Bang Bang

I decided to grow out my bangs. I’ve been thinking about it the past few years but I expected it to make me crazy so I kept putting it off.

I had bangs when I was a little girl (example). I can’t remember the whole chronology. My hair has almost always been long. I cut it so I could do the whole feathered bangs thing in middle school – what a stupid hairstyle. It only looked nice the day you left the hairdresser or if you had magical hair. I did not have magical hair.

In college I started getting my hair cut by this young stylish woman named Britta. It’s hard for me to figure how this came about since I was always broke and over-scheduled but somehow I drove to downtown Santa Barbara to get my hair cut. I think I felt so terrible about the way I looked I thought this was a good use of my time and energy. It was not. I think I’ve burned most of the photos from that era but if you do an image search for Carol Brady and look at the photos under “mullet” you can get an idea.

For reference, this story takes place in approximately 1985.

The first time I met Britta she thought my name was Pat and I am so socially awkward I didn’t say anything. It turns out Britta is one of those people that says your name 1000 times. “Let’s wash you hair now, Pat. Your hair is so healthy, Pat. I have this amazing shampoo, Pat. How do you like UCSB, Pat?”

Of course by that point it was way too late to say something and obviously when I paid or when I made another appointment she would see that Pat isn’t my name. So I began to develop this story in my head, you know, to save her embarrassment, about how lots of people call me Pat. My Aunt is named Pat. I just thought she knew that. (No one except Britta and this woman at my old law firm has ever called me Pat.) She called me Pat at my next appointment so I guess she decided to just go along with it, too.

Britta came up with the idea to cut a few wispy bangs which I went along with. They were just wisps, why would I object? But every time she cut my hair there were more wisps. And more wisps and then we crossed over and the wisps were bangs. I had bangs.

Meanwhile, decades have gone by. I have no idea what happened to Britta. I have never loved the bangs but I do have a fivehead so it never seemed like a terrible idea. But also they were a pain because if I let them dry on their own they would curl up so I looked like I was wearing a decorative handlebar mustache on my head. I always had to style them.

I thought growing them out would be more terrible but so far it’s mostly painless. They are light enough that if I brush them back with a tiny bit of product, they will stay put.

I will update as needed.

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