There was something about the long haul of lockdown that made you want to take the things you were going back and forth on and—pardon my language— just do it already . For me, that decisive move was, at long last, getting curly bangs . It was something that my friend and hairstylist Mischa G had been begging, nay pleading with me to do for years, but I just hadn’t gotten around to yet (which, by the way, is never not a tragic excuse). “They’re going to change your life,” Mischa told me. And she was right.
Feeling ready for change, I made my first trip to Treehouse Social Club , Mischa’s just-completed salon that she had magically managed to gut renovate and open in the middle of the pandemic. There, she sheared off the old overgrowth of the pandemic and gave me a ringlet-y curtain of bangs that fell right above the brow along with a cascade of shaggy layers. My new fringe did everything a great, transformative haircut is supposed to do, like make me feel like a whole new-and-improved person and incite oohs and aahs from strangers and loved ones alike. While I never say never when it comes to my hair, I truly can’t imagine ever, ever not having a fringe again. Below, a quick-and-dirty breakdown of what I’ve learned so far about life with bangs.
1. Bangs are transformative.
By nature, bangs have a dramatic impact on your facial features and proportions. It’s only natural that a fringe haircut would have transformative effects. I found that my shag softened my face—slightly diffusing the severity of my thick, dark brows—while adding definition and placing greater emphasis on my cheekbones. “Depending on where you cut them, you can use bangs to accentuate or draw attention to your desired features or make your look stronger or softer,” explains Mischa.
2. Extra volume and texture are a given.
“One of my favorite things to show clients with a new fringe is how the hair looks up,” Mischa tells me. From topknots to pigtail braids , extra “bits,” as she likes to call the layers around the face, are a game-changer for updos. The extra volume and texture go a long way—especially for curls—and just make everything look more interesting.
3. A fringe is a ready-made style statement.
Much like bleaching your hair platinum blonde or dyeing it a neon fantasy color, a fringe, whether blunt or a bit softer, is a style statement in and of itself. As long as you’re taking proper care of your bangs (more on that in a minute), they’re enhancing your overall look and making you appear more put together. “Whether it’s short bangs, long bangs, curved bangs, rounded bangs, or layered bangs, it’s all about finding what works for you,” says Mischa. “Once you have that, it’s always going to make it look like you’ve done so much more.”
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4. High maintenance can come with high reward.
In my experience, the funny thing about bangs is that they make your hair-care routine both harder and easier at the same time. Due to absorbing more oil and sweat from the face, bangs get greasier faster, which means that you have to shampoo and reset more often—especially if you have curlier hair. (In between washes, a few mists of dry shampoo, like Klorane or Briogeo’s Scalp Revival , or a quick wet-and-reset with Dyson’s Supersonic Diffuser hair dryer have done wonders.) And of course, you have to commit to regular bang trims every couple of weeks. But in the end it’s worth it because as long as you put in the work to keep your bangs on point, your style is paying dividends.
5. Bangs evolve—in the best way.
Over the past eight months, my fringed cut has evolved. While initially Mischa helped me ease into bangs by keeping my long, chest-length layers, today I have a shoulder-length shag with choppier fringe and layers that give me more of that ’70s oomph. “I’m the type of hairdresser where I don’t want to push someone to take a style to somewhere they’re not ready yet, so we always dip a toe in, and then 9 times out of 10, they’ll want a bigger trim or to go all in,” explains Mischa. “There’s always room to see how your bangs set and what you’re comfortable with styling-wise and take it from there. You can always make tweaks and subtle changes in the shape.” Personally, I love that each time I visit Mischa, I can always ask for something different if I’m yearning for it, whether it’s a set of shorter baby bangs or more layers to play with. My fringe has opened up a new world of possibilities for my curls, so the last word I’ll leave you with is: If you’re yearning for bangs, just join the party already!
This article originally appeared on Vogue .