Bangs Aren’t as Scary as You Think

Bangs are such a look. They’re powerful the same way red lipstick is. They pack a lot of punch per square inch, you know? They’re memorable. Who are Zooey Deschanel or Twiggy or Jeanne Damas without their bangs?

A few months ago, I asked people on Instagram: “Should I get bangs again? Check Yes 🐀 or No 🚨,” alongside an old bang-y photo of me. I received 63 rats, 26 sirens and hundreds of exclamation points — a beautiful, rodent-ridden emergency. I was surprised by how strongly people felt. For how divisive they are, you’d think bangs were more than just a few short locks of hair.

Like cilantro, bangs are not for everyone. I understand that and won’t snip them in your sleep, promise. But is it really such a big deal to get them? I don’t think so. I may be biased because I love mine, but most of the concerns people have pre-chop strike me as unnecessarily inflated. If you’ve always wanted to try them but are terrified, let someone who recently took the plunge walk you through why it’s not as scary as you think.

Fear #1: What if bangs look bad on me? Then I’ve really COMMITTED.

Bangs work on loads of different faces, in unexpected ways. (I think mine give me the appearance of a stronger bone structure, for instance.) The long grow-out is the cornerstone of bang-fear, I know. But listen: bangs grow out pretty fast! Our hair grows half an inch per month. If you hate your bangs, you’ll be able to pin them back in six weeks and tuck them away another month later. In half a year they’ll become long and swoopy and be as unnoticeable as you want them to be. Six months! New Year’s Eve was six months ago and that was like, yesterday! Also, as they grow, you get to try out different bang lengths sans salon trip. More bang for your buck.

Fear #2: Having to style them every day sounds like so much work.

Bangs take about 45 seconds to style with a blow-dryer. You can get them wet and do that whenever your heart flutters. I let mine air dry and they do whatever they want. Wavy, curly, bendy bangs are weird and make me feel like my mom in the ’70s. Perfect bangs are kind of 2006, no? If messy-ish bangs won’t work with your look, though, you’ll definitely have to exert more effort in this department.

Also, bangs make it so I don’t have to touch my hair as much generally. You know, behind-the-ear tucking, part-changing, all the little finicky things we do before a photo to make our hair look right — because the hair that would normally be in my face is short. If those little behaviors bother you, maybe bangs could help.

Fear #3: Won’t they get all sweaty and terrible on my forehead? What if they give me acne?

I think this is only a problem if you’re precious about how they lay, but maybe I’ll change my tune come August. I’ve had no trouble with acne — perhaps due to my vigilance with my skincare routine — but I also don’t put any makeup on my forehead now, which helps too. But if I didare bangs not built-in coverup?

Fear #4: I can’t handle the maintenance!

This depends on the kind of bangs you have, but I’ve just been snipping at mine when the moment strikes. It’s not foolproof, but it’s kind of fun and impulsive-feeling, like lopping your pants into shorts on a whim. They honestly look fine. I suppose the maintenance is as high as you are picky — so take that into consideration before you decide.

Fear #5: What if my hair is just weird around my hairline, destined to look a mess?

I don’t know your hairline personally, but angles don’t have to be a deal breaker. Mine sometimes give themselves a middle part or a side part or no part at all, depending on their mood. Maybe everyone think it looks terrible (very possible), but I think the change is nice. They feel like an accessory, like a fun pair of earrings. They make a ponytail or bun look less gym-ready.

I’m making the same point over and over, I know, but bangs don’t need to be perfect. Sure, mine are a little sloppy. And, on their worst days, as evidenced below, they certainly break all the bang rules — parted, flippy, greasy, uneven. I just don’t really mind. I still think they’re cool. Maybe you would too.

(Call me in six months when I hate them so much.)

Photo by Edith Young. Modeled by Eydis Evensen, follow her on Instagram @eydisevensen.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

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