How to Do a Side Fringe in Your Hair

Updated April 17, 2017

A side fringe, also known as side-swept fringe, is a versatile look that compliments most face and hair types. There are many different ways cut a side fringe, depending on the look that you are going for. It may help to look at pictures of different types of side fringes to decide which you like best. Many actresses are sporting long, wavy side fringe that give them a classic, feminine look. Others keep their side fringe smooth, short and classy. The more daring leading ladies are wearing straight, jagged side fringe that are either very short or long.

Wash your hair to ensure that all product has been removed. Wait to blow dry it.

Gather your hair into a ponytail, leaving out the portion that you want to cut into a side fringe. When deciding which portion to leave out, think about how you want your new fringe to look. If you want them to fall across your forehead, you should start your bang line slightly to the left or right of where you normally part your hair. The more dramatic the look you are going for, the further away you will move from the part. If you want fringe that do not fall across your forehead, but just hang to the side of your face, leave out one or two strands that start at your normal hair part. You can make your fringe as thin or as thick as you like, but make sure that you are creating a smooth bang line along your scalp. There should be an even part between your fringe and the rest of your hair.

Play with the hair you have left out to determine exactly how and where you want your fringe to lay. Be aware of cowlicks and work with the natural tendencies of your hair. Use a blow dryer to dry the fringe in the way that you want them to lay.

Double check to make sure that you have the left the correct sections and amount of hair out of the ponytail. If you want long, layered fringe that lie at the sides of the face, you should have to or three tendrils out on each side. These strands should start at your hair part.

Start on one side and pull out the front most tendril. Popular lengths for side fringe are eye length, cheek bone length or slightly shorter than jaw length. Use your fingers to hold the hair at the desired length. Use the scissors to cut straight across, or angle them slightly for a less blunt look.

Continue to hold the hair and angle your scissors vertically. Cut the very ends to create a more natural, layered look. The deeper the cut you make in this step, the more layered your look will be. If you want a smooth bang, be careful not to overdo this.

Move to the second tendril of hair on the same side. Cut it in the same way you did the first strand, but make it at least a quarter of an inch longer to create a nice, layered look.

Repeat the process on the other side of your face. Be sure to make your fringe the same length on both sides.

Make sure that the correct and amount and sections of hair have been left out of the ponytail. Smooth fringe that sweep across your forehead are very elegant and flattering for high foreheads. The more dramatic the look that you are going for, the thicker and deeper your fringe should be.

Comb your fringe straight forward and decide how long you want them to be. For shorter fringe, you will want them to reach at least to your eyelids. Longer side swept fringe should reach to the middle of your nose.

Hold your hair at the desired length and use the scissors to cut straight across.

Move your fringe to the desired position and examine them. You will need to tweak the length in certain areas to make sure that they lay correctly. In general, the fringe that start the sweep will be slightly longer than the fringe closest to your ear. Cut slowly and carefully.

Angle the scissors vertically and snip into the ends. If you want a smooth look, do this very sparingly. If you want a more layered look, make deeper cuts.

Make sure that the correct sections and amount of hair have been left out of the ponytail. For an edgy side fringe, one side of your head should have fringe starting at your part and extending to your hairline near the ear. The other side should have just three or four tendrils that start at your part and lay to the side of your forehead.

Comb your fringe straight forward and decide how long you would like them to be. For this type of bang, any length can be used. It is recommended that you cut no shorter than slightly above your eyebrows.

Hold your hair at the desired length and cut straight across with the scissors.

Divide your fringe so that the bulk of them lay to one side of your head. On this side, try sweeping them slightly to the side. However, most of the them should lay straight and point toward the ground. On the other side of your forehead, you should have only a few tendrils that lay to the side of your face point straight toward the ground.There should be a separation between the fringe on each side of your forehead.

Angle your scissors vertically and cut deeply into the ends of the fringe to get a choppy look. The more you do this, the more jagged your fringe will be. Please note that your fringe will lose a great deal of length during this step.


Cut a little at a time in order to avoid taking off too much hair. While you can always take more length off, it is impossible to add it back on. If you cut your fringe while they are wet, they will be slightly shorter after drying. To avoid this, always cut your fringe when they are either dry or only slightly damp.


It is difficult to hide poorly cut fringe. Many hairdressers will cut or trim fringe for free, so there is little point in doing it yourself. Unless you are very comfortable with cutting hair, you will probably get better results from a salon.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp, high quality scissors
  • Hair tie
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