Once upon a time, 16-year-old Sam bleached her own hair all the way to platinum blonde. Because I had done it myself, I turned out over-easy egg yellow for a while, and it was horribly damaged. I because sad at how it looked but couldn’t dye it further, so I thought, Hey! Why don’t I just change up the cut? So I did. I cut my own bangs. And holy crap, they looked awful. I can’t find a photo, possibly because I burned them all, but it was like a drunk frat guy had taken a dull hunting knife to my bangs.
This, by the way, is only one bang mistake I’ve made (and only one type of bang mistake, hyuck). There are plenty of others that the majority of us non-gifted/non-Zooey Deschanel humans have made, so let’s commiserate.
It’s hard to get the perfect haircut in general, but achieving flawless bangs is a specific challenge. Your bangs have to be cut and styled just so. A few snips in the wrong place can ruin an otherwise flawless haircut. Then you have to make sure that you style them with the right tools and hair products. Air-drying your bangs can yield some very strange results. Bangs are temperamental. Does that stop us from cutting our hair? No. Does it mean we occasionally have to learn from our mistakes? Unfortunately.
These are the mistakes that everyone has made with their bangs:
1. Cutting your bangs yourself.
Okay, it is possible to do this on your own without everything ending in a disaster! But you need to be utilizing tutorials and proper tools, not…
2. Using regular scissors.
I wish I could say I was under the age of 10 when I used generic paper scissors on my own bangs, but that would be a lie. I thought I was cool in a pierce-my-belly-button-with-a-safety-pin kind of way (which I did at 13 because I saw Thirteen), but in actuality, there was no possible way that could have ended well. Do not do this! You will be sad with the results.
3. Cutting them unevenly.
This is something that looks cool on celebrities and runways, not so cool on a teenager with frizzy hair. I once actually asked to get jagged bangs and I looked like the “before” photo of a makeover ad.
4. Chopping them entirely off as a child because you don’t understand how hair works.
Tired of your bangs? Chop them all off, that’ll teach ‘em to grow! Except they do grow, but horrifyingly, like Vincent Kartheiser‘s forcibly receded hairline in Mad Men.
5. Getting bangs right before summer.
Oh, these will look so cute with all my vintage pinup-style bathing suits! says April you. And then sweaty June you are constantly fussing with them, pinning them back because it’s hot as balls outside, and having them stick to your forehead.
6. Gelling your bangs.
Was my middle school the only one where girls did this nonstop? Now, for more hair horrors…
7. Getting bangs and then realizing they don’t remotely work with your face.
Some people look amazing with short Betty Page bangs, some people look hilarious. Hair takes some experimentation, but that means many experiments end with disappointment and/or hats for three months.
8. Blowing them out into a frizzy mess.
Why can the salon do this so well and none of us seem remotely capable of making anything but Screech hair?
9. Literally blowing them like an 80s valley girl.
So over this, or whatever.
10. Only cutting a few pieces.
And then you realize that, no, that’s not a good look for anybody.
11. Getting the same bangs as your best friend.
Oh yeah, you and your BFF–while very close–are not the same person and the haircut she got looks totally different on you. A rift grows. You distance yourself, unwilling to admit your bang’d up defeat. Or you just grow out your hair and photoshop every photo from that time period so you have Victoria’s Secret model hair.
12. Getting bangs with curly hair and over-straightening them so they look fake.
I’m 100% one of those wavy-haired jerks who’s always like “omg I wish I had curly hair” to all my curly-haired friends, and they’re like “shut up, I’ve used my diffuser more times today than you’ve breathed today.” But one thing I do not envy: getting bangs with curly hair. It sounds super stressful and needs a whole lot of attention, product, and technique.
13. Thinking bangs are a good idea. Period.
Bangs look so good on so many people. You convince yourself time and time again that you just haven’t liked yourself with bangs in the past because you haven’t found the right style. You give them another try and realize this was another fail.
14. Trimming your bangs yourself.
You hate going to the hairdresser, to begin with. Ideally, you get one haircut per year. That is too long to go without a bang trim. You take matters into your own hands. How hard can it be? It’s just a few snips. You grab some scissors and start cutting away. Your bangs keep on getting shorter and more uneven with every snip.
15. Wanting blunt bangs and getting an unflattering straight fringe.
Blunt bangs look so edgy and cool. You want a crisp fringe and a sleek bob. You realize too late that blunt bangs and getting your front layers chopped in a straight line across your forehead aren’t the exact same thing. Oops.
16. Assuming you’re taming your bangs by slicking them down with gel.
A little gel can be your bangs’ best friend. Too much and one of two things will happen:
- You will look like you haven’t showered in days because the gel looks like grease.
- Your bangs will take on a sculptural quality and defy all laws of gravity. You’ve experienced both of these.
17. Not considering your hair texture before getting a fringe.
You always ignore your hairdresser when she starts talking about what your hair texture is like for a specific hairstyle because you have styling tools. They can make every look work for you, right? Unfortunately, the styling tools don’t work all the time. That’s why it ended up looking like you glued someone else’s bangs onto your head.
18. Trying to part your bangs in different spots.
Middle parts were so popular and you wanted to participate in the trend. Having bangs wasn’t going to stop you. You thought you could easily make the look work by simply parting your bangs in the middle and applying a lot of gel. Then there was that time you thought you could pull off a deep side part with bangs. You thought wrong on both occasions.
19. Letting your bangs grow so long they are in your eyes.
You thought long bangs would make you look mysterious. In reality, they made your eyes itch and get watery so your mascara running down your face. To make matters worse, they made your forehead seem bigger and the whole reason you got bangs was to try to make your forehead look more in proportion with the rest of your face.
20. Going for super short bangs because you’re worried about having hair in your eyes.
After the long bangs incident, you went in the complete opposite direction. You wanted a super short style that would never graze your eyes. You thought you’d look like a model. Plus, short bangs required less trims. One look in the mirror proved you are not part of the 1% that can pull off the look.
21. Not being able to stop touching your bangs.
It takes a lot of work to get your bangs to look good. Even once they look decent you cannot leave them alone for fear they will *gasp* separate. All the touching initially make them frizzy. You continue and by the end of the day, you’re left with greasy, separated bangs.
22. Thinking that water is the best styling product for your fringe.
You always say to yourself that you need to start carrying a hair styling cream in your bag but you never seem to remember to put it in. You think you can make do without one by just slicking your bangs down with a bit of water for the tap. You put on too much so you soak your bangs. They look good for about five minutes when they’re almost dry before they frizz up again.