Dear Scott: I have never had bangs. I want to have bangs but don’t know if they are right for my face. I have a round face and I don’t want to end up looking like a 9-inch pie plate. It seems like bangs are making a comeback now that the first lady is wearing them and Kate Middleton has them too. I just don’t want to end up looking like Mamie Eisenhower. I have a cowlick in the front of my hair too. What if I don’t like them once they are cut?
Answer: In Europe it’s called “the fringe” because of the resemblance to the fringe on a shawl. In the U.S. they’re called “bangs” after the cutting of a horse tail. Whatever you call this area of hair located in the front of the head, it’s making a comeback with a big bang.
There were a lot of rumblings when Kate Middleton got her new look but the noise over the First Lady’s new hairdo is more of an explosion. And it should be. She looks incredible and totally up-to-date.
A good note to make is that it isn’t just the bang that makes Michelle Obama’s new look special. The haircut and styling is totally different from her previous cut. With graduated layering on the sides, it is pressed and worn down against the face instead of being swept back as before.
The First Lady also shows versatility with her haircut by wearing it flipped up at times, whereas before it was usually always turned under. She is an excellent role model providing proof that there’s more than one way to wear a cut.
There are many ways to cut a set of bangs. Mamie Eisenhower has been used as a negative example of the bang for years. Although it may look funny to you now, her hairstyle was quite popular in it’s time.
For your first attempt, keeping the bangs cut below the eyebrow will help lessen your fears of bangs that are short like Eisenhower. Longer fringe will also provide an easy alternative hairstyle when worn off the face. If you don’t like them, push them back and let them grow out.
The cowlick can prove to be a problem. Leave extra length to counteract the cowlick. After close examination of her previous style, it’s possible that some hair extensions are involved in the First Ladies look. She seems to have the same problem of a backwards growth pattern also. Only her hairdresser knows for sure.
The proper length of the haircut will prevent any pie-like feeling. Even with a round facial shape the right cut can lengthen the face and the fringe will draw attention to the eyes.
In the past it has been difficult to convince women to give up their bangs. Now that’s done, it’s time to talk them all back into them again. This is the nature of my business.
Scott Terwilliger, an Aiken salon owner, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.