Ultimately, I Have Lost the Fringe War and Kate Middleton Will Too

As someone who has otherwise had the same mid length brown hair since I was four, the fringe was my little bit of statement, the only proper 'hair style' decision I have made - ever. But most of the time I wondered, as Kate is no doubt find herself doing soon, how wise a decision a fringe actually was.

A long spell of wet weather is always blamed for a multitude of dismays.

August, we have been told, was one of the wettest ever, with Scottish farmers apparently hit hard and George Osborne no doubt putting that excuse into his back pocket just in case the figures show we haven't done enough shopping on the high street.

This summer's wet weather has also hit another area - and that is my fringe. And it is for that reason that, seeing Kate Middleton step out WITH a fringe just as Autumn approaches, I found myself raising my eyebrows with the sort of hard-won expertise that can only be gained by those who, like me, may have enjoyed victory in a few fringe battles but ultimately have lost the fringe war.

For almost a decade, I have had, and loved, my fringe. What started as a long sideways fringe formed out of just a narrow section of the hair on the front of my head back in 2005, slowly become an 'extreme' fringe, cut dead straight, just below eyebrows with the hair from my crown even joining in.

As someone who has otherwise had the same mid length brown hair since I was four, the fringe was my little bit of statement, the only proper 'hair style' decision I have made - ever. But most of the time I wondered, as Kate is no doubt find herself doing soon, how wise a decision a fringe actually was.

Yes, the fringe may have covered a multitude of sins: wrinkles, a chicken pox scar, very sparse eyebrows (a genetic anomaly, not the result of over plucking).

But 'the fringe' was also very high maintenance. Every day, it needed washing, blow drying, straightening and then the perfect combination of dry shampoo (stops fringe going limp and lank) and hairspray (keeps it straight and in position) if I was to be sure it would still be straight, bouncing and neat by the end of the day.

Still, it was prone to curling up at the slightest hint of drizzle or sweat, or to hanging in clumps on a windy day .

Hats were impossible, even when freezing cold. Because what do you do with your fringe when you put a hat on? If you put a hat straight on a fringe, it squashes it, leaving it like the hair equivalent on a deflated balloon stuck to your forehead. You can push your fringe sideways for the hat, which looks fine when the hat is on, but like roadkill when you take it off.

So this year, on our 'staycation' in Devon, with the endless August rain threatening and indeed destroying the fringe at every turn, I decided I'd had enough.

I have endured winters with a fringe and without hats because needs must, but a wet summer too was too much. The fringe had to go.

A deft brush stroke, one of my three-year-old's hair slides and it was clipped back. Leaving me feeling instant horror at being faced with the image of my face - in full. Having spent so many years peering at just half a face beneath a fringe, it just didn't look right. I wondered is my face abnormally long?

All I could do was rationally remind myself that pre-fringe I'd never considered myself a particularly large faced person so it was probably OK and I'd get used to it. Still, I spent the rest of the day as though the whole of Devon was turning to stare at my unfortunate horse face.

I scoured the internet trying to understand how hair, without a fringe, actually works. What does one even do with the front of their hair nowadays? I quickly found a whole trend of plaits going around the head (love this - but need the fringe to grow longer). I even called on the help of my friend Amy, a make up artist, who experimented with partings and showed me how to clip the fringe to one side in a way that suits a 38-year-old. I wasn't sure I liked the result, but I was determined to solider on and discover a new fringe-free empowerment.

The first real sign that life had changed (for the better) came one weekend when, back in London, I was out in Clapham, sans coat with hood, sans umbrella, and predictably, it was raining.

Standing on the pavement with friends deciding where to go, I became aware my partner was a little jittery. It turned out he was worried that we were standing around while my hair was getting wet (and yes I am cringing a little at the thought that I have become a person for whom conversations must be stopped and everyone must be re-located on account of my hair getting wet but that is what a fringe does to you).

No, I was able to say, it's fine. I have no fringe! I have a clip! It doesn't matter if my hair gets wet! And so we stood there a while making a decision, and I arrived at the restaurant with my fringe not looking as it usually would following such a situation, like a mini skirt that had shrunk and warped in the wash, but looking like nothing because it Was. Not. There.

This, I thought, is a form of freedom. And it's true, life does seem a little bit easier. In the mornings, I no longer have to 'wash my fringe'. I no longer have to blow dry, straighten, and then spray on my heady concoction of dry shampoo and hair spray. I can wear a hat and take my hat on and off like a normal person. I can do the school run simply by pulling my hair back and dashing out.

I still think perhaps I looked better, trendier, more edgy, more creative with my fringe. But I am relieved it is on it's way out. A few more weeks, and it will be long enough for my clip to go too.

Kate may have all the benefits of royalty at her disposal, including hairdressers and stylists to make sure her fringe looks as perfect as possible. Still, my predication is that in a few months, her fringe will be no more. Going up against a fringe is a battle that I fear no-one, not even Kate Middleton, can ultimately win.


What's Hot