So Brave! 3 Women Get Bangs
01.29.19

I

got bangs for the first time when I was 12, after getting a round brush stuck in my hair in a way that only scissors could fix. Why I thought my curly hair could be safely wrapped around the barrel of any brush is a mystery I’ll never understand, but suffice it to say I learned my lesson.

I revisited fringe for the second time in my life this past summer, and although they’ve since grown out, I realized that existing behind a curtain of hair feels very different when it’s not a decision made out of desperation. Bangs have the power to completely alter an appearance and the way you move through the world. People see you differently! Your morning routine might change! Maybe you’ll develop a totally different approach to hats!

With all that in mind, I wondered: What are people thinking when they decide to go for bangs? Below, an attempt to articulate that experience. With the help of stylist Kevin Baker, I followed three women on a hair journey I like to call “the road to bangs.” Enjoy.


Laura Almeida, 24

Are you a bang first-timer?
I want to say yes but I guess I probably should count the time gave myself bangs in third grade.

What made you say yes to letting a stranger cut bangs in your hair?
I have always toyed with the idea of bangs, and when I saw the call on MR, I thought to myself, at least now there will be no turning back. I knew if I committed to being part of this story I’d have to follow through. When I revealed to Kevin how nervous I was and how, normally, I would stop my stylist from cutting bangs as soon as I saw the scissors inch closer to my forehead, he said, “Well good thing we don’t have a mirror!” which — oddly enough — I found relieving!

Have you ever gone through a hair transformation before?
I have gone through some pretty drastic hair transformations. I’ve had platinum hair, green hair, waist-length hair, shoulder-length hair. I express much of my identity through my hair, so often I find myself at my stylist looking for something to match my mood. However, I’ve never had the courage to add bangs. I knew they could completely change not only how I’d style my hair but how my face would look — and that was daunting.

What was going through your head while the cut was happening?
“I hope I like these bangs because I really do not want to cry at the Man Repeller office.”

What went through your head after seeing yourself with bangs?
“Is that me?” It was a wild experience because I looked completely different and I loved it. I also took way too many selfies.

Finish this sentence: I got bangs and now… I’m going to extort this newfound confidence and be little more daring.


Trang Tran, 27

Are you a bang first-timer?
No, I am East Asian, so I was practically born with bangs. However, I haven’t had them from the time I had full control over my hair styling (in high school) until now!

What made you say yes to letting a stranger cut bangs in your hair?
I mean, I wouldn’t call the Man Repeller family “a complete stranger!” However, because I do so little to and with my hair (have never dyed it, don’t even own a blow dryer), I like to make rash decisions whenever I feel like it is time for a change. I have had the same hair for so long that as a result, it has become a part of my identity for the people who know me or have met me. As for the identity that I put forth to represent myself, I honestly do not think about it too much — though, as a thing that is always constant, it is something that I rely on to always behave and look a certain way.

Have you ever gone through a hair transformation before?
Yes, during my first year of college I cut nine inches off my hair and went from long hair to long bob (lob). It was a process though — first I went to get about four inches cut, then a week later I showed up at my hairdresser’s again and asked for four more inches. But still, I wouldn’t call myself a risk taker with my hair, which is something my parents probably ingrained — I was not allowed to dye my hair or do anything crazy when I still lived at home.

Perhaps the minimal work that I put in to maintain my hair speaks to the way I am with the rest of bodily maintenance and my overall aesthetic — minimalism is something I grapple with. For work I research and write about post-modern design which fights the notion of modernism and minimalism, but I have had a very minimal aesthetic for so long that I still feel most comfortable dressing this way. I do try find space for color and pattern in things like the decor in my house, making textiles/knitting and shoes!

What was going through your head while the cut was happening?
It is a very dizzying experience to have your eyes closed inside of the Man Repeller offices — conversations were happening all around me and I kind of lost focus on what was actually happening and why I was there. I kind of expected to feel the weight of my long hair being cut off and falling to the ground but that never happened because Kevin is so gentle, so it wasn’t too dramatic or anything.

What went through your head after seeing yourself with bangs?
There is definitely a funny moment when you look in the mirror the first few times where you have to realign the reality of what you look like to what you have always thought you looked like. It was oddly familiar to me, like seeing someone I have not seen in a long time. I was also in shock I think, but I knew this would happen, and I knew that I would need a few days to get comfortable and feel like myself.

Finish this sentence: I got bangs and now… I have to go buy a comb for my hair LOL. I’ll also be saying hello to a different person in the mirror for a few days.


Brittany Fidalgo, 28

Are you a bang first-timer?
Yes!

What made you say yes to letting a stranger cut bangs in your hair?
I had gotten my hair cut recently and regretted not going for bangs… then I saw the Man Repeller IG story and figured it must be fate. I decided to trust that the Man Repeller team would take good care of my hair. Up until this point, I have stuck with what I thought was safe when it comes to my hair because growing up I did not have a stylist who understood it. I ended up with a lot of triangle looks, so keeping it long and getting periodic trims was what I felt was the best option for me.

Have you ever gone through a hair transformation before?
I am typically conservative when it comes to my hair — I tend to go into the salon thinking I will try something different but often end up playing it safe. The biggest hair transformation prior to this would be cutting my hair five inches. I liked that cut but it was not very different from my usual look.

What was going through your head while the cut was happening?
I was thinking, I can’t believe I’m doing this! I went through a hair journey (including a stylist trying to put a hot iron on my hair while wet — big no no!) that led me to understand and feel great about my naturally curly hair. Post college, I was concerned with how my hairstyle would affect me professionally. Fortunately all my bosses have encouraged individual expression, which I am super grateful for. Even so, it still took time for me to be fully confident with my hair.  Now that I am, I’m more open to experimenting with it.

What went through your head after seeing yourself with bangs?
It took a little time for me to process. It’s funny not being able to see your forehead! I was surprised in a good way and happy with my fresh new look.

Finish this sentence: I got bangs and now… I’m free to see the world 🙂


How do you feel about bangs? Do you have ’em? Would you ever get ’em? 

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