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STYLE GUY: Big Bang Theory

 The Style Guy was a monthly column which ran in Birmingham Magazine for nearly ten years.  It was written each month by Sanctuary stylist and owner Todd Cargo.


Remember that time in kindergarten when you cut your bangs using construction paper scissors? We've all probably done that at least once. Remember the very tactile feeling of resistance from each strand before it succumbed to the grinding power of dull blades? I must have been about 5 years old when I decided that instead of making a paper flower as we had been instructed to do, I should probably give myself and my friend Cindy, a quick make-over before nap-time. Needless to say our teacher, Mrs. Whetstone, was none too happy with my actions and I got into a bit of trouble. But I didn't care. Even at that age I knew not to take very seriously the critique of a woman with a lavender beehive. My own bangs did turn out a little too short but I knew they would grow and Cindy really did look ahead of her time in the asymmetrical avant guarde bangs that I created for her. Apparently I was some kind of artistic savant even at that tender young age because I just innately knew that a crooked bang would give some much needed visual interest to what was an otherwise very unremarkable face. Right then and there I was hooked on the feeling of control and creativity of hair cutting. My life changed forever that day.

               I tell you this story to illustrate the power of the bang. No other part of our hairstyle packs the emotional punch that our bangs do. When I give a client a bang trim I can see her shoulders relax as she feels lighter and renewed. I can also easily see the slightly hunched over and pitifully apologetic posture of a client when she has cut her own bangs at home. She comes in feeling embarrassed and will usually tell a story of bangs that had gotten unruly and out of hand. The idea seemed simple enough to start with: Here's some too-long bangs, here's some pinking shears from the sewing box. Yeah, this is gonna be great! My best friend is here to cheer me on and to pour the wine. What could go wrong? I'll even trim her bangs when I'm done with mine! The kids too! It's so quick and easy when Todd does it. I'll do it just like I've seen him do it. Oh what fun! I feel so pretty, and this is fabulous merlot!               Luckily there's usually a quick fix for these lapses in judgment and all can be forgotten pretty quickly. 

               Too bang or not to bang? That is the question that I probably hear most often from clients. The banged wonder if they should grow theirs out and the un-banged want to know if they should add some. Are bangs still in? Are they out? These are common questions. My answer to them both is "Yes." Bangs are always in; Even when they're out there are exceptions to the style of the moment. Some people simply must wear bangs to cover high or thinner hairlines, while others should always avoid them because of a low hairline that closes in their face. However, the vast majority of people have both options available to them as well as a wide variety of bang styles to choose from. Your bangs could be long or short, blunt or wispy. Straight down or swept to the side, the choice is yours. Simply changing the way you cut, wear or style your bangs can give your current cut a whole new attitude. A bang change is the tried and true method of taking an old tired cut and making it look new again without having to learn to style the rest of your hair a new way. 

               Giving your bangs a make-over might be just what you need to freshen up your look this winter, but please, please consult your stylist and hide the scissors when you and your friends start in on the merlot.