Most of us have reached middle age and are done with the desire to have trendy hair. But what you don’t want is unfashionable hair — something safe and sad and ageing.

What’s in right now follicle-wise is the fringe, specifically the French Girl Fringe (FGF). Summer’s style was a grown-out, layered look with bangs on the sides that screamed post-lockdown languor. Autumn’s thing, naturally, is more back-to-school — that school being a French lycee full of ingenues.

Despite the ‘Girl’ in its title, the FGF is not age-exclusive. Vogue published an article entitled Bangs over 50: The Transformative and Age-Transcending Power of Forehead Fringe. I was genuinely taken by the photo of Monica Bellucci, actress, that is accompanied it.

Andreas Wild, senior stylist at West London’s Larry King salon (from £185,, sighs with hair lust when I mention Bellucci’s do.

Hannah Betts shares advice for embracing this season's French Girl Fringe trend (file image)

Hannah Betts shares tips for embracing the French Girl Fringe trend this season (file photo)

Andreas, a smart and witty German, was crowned King or the Fringe when Gemma Arterton received one. But he is an expert on the style and has tended Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s, Claudia Schiffer’s, and Penelope Cruz before.

‘Fringes are so hyped up,’ he says. ‘I’m doing two or three a day. Many women who were doing beachy, wavy looks want them cut more.

‘Fringes never really go away and older women should definitely open their minds to them. I often think of them as their icons. I’m thinking Goldie Hawn and Jane Fonda. There’s Brigitte Bardot, of course, and my all-time favourite, Debbie Harry.’

There are many benefits to having one in your midlife. Ask Claudia Winkleman, 49, or Caroline de Maigret 46, a French model who have both declared that their bangs are better than Botox.

‘Fringes soften the face, while framing it in such a flattering way,’ continues Wild.

‘People talk about them being like Botox, but they’re no less like filler, plumping and lifting cheekbones so beautifully. They can create incredible geometry that emphasizes the jawline and brings focus to the eyes.

‘Mid-life hair can also start to look a little wimpy and wispy, but a fringe will make it appear fuller, taking the attention to where the hair is thickest and most abundant.

‘As for grey strands, you can either disguise them with Color Wow Root Cover Up (£29.50, or leave them be. Grey in a fringe looks so much easier and more relaxed than that giveaway block at the parting.’

What are the rules of the game? ‘Rounder faces tend to suit a gentler, more open fringe so that you do not squash the face. A heavier fringe is better for longer faces, as it can squash the eyes a bit.

Hannah (pictured) said don¿t even think about using a round brush when styling your hair, unless you¿re going to a 1960s-themed party

Hannah (pictured) said don’t even think about using a round brush when styling your hair, unless you’re going to a 1960s-themed party

‘If you have a square face shape, try a grown-out fringe, and oval faces work with everything.

‘But the main rule is: throw away the rule book. Curly fringes were once a big no-no. Now, there’s nothing I love more. Things are more individual.

‘Think outside the box and really talk to your stylist. The only thing you do need to do is work with the hair.’

Andreas’s magic trick is to cut a fringe before his client gets shampooed because it allows him to see what the hair does naturally.

He likes to see the results before deciding on a colour. A fringe can make a shade look different (darker, for example, after the straggly lengths are removed).

As for styling, don’t even think about using a round brush unless you’re going to a 1960s-themed party. To remove volume, use a flat brush and blow dry it in one direction.

Avoid anything greasy when using a product. Andreas uses Larry King’s cult finishing cream, A Social Life For Your Hair (£23 for 80ml, to add weight to curlier textures, and good old Batiste Dry Shampoo (from £2.17, to freshen hair up between washes.

And if — like me — you tried a fringe years ago and are still traumatised, why not give it another whirl? Your face will have changed.

Besides, as Andreas notes: ‘Take risks. Why not? It’s just hair. It’ll grow.’


 I defy you not to be instantly enamoured of Chanel Les 4 Ombres No. 5, a limited-edition eyeshadow palette. It features elegant amber, gold white, silver white and black shades embossed with perfume flacons and Chanel’s lucky number. This is the beginning of party season.




Joanna Lumley, 75, (pictured) loves L¿Oreal Paris Elnett Strong Hold Hairspray and Vitapointe hair cream

Joanna Lumley, 75, (pictured) loves L’Oreal Paris Elnett Strong Hold Hairspray and Vitapointe hair cream

Her documentary on climate change has made her a household name. But she’s also a walking advertisement for using Astral Moisturiser (£3.99, as a cleanser. She loves L’Oreal Paris Elnett Strong Hold Hairspray (£3.98, — describing it as ‘like having an iron bedstead on your head’ — and Vitapointe hair cream (£20.63, to boost shine. She also exfoliates using an old toothbrush. 


I’m usually a lazy cheapskate when it comes to body moisturisers, favouring Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray (£5.49, or stockpiled bottles of Nivea’s now extinct 4 In 1 Firming Body Oil.

However facialist Emma Hardie’s Moringa Luxury Body Butter (£38 for 200ml, smells citrusy and herby rather than of cocoa butter (a dealbreaker for me).

It feels more like a face cream for the skin than a mere oil slick. Count me converted.



This is a wonderful blend of cedarwood, lavender and vetiver.


This candle’s USP is Frankincense, which helps to ease tension and anxiety.


Bergamot, patchouli and amber will help you get a sublime night’s sleep.


A blend of Roman camomile and lavender that is almost as dreamy as it sounds.


It contains 19 calming essential oils, including sweet basil, jasmine, and lavender.