The nation’s obsessed with Marianne’s fringe: Here’s how to successfully cut one yourself

Marianne's fringe has got us itching to reach for the scissors. (Hulu/BBC Three)
Marianne's fringe has got us itching to reach for the scissors. (Hulu/BBC Three)

When we look back on our time spent in coronavirus lockdown, we’ll no doubt remember binge watching Normal People as one of the few plus points.

The 12-episode adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel follows two Irish teenagers as they fall in and out of a relationship with each other and has been a runaway hit.

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But while some are quite rightly lusting after Connell’s chain, which has spawned it’s own Instagram feed and fuelled a spike in male necklace sales, people are equally as obsessed with Marianne’s fringe.

Played by Daisy Edgar-Jones, Marianne’s styling and in particular her fringe thoroughly deserves its adoration.

Whether it’s worn messy or full, accompanying loose waves or a casual bun, the often broken fringe always makes the statement. And we totally need it in our lives!

Read more: Normal People’s Paul Mescal talks about being naked on screen

“[Marianne’s fringe] is the ‘cool kid of the fringe’ world,” explains Ricky Walters, founder of SALON64.

“It is what I call a phat fringe! It is taken quite far back and wide so gives attitude to any classic cut. It is slightly grown out looking and chopped into adding to the rock n roll chic.” 

Light spoiler alert...Marianne actually sports three different looks throughout the series, says Sally-Kate Duboux, hair stylist at Hair By Duboux.

Look One 

Marianne can be seen with a blunt cut; really short, 'choppy' arched fringe. 

Look Two

A slightly heavier fringe to that of the high school look. Marianne rocks the chipped in ends adding to the fuller 'wispy' fringe. 

Look Three

Marianne has a much heavier fringe being taken across into her temples. This fringe is a statement and is much more dramatically arched than her two previous looks. 

Read more: Study finds consensual non-monogamy in relationships is a ‘healthy’ option

Marianne actually sports three different fringes in the show. (Hulu/BBC Three)
Marianne actually sports three different fringes in the show. (Hulu/BBC Three)

Step away from the Scissors

In ordinary times the love of Marianne’s bangs would have sent us scrambling to the hairdresser with a desperate plea to recreate the look.

But these aren’t ordinary times and social distancing rules mean hair stylists are off bounds right now, which means many of us are itching to reach for the kitchen scissors and cut in our own Marianne-esque fringe.

Despite the strong urge to get snipping, experts recommend we try to squash the urge to DIY a fringe?

“We've all done it - I know back in my school days I thought I could cut a fringe in using the kitchen scissors, but my advice is don't, put the scissors down and back away,” warns Duboux.

Walters agrees. “It’s easiest for those who already have a fringe and just need to trim it at home,” he explains. “To have a fringe put in from scratch is pretty tricky and I would recommend waiting for your hairdressers to re-open.”

Read more: Nicky Clarke reveals how to trim a fringe at home during lockdown

But if you can’t resist...

Stylist method one

First up, consider which look are you wanting to achieve, suggests Duboux. “And purchase an affordable pair of hairdressing scissors, please don't use the kitchen scissors. Your hairdresser won’t thank you for it!”

What you'll need; scissors, comb, section clips (hair grips will make a close second). 

Duboux doesn’t recommend cutting your fringe wet. “This is due to the fringe usually having its own agenda and often springing up when it's dry.”

Instead she suggests lightly spritzing with water or dry. 

  1. Section your hair. For the first two Marianne looks I wouldn’t take your section any further than the arch of your eyebrows. For the heavier look the fringe is cut in further towards the temple. Bear this in mind.

  2. Now you have your section the rest of your hair away from your face, giving you a clear concise fringe section.

  3. I like to work in layers and it gives a softer finish should you make a mistake.  I half my section starting with the underneath layer first.

  4. Lightly spritz and comb the hair down over your face. Light tension and starting in the centre take your first cut. Work a few centimetres at a time rather than working in one or two cuts.

  5. As you move out from the central point of your face you want to gently angle your finger snap scissors down so as to create the arch that we see in the first and second look.

  6. Take the top layer to join, this will show you your marker of where to cut.

  7. Wispy ends - to achieve this look I chip in. I do this by taking the hard edge and using the tips of my scissors on a vertical angle just snip, this will create a more jagged effect in turn creating a less blunt finish.

Top Tip - Duboux recommends making the first cut below your eyebrows. “Both for lightly spritzed and dry cuts. This will ensure you don't take it too short.

“Remember you can always take it shorter,” she adds.

Read more: Emily Ratajkowski reveals she has successfully given herself a layered haircut at home in lockdown

We're equally as obsessed with Marianne's fringe as we are with Connell's chain. (Hulu/BBC Three)
We're equally as obsessed with Marianne's fringe as we are with Connell's chain. (Hulu/BBC Three)

Stylist method two

Ricky Walters, has a slightly different method for cutting in your own Marianne.

  1. Section a triangle shape with the point of the triangle facing towards the crown of your hair and the width and other two corners of the triangle will be spread across the width you wish to have your fringe across your face. Marianne’s is wide and goes just past the ends of her eyebrows. This is essentially mapping out the shape of the fringe.

  1. Once happy, section all the hair which will not be fringe out of the way. 

  2. Taking just the slither between your eyebrows (imagine where a mono brow may join), cut the desired length by using a comb as a ruler and having little tension.

  3. I would suggest going in stages starting longer and gradually getting shorter, continually double checking in case hair jumps up.

  4. Try and use a point cutting technique if you can. Marianne’s fringe has no blunt lines really and is relatively soft. This probably will not work for those with strong curl or movement in their hair. Having cut the first slither to a length you are happy, use this as a guide to cut the two sections to the left and right of it. You want these sections to be longer. So, imagine you are cutting a half moon shape.

  5. This fringe is supposed to be long, heavy and choppy. Checking both sides are even, take the fringe and lift it away from your head and directly in the air. Gently chop into the end by half a cm, tops. This will give it the choppy look Marianne is rocking.


Read more: Kim Kardashian’s hair stylist reveals step-by-step guide for cutting men’s locks at home

Stylist method three

Stephane Ferreira from Live True London has a third method for satisfying your Marianne fringe envy in lockdown.

  1. To create the messy look at home, you will need to first blow dry with a round brush until it is fully dry, this will give a gentle bounce.

  2. Then start from the middle and angle the scissors to create the curve on both sides. It is important to keep the same angle on both sides to avoid imbalance on the length.

  3. When the line is created, with the tip of the scissors, gentle slices will be needed in the middle part to create the layers. Those need to be done gently to avoid too much hair to be taken in one go. 

  4. When the cut is done, finger styling is required with a touch of light spray wax to give the separation.

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