All it took was one photo of Dakota Johnson to make me ask the question that has plagued every woman at some point: “Should I get bangs?” I pulled up images on my phone and hounded nearly everyone I came into contact with to get their opinion.
And then, at my next hair appointment, what was supposed to be a routine trim turned into a shag haircut with bangs. “How did I get here?” I asked myself two days later, when the adrenaline had worn off. “Dakota didn’t even have a shag haircut.”
Even though I had been thinking about it a lot, my decision to get bangs still felt like a rash one. Here’s what I wish I had known before I got bangs.
If You Have to Ask If You Should Get Bangs, You’re Probably Not Ready
Bangs are a big commitment, and if you’re on the fence about them, my advice would be to wait until you’re totally sure. If you’re asking yourself, “Should I get bangs?” you’re not ready. Do some soul-searching. Are bangs really the future you envision for your hair? Once you’re able to say, “I want bangs,” full stop, then go for it.
Bangs Are (Really, Really) High-Maintenance
I know, you think you know how much effort goes into making bangs look good and that you can handle it. Maybe you can. But in my experience, it’s like a beautiful silk top you bought that was dry-clean only. Maybe you took it to the cleaners a couple of times, but then you started to think, “The delicate cycle on my laundry is fine, right?” From there, anarchy. The same with bangs, only you can’t decide not to wear them anymore when you realize the upkeep is more than you bargained for.
Also, you need to get them trimmed every two to three weeks to keep the shape looking fresh. Some people possess the magical ability to trim their own bangs like a professional. But for most of us, attempting to trim our own bangs is risky.
They Can Make You Break Out
You have to be extra diligent with your skincare routine, especially on your forehead. Think about it: your hair is basically sitting on top of your face. Also, when I had bangs, I had a tendency to touch them, and all that oil and dirt from my fingers made them greasy, which transferred to my skin and would cause my forehead to break out. That said, bangs also cover forehead breakouts. It’s a real catch-22.
You Will Always Have to Wear a Headband When Working Out
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard enough time keeping track of my hair ties, let alone packing my gym bag with a headband and/or bobby pins. It’s a recipe for disaster – or, at the very least, sweaty bangs plastered to your forehead, dripping sweat directly into your eyeballs.
They Require Training
Bangs do not magically lay flat just because you will them to. It takes a lot of practice to ensure that they don’t stick out at weird angles. The best tip I learned: use a paddle brush and dry them side to side rather than down. This helps train them to lay flat and gives them movement.
You Will Have to Rethink Your Go-To Poses
I know, in the whole scheme of things, this isn’t exactly a big deal. But the go-to selfie pose that you’ve perfected? Yeah, bangs will change that. You basically have to start from scratch. No one talks about this enough.
It’s Just Hair, and It Grows Back
Bangs are a commitment, but ultimately, if you get them and decide they aren’t for you, your hair will grow back. Yes, it’s a bit of a process, but it’s totally survivable. I ended up keeping my bangs for nearly a year even though it wasn’t my favorite look because I didn’t want to deal with the grow-out. But once I finally committed to growing them out, it actually resulted in my signature hairstyle: long, cheekbone-grazing layers that frame my face (and are bang-like but decidedly less high-maintenance).