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It is a truth universally acknowledged that growing your bangs out sucks so hard. You’re volunteering for a mild but persistent annoyance all day, every day, and the cost of and dependency on bobby pins is completely self-debasing. Plus, whether or not you have bangs doesn’t matter to anyone but you (although people do love telling you not to “give up”), and it was presumably your own dang idea, so you can’t even complain. So why in god’s good name am I doing this now, when there’s so much else to worry about?
In October, I was the lucky person to say “I will!” when asked who wanted to get a haircut from renowned hairstylist Sally Hershberger on Facebook Live. The haircut was set for November 9th, a date you may remember as the one immediately following the US presidential election. The haircut was moved so that I wouldn’t spend the haircut cursing/crying/throwing up and rescheduled for December 7th (another familiar date, depending on how much you know about WWII). You can watch it here; it’s very, very long.
The thing was, I needed a haircut in October, back when I first said yes. And by December, my bangs — for so long cut straight across, like the Zooey Deschanel-but-mad-all-the-time that I wish to be in the world — had grown to a length where any hairstylist (never mind the talented and truly delightful Sally Hershberger) would naturally say “Grow them out!” And thus, my hair was cut into a shag with sweeping side bangs, which I was told never to straighten, ever.
It is easily the best and most skilled haircut I’ve ever gotten. Months later, I still receive compliments on it frequently, and it’s growing out beautifully. If you have a bunch of money and want a shag, see Sally.
But also, during these same months, I have never truly and fully warmed to this look for myself. It’s just not quite for me! It’s a cool mom haircut, and I am just a regular mom (but without kids). Plus, I always straighten it, as opposed to never, because who has time to air dry, and I often end up putting it in an unskilled topknot with the kind of slicked-back, bobby-pinned bangs that make me look like the world’s oldest and most out-of-shape field hockey player. If I don’t, the growing-out bangs are always in my face.
I just want to be able to wear my hair down and see at the same time. I want to throw out all my bobby pins and stop looking like I’m perpetually on my way to the gym (‘cause I’m not). I don’t want to throw out contact lenses because the hair stuck in my eye ripped them in half. I don’t have it in me right now to take on modern woman’s most notorious, low-grade, totally elective irritation.
As such, I’m making a hair appointment and tentatively planning to have straight-across bangs until I die or go bald. As much as I feel like I shouldn’t have the same haircut at 31 that I had at 25, I miss my my old bangs. I’m not sure I ever wanted to get rid of them, or if I wanted to want to get rid of them because it seemed like the right aesthetic choice for a woman of my age. But who cares about that?
Now, I’m doubling down. Bangs forever! Bangs through my 30s, bangs into my 40s bangs for my 50s when global warming gets us all. Bangs for formal occasions and bangs for fun. Bangs even when wearing headbands.
When I do die, I want my body turned into fireworks to be set off over the ocean — but first, please gently trim off my bangs and let them waft over Brooklyn, so they won’t get ruined by the salt water.