When I decided to get the big chop — aka, bangs — in October, it was a decision that was a long time in the making. In fact, I had been thinking about switching up my hair for the better part of the last year, but each time I sat in the salon chair I chickened out. As somebody who in the past has experimented with everything from red hair and blue hair, to blunt bobs and shaggy layers, this was kind of strange. Because, along with all this, I also had bangs for more than 20 years of my life before I decide to grow them out in 2012.
The fact that I was legit nervous about getting a hair style I once had just goes to show how divisive the look can be. Bangs tend to either look good on somebody or they don’t, and when you decide to grow them out it can be a huge pain in the ass. Because of this, I needed more reassurance than old Myspace pics of a 15-year-old me in Victoria’s Secret lipgloss and blunt bangs.
When I finally got around to vocalizing my desire to join the bangs brigade and my concerns that accompanied this decision, my hair stylist totally understood. She was used to either talking people out of their decision to cut bangs or helping them find a way to get through the growing out process without feeling like an awkward tween once they quickly decided the look wasn’t for them.
When it comes to figuring out if a hairstyle is right for you, there’s a few things you can do before making a change. For bangs, there’s apps that let you see how the style looks digitally, a trick where you put your hair in a ponytail to get a similar effect, or clip-in bangs that you can try on for a night. All of these are fine options, but they don’t convey a crucial part about the look — the way it feels to have it ALL the time.
Bangs can make your forehead oily; if you don’t style them right they can do their own wonky thing; and normal seasonal things, like wearing a beanie for an extended period of time or going for a run in the summer, can require a complete re-style.
To help ease my nerves, my stylists proposed a solution that genuinely changed my perception of this whole #firstworldproblem situation. She simply took a couple inches on each side of my middle part and chopped them right to the top of my cheek bones. This, she said, was the magic spot where I’d be able to feel the weight of what bangs would feel like on my face. However, because of the length, I was still able to blend the pieces into the rest of my hair and grow them out super easily if I decided the look wasn’t for me. The change was basically invisible to the naked eye; only I could tell that I was walking around with quasi-bangs.
Over the next week, I had the chance to see what it was like to have hair near my eyes and how I felt having to re-tszuj my hair when the wind hit and the shorter pieces went wild. It was a lot easier to imagine what having bangs again would be like when I was literally less than two inches away from having them, and after a week of living through the hair experiment I went back to the salon to get the real deal.
It’s been a few months now since the chop, and I’m happy that my stylist suggested something so small yet crucial to ensure that I’d walk out of the salon with a smile on my face instead of tears rolling down my cheeks — we’ve all been there.
What hair tricks have you learned over the years? Do you like to ease into a new style or just go for it? Let me know in the comment section!