I am constantly changing my hair. I view hair as a sort of accessory, a great way to accent a new look. So it’s often that people don’t recognize me from one time to the next—I’m a chameleon that way. Recently, I wrote about entering a new hair dimension by finding a fabulous set of sister salons: Public and Woodley & Bunny.
Well, my mother flew in to see me and get a second haircut with me for my birthday. It just tickles me pink that my 60-something mom loves this hipster salon (the stylists all remind her of her ’70s heyday). My mother has her hair cut by Ginger, and I had finally secured an appointment with the artistic Andy.
When I sat down in the chair, he asked what I wanted. I said that I was up for anything. And he suggested bangs. Bangs!!! I have not had bangs since I was sixteen and wearing braces on my teeth and back. I have this picture that is so completely ridiculous from my high school album. I am wearing a really cute cadet-blue, plaid, bow-tie dress that I wish I still had, and my face is half-braces and half-bangs. Then before that I was five and slightly cuter, but still, I was five. Now I’m in my forties.
I winced at the memories. “Bangs,” I said weakly. “I don’t look so good in bangs. They are just so … irrevocable.” It was hard to turn down an artist’s inspiration, but I just couldn’t see it.
“Really,” he said. “I think that you’ll look like Louise Brooks.”
Well, that was a different story, but …. no. He shrugged and set to patiently cutting my hair just as it has been for the past year.
Since he had been working for Fashion Week, I asked, “Are bangs big on the runway?”
“No, just really, really long hair.”
Well, really long hair was definitely out of the question. But here was a man who created the looks for Fashion Week. Couldn’t I just be a little flexible? I pondered this as he trimmed away. Soon, he would be finished, and my chance for change would be gone. I always say no to change at first, but I always reconsider.
“It’s not too late for the bangs, is it?”
And there you have it. For the third time in my life, I have bangs. But, oh what a difference this time. Where they had once made me squinty-eyed and cute, I’m suddenly youthfully glam. Boys at Starbucks no longer call me ma’am when I order my iced Americanos. I’m a “miss.” People love my new look, or if they can’t figure out what’s new, just say that I looked terrific. (How anyone could miss anything as obvious as bangs is beyond me.)
But the best comment was from a work friend: “Lulu,” he beamed, upon first seeing me. “That is the best look on women over 40. Women in their 20s just don’t look that good in bangs.” Now that definitely put a spring in my step.
And if I put on dark eyeliner and tilt my head just so, to my left profile, and squint, I really do look like Lulu.