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A Boy's First Bangs by haircoward

Growing up, I had the ideal high school schedule. My classes were all in the morning, and I had a late lunch period, which was followed by two more "free" periods. If I wanted to, I could go home every day a little after noon. If I didn’t mind walking, that is. If I wanted to catch the bus, I’d have to wait until last period.

If I chose to walk, I would have the house to myself for several hours before anybody got home. As a young man who was discovering his hair "interests", I’d always look forward to getting some alone time. It was the only time I’d dare pull my hair up into a ponytail. I had an undercut, which had started growing out, however I could still pull the top section into a really neat ponytail… but, only when I was home alone. I could only imagine what my mother would say or do if she came home to find me parading around the house in a pony.

I used to pore over the TV Guide that came with our Sunday newspaper to see if there were any hair-related shows coming on that week. I would always look to see if the episode of Married with Children where the mom cut off all the hair of the woman who she thought was cheating with her husband would be on. The episode of Boy Meets World where Topanga cuts her hair. An episode of another show I can’t remember the name of, where one of the brothers is given a "bodywave" by his girlfriend, and it goes wrong and he winds up completely curly. This was back before we were spoiled by videos on the internet, and there wasn’t near as much content for us.

This week in particular, I found out there was going to be an episode of a talk show (Ricki Lake) that was going to be all about hair. I’d watched so many "makeover" episodes of talk shows, but never one that was going to be completely dedicated to hair. I knew I had to see this show. I couldn’t wait.

That day, I got home, pulled my hair into its forbidden ponytail, and prepared to watch. I’ve tried looking for this episode online for years now, but I can never seem to find it. It opened with Ricki explaining that today’s show was all about hair. She turned it over to the audience, asking if there was anybody there who wanted to change their style. A long haired woman raised her hand, and was invited to step forward. Ricki introduced her to the "celebrity stylist" and proceeded to talk about what this woman liked and didn’t like about her hair. While they were talking, however, the stylist snuck a great big snip… cutting a thick six inch lock off her length. I was shocked.

I’d never seen a real surprise haircut. Well, maybe it’s "real" in quotes. The woman did look very surprised though. I thought to myself, if this is how the entire hour is going to go, I’m about to see some very special stuff.

Turned out, though, that was going to be about as good as it got. They replayed this sneaky snip a few times throughout the hour, teasing that we’d eventually see this audience member’s new look (which wound up being pretty underwhelming). But, there wasn’t much more when it came to cutting. It was more of a "haircare" episode, which wasn’t all that exciting for me.

But then, the subject of bangs came up.

I’d never even though about bangs up until this point. Not in a fetish way… not in any way! I didn’t love them or hate them… I just didn’t think about them. Never fantasized about having them, never really even noticed them when checking out girls at school. The camera turned to the stage to show a woman in a chair sitting in front of a mirror. Her hair was long-ish. Passed her shoulders, anyway. The celebrity stylist took the mic and said she was going to show everyone at home how they can cut their own bangs at home.

I can’t say I was overly intrigued, but at this point, any amount of cutting was going to hold my attention.

I assumed this was just going to be the woman cutting a line straight across her forehead. I figured/hoped she’d goof up, cut them crooked, and have to have the stylist straighten them out.

But instead, the stylist shared a "hack". She told the woman to take her front section, and twist it once between her fingers. The woman on stage looked a bit shaky, but she did as she was told. The stylist explained that this would result in an even line, and then said the bangs can be cut a couple of different ways from here. The scissors could be held horizontal, cutting straight across for a blunt bang, or they could be held vertically to perform a "point cut", resulting in a more blended bang.

I hoped she was going to choose "blunt". Ever since having my hair cut in a blunt style, I’d started to become kind of obsessed with hair ending in a thick, perfectly straight, line. I loved how it felt to "bounce" my ends in my hand. Feeling that perfect weight line dancing in my palm. She went with the "point cut" method instead.

I remember how nervous she looked as she made small, tentative, snips. I remember seeing the whisps of severed hair falling forward. I think she hesitated about halfway through, and the stylist had to finish the job. When all was said and done, I was amazed at how well this "hack" worked. This woman now sat there with a near-perfect set of bangs, which she seemed very happy with. I never realized it would be so easy to get bangs… and, I found myself suddenly very inspired to try this myself. I got that strange "hungry" feeling in the pit of my belly, that I knew wasn’t going to go away until I did some cutting.

I ran into the bathroom to see how I might look with bangs. I took down my ponytail, and separated a small section from the front of my hair, wrapping it around my finger and securing it with one of my sister’s barrettes to see what bangs might look like. I experimented with different lengths, from insanely short (which I’d never actually do), to just a little bit shorter than the rest of my hair. At this point, my hair was to just a smidge below my ears on the sides, and around lip-length in front.

I twisted the front section a bit, and held it forward in my mouth, before tying the rest back up in a ponytail. It wasn’t a huge section, but would almost definitely be noticeable if I cut too much off. I played with the front section for a bit, seeing how much I could cut and still fit it back in the pony. I decided I’d try cutting it to the bottom of my nose.

For some reason, I remember wetting down my bangs. Maybe I thought they’d be easier to cut if they were wet. When I twisted them, I also wrung out a bit of the water. Before I cut, I went and found my mother’s sewing scissors. These were the scissors responsible for the long to short cut my mother forced on me while her friends watched. Ever since that day, I could barely look at them without becoming flushed. Knowing that those were the shears that cut off my first ponytail made my dizzy and weak in the knees. It felt almost ritualistic, my using those same scissors for this cut.

Back in front of the bathroom mirror, scissors in hand, I got back to twisting my hair between my fingers. On the show, the stylist said to only twist over one time… which, at this point, I had forgotten. I twisted it a few times before sliding the sewing shears in just a bit above the bottom of my nose.

I paused there for, what had to have been several minutes. It was such a small amount of hair, but to this point, I’d never considered cutting my hair in what might be a noticeable way. I’d snuck a snip or two "underneath" my hair, where nobody would ever know or see… but, this was the first time that someone might actually be able to tell that it had been cut.

I regained my composure, and started to see myself as that woman on the stage… hesitant, nervous… scared to close the scissors, no matter how much she wanted to. She had said she’d wanted bangs for a long time, but never went through with it. At this point, I’d wanted bangs for a whole 10 minutes, and yet I was just as nervous as she was.

Realizing that my time home alone was rapidly running out, I got myself back on-task. I twisted my bangs a couple more times, slid the scissors in place, and finally closed them. Between my thumb and index finger was wet and shiny 2 inch lock of my hair. In the mirror, I realized just how much of a difference this little cut made. My bangs sprung up to just below eye-level. I was terrified. It didn’t suit me at all, and if my mother found out I’d have some major explaining to do… and yet, I kind of liked how it looked. What’s more, I loved how it made me feel. I grabbed a towel from the rack and dried my new bangs, which only made them appear shorter. They ended up right about to my eyes. They were (surprisingly) perfectly straight and blunt. I took down my ponytail, and my heart skipped several beats when I realized it now looked like I had a bob with bangs. It looked like I was wearing a wig… in a good way.

After admiring my "new look" for a few minutes, reality started to set in. I now had bangs. What do I do now? My mother was going to be home pretty soon, how would she react to seeing her son with a "french bob"? I thought about my options… I thought about running off to a salon, but was petrified of having to explain to the stylist why I had such a girly cut to begin with. I considered just cutting my bob off myself… but, I loved it… and I had my heart set on growing it out.

I ultimately decided to… just smother my hair in every sort of product we had in the bathroom… hairspray, gel, mousse… anything "sticky" that would hide my bangs in place. By the end of my "styling session", I looked kind of like a greaser… my hair was as hard as a helmet. It was ugly, but it hid my bangs until they grew out. I remember being in school, worrying that my hairspray would "give out", and my bangs would reveal themselves. I had nightmares about waking up too late to properly tend to my hair before class, and having to go in in full-on "french bob" mode.

It never really came to that, though… and for the next few months, I had my secret style, that I could enjoy and admire only when I was home alone. I never tried bangs again since, though I must admit, they are definitely on my "bucket list".

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