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Beauty over everything else: The fringe benefits of fringes

In some cases, bangs go over the eyes, covering vision lightly but attractively. Not seeing where you are going is considered a small sacrifice for the purpose of beautification.

November 06, 2021 / 12:36 PM IST
Actor Sadhana in 'Mera Saaya'. For a long time, bangs were called Sadhana Cut in India after the 1960s’ heroine Sadhana, who sported a fringe at all times. (Image: screen grab)

Actor Sadhana in 'Mera Saaya'. For a long time, bangs were called Sadhana Cut in India after the 1960s’ heroine Sadhana, who sported a fringe at all times. (Image: screen grab)


Actress Jennifer Garner recently confessed her lifelong struggle with bangs on social media, amplifying the angst of many who have repeatedly tried and repeatedly failed to tame the deliberately cut and arranged locks of hair on their foreheads. A bad fringe is the stuff of nightmares! It has the potential to derail the best of hairstyles.


The Sadhana Cut – called so after sixties’ heroine Sadhana who unfailingly had a fringe at all times – has come a long way. Bangs jump off the head to cascade over the temples and loiter abruptly at the eyebrows; in some cases going over the eyes, covering vision lightly but attractively. Not seeing where you are going is considered a small sacrifice for the purpose of beautification. Have a good friend guide you now and then, and maybe avoid heavy traffic areas.


Bangs spring from hairlines to lie supine like tassels if finely combed. The acid test is a slight breeze – if the bangs cannot come back to their previous position, even if that was a tousled look to begin with, then they must be grown out and merged with the rest of the hair, the impertinent things. This punishment lasts till the itch to bang-bang is once upon us and we attack the front half of our hair with a sharp pair of scissors. The cycle continues.


Whatever be the length of one’s hair, a fringe on the forehead is a thing apart. Some can carry it off, some cannot. It is always a high-maintenance affair, with some product application and severe blow dry involved. There are even clip-on bangs available and they can be ordered online. Wispy ones, bushy ones, long ones, curly ones, asymmetrical ones, curtain ones… Pin them discreetly on the scalp and hope no one tugs at them playfully. Not as embarrassing as a wig coming off, but won’t be your most fashionable moment either.


Short, textured bangs are apparently in. They would have been the female equivalent of a French beard except that men sport bangs too. The Beatles, supermodels Kate Moss, Carla Bruni and Betty of Ugly Betty have all done their bit to popularise bangs. Large and wide foreheads benefit from the fringe too, covering as it does a lot of area in its wake. People who want to shrink their faces go for bangs, a swoop of hair swept all in a row. Bangs take years off you, so never take your bangs off you!

Close

Like a lot of fads, fringes go into iffy terrain too. They are loved or hated with equal intensity, but no one is neutral on the subject. It is a personal choice, sure, but it is a choice scrutinised by spectators and discussed behind the fringe’s back.

It is recommended that while the bangs are a matter of taste, it must at all times blend in with the rest of the hair. A long fringe, however silkily it falls, on bald heads will only call attention to a bare scalp. There is a limit to what bangs can do.

Shinie Antony is a writer and editor based in Bangalore. Her books include The Girl Who Couldn't Love, Barefoot and Pregnant, Planet Polygamous, and the anthologies Why We Don’t Talk, An Unsuitable Woman, Boo. Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Asia Prize for her story A Dog’s Death in 2003, she is the co-founder of the Bangalore Literature Festival and director of the Bengaluru Poetry Festival.
first published: Nov 6, 2021 09:42 am
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