When You're Tired of Your "Signature Look"
As in, I think I'm finally ready to grow out my bangs...? (Why is this hard?) What looks are you struggling to let go of even if you're tired of them? An open thread...
Readers, a little less than a year ago, when Oldster was a youngster of a newsletter (it was just 11 days old, and there were like 10 subscribers), I wrote about fighting an itch to ditch my bangs, but holding myself back because…
my bangs hide forehead wrinkles and a little aging-related hair loss…
they comprise roughly 90% of my hairdo (or “hair comb” as my mom says)…
it’s hard to let go of a look you’ve become identified with.
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But in the past few months, my bangs have begun behaving strangely. I’ve developed all these annoying cowlicks I never had before. (Where the hell do these come from???) In the past, I could tame my usual cowlicks by cutting my bangs very short every few weeks, but that seems to no longer be effective.
So, I’ve stopped clipping them, and yesterday, for the first time, they were long enough for me to sweep back into a barrette. I feel a strange mix of excitement (I can buy cool new barrettes now…and if I keep going with this, when winter comes I won’t have to deal with dreaded “hat bangs”) and wistfulness. Turns out I’ve got a deep emotional attachment to what others tell me is my “signature look.”
I feel a little silly obsessing over this, but I suppose it’s like all change—both thrilling and terrifying.
I want to know about the elements of your personal style that you’ve struggled (or are currently struggling) to let go of, even when you were totally bored of them. (Also, feel free to point me to chic barrettes!)
Do not even get me STARTED. First- I have forever loved your signature bangs, and I will, I am certain, love your long, swept-back bangs. You have fabulous hair, now and historically. The truth is, hair changes as we change; when I hit menopause prematurely (at 40, thanks Mom), my hair, which has been an odd combination of frizzy on the right and wavy/straight on the left (thanks Dad) suddenly refused to grow in any other way than out, as opposed to down. I love the idea of slightly longer hair, but it stopped working for me in my thirties, when I finally cut it short, sometimes *very* short. The problem is, not a lot of stylists know how to cut short/fine/wavy/curly hair, and when I moved to Connecticut from NYC, every stylist I went to tried to turn me into Dina Merrill (blonde, very sprayed helmet hair, an environmental bio-hazard). It took me 20 years of living here to finally accept the fact that I'm a short hair person, and a wonderful stylist (thanks to you) to give me a great haircut. So, I've said goodbye to long(er) hair forever. I've also finally accepted the fact that I will never stop wearing horizontal stripes, even though I'm 5'1" and zaftig, and have been warned against this (Mom).
The joys of the Third Quarter (50-75ish) is knowing who you are now - and saying a loving goodbye to the rest. Whether it's hair, husbands or houses. Transitions are tough for some, joyful for others. I'm a sucker for change, my husband prefers stability. And i think a wardrobe of lipsticks, perfumes and anything else that reflects multiple facets of self are fun to flip through. We hold multitudes. Age is about flaunting more of them!
Dump the bangs! And celebrate.