Tuesday, May 28, 2013

She Bangs

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Last week I was in Italy - it was fabulous - and for whatever reason, call it the protein from all the cheese I ate - my bangs decided to have a growth spurt. Kind of like Jack's beanstalk. One day fine, next day I couldn't see. Calling the concierge and asking for scissors was out, I was staying in an apartment and no amount of round brushing or smushing to the side was working.

I have heard that cutting one's own hair is a sign of mental illness. Call me crazy. And I did it with the itty bitty scissors on a Swiss Army Knife. My hair grows really fast, what's the worst that could have happened?

Oh...think Moe Howard. Margaret Mead. The kid on the Dutch Boy paint can.
People who wear bangs will share my pain. As the bangs go, so goes the whole head. At the risk of being one of those women who wears her hair the same way for her entire life, I just can't see myself without them. Long, short, permed, highlighted, hennaed ("give me ahead with hair...long, beautiful hair!")the bangs are a constant.
I grew them out once when I was sixteen. Hideous. With my round face I looked like a Cabbage Patch Doll.

LUCY BURDETTE: I used to have bangs, back when my mother would line us up and clip a ragged line across all four kids. but I've had the same cut now for at least fifteen years--short. I keep thinking I might like to grow it out, but I can't stand the shaggy stage more than a week. I don't think I'd take a Swiss army knife to it--but I might.

HALLIE EPHRON: I'm with you, Ro. I wear bangs and my hair grows out f-a-s-t... so I'm always trimming them and trying not to look like Buster Brown (does anyone but me remember Buster Brown?) And whenever I do I identify with Kinsey Milhone who cuts hers with a nail scissors.
But I've had long long hair and short short. Bangs, no bangs. A few ill-advised perms. And I've let it go a streaky silvery grey because I'm too lazy and too cheap to do anything about it, and hey, it looks okay to me. It's real real.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Buster Brown! (With Froggy Gremlin "Dooo ya Dooo ya?) 

Anyway. I would never ever cut my own hair, not a bit, no way. I'd be terrified. (You know what happened the last time I did it, right? At age 16?

I GAVE MYSELF a Sassoon? Long on one side, up over my ear on the other? I loved it, but I thought my mother was going to pass out.)

What's my style constant? I'll tell you: "NO cleavage on TV."  Easy as that.

 DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, BANGS! My mom cut mine straight across the middle of my forehead with the sewing scissors until I was a teenager. I HATED them. Then I grew my hair into a long shag (remember those?), then cut it short in my early twenties. Grew out chin-length with bangs in my early thirties, with a few very, very ill-advised perms. Then short again (author photo on first dust jacket--ack!)
After I sold that first book I grew my hair out (along with the divorce, a symptom of rebellion) and wore a chin-length bob (no bangs) until about five years ago. I cut bangs, and layers, which I love, and I don't imagine I will ever go back to no-bangs. The only downside is the same as Ro's and Hallie's--my hair grows really fast. But I've never resorted to the nail scissors!

ROSEMARY: So Reds and readers, what's your style constant? The thing you wouldn't dream of changing or being without...like Hank's leopard print shoes, only no fair mentioning them, Hank!(BTW...now that I'm home I've had a pro clean up my hatchet job.)

And in honor of women with bangs, here's Ricky Martin and She Bangs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ihtX86JzmA

HANK: And I have to say, I simply do not understand the song "She Bangs." And I don't wanna know..
ROSEMARY: I don't really get it either but he looks so fine - does it matter?


  1. Never would I dream of giving up my bangs, or my long hair. It’s probably not stylish, but it’s me and so it stays just the way it is . . . but I definitely trim my own bangs [with scissors for cutting hair] when they get too long.

  2. This is so funny, Ro. I've been on a cruise. The day before I left home I looked in the mirror and decided I didn't need a trim. First night on board and my hair was too long. bangs in my eyes. How can that happen?
    Now I'm in Athens and looking for the nearest beauty shop.

  3. And help. Blogger instructions are all in Greek.

  4. I've sported a beard of some sort since 1974, the year my first child was born. I hate socks. And I wear a lot of wildly colored camp shirts -- ducks, hula girls, and birds of paradise are a sample -- since permanently reaching two hundred pounds.

  5. Ack, bangs! Not for me. There's too much variation, as you all have pointed out, because hair GROWS. I've had the same hairstyle for twenty years and I'll stick with it, thank you very much. Once I find it, I like to keep a good thing going. Same with my shoes - a lighter-weight birkenstock sandal for summer, my black lace-up SAS shoes for colder times! So very boring but so very comfortable.

    Hey, Ro, I sent you a FB message when you were gone. If you can't find it, email me (edithmax at gmail). I owe you a present!

  6. good luck at the Greek beauty shop Rhys--hope sign language works!

    Jack, with that look, you will be a hit at the Crimebake this year. Banquet theme is "trouble in paradise"...

  7. Yikes, a beauty shop in Greece..I worry even when I'm in NYC. YOu'll come out fabulous!

    Trouble in paradise? Whoa, Roberta..what's that going to be? I'm very afraid...and have no grass skirt..another one of my style definites: no grass skirts or coconut bras.i

  8. I have the strangest hair on God's green earth. First off, my poor mother was scared to death I'd never get any. I was hairless, apparently, for longer than she felt was quite normal. Then when I finally did grow some hair it was pitifully thin and fine and never ever pretty. No one was happier than me back in the 60s and 70s when wigs became popular. Then I decided the only way to go was short - really, really short. And I loved it. Then I took a leap and stopped coloring it, and I loved it. Then when I retired I decided to try to let it grow a little and the oddest thing - it was no longer thin and fine. I must be the only person alive whose hair has gotten better as I've aged instead of the other way around.

    Style constant - white shirts, jeans and boots.

    Oh yeah - and no cleavage on TV.
    Hank, I love you to the moon and back girl - that was funny.

    Debs, I LOVE your bangs. Amazing how that new haircut seems to just light up your face.

  9. Rosemary, some days you just can't stand it any more. I totally understand.

    Luckily for me, I have gotten tons of practice cutting bangs with three daughters. I always cut their hair when they were growing up, and even up to the last couple of years one of them would ask me for a trim. I'd prefer not to cut my own bangs, but in a pinch I can do it without too much disaster.

    Bangs have become necessary for me in the last few years. I turned out to be one of those people with deep forehead lines. Hallie, I'm with you on the natural look, although I did have my hair cut shorter recently. We are going on a two-week safari in the fall, and of course the first thing I thought about was hair. You would too, right? I decided if I was going to get it cut short anyway, might as well have it short for the spring and summer.

    My constant: scarves. I've been collecting them since 1967.

  10. I'm with you all on the bangs. I have a largeish forehead and some of those lines, so I'll never be without the bangs. And I've absolutely cut them with whatever scissors are to hand. My hairdresser tut-tuts at me for having done it, but sometimes you've got to!

    The only other style constant for me seems to have become camisoles. I'm very short (well, all over, but especially) in the top half of my torso (OK, I'll say it, shoulders to boobs). So to avoid uncomfortable amounts of cleavage (well, or what would be cleavage if I had any) or bra showing, I wear a camisole under most shirts.

    We all have our issues, don't we?!

  11. Hula shirts are classics! White shirts...I buy them but never wear them since almost everything I eat has olive oil on it - but mostly because everyone else looks good in them but I'm always reminded of my 7th grade gym teacher. Not a look I loved.

    Rhys - O-Pa! Lucky you! Feta cheese and tomatoes..ouzo..so jealous. My recommendation..download the Translator app on your smartphone. It's free and it's amazing.

  12. Karen - I'm a scarf junkie too. Had to be restrained in Florence.

  13. I drift in and out of bang phases. I used to wear my hair short in a swingy bob, but after an unfortunate hair disaster in which my hair turned Tweety Bird yellow, I changed hair dressers and the Italian gentleman who keeps me a neutral blonde won't let me cut it any shorter than it is right now. He says this is my length. He seems so certain of it, I just go along.

    I definitely can't wear grass skirts or coconut bras. :)

  14. Kaye, my hair was really thin and fine when I was little, too. Well, it's still fine, but somewhere over the years it got really thick and disgustingly healthy. And wavy.

    I love your hair--if mine would turn that color I'd be thrilled. Instead, I now have snow-white temples and not a t thread of gray anywhere else in the brown. Hence the very good hair color. My stylist used to train colorists for Toni & Guy. And that is also the secret of the bangs. It's a Toni & Guy cut, and I don't know any hairdresser who cut them that way unless they've been trained by T&G.

  15. Every day, I wear the Mexican silver bracelet my mother bought me years and years ago in Nogales, a cut-work cuff that's become my signature piece.

    Except at Bouchercon St. Louis: I'd taken a nasty fall days before the trip and bent heck out of the thing -- it probably saved me from breaking my wrist -- so it had to go to the silversmith, but came back stronger than ever! I had to wear a substitute -- felt really weird -- and I do change it out for evening or dress up. But by my bracelet -- and my bangs -- you shall know me!

  16. Debs - So I have to come to Texas to get my bangs to look like yours! No WONDER my stylist can't get it right!!!!! harrumph.

    Leslie - I'm such a jewelry junkie. How come I haven't noticed your wonderful bracelet? Could be every time we see one another we're like little white rabbits running late to something in totally different directions? Next time I see you I want to see your bracelet, please!

  17. No bangs for me, never. I have curly hair, and the shorter it is the curlier it is. So bangs would mean I'd have to STYLE my hair with a HAIR DRYER hairdryer to get them to behave. Blah!

    One of my style constants are the curls. I've never ironed my hair...though I seem to recall going through a Farrah Fawcett Majors stages--feathering, remember that?

    Another constant: blue eyeglasses.

  18. About fifteen years ago, I decided to grow out my curly perm and to start wearing bangs again. My hair looks similar to Hallie's in her JRW photo. It turned white quite early in life and I have been getting it colored for about twenty two years. I got tired of the senior discounts that I had not yet "earned"! (I accept them NOW:-)

    A few hairdressers ago my hairdresser told me when she saw me that my bangs had grown too long and that I shoud not be afraid to cut them myself between haircuts. So I did. Next time she saw me she said "Oh. You tried to cut your own bangs."She then became my FORMER hairdresser.

    Things that do not change: I love my current hairdresser whom I have had for about sixteen years and hope to have for the rest of my life. I never wear white or yellow and will rarely wear green. I never wear heels.

    Yesterday when I visited my sister at the nursing home, she introduced me to a friend. The woman told me two things:1. "You don't look at all alike". 2."Your sister is pretty". Probably thinking about what she had said, she then added that "it's your hair that makes you look different."

    I am not changing the hair, anyway.

  19. I always wear silver jewelry (allergic to gold, and don't like it anyway. This makes me a cheap date, I think...) and LOVE earrings.

    Another style constant: I NEVER wear suits. I think not wearing suits is an entitlement that comes with being a writer.

  20. Yes, Deb, me too -- how could I forget my silver jewelry!

  21. This brought back memories of a long-planned family reunion in Hawaii. At the last minute, I decided to have my hair cut at a cut-rate shop. The young gal decided, without informing me, that I would look good with two-inch bangs! 2009 was not the year of short, short bangs!

  22. Ah yes to bang or not to bang that is the question!
    I've been banging for many years and while I've been tempted to trim my own, my hairdresser threatens me with a very nice green haircolor if I ever try it :)

    Great post

  23. I cut my bangs all the time...I have to . The secret is to NOT cut them straight across. Take your nail scissors, pull out (straight away from your head) and trim that way. Gives them volume, looks a little messy, but like you planned it that way. One of my hairdressers told me how to do that, cause I kept trying to trim them between cuts. little mousse/hairspray...good to go.

  24. I'm struggling with bangs vs no bangs at the moment, along with pixie vs bob. (Sigh.) All opinions will be gratefully accepted because I can't decide.

  25. I like my bangs. It's more than like. Nothing else looks right on me to me. Auntie-Mom brushes my bangs aside whenever she gets close enough -- yes even at my age. She always says the same thing, "Just so I can see your beautiful eyes." So while I'm with Auntie-Mom and the Bouffards (she says that sounds like a 1940s retro dance band) I wear a part on the side. But as soon as I'm out the door and on the other side of her patio lemon grove, I'm all middle school again and pushing my hair back where it belongs.

  26. The last time I *didn't* have bangs must've been in high school, and my hair was long and straight, so if I flopped my head forward and put my glasses back on, I could play Cousin Itt.

    Since then I've had bangs, and I probably always will. Sadly, I trim them myself because I can't be bothered to go to someone and have them do that every third week or so.

    At times, because my hair is so very long, I think I'd like something seriously short and sassy (especially when my hair wraps around my throat and tries to strangle me), but with my body shape, it wouldn't work, I'm afraid. Besides, long hair is low maintenance -- except for the bangs!