The 8 turbulent stages of New Fringe Acceptance.

Image: New Girl/FOX.

If you’ve never had a fringe before, chances are you’ve seriously considered getting one. I’m willing to bet you got the urge after watching a Zooey Deschanel movie, having spent the whole time admiring her perfectly manicured bangs.

Regardless of what prompts the decision, the experience of having a fringe snipped in doesn’t always align with expectations. In fact, the emotional aftermath can be nothing short of turbulent.

Here, in order of appearance, are the stages of New Fringe Acceptance.

Stage 1: “I’m Zooey Deschanel.”

Welcome to fringe heaven. You’ve emerged from the salon with bangs that are not only bangin’, but clean, shiny, and styled exactly like the model/celebrity in the photo you showed your hairdresser*. Life with a fringe is sunshine and puppies! Why would anyone warn you against this?

*Alternatively, your stylist completely butchered the fringe, in which case you’re probably crying in front of the mirror right now. Yeah, I’ve been there too. Condolences.

This is me last time I had a fringe. And clearly in Stage 1.

Stage 2: Polite confusion.

It's Day One P.F. (Post Fringe) and you've awoken to find your sleek new forehead curtain plastered against your sweaty, post-slumber face. Hmm. You try jujging it with your fingers and heat-styling it, to no avail. Despite your valiant efforts it's simply not sitting the way it did yesterday.

Well, this is... weird? you think to yourself, but then figure it'll probably bounce back up in an hour or so. Your new fringe wouldn't betray you like this. You have faith.

Stage 3: Mourning.

You don't want to admit it out loud, but you kind of miss your old hair. You're learning the hard way that you can no longer wash n' wear like you used to. You're also waving goodbye to the ease of 'Day Two Hair', because it's become abundantly clear that fringes get real dirty, real fast. (Post continues after gallery.)

Stage 4: Dry shampoo dependency.

You're considering purchasing shares in Batiste just to keep your fringe clean. And, on occasions where you don't have any on hand, you've mastered the fine art of shampooing your fringe without getting the rest of your hair wet.

On top of this, never before have you been so aware of the skin on the top half of your face; more specifically, how crazily greasy it gets when it's blanketed in hair. Fact: fringes are forehead oil factories.

Stage 5: Irritation.

You're well into the Irritation Cycle at this point. Your fringe refuses to cooperate, so you constantly fiddle with it, which makes it dirty again, and then it goes stringy, necessitating more dry shampoo, (try the handy pocket size Cedel Dry Shampoo ($3.99)) and it still doesn't do what you want it to. Repeat.


Furthermore, you'll develop a deep-seated resentment for humidity and wind, the arch nemeses of fringe styling. (Post continues after video.)

Stage 6: Determination.

You're going to get this situation under control, damn it. You refuse to be vanquished by a curtain of hair, so you arm yourself for battle. You purchase enough combs/mini-brushes and mirrors for all your handbags, and studiously examine your weather app every morning to determine the level of styling required.

Stage 7: Begrudging acceptance

A few weeks in, you're resigned to the fact that all the, ah, fringe benefits you're now enjoying are accompanied by a considerable time and financial investment. You've come to accept that a portion of your income will have to be dedicated to regular salon visits** and the purchase of dry shampoo, and you'll probably have to set your morning alarm a little earlier to enable adequate fringe-wrangling/straightening/blow drying time.

** Unless, of course, you take the DIY trim route. Good luck to you. Trust me, it's a lot harder than it looks. Especially if you're two champagnes in.

Stage 8: Love

Once you reach enlightenment acceptance, you'll move past all the inconveniences and frustrations and realise that yes: you do love your new fringe. And every time you're tempted to grow it out, you'll get about three weeks in before cracking and getting your beloved bangs back.

(OK, OK, you might also hate it, in which case you have a very painful growing-out phase ahead of you. But that's a whole other story.)

Have you ever had a fringe? Did you love it straight away?