I’ve been a Sixties girl all my life. I started out as an artsy teen- about-town at Parsons School of Design during the actual era, and quickly adopted the bangs and straight hair look I’ve had ever since. Nothing makes me happier than tights and flats, eyeliner and beige lipstick, and of course minis (the skirts and Coopers) and bangs.
As an adult woman, my long eye-grazing fringe has evolved from being my security blanket to my signature; but what I love most now are the camouflage benefits. So do a long list of my girlfriends aged 40+ who also vow never to let their bangs grow out. The group consensus is if we never do Botox again, no one will ever know.
Bangs accent your eyes and do make you look younger. They dress up your face when the rest of your hair is back in a ponytail and hide bad skimpy eyebrows too (so cross that off your worry list too!).
Bangs with a slightly layered bob are actually a very classic Coco Chanel kind of look. They happen to be the hottest hair trend at every age with fans ranging from Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to Katie Holmes. Bangs look equally great on mothers and daughters like Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson.
Some men (including all of my exes) do this ‘brushing-the-hair-out-of-your-eyes’ gesture that is so annoying to women with a fringe. My husband Robert, on the other hand, panics if I pull my bangs back with a hairband during humid frizzy weather.
“Where are your bangs? I love those bangs! I married you for those bangs!” is his opening line on those mornings.
In the early days of our relationship I found beach holidays and showering together a little inhibiting because of this, but now I just laugh.
Cutting bangs can give you a fresh look for the holiday season and forever after. Go to a pro for the first snip, but trim them yourself every three weeks. It’s easiest if you buy a salon quality scissor like Tweezerman Hair Shears ($25 at Sephora.com) but I’ve used nail scissors too.
Your bangs should hit just below the browbone in general, no shorter. Work on dry rather than wet hair because it’s hard to estimate shrinkage otherwise. Twist the entire bang section into a rope and cut the ends about an eighth of an inch. Let them go, use your fingers to ruffle them back into place to check if you’ve done enough. Repeat the procedure if not. Then angle the scissor points up, and snip vertically at the ends to just nip them slightly for a contemporary look.
Here are three ways to go:
• Thick, straight bangs like mine make fine hair appear fuller and create a strong, horizontal frame for the upper face. Use a small round brush for shape and a little lift as you blow them out. Stretch the bangs out and hold the section taut for the final pass with the dryer so you don’t have a rounded bumper look or ends that curl under. For absolutely sleek shiny bangs, glide through quickly once with a mini flat-iron like the T3.
• Choose feathery “lite” bangs with wispy, uneven ends if you want a softer look. This is less of a statement and allows you to show some forehead in a casual way and blend the bangs in and off the face when you choose to do so.
• Opt for very long sideswept bangs if you want to try out the look before making the chop, have curly hair (and you don’t want to be tied to a daily straightening routine) or you absolutely must be able to pull your hair off you face for workouts.