried having a middle parting to turn my fringe into curtains. Middle partings were super uncool in those days, but my choices were limited.
I stuck to the side fringe, but some bits were flyaway and awkward, and one evening I finally snapped. I grabbed the nail scissors from my mum’s wardrobe and took a deep breath.
Snip… snip… *stare*… snip… snipsnipsnip. There! Gone. That’s better. I fluffed my hair about until the slight bald patch I’d now created had been covered. It was only a small round bit in the middle of my hairline in the middle of my forehead. No problem!
Except. You know when you grow grass? Or cress, in primary school? You plant the little seeds and then the grass grows slowly and is fluffy and quite cute? Well, can you now imagine that in the middle of your head, please? Yes, smack bang in the middle. A 10p’s worth of sticky-up, fresh, fluffy grass.
THAT WAS MY HEAD.
BECAUSE, LITTLE LOUISE, HAIR GROWS BACK. YOU FOOL.
It was a nightmare. I slowly began my transformation into one of those troll dolls from the 90s, and there was nothing I could do about it. Because, as I preached just a few paragraphs ago, you’ve just gotta grow it out.
At first it wasn’t too bad. I could shift my hair about and cover it up, just as I did with the bald patch in the first place.
“Louise, you’ve moved your parting right over.”
“Yes. Yes I have. I now have a severe side parting.”
“It’s a bit extreme, most of your hair is now over your fa-“
“GOD, MUM, JUST LET ME LIVE.”
When that was no longer of any use, when the hair-grass started growing further and further upwards with horrendous pride and confidence, I had to take drastic measures.
I pulled. And pulled. And yanked on my little troll fringe as hard as I could, and slapped it backwards in place with a clip. Not a subtle hairgrip, but a MASSIVE PROPER CLIP. It may as well have had a sign saying, “LOOK AT ME, THE INFAMOUS TROLL FRINGE,” complete with a musical fanfare.
I wish there was a good ending to this story. I wish I found a secret trick or a silver lining to cutting a chunk of your hair out. Alas, no. All I have is a simple lesson. Ahem: DON’T CUT YOUR OWN FRINGE. EVER. IN EVER OF ALL EVERS EVER.
The troll fringe grew out, of course. I worked that fanfare clip with all the dignity I had left. Eventually the clip worked its way back along my head and the troll fringe evolved into a troll quiff.
So yes, sometimes in life you do silly things, and sometimes you are full of regret… but all of those times come with lessons and (hair) growth. And that’s never, ever a bad thing.
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Image: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone