So, You're Considering Getting Bangs

Great! We'll happily accept you into the cult, but only after you read this article.

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Before I had bangs, I was just a small person who really, really wanted bangs. I wanted them so badly that, after being told by my mother for what she sternly said would be "the last time" that I could not have bangs, I sat in my room staring at a pair of scissors for about an hour, considering the option of taking my transformation into my own hands.

Not too long after the scissor incident.
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I became bored while doing this, and in this boredom decided to press the cold metal of the shears against my forehead. At the exact same moment, my mom opened the door to my bedroom, making me jump the jump of a person who is considering doing a radically defiant thing, and causing me to reflexively snap the scissors shut and inadvertently snip a lock of hair from the front of my hairline. This left behind a two-by-two-inch nub that was, to say the least, not exactly the fringe I had in mind.

Oh, are you still doing your hair? I'll wait here. My hair is already done because I have bangs.
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It was, however, settled. I now had bangs. Or, at least, I was on my way to having them—all that was needed was an emergency trip to the budget hair salon near our house.

I've now been a person with bangs for about 15 years, and I've learned all kinds of useful things about having them, on top of the fact that it is not ideal to get them accidentally. And now I'm going to share them with you!

The Pros:

Alexa Chung has recently grown out her bangs, which I consider a betrayal.

Bangs Are Like Uniform Dressing for Your Hair

When you have bangs, your hair already looks "done" even when you haven't styled it at all. Regular readers of Sweet will remember that I am a big fan of automating basically everything I can, so I consider this aspect of bangs to be a major plus.

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They Give Every Outfit More Personality

Bangs are a commitment, and whether they're sweeping bangs or a Grimes-style mini-fringe, they're going to bring a little extra context and personality to everything you wear—especially when you're wearing something plain, like a T-shirt and jeans.

Grimes went for baby bangs a few years back… and then so did everyone else.

When You Have Bangs You Join a Sisterhood

You know how Jeep owners wave to each other when they pass on the road? Girls who have identical bangs do this too, except it tends to be more of a subtle nod acknowledging everything we know about hair maintenance that the rest of the world does not.

Speaking of maintenance! Let's get to the cons, shall we? There are quite a few.

The Cons:

Be sure to have a nice chat before the snipping starts.
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Oh, the Maintenance

You're going to need to get a bang trim every two to three weeks. This will be awkwardly timed within your normal haircut schedule. It's pretty much the opposite of automating your life, and unless you or a dear friend can trim with a very steady hand, there's no way around it.

If You Have Wavy or Curly Hair, Humidity Will Cause Big Problems

I basically don't go to Mexico anymore because of this.

Your Cool Hairstyle Options Are Very Limited

I see lots of interesting twists, braids, off-center parts, and other kinds of updos that just won't work with my hair because of the bangs. This makes me sad, but also, my hair is already done and I'm doing other things over here now, la, la, la.

Saluting all the brave women who dare to trim their bangs themselves.

You Will Have at Least One Traumatic Experience

Mine has to do with receiving a bang "trim" that was about two inches shorter than I had requested (not a small amount when it comes to forehead real estate), and having to tell my best friend, who was waiting beside me for her turn, via ESP, to not let the same A.D.D.-afflicted hairstylist cut her hair too.

This brings us to the most important part of this article, which is what you need to know and what you need to say at the hair salon. If you have these details nailed down, you're much more likely to get the results you want.

Twiggy probably said something like, blunt cut, right at the top of the brow, sharp corners.

The Length

I always describe the length in relation to my eyebrows. I tell hairstylists that I like my bangs to hit right at the top of the arch of my eyebrow, with no space in between. If you feel like you can't describe it clearly enough this way, I recommend pulling a piece of longer hair up to your forehead and showing the stylist exactly where you want your bangs to hit.

The Texture

Do you want them to be wispy? Blunt? Piecey? Each of these words calls for a different cutting technique, so you'll want to make that clear from the beginning.

The Corners

This ties into texture, but it's still its own conversation. Your choices are basically: rounded, shaggy, or angular, and they all lend a different mood to your hairstyle. Tell your dear stylist which one you prefer or they might make the decision for you!

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