Because bangs aren't a hairstyle; they're a lifestyle.
Committing to a life on the fringe is not a choice to take lightly. While I never actively chose to have bangs—I’ve had them since I was born, literally—there have been moments in the past in which I’ve contemplated whether the moderate maintenance is a fair trade-off for their aesthetic. For me, the answer is yes, as they’ve become my signature, almost an extension of my personality. While they’ve manifested in many forms from a swoop to straight across, short to long and wispy, I've never been without them, even when I pinned them back for a couple years in high school to look more like Margot Tenenbaum.
Nowadays, my bangs have settled into a semi-long and part-able stance, unless it’s particularly humid when they go into full Farrah Fawcett-mode (which I've written about before). By now, I’m used to the look women give me when they’re deciding whether to approach me in line at Publix or the coffee shop to ask me about my “bangs story” and whether I think they should go for it too. While I’m always happy to welcome another into the sisterhood of bangs, there’s also a few things to consider before announcing your big decision to your stylist.
1. Do, or do not.
There is no try: I am not a Star Wars fan, but Yoda’s words ring true in regards to bangs. While many think they can just try them out the same way they talk about a sweater from TJ Maxx, bangs take a whole lot more than a receipt to reverse. Sure, you can ask your stylist to start small by cutting a few face-framing pieces instead of defaulting to Bettie Paige immediately, but my advice is to really study which style will compliment your face shape, and go for it. You’ll never know until you try it.
2. It’s all about the journey.
Picking who will drive the car on your “bangs journey” is almost as important as deciding you want to make the cut. It took several rounds of bad bang trips for me to realize that my then-stylist wasn’t driving down the same road with me. Instead, I scheduled a few bang trims with different stylists and finally found my ride-or-die. Sure, it’s difficult to break-up with someone you’ve been seeing for years, but a new stylist might make the difference in whether you love your new bangs or regret them every morning.
3. Regular servicing.
While I try to keep my bangs as low-maintenance as possible, they still require more care and concern than my friends with exposed foreheads. Even if I don’t wash the rest of my hair daily, I start every morning washing my bangs in the sink so I can blow dry them into my desired shape and start fresh. I always have a can of dry shampoo at the ready since bangs have a way of gathering everything from oil on your forehead to humidity. And air drying after a trip to the pool or the beach? While some ladies have learned how to make it work, I have bobby pins stashed in my bag.
4. Get bangs that can do both.
This is why Mandy Moore is my current fringe spirit guide. While the ’70s-inspired shape might not be for everyone, having your stylist give you bangs that can easily lay even across your forehead, part in the middle, or sweep to the side can give you hair freedom you didn’t know was possible and more looks to work with. There’s nothing worse than having bangs locked into one shape and style who randomly refuse to bend to your whims.