Returning to My God-Given Roots: Bye-Bye, Bangs! (But Then, They Came Back.)

When I started this natural hair journey, one of the first things to go was my bangs. We’d been kindred spirits since the third grade when Mrs. Botts was my teacher and I graduated from two pigtails to French braids. As mom and I discussed the new hairstyle, she said, “Your forehead is a little big. Let’s give you some bangs.” We were together ever since.

But when I decided to stop flat ironing my hair in Fall 2017, I realized I had a problem. I would have to get rid of my straight bangs and go commando or think of some alternative.

I was scared. I stared at my forehead in the bathroom mirror. “Are you too large?” I asked it. I conducted the finger measurement test. Four fingers.

“Is that too many fingers?” I asked my forehead.

“It doesn’t seem like too many,” I responded for it. But I was still nervous. I decided to wear wavy bangs with a side part, which I achieved by braiding my hair at an angle at night, unbraiding it in the morning, and using a hair waver to touch it up because I was still perfecting my braiding skills.

The wavy side bang that didn’t last.

After a while, I gave up.  Virginia’s early fall weather, which is far more humid than brisk, was winning, and I just felt frizzy all the time. I researched natural updos on YouTube, discovered a braid called the two-strand flat twist and decided to give it a whirl. I braided it from right to left, just like my side bangs used to sit. Then, I whipped up the rest of my hair into a bun.

I stared at myself in the mirror. “Is this weird?” I asked myself.

I questioned my forehead. “Do you feel exposed?” It did. Bangs, my forehead, and I had been friends for about two decades. We’d have to adjust.

Side braid
The two-strand flat twist (AKA the “substitute bang”) a few weeks before most of my hair went away.

About one week in, I decided that I liked the substitute bang. It framed my face nicely, and for the first time, I wasn’t concerned about the state of my bangs on the trek from my car to the office on humid mornings. I felt free. I could see my face. And I stopped worrying about whether my forehead was too large.

“We’re stuck with each other,” I told my forehead. “So, we might as well get used to it.”

About one-and-a-half weeks ago (post big chop), the bangs came back but in a new form. I started parting my hair on the side and creating two-strand twists in the direction I want my hair to fall. When I unraveled them, I achieved a bang-ish look that is rather edgy and funky, which I like. Most of all, the new bangs inspired me to unearth some fun earrings I bought on a trip to Mexico about 10 years ago. I hadn’t worn them in a long time, but now, they match my hair nicely.

Funky Bang
The funky bang with the fun earrings and my hair pinned on one side in a strange fashion.

I took this photo with the new bang and my old-new earrings on Saturday. My hair was rather wild (especially after I moved furniture in the heat), but I’m trying to embrace it. I sent a photo to mom, frizz and all.

“Cute!” she said.



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