My hairdresser, James, is completely fabulous (which is the only way for a hair stylist to be). The first time I walked in, he sat me down and started running his fingers through my hair as we discussed what I wanted.
me: I like the length.
James: Mhm, oh definitely, let’s keep that.
me: But maybe some layers?
James: Long layers, yes, that’ll be good.
me: And maybe… some bangs?
James: … let’s work our way up to that.
me: Ohh… okay.
So we did long layers. The second visit, James just shaped everything up, snipped a shortish layer around my face and called it a day. Both were great haircuts, but I was getting the distinct feeling James was avoiding the Bang Issue. And I wondered if I should push it. It was my hair, of course, but I can’t help but feeling the Wielder of the Scissors knows best. And if James was wary of my having bangs, well then by golly, I wasn’t so sure myself.
This weekend I was once again due to meet with James. This appointment having completely sneaked up on me, I struggled with what to do with myself. I didn’t want to take a chunk out of my bank account to just have a trim, but I didn’t want to wait another month for a haircut, either. And so I made my decision.
me: James, this time I want bangs.
James: Mhm. Okay. You sure?
me: Yes.
When he took the first snip he did it slowly, deliberately. I felt every single hair breaking away as the scissors went snnnnnnniiiiiipppp.  When it was over, he held several inches of my dark hair in his fist. He looked me in the eyes as he slowly extended his arm across the floor and then opened his hand purposefully. What previously had been on my head fell silently to the floor, but I could have sworn an anvil had just dropped by my feet. I licked my lips and nodded. “Keep going.”
A few minutes later, James was drying and fluffing my hair, occasionally brushing his fingers across my forehead to shape my newly created forelock. It swooped just below my brows and if I went cross-eyed I could see my new bangs sitting across the bridge of my nose. He spun me around to the mirror as he said in a sing-song voice, “I-hope-that’s-what-you-wannnnteeeddd.” The smug little punk.
The reflection in the mirror did look rather drastically different.
“What do you think? Do you like it?” he asked.
“Yeah…” I smiled. “I think I do.”
The past couple of days have been a constant state of adjustment: Don’t keep flipping your hair out of your eyes like an irritating frat boy. Don’t keep swooping your fingers across your forehead or your bangs will go flat. You can’t walk in a straight line if you’re looking at them cross-eyed to see if they’re curling. And they will. Oppressive southern humidity will make those short locks curl up quicker than you can snap your fingers and suddenly you’re John Travolta in Grease:


But I think I’ll get used to it in time. And in the meantime, I think it is what I wanted and I’m glad I finally got the nerve to ask for it. So take that, James (who, despite our differences of opinion, I still adore).


FYI, I didn't dye my hair black, just a case of poor lighting.

However, if Chai Am Woman could give me a few tips for taming and training those suckers, I’d be eternally grateful.