The concept of “breakup haircut” or “breakup bangs” is everywhere on the internet. Just search for “getting bangs” on google, and you’ll get tons of articles about this. My personal favourite ones so far:
“What to Know Before Getting a Fringe”
“The Risk of ‘Getting Bangs’”
“Should I Get Bangs?”
And this fabulous one: “Are You Emotionally Stable Enough to Get Bangs?”
(Short answer: no, I’m not. You’re not. None of us are, we are in the second year of a pandemic. Who the fuck is emotionally stable enough to do anything?)
Now, the thing here is: we are ALWAYS told not to get bangs. And if we end up doing it, we are immediately labelled as “going through a mental breakdown”. Bangs are the devil, especially if people around you know you’ve had a hard time for whatever reason. But aren’t we always going through stuff? Aren’t we constantly stressed? I’m done with people and internet articles turning bangs into fucking Satan. Tired of lists of “things you should have in mind” before cutting your bangs. And definitely done with the whole “you need therapy, not bangs” trend that apparently became a thing and a big joke on all of us. No babe, you don’t need therapy instead of bangs: you probably need therapy in general, like all of us do. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Let me walk you through this thought process—my thought process, I suppose—, because right now you might need encouragement to take this big step.
To being with: you can do whatever the fuck you want. You don’t need an internet article to tell you what to do. If you cut your bangs in the middle of a crisis, so be it. It’s just hair. You’ll be okay if you don’t like it, and if you do like it then it might even make you feel better! And we all need this. Do whatever the fuck you want, because making your own decisions is usually better than following the advice of some random person on the internet (yes, you can completely ignore my advice as well. I’m just another random person somehow telling you what to do).
Another good thing to keep in mind is that hair grows. Quickly. I know this is easier said than done: the process of growing your bangs is always painful and it feels like a lifetime. But it’s not: in two-three months they’ll grow and you’ll find a new hairstyle, our you’ll cut them again, maybe a different style this time. In the worst of cases, you can always shave your head (although apparently this is the ultimate “breakup/breakdown haircut”. But who cares, really).
You should, however, bear in mind the complexities of having bangs. These are actual facts, and even though I’m not an expert I can tell you this: you’ll need to wash your fringe frequently, you’ll need to clean your forehead every day to avoid pimples, you’ll have to style it every single fucking morning, you might even need to buy a small straightener or a proper brush, and therefore a heat protectant of some sort. Yeah, A LOT of work. Nobody wakes up with a perfectly stylised fringed, that’s for sure.
Yes, you might regret it later, especially because it’ll absorb your mornings. But the momentary satisfaction of getting bangs is totally worth it. This probably goes against everything you’ve ever heard about long term satisfaction, but short term contentment is also important and it has a positive effect on you as well. The process of either cutting your own hair or going to a hairdresser and getting it cut by someone else is so freaking amazing. The feeling won’t last, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. We live for those snippets of happiness, especially now.
Also, no, you don’t look bad. You look different. Getting used to a new image of yourself can take a couple of days, and so give your bangs some time to sort of fit your face. Or your face to fit your bangs. It’s weird to see something new in the mirror when you look at yourself, but this doesn’t mean you look ugly with bangs. So stop it.
Last but not least: the truth is, you can get therapy and still want bangs. I know I do. This is why I think this statement is wrong and shitty. It’s not like going to therapy will suddenly make you realise you’d look horrible with bangs, that’s not how it works. Yes, it might make you realise that the changes you need have to come from a different source, but you can still get both things! Internal and external changes are both important and significant. And getting those bangs might be just what you need right now.
Now, I go to therapy and I’m still under stress and always on the verge of a mental breakdown. And I’m getting bangs this weekend, and I’m probably gonna regret it at some point. Cheers to that and to you if you’re doing the same. Cheers to ignoring internet articles and doing whatever the fuck you want with your own hair and life.
Siham Lee is a Chilean writer living in Glasgow. She’s currently doing a Mlitt in Creative Writing while writing short stories to keep herself alive and mentally stable in the midst of working on her first novel. The rest of the time she’s either rewatching Brooklyn 99 for the ninth time or eating all the cookies in the house.