I Got ‘Cool-Girl Bangs’ Cut And This Is How It Changed My Hair Game
I finally made the big chop.
With the exception of one year when I was in 4th grade (and my mom thought a bob would look cute on me – oh how wrong she was), I’ve always had long hair with a few layers at the bottom. Pretty boring and very safe, I know, but I just always thought it suited me best.
Of course I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a radical hair makeover every now and then, and like most women, I always wondered what I would look like with a fringe, and spent hours in front of the mirror trying to pin my hair over my forehead to mimic bangs.
Numerous times I had even made an appointment with my hair stylist intending to walk out of the salon with a too-cool-for-school fringe, only to chicken out at the last minute and meekly request my usual long layers.
Let’s face it, getting bangs cut is a super big deal. What if it doesn’t suit you? What if it makes you look like you’re vainly trying to relive your youth? Or – heaven forbid – what if you absolutely HATE it and are now stuck not-so-subtly growing it out for the next year?!
There’s no going back if you don’t like it.
There were just so many things that could go wrong in my mind: my oily skin might make my bangs look greasy, it might not suit my round face, I might find it annoying when wearing glasses, the upkeep might be too hard, etc, etc…
But then I woke up one morning and while lazing in bed browsing my Instagram feed, I saw a picture of Aussie model Jesinta Franklin sporting what the interwebs has officially coined ‘cool-girl bangs’. Basically grown-out bangs that fall to either side of your forehead, like an opening curtain, with the ends playfully bouncing on your cheekbones. Cool-girl bangs look polished, but effortless, giving off a 70s vibe with a modern twist, and every ‘cool girl’ is sporting them right now (think Alexa Chung and Dakota Johnson) – hence the name. What’s more so, there’s less commitment involved. Because they’re longer and softer they’re not as jarring a change as a standard fringe, and subsequently require less upkeep.
I was instantly sold.
So I went to my hair stylist (the lovely Kelly Green from Franck Provost’s salon in Sydney), picture in hand, and told her she needed to transform my boring mane into It-girl material. Thankfully, she didn’t try to talk me out of it, but was as excited as me, assuring me it would look faaabulous…
Kelly started cutting, and inch by inch, as my old locks fell to the floor along with my tired old hair identity, my new fringe life became reality.
“I always like to cut bangs little by little, as it’s easy to cut more, but impossible to go back if you’ve cut too much,” Kelly explained as she chopped another half an inch off. She said she always considers her clients’ face shapes and the way the hair falls naturally before cutting bangs, but that it was no problem in my case.
After some more chops and a good blow-drying session, my new cool-girl bangs looked spot-on like in the picture I had nervously handed Kelly an hour earlier. It was odd looking at a ‘new me’ in the mirror – I was surprised how much of a difference a few short strands of hair made, and I loved it.
Brushing my hair from side to side, I immediately started taking selfies to see how I could style it, but I was a little anxious to go home, as I had no idea how to ‘work’ my fringe…
Kelly recommended I use a straightener in the morning and slightly curl the fringe inwards to create bounce, so I did, although it took a few attempts to get it right.
I had to get used to not being able to tuck my hair behind my ears anymore, and I noticed myself stopping in front of every mirror I passed during the first week, just to check if my new fringe actually still looked cool or had turned into a hot mess (crisis averted: it hadn’t). But I loved my new hair, and so did everyone around me. The number of compliments I got exceeded all my expectations. (*Cue internal Beyonce-level burst of self-confidence*)
Surprisingly, none of my fears about having a fringe turned out to be justified: my oily skin had little effect on my bangs, wearing glasses was no problem at all, and the upkeep actually hasn’t been so bad. As this style of fringe is already quite long and ‘grown-out’, it’s not necessary to have it cut every other week like some shorter fringes might require. If I want to maintain the look, a quick trim at my hair salon once a month will be more than enough.
What I love about cool-girl bangs is how much movement they add to my hair, and the versatility of them. I can style the bangs to one side of my face, or have a centre part, as well as pinning them back if I really don’t feel like sporting a fringe one day. Even a simple ponytail looks better with a fringe – I think it has something to do with the way it frames my face and makes my forehead look smaller.
Okay, okay… so it’s taken me 28 years to find the courage to have bangs cut, and part of me wishes I had done it earlier, but I’m proud I found the hair courage to go in for the chop. So to all the women out there toying with the idea of trying out a fringe: just do it. Chances are, it’ll make you feel a little bit like a ‘cool girl’.
Comment: Have you ever had a fringe? Did you like it?